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BarChef - Boozy drinks

s
stonedtoronto May 22, 2009 12:07 PM

My dinner companion and I decided to stop by BarChef for a drink before heading to dinner. I guess when I mentioned bar to her, she thought it would be a typical bar. But it turns out BarChef is a unique bar. The only one of it's kind in Toronto apparently. Very nice setup, lots of warm colours, and what looked like comfortable leather sofas. But we decided to sit at the bar. We arrived on a Thursday at 8 pm...except for 2 other patrons, it was empty.

I had the BarChef Martini Threeway - $20 - It was interesting in a good way. 3 separate shot glasses with variations of their martini using different textures. There was a green olive foam that was good, but the puree...I am not sure if it was to cleanse my palette, but it didn't agree with my taste buds.

My companion had Van Gogh's Downfall - $25 - A combination of absynth, bitters, lemon, cloves, and palm sugar on the rim. She loved her drink, perfect combination of sweet and sour. She mentioned how boozy it was.

The Barchef was thoroughly engaging, talked to us about the bar, the history of the various alcohols. Although the drinks were great, and we both decided to return soon to sample their other drinks, it was the atmosphere, and the bartenders focus and love for the drinks that really got our attention.

  1. OnDaGo May 22, 2009 12:28 PM

    Really the only unique thing is the high prices and some unique homemade ingredients.. you can go to a place like laide and get a three layer martini for $10 less and the bartender has just as much knowledge..

    1 Reply
    1. re: OnDaGo
      c
      CKN Jun 2, 2009 07:38 AM

      Maybe I just went on a bad day, but I had a terrible experience at Laide. Food and drinks were nothing special, the atmosphere seemed drab, and the service was very rude. Our party left dumbfounded by the hype that surrounded this place.

    2. Rabbit May 22, 2009 01:38 PM

      I haven't been there so I'm not going to slam Bar Chef (except to say that their pricing policy has a serious deterrent effect).

      Agree with ODG that there are a few other spots in Toronto doing great craft cocktail-ing (not molecular, granted) if you're into it... Jeffrey at Sidecar and Russ at Nyood are both fab.

      Meanwhile, did you end up anywhere noteworthy for dinner?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rabbit
        s
        stonedtoronto May 22, 2009 01:52 PM

        I think it was one of those "I should try it" places that got me going. We ended up going to George for dinner. Much more trilled with my trip to George than my last.

      2. a
        Aardvark May 23, 2009 10:43 AM

        You should try out Harbour 60 next. They too charge exorbitant prices for drinks,

        1. robgm May 23, 2009 07:35 PM

          great premise, wrong economic times and maybe a bit wrong for their hood. but worth a visit for the experience and expect to pay for the experience

          1. t
            tjr May 30, 2009 08:57 PM

            I posted in another thread re: drink pricing. The non-molecular cocktails aren't $25. The drinks are competent.

            1. Rabbit May 30, 2009 08:20 PM

              Does anyone have anything to say about the food at Bar Chef??

              ps - @robgm - I think you're probably right about economic times and location, especially in combination

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rabbit
                t
                tjr May 30, 2009 08:58 PM

                The food is definitely on my avoid list, but the drinks are decent.

              2. s
                Snarf May 30, 2009 08:59 PM

                is there a link to a site and menu?

                6 Replies
                1. re: Snarf
                  mrsleny May 30, 2009 09:08 PM

                  http://www.barcheftoronto.com/

                  1. re: mrsleny
                    c
                    CKN Jun 2, 2009 07:33 AM

                    Is Barchef good for a birthday party with about 20 guests? Unfortunately, they don't take reservations. It seems like a great place to try at least once, but I'm debating whether or not this is the right occasion.

                    1. re: CKN
                      c
                      canadianbeaver Jun 2, 2009 08:01 AM

                      They wouldn't be able to seat you all together -- they only have smaller booths for four people.

                      1. re: canadianbeaver
                        a
                        auberginegal Jun 2, 2009 12:11 PM

                        the back area has more room, i thought it was one continuous bench on one side of the wall, and you could separate or put tables together to accommodate different group sizes? i was only there once and sat in the front so i'm not sure. i found the seating for 4 in the front area awkward. chairs spaced very far apart, and not moveable, you have to lean in a lot to have a conversation...

                        1. re: auberginegal
                          c
                          canadianbeaver Jun 2, 2009 12:22 PM

                          I was there for my birthday and we were told they could not accommodate more than 15 people if we came after 7 p.m.

                          1. re: canadianbeaver
                            c
                            CKN Jun 2, 2009 10:16 PM

                            Thanks for the info. What a bummer...

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