What’s on the menu at the Senator Winebar, the iconic diner’s new second-floor French restaurant

What’s on the menu at the Senator Winebar, the iconic diner’s new second-floor French restaurant

Name: The Senator Winebar
Contact: 249 Victoria St., 2nd floor, 416-364-7517, thesenator.com
Neighbourhood: Downtown Core
Owner: Bobby Sniderman (The Senator, Sam the Record Man)
Chefs: Executive chef Paul Laforet (The Drake, Ursa) and pastry chef Steve Song (Canoe, Aria)

The food

A short, seasonal menu of contemporary French dishes, including duck liver mousse and pistachio-crusted trout. For dessert, Song is behind a rotating selection of classics, like tarte tatin served with crème anglaise. Weekend brunch includes stuffed French toast, shakshuka, and the Senator spinach and mushroom crêpe that comes with a complimentary slice of the Senator’s signature Royal Canadian Honey Cake, made with honey from Sniderman’s own apiary in Caledon.

Smoked salmon tartare, with cucumber, dill, cream cheese and red onion, is served with house-made pumpernickel crostini. $16.


Forno Cultura’s sourdough comes topped with a mix of wild mushrooms, crème fraiche, garlic confit and fresh herbs. $14.


Pistachio-crusted rainbow trout is served with crab butter, asparagus and lentils. It’s topped with Dungeness crabmeat. $32.


Pepper-crusted New York strip comes with cognac cream sauce, potato pavé and green beans. $38.


The brûlée lemon tart is finished with blueberry compote and crème fraiche. $10.


Tarte tatin is served by the slice, with crème anglaise. $10 per slice.


Chef Paul Laforet, bar manager Lorenzo Fattò Offidani, manager Anne Hollyer and owner Bobby Sniderman.


The drinks

Bar manager Lorenzo Fattò Offidani, who used to tend bar on the Orient Express (how cool is that?) is responsible for the classic and modern cocktails. Some incorporate champagne, while others, like the Caffè del Marinaio, made with rum, anise liqueur, espresso, cinnamon and citrus peel, are inspired by his Italian roots. Chef Chris McDonald (Cava) helped curate the international wine list.

The wine menu.


The signature Top o’ the Senator is made with Amaro Averna, Famous Grouse, Angostura bitters and egg white. $14.


Caffè del Marinaio, a traditional drink of Adriatic sailors (though this version is based on Offidani’s family recipe), is a warm cocktail made with white rum, anise liquor, espresso, citrus peel and cinnamon. $14.


The Finale is Offidani’s own tiramisù-inspired creation. It’s made with amaretto, egg whites and a dusting of coffee powder. $14.


Bar manager Lorenzo Fattò Offidani.


The space

The cozy 23-seat space is housed on the second floor of the 1860s building. The dining room is outfitted with vintage pieces, including a Prohibition-era bar and a classic 1920’s Heintzman piano that musician Julian Fauth will play for guests every Friday and Saturday night once dinner service has ended.

Dinner service runs Thursday through Saturday until 10 p.m., after which the space becomes a late-night speakeasy with live music performed by acoustic musicians on Friday and Saturdays.


Sniderman points to where the Senator is located in this original land survey from 1836.