Introducing: Raca Café & Bar, Parkdale’s new everything place from a Mark McEwan protégé
Name: Raca Café & Bar
Contact: 1704 Queen St. W., 416-901-9951
Previously: ZeZe Food & Drink
Owner: Ivana Raca
Chef: Ivana Raca (One Restaurant, North 44, McEwan)
The Food: An always-changing menu that currently includes white asparagus soup, pan-seared lake trout and a mushroom and truffle risotto. Weekend brunch features breakfast pizza, baked eggs with chorizo and a hazelnut chocolate–stuffed crêpe.
The Drinks: A selection of wine, by the glass and bottle; two beers on tap (GLB’s Canuck Pale Ale and Gold Horseshoe Lager); and a short list of cocktails, designed by O&B’s mixologist Ed Grim. Non-boozy options include Honest Leaf teas and cold-pressed lychee cactus pear juice. “I came up with that nine years ago at One with Chaser’s Juice and now everybody buys it,” says Raca. “I’ve gotta put a stamp on it.”
The Space: Influenced by a trip to Indonesia, Raca designed the space to be her own little Bali, complete with an imported buddha that reclines in a shrine at the back of the room. (“I could’ve gone to Winners and got one for $40, but it’s not about that,” she says.) Out back is a peaceful patio complete with another buddha, this time in mural form, and strings of twinkle lights overhead for when the sun goes down.