Introducing: Mr. Flamingo, a new resto-bar on Dundas West with a surprisingly sophisticated menu

Introducing: Mr. Flamingo, a new resto-bar on Dundas West with a surprisingly sophisticated menu

Introducing: Mr Flamingo (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Name: Mr. Flamingo
Contact Info: 1265 Dundas St. W., 647-351-1100, mrflamingo.ca
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Previously: Portuguese restaurant O Lagar
Owner: Mikey Apples, who also owns the basement bar Bambi’s (located directly beneath the restaurant), and former Happy Child co-owner Fan Zhang
Chef: Fan Zhang

The Food: Chef Zhang’s CV includes a job at an oyster bar, a stint as a sushi chef, and a three-year run at the Niagara Street Café, where he finessed his French cooking techniques under executive chef Nick Liu. All those influences are evident on Mr. Flamingo’s short menu, which balances simple bar snacks—pickles, potato chips—with sophisticated mains. Zhang boosts his dishes with ultra-luxurious ingredients—baked oysters are topped with lobster and flying-fish roe, and a massive veal t-bone comes showered with truffle shavings. The most intriguing option may be the seared tuna starter, which is served over a pool of “movie theatre popcorn sauce.”

The Drinks: The short wine list, curated by former Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar sommelier Jamie Drummond, includes several bottles under $40. The bar serves classic manhattans and negronis, plus a few signature drinks, like a tequila-based cocktail blended with ginger beer and jalapeño honey.

The Place: Tucked back from the street with no visible signage—the awning still bears the name of the Portuguese restaurant that used to occupy the space—the restaurant has a bit of a speakeasy vibe, which apparently isn’t deliberate. (“The façade is a work in progress,” says Zhang.) Inside, the small room is anchored by a big wooden bar and, above it, a glowing neon sign with the message, “We serve the world’s worst barbecued ribs.” (There are zero ribs on the menu.)