Introducing: Nuit Social, a new charcuterie bar on West Queen West
Name: Nuit Social
Contact Info: 1168 Queen St. W., 647-350-6848, nuitsocial.com
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Previously: Low-key snack bar Happy Child
Owner: Tino Bianchi
Chef: John Rosal, formerly the executive chef at Modus
The Food: The menu is divided between “social boards” (pick-your-own charcuterie, cheeses and olives) and “social plates” (shareable snacks). Meats and cheeses are sourced from all over the world—there’s soppressata from Richmond Hill, salami from Milan and a rosemary-rolled sheep’s cheese from Spain, plus a varied assortment of olives, including a Peruvian option. Traditional Italian plates (arancini balls, crispy artichokes, citrus-braised octopus) round out the menu, which will continue to evolve over time (for instance, chef Rosal is planning to add some Asian dishes, like maple-soy glazed short ribs).
The Drinks: All 20 bottles on the globetrotting wine list are available by the glass (in three- or five-ounce pours). Lee alum Tess Cheung prepares prettily named contemporary concoctions like the Blue Botanist, a gin-based drink with elderflower liqueur and fresh blueberries.
The Place: The narrow room is anchored by a backlit stained glass bar. (Artistic Glass’s Joseph Aigner had never designed a bar—he’s usually commissioned to make church windows—and he thought Bianchi was a bit crazy to put such an expensive and fragile centerpiece at foot-level. A protective layer of tempered glass guards the multicoloured panel from stray kicks.)