Introducing: Fat Pasha, Anthony Rose’s new Middle Eastern hangout
Name: Fat Pasha
Contact Info: 414 Dupont St., 647-340-6142, fatpasha.com, @fatpasha
Neighbourhood: The Annex
Owner: Anthony Rose, owner and chef of Rose and Sons and Big Crow
Chef: Kevin Gilmour, formerly of The Drake Hotel
The Food: Big, bold dishes infused with traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardic flavours. Case in point: a towering latke platter topped with salmon pastrami and a whole smoked pickerel head, or a broiled cauliflower stuffed with tahini, pine nuts and halloumi. If hummus is your thing, they have that, too: the creamy chickpea spread comes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil or topped with heaps of lamb shoulder or Swiss chard. For dessert, deep-fried sufganiyot (i.e. doughnuts) are piped with orange-blossom custard and finished with a splash of arak, an intensely anise-flavoured Arabic spirit.
The Drinks: Anthony Rose and front-of-house manager Kathleen Shattock made it their mission to find the best arak in the city. The traditional Middle Eastern spirit is the star of the drinks list. Guests can order it by the carafe or half litre, or blended with rye and angostura bitters for a Mediterranean spin on a classic Sazerac (called, fittingly, a SazArak). Beer is served by the bottle or pint and two Norm Hardie wines are available on tap.
The Place: Rose’s newest restaurant is just as bustling and chaotic as nearby Big Crow and Rose and Sons. The intimate space has marble bar tops, wood-paneled accent walls and surprisingly few Arabic-inspired touches—save for the massive mural covered with Middle Eastern scenery (domed palaces, cartoonish camels) and a giant smoking hookah. The patio out back seats 60.
• 24 kilos of goat yogurt per week
• 8 artworks by Toronto artist Jeff Blackburn, including a wall-spanning mural of a hookah with an imagination
• 5 types of arak, an Arabic spirit flavoured with anise
• 4 Grateful Dead concert posters
• 3rd restaurant from Anthony Rose, who also owns nearby Big Crow and Rose and Sons
• 1 hookah used by Anthony Rose during off hours
• 1 house shaman on call to eliminate “bad juju”