Went there last night for an event. I love their take and science behind drinks. The owner if very knowledgable and the cocktail demo was educational but also a lot of fun. If you like a great drink made with house made bitters and fresh juices, this is the place for you.
472 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This has become one of my fave places for drinks! Ali and Alex threw the ChickAdvisor team holiday cocktail party there. I had heard about their crazy molecular drinks (costs are $45 and up!) which I didn't have but the drinks I did have were amazing!
The Sour Sake was by recommendation from the waitress and at first I was a little apprehensive. I'm not really into sake but was pleasantly surprised that it tasted nothing like sake. It had a nice creme brule effect on the top and came with a spoon that you use for soup at Chinese restaurants. I wasn't sure what to do with it until someone said to just break the top with the spoon and scoop. The flavour was refreshing and fruity with a hint of creme brule.
The apps we had were delicious! The spring rolls and mini burger sliders were my favourite. The atmosphere is very trendy, hip, but laid-back. I definitely want to go back - maybe for my b-day!
I had the ever-so-fortunate opportunity to attend the opening night of this restaurant last year with a friend of mine. As MissChickie mentioned - the cocktails are to die for! The ingredients are so incredibly unique and exotic, unlike anything I've ever seen before. For example, chili flakes in a martini (actually incredibly delicious!), sage, lavender - these are just to name a few.
The atmosphere is great for afterwork drinks, meeting up with friends for a pre-drink before clubbing, or post-drinks after a late night dinner. It isn't a large restaurant, and it isn't crowded either. For what this restaurant/lounge offers, it's the perfect size.
Go, go, go!
I've never had cocktails like this before!
BarChef is a dark, cozy bar lit largely by candles and scented with incense that is roasted periodically behind the bar. Pair that with the DJ spinning in the corner, your senses are already wooed before you've had your first drink.
I'd heard about BarChef from a bartender in Montreal who was studying molecular cocktails, and said BarChef made amazing drinks. Molecular mixology incorporates things like alcohol foam, herbs, different infusion methods, home made bitters and even liquid nitrogen and smoke. Each drink is complex, mixing things together you'd never think would work.
I started with "The Professor", a vodka based cocktail served over ice with in house bitters, lavender essence, mint syrup and fresh lemon. It was delicate and fresh, with little lavender petals I would have expected in a cup of tea. At $8, I thought it was delicious and excellent value.
Next, I tried the Sour Sake, $12. The BEST drink of my life. Made with nigori sake, cardamom cumin syrup, fresh lime, egg white (unusual, yes?), apricot bitters and coconut rum, served with a Thai basil sugar rim.
Describing what it tastes like will be difficult. When shaken, the egg white becomes foamy and the foam is toasted with a pastry torch so that the top part of the cocktail is like a creme brulee that you crack with a spoon. It tastes like a roasted marshmallow. I could have eaten a cup of just that. The next sip mingled the Thai sugar basil rim with the sweet zing of the sake, lime and coconut rum. It was so good, my husband ordered it for his next drink, half of which, I stole from him. There is a lot of complexity in each sip. As you swallow it, you notice different layers of flavours. It's an experience.
Watching the bar tenders in action is fascinating. You can see this is an art form and that they really enjoy it. They lit alcohol on fire, pouring it back and forth as blue flames licked it up. At one point, Executive Barchef and owner, Frankie Solarik added dry ice to the bitters to cause them to pour a sweet scented smoke all over the bar.
Had it not been for the drinks I had already tried, I would have ordered a molecular cocktail, like the Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan, $45, that is served in a covered glass dome filled with smoke, or the Mojito, $25, with espresso cloud, strawberry infused sparkling wine, absinthe, campaign foam and curacao two ways.
You can still order a beer or gin and tonic here, as demonstrated by two women beside me who completely ignored this amazing menu, but after what I tried, I think that's kind of a waste. It's like going to a fancy restaurant and ordering a burger.
Check it out. You won't be disappointed!
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.