What’s on the menu at Leña, O&B’s new Argentine restaurant in Saks Fifth Avenue

What’s on the menu at Leña, O&B’s new Argentine restaurant in Saks Fifth Avenue

Name: Leña
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Contact: 176 Yonge St., 416-507-3378, lenarestaurante.com, @LenaRestaurante
Owners: O&B
Chef: Corporate executive chef Anthony Walsh and executive chef Julie Marteleira (Jump, Luma, Auberge du Pommier)

The food

For breakfast, there’s a takeaway spread of sweet pastries, but guests can dine-in with a menu that includes breakfast empanadas with poached eggs and chimichurri, or a slice of tortilla. Lunch brings Argentine sandwiches. Things get a bit heartier for dinner with dishes such as rabbit with snails and rice. On the weekend: brunch.

Some of the items from the takeaway breakfast counter. Some of the items from the takeaway breakfast counter.
 

 
Walsh, putting the finishing touches on Lala's Tortilla. Walsh, putting the finishing touches on Lala’s Tortilla.
 

 
LaLa’s Tortilla: Yukon Gold potatoes, egg, Spanish onion. $6. Lala’s Tortilla: Yukon Gold potatoes, egg, Spanish onion. $6.
 

 
Susana's gaucho empanadas: beef, boiled egg, olives, "chiminasty" sauce (a blend of chimichurri and Walsh’s "nasty" hot sauce). $13. Susana’s gaucho empanadas: beef, boiled egg, olives, “chiminasty” sauce (a blend of chimichurri and Walsh’s “nasty” hot sauce). $13.
 

 
Salt cod salad with crunchy cumin chickpeas, olives, pimentón, olive oil, and egg. $16. Salt cod salad with crunchy cumin chickpeas, olives, pimentón, olive oil, and egg. $16.
 

 
Charred beef tartare is cooked on charcoal, mixed with green olives, fennel, oyster mayonnaise and finished with ash. $18. Charred beef tartare is cooked on charcoal, mixed with green olives, fennel, oyster mayonnaise and finished with ash. $18.
 

 
Pollo Doña Aurora: organic chicken, laurel, mushrooms, potato purée, lemon, saffron. $27. Walsh confesses that this simple Seville-influenced dish opened his eyes to how much he didn’t know about cooking. Pollo Doña Aurora: organic chicken, laurel, mushrooms, potato purée, lemon, saffron. $27.
 

 
Rabbit and snail rice: escargots, green pepper tomato sauce, white wine, artichokes. $34. Rabbit and snail rice: escargots, green pepper tomato sauce, white wine, artichokes. $34.
 

 
The alfajores—shortbread cookies, goat’s milk dulce de leche and coconut—are made using a recipe from Walsh's wife. $3. The alfajores—shortbread cookies, goat’s milk dulce de leche and coconut—are made using a recipe from Walsh’s wife. $3.
 

The drinks

Wines from Argentina, Chile and Spain; local craft brews on tap; and a selection of Latin-inspired cocktails, like the Leña, a South American take on an old fashioned.

The Caipiroska (back), made with blueberry vodka, demerara sugar and blueberry lemon shrub ($13), and Leña (front), a South American take on an old fashioned, made with charred cedar, bourbon, vermouth, sour and a scorched cherry. $16. The Caipiroska (back), made with blueberry vodka, demerara sugar and blueberry lemon shrub ($13), and Leña (front), a South American take on an old fashioned, made with charred cedar, bourbon, vermouth, sour and a scorched cherry. $16.
 
The space

Taking up a chunk of Saks, Leña has an all-day bar off of Queen West, a second-floor dining room and a lower-level lounge. The third level—yes, there’s a third level—is where the private dining areas live.

Breakfast is served at the takeaway counter in the main bar. Breakfast is served at the takeaway counter in the main bar.
 

 
Here's the main bar again. Some of the heritage building's features were preserved. Here’s the main bar again. Some of the heritage building’s features were preserved.
 

 
Here's the second-level dining room. Here’s the second-level dining room.
 

 
And again. And again.
 

 
A semi-private dining space sits opposite the second-floor dining room. A semi-private dining space sits opposite the second-floor dining room.
 

 
Bar Lala, on the lower level, is a 70-seat lounge. Bar Lala, on the lower level, is a 70-seat lounge.
 

 
Looking out a third-floor window. Looking out a third-floor window.
 

 
An Anthony Walsh original. An Anthony Walsh original.
 

 
Chefs Walsh and Marteleira. Chefs Walsh and Marteleira.
 

 
Elena, Walsh's mother-in-law. Elena, Walsh’s mother-in-law.