Introducing: Provo FoodBar, a new place for cocktails and small plates
Name: Provo FoodBar
Contact: 308 Dundas St. W., no phone, provofb.com, @ProvoFoodBar
Owner: John LaGamba
Chefs: Daniel Duckett (Nyood, Centro, The Fifth)
Crowd-pleasing small plates that borrow from a handful of culinary traditions including Korean (kimchi chicken wings), Creole (jambalaya), French (braised beef cheek) and Caribbean (jerk chicken). While some of the dishes—like the mozzarella-stuffed arancini—are traditional, others are unexpected mash-ups. The oyster ceviche, for example, is cured in yuzu juice, giving the Latin-American dish an Asian twist. A glossary on the menu is meant to keep the food accessible—because not everyone’s a Food Network junkie.
Mushroom-and-artichoke crostini ($6) and the Honey Hazel cocktail made with Frangelico, honey, cayenne, lime and egg white ($10).
White anchovies on oven-dried tomato crostini. $5.
Oyster ceviche with yuzu juice, sweetsop, avocado and plantain chips. $9.
Duck confit rillette with crostini ($6) and the Black Ruby cocktail made with Tromba tequila, Chambord, agave, grapefruit juice and lime ($12).
Orzo jambalaya. $9.
Branzino with a caper-pepper salsa and herb-infused oil. $11.
Braised beef cheek with a green-pea-and-celery-root purée, garnished with horseradish chips and edamame. $12.
A short list of house cocktails (including one infused with something called “popcorn cream”), Ontario craft beer (Muskoka, Side Launch, Collective Arts) and virgin lemonades flavoured with ingredients like yuzu, lavender and ginger.
Yuzu lemonade. $4.95.
The 135-seat, split-level space was furnished with pieces from the Junction’s Pekota. Local artist Willy Johnson painted the murals of Toronto’s architectural monuments (the ROM Crystal, the AGO, OCAD, the Prince Edward Viaduct and, of course, the CN Tower). There’s no patio, but the front window can roll up in warmer weather and the main dining area has two retractable skylights.