Côte De Boeuf
This Ossington wine cubby, which doubles as a butcher shop and a great place to order a 32-ounce prime rib, is a nod to Paris’s Le Baron Rouge, a famously raucous market-lane bar à vin. The wines (very affordable and refreshed weekly) are a crash course in French essentials, with some niche organic and natural bottles, and while there are longer, more progressive lists nearby, one of the pleasures of drinking here is the slightly ramshackle townhouse atmosphere: you might rest your glass on a wine barrel, for example; the walls are lined with both butchery charts and Charlie Hebdo prints; and you have to walk through a service area to reach the washrooms and a communal table right before the dime-sized kitchen. But when the wine flows and the room is full of chatter, it feels like one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
130 Ossington Ave., 416-532-2333, cotedeboeuf.ca