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Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West

By Caroline Aksich| Photography by Caroline Aksich
What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West

Name: Ama Contact: 930 Queen St. W., amaalways.com, @ama.always
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods Previously: Cadillac Jenkins Owners: Sebastian Galluci (Che Baby food truck) and Michael Mizzi Chef: Sebastian Galluci

The food

A menu of Argentine staples (empanadas, ceviche), many of which change daily. The ceviche is made with tilapia one day, rainbow trout the next, and vegetarian empanadas are made with seasonal produce like red kale and new potatoes. A few items, like the chimichurri-slathered choripan sandwich and the imported-from-Argentina rib-eye, are menu fixtures.

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
Rainbow trout ceviche with guacamole, cucumber and pineapple, served on a corn tostada with seasonal fruit. $17.

 

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
Beef empanadas with chimichurri. $10.

 

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
Skirt steak imported from Argentina grilled over coals and served with seasonal sides. $29.

 

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
Galluci, with his steak platter.

 

The drinks

Barman Travis Johnson is quick to whip up a traditional cocktail, but he’s happier creating custom concoctions. “I like to chat with people to get a sense of the flavours they like, and then I’ll just work from there,” he says. Most of his house creations are unnamed as they’re only made once. He’s developing a bunch of house-made bitters (tobacco, charred habanero) and syrups (clove, basil-pepper, mint), with plans to start making shrubs soon.

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What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
This cocktail was made for a customer who said she liked earthy, herbaceous flavours, but nothing too bitter. It combines muddled mint and basil-mint syrup with a dash of peach schnapps, tequila, ginger beer and egg white. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
This coupe combines clove syrup with muddled basil and ginger, tequila, elderflower liqueur, lime and egg white. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
Johnson, shaking things up.

 

The space

After dinner service wraps up, tables are pushed to the side and the room transforms into a lounge. There’s a DJ most nights, but the occasional musician will be brought in. The other week, there was a crossover when Mizzi played the bar’s 100-year-old piano for an impromptu duet with the DJ.

What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
The first 100 customers are being given locks to add their names (and well wishes) to this bridge-inspired wall piece.

 

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What's on the menu at Ama, an Argentine restaurant and cocktail bar on Queen West
Ama above, Family Mart below.

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