Introducing: Bar Begonia, Anthony Rose’s Parisian cocktail bar in the Annex
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)
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.
Tartine with cranberry beans, roasted peppers and chèvre. $7.
Endives topped with capers, almond slices and tarragon, tossed in a shallot vinaigrette. $7.
Fried egg with yellowfoot and black trumpet mushrooms in a crème fraîche sauce. $8.
Squash-and-potato gratin. $8.
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).
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).
The Wychwood Park Swizzle: a house cocktail made with tequila blanco, apricot liqueur, Fernet, sugar and mint. $14.
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.
Rose says that the mural of naked ladies represents his lover.
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.