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May 22, 2009 12:07 PM

BarChef - Boozy drinks

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.

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  1. 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

      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. 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

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

        1. 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. The original comment has been removed
            1. I posted in another thread re: drink pricing. The non-molecular cocktails aren't $25. The drinks are competent.