What’s on the menu at Baro, King West’s new Latin American compound with a password-protected lounge
Neighbourhood: King West
Contact: 485 King St. W., 416-363-8388, barotoronto.com, @barotoronto
Owners: Valdez Group
Chef: Steve Gonzales (Valdez)
“If Valdez was Latin street food, then Baro is ‘nuevo Latino’,” says Gonzalez. This translates to a few Valdez favourites (chaufa, chorizo with arepitas) along with new plates like Japanese-flavoured ceviche that’s cured in a ponzu-lime mix and plated with nori, edamame, lotus root and radish. “Don’t call it fusion though—I fucking hate that word,” says Gonzalez. There’s a mix of snack-size and full plates on offer: Think guava chicken wings ($11 for three) and a chicken breast plated with avocado rice, spinach, saffron jus and plantains ($30).
An impressive selection of South American spirits (piscos, cachaças and more than 25 bottles of tequila), and a cocktail menu that lists familiar favourites (pisco sours, mojitos, margaritas) with house specialties.
The 4,000-square-foot, three-storey textile factory was stripped to its bones and then converted into four separate spaces. The 90-seat dining room takes up the entire ground floor and is decked out in Amazonian foliage with brass and marble accents. Tucked behind the more casual second-floor raw bar is Escobar, an invite-only lounge that requires an ever-changing password for entry. The third and final floor is an event space that can accommodate over 200 guests.