What’s on the menu at Lobby, a new cocktail and tapas bar on Queen West
Contact: 1032 Queen St. W., 416-901-6768, lobby.ca, @lobby.ca
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Owners: Reza Abedi (Goldie, Lavelle) and Nick Fiorucci
Chef: Will Serre (The Grove, Acadia)
Accessibility: No barrier at entrance; washroom down a flight of stairs
Chef Serre describes his menu as “Latin flavours influenced by Nikkei cuisine,” which means Japanese dishes like sashimi lashed with avocado oil and topped with jalapeño and ground cherry slivers, or a quinoa salad with shiitakes and edamame. Not everything on the menu abides by the fusion theme, though: the empanadas, for instance, don’t mess around with the classic formula of juicy meat (or mushroom) fillings and flaky dough.
There are over a dozen signature cocktails on offer, and a lengthy spirits list including some eye-popping selections such as Patron Piedra ($110 an ounce) and Clase Azul Mezcal (a comparative steal at $53 a shot). The by-the-glass wine list sticks (mostly) to the Latin theme, with options from Spain, Chile and Argentina. The bottle selection is a bit more varied, pulling from Italy, California and France, too.
As the name suggests, Lobby was inspired by the lobbies of fancy hotels, specifically those in Tulum, Mexico, where lush tropical greenery abounds. Co-owner Nick Fioucci, a Juno Award–winning DJ, is a house music devotee. “There’s a really healthy underground house scene in Toronto, but the more mainstream bars and clubs play hip hop, which is the pop music of today. We’re trying to bring a more eclectic vibe here, with a mix of house, lounge, open format and retro, playing a variety from night to night, but with an emphasis on deep house music you don’t typically hear anywhere else in the city” says Fiorucci.