Introducing: Rasa, The Food Dudes’ new restaurant in Harbord Village

Introducing: Rasa, The Food Dudes’ new restaurant in Harbord Village

Click to view gallery (Image: Megan Leahy)Click to view gallery (Image: Megan Leahy)
 

Name: Rasa
Neighbourhood: University
Contact Info: 196 Robert St., 647-350-8221, rasabar.ca
Owners: The Food Dudes
Chef: Adrian Niman of The Food Dudes, formerly of North 44

The Food: The restaurant’s name is derived from the Latin phrase tabula rasa, which means “blank slate.” Fittingly, the menu doesn’t adhere to any particular culinary tradition, borrowing instead from multiple global cuisines, including French (bone marrow beef tartare), Italian (egg-yolk gnudi with smoked carrots and kale) and South American (lamb ribs with chimichurri and “pickled things”).

The Drinks: Toronto bartender Chanel Wood mixes up simple, strong cocktails incorporating fresh ingredients like ginger and fruit (one signature drink, the Cordial Affair, stars a tart rhubarb elixir that’s made in house every two days). The wine list focuses on Ontario bottles.

The Place: This is one of two new restaurants from The Food Dudes, the other being yet-to-open Ossington eatery Junk, the company’s collaboration with ex-Momofuku chef Matt Blondin. Rasa feels a bit like a cozy mining shaft, thanks to rugged plank-board walls and lots of metallic details. The 40-seat patio will open later this summer.