Introducing: Geraldine, a new spot for absinthe, oysters and Edwardian hospitality in Parkdale
Contact Info: 1564 Queen St. W., geraldinetoronto.com, @GeraldineResto
Owners: Alexandra Albert and Peter Ramsay
Chef: Peter Ramsay, the former sous-chef at snout-to-tail bistro Cowbell, which occupied the same space
The Place: A throwback to Gilded Age hospitality, complete with silver serving trays and bow-tied waiters bussing tables to jaunty ragtime tunes. Bonus points for authenticity: the dinnerware is vintage Limoges and two of the chandeliers are 19th century originals.
The Food: Oysters Rockefeller, clams casino and tiered silver trays of shellfish with lemon-mayo and Pernod-shallot mignonette. A sandwich version of duck à l’orange is dressed with watercress and shallots.
The Drinks: Cocktails laced with things like brandied cherries, yellow chartreuse and lavender syrup. An absinthe fountain drizzles water through lumps of sugar into vintage glasses of Vieux Pontarlier 65, a high-quality French absinthe.
• 500 pieces of antique glassware
• 300 oysters shucked per night
• 14 framed portraits, including a man with a bull’s head and a creepy Victorian baby
• 2 nineteenth-century chandeliers reclaimed from Toronto homes
• 1 absinthe fountain