Bar Begonia

The prize for ugliest restaurant exterior goes to Anthony Rose’s newest location, his fourth in a handful of Dupont blocks. (Midtowners don’t seem to mind his monopoly.) But behind the grey stucco and greenhouse windows is a handsome room of marble-top tables, bistro chairs and an impressively stocked bar overseen by the Toronto Temperance Society cocktail wizard Oliver Stern.

Classic steak frites in Bordelaise sauce.

The Critic: Bar Begonia

To eat, there are breezily assured renditions of bistro standards: endive and shallot vinaigrette, mussels steamed in white wine, steak frites with a pool of bordelaise, and snacky bites like gougères and roasted veg to dip in aïoli. As at Rose’s other spots, Bar Begonia doesn’t take reservations, which is a pain when you’re stuck waiting outside, knowing the view inside is so much better.

252 Dupont St., 647-352-3337, barbegonia.com

A savoury sardine tartine topped with sofrito and house-made aïoli.
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