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Food & Drink

Introducing: Bar Begonia, Anthony Rose’s Parisian cocktail bar in the Annex

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Name: Bar Begonia Neighbourhood: The Annex Contact: 252 Dupont St., 647-352-3337, barbegonia.com, @barbegonia
Owners: Anthony Rose (Rose & Sons, Big Crow, Fat Pasha, Swan by Rose & Sons) and Robert Wilder Chef: Trista Sheen (Crush Wine Bar) General Manager: Oliver Stern (Toronto Temperance Society)

The food

Unfussy French fare that’s more countryside home-cooking than upscale Parisian. “The idea is to have a menu you can graze from,” says co-owner Robert Wilder. In the morning, guests can stop by for a fried egg with creamy wild mushrooms and an espresso. For the bar’s cinq à sept, they can pick at cured meats, French cheeses and other sharing plates. After 5 p.m., larger mains (boeuf bourguignon, duck confit) are available.

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Tartine with cranberry beans, roasted peppers and chèvre. $7.

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Gougères. $5.

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Endives topped with capers, almond slices and tarragon, tossed in a shallot vinaigrette. $7.

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Fried egg with yellowfoot and black trumpet mushrooms in a crème fraîche sauce. $8.

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Squash-and-potato gratin. $8.

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(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Le Grand Aïoli: a plate of rotating cold snacks. This selection includes olives, poached steelhead trout, fingerling potatoes, roasted sunchokes and brussels sprouts, lemon-dressed kale and a variety of pickled things (egg, beets, mushrooms and cauliflower).

The drinks

Classic and house cocktails (including cask-aged Manhattans and negronis on tap), and a Francophile wine card dominated by Burgundy, Rhône, Loire and Bordeaux vintages (the only Canadian bottles are from Norman Hardie).

(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

The Wychwood Park Swizzle: a house cocktail made with tequila blanco, apricot liqueur, Fernet, sugar and mint. $14.

The space

When Anthony Rose announced he was taking over the long-vacant Nite-Caps spot, he said the new place would be a Parisian-style bar, with a dose of Brooklyn for good measure. “I just say Paris now,” says Rose. “I dropped the Brooklyn three months ago—it didn’t make any fucking sense.” Between marble-topped tables and a horseshoe-shaped oak bar, the space seats 40, but in the summer, a street-facing patio will double the restaurant’s capacity.

Introducing: Bar Begonia, Anthony Rose's Parisian cocktail bar in the Annex
(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Images: Caroline Aksich)
(Images: Caroline Aksich)

Rose says that the mural of naked ladies represents his lover.

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(Image: Caroline Aksich)
(Image: Caroline Aksich)

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Correction
January 13, 2016

An earlier version of this post stated that the bar’s mural represented Rose’s lovers, when it in fact represents his lover. It has since been updated.

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