Introducing: Lucid, Moses McIntee’s molecularly inclined cocktail bar and restaurant on Queen West
Sure, it might seem a tad inauspicious being the following act to the absurdly short-lived Bohemiam Gastropub and its similarly ill-fated predecessor Oh Boy Burger. But managing partner and mixologist Moses McIntee has high hopes for Lucid Cocktail and Kitchen, the latest business to grace 571 Queen Street West. The liquid nitrogen–loving bartender has served his elaborate concoctions all over the city, most notably at Paese, Ame and Toca, but this is his first stab at having full creative control. Lucid’s financial backers remain the same as those of Bohemian (and Böhmer, for that matter), but McIntee has handpicked a new front-of-house team that had better not be afraid to perform a few science experiments for their guests—because that’s exactly what his drinks require.
McIntee’s ambitious cocktail menu is starting with about 30 options for the restaurant’s early days but will shortly expand to upwards of 120 choices. Artisanal cocktails will cost $13 each, and each takes a lot of words to describe. The War of 1812 is an icy mixture of Bulleit bourbon, Bombay Sapphire gin, orange juice, orange bitters, citrus and Earl Grey–infused Cointreau. The Tandoori Spiced Pisco Sour is made from pisco, lime, tandoori spice syrup, egg white, chartreuse, rose petal dust and rosemary fire (rosemary essence–infused overproof rum, which is burned on top of the cocktail). The Mexico Without Borders is a tequila-based drink, naturally, with saffron-infused Cointreau and essence of coriander and ginger. If those aren’t enough to make your head spin (from the number of ingredients or the alcohol content), there are also cocktail “experiences,” which involve the service staff performing molecular feats tableside.
The cocktail menu might wander all over the map, but the kitchen’s taking a contrasting local and traditional approach, with chef de cuisine Robert Richardson (formerly of Paese) turning out a comfort-focused card with strictly Ontario ingredients. Venison tartare is topped with a green peppercorn dressing and quail’s egg ($14). There’s also fresh sorrentino pasta stuffed with pumpkin and goat cheese in ginger cream sauce ($18), tourtière with house sausage, chicken and chestnut velouté ($19) and a variety of flatbreads crisped in the fancy wood-burning oven. The main courses might keep it simple, but McIntee promises dessert will also be served with a side of molecular magic.
Lucid Cocktail and Kitchen, 571 Queen St. W., 416-361-6154