Introducing: Provo FoodBar, a new place for cocktails and small plates

Introducing: Provo FoodBar, a new place for cocktails and small plates

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Name: Provo FoodBar
Neighbourhood: Chinatown
Contact: 308 Dundas St. W., no phone, provofb.com, @ProvoFoodBar
Owner: John LaGamba
Chefs: Daniel Duckett (Nyood, Centro, The Fifth)

The food

Crowd-pleasing small plates that borrow from a handful of culinary traditions including Korean (kimchi chicken wings), Creole (jambalaya), French (braised beef cheek) and Caribbean (jerk chicken). While some of the dishes—like the mozzarella-stuffed arancini—are traditional, others are unexpected mash-ups. The oyster ceviche, for example, is cured in yuzu juice, giving the Latin-American dish an Asian twist. A glossary on the menu is meant to keep the food accessible—because not everyone’s a Food Network junkie.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Mushroom-and-artichoke crostini ($6) and the Honey Hazel cocktail made with Frangelico, honey, cayenne, lime and egg white ($10).

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

White anchovies on oven-dried tomato crostini. $5.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Oyster ceviche with yuzu juice, sweetsop, avocado and plantain chips. $9.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Duck confit rillette with crostini ($6) and the Black Ruby cocktail made with Tromba tequila, Chambord, agave, grapefruit juice and lime ($12).

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Orzo jambalaya. $9.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Branzino with a caper-pepper salsa and herb-infused oil. $11.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Braised beef cheek with a green-pea-and-celery-root purée, garnished with horseradish chips and edamame. $12.

The drinks

A short list of house cocktails (including one infused with something called “popcorn cream”), Ontario craft beer (Muskoka, Side Launch, Collective Arts) and virgin lemonades flavoured with ingredients like yuzu, lavender and ginger.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Yuzu lemonade. $4.95.

The space

The 135-seat, split-level space was furnished with pieces from the Junction’s Pekota. Local artist Willy Johnson painted the murals of Toronto’s architectural monuments (the ROM Crystal, the AGO, OCAD, the Prince Edward Viaduct and, of course, the CN Tower). There’s no patio, but the front window can roll up in warmer weather and the main dining area has two retractable skylights.

(Images: Caroline Aksich) (Images: Caroline Aksich)