What’s on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus

What’s on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus

Name: Tanto
Contact: 74 Ossington Ave., 416-546-3022, tantorestaurant.com, @tanto74
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Previously: Hungry Amoo
Owners: Julian Iliopolus and Peer to Peer Hospitality Group (Cava, Chabrol, Atlas)
Chef: Julian Iliopolus (Cava)

The food

After leaving Cava, Iliopolus traveled and worked in South America, where he was inspired by the food, hospitality and culture of Argentina. At Tanto, diners can expect all manner of proteins cooked on a wood-fired grill and served with chimichurri; small plates of cured ham or potato churros; and dishes where the vegetables are the stars, like grilled cabbage and marinated eggplant.

House-baked sourdough with whipped tallow. $5.


Marinated cerignola olives. $7.


Smoked ricotta empanada with house-made hot sauce. $7.


Potato churros are a savoury twist on the popular sweet snack. Served with piquillo pepper honey. $8.


Tongue a la vinagreta is served as an hors d’oeuvre with salsa golf. $8.


Ensalada rusa, made fancy with pickled beets, fingerling potatoes, hearts of palm and prosciutto ham. $12.


Tanto’s composed marinated eggplant, made with lemon and smoked garlic, is its version of the pickled antipasto typically served at Argentine steak houses. $14.


Grilled cabbage with egg yolk, pesto and crispy house-cured guanciale. $14.


Grilled squid with burnt almond salsa, pancetta and preserved mushrooms. $18.


Grilled Cornish hen with chipa guasu (a cheesy cornbread), marinated Brussels sprouts and grilled butter sauce. $26.


This grilled meat platter features short ribs with chimichurri and grilled lettuce, bavette steak, morcilla and sweetbreads. Market price.


Coconut tres leches cake, topped with passion fruit and mint. $13.


A spread.


Iliopolus, all up in his own grill.


A closer look.


Iliopolus again, this time with some jamón.


The drinks

Niall McCotter (Cava, Chabrol, Atlas) is behind the list of consignment wines, most of which are from Italian, French and Spanish producers. Besides a few local beers (Saulter Street, Bellwoods, Burdock), there’s a short cocktail menu of classics developed by Argentine barman, Santiago “Pichin” Policastro, more than a few of which feature Fernet Branca.

Fernet Julep. $14.


Bartender Conor Meldrum, pouring the Café Zahir.


Café Zahir: espresso, Fernet and orange. $14.


Here’s the wine lineup, with a few other things.


The wine list is peppered with unique bottles like Massimago’s Zurlie, a bottle-fermented Italian sparkling wine. $80.


The space

Iliopolus redesigned the 65-seat space, brightening it up and knocking down walls to create an open kitchen that could fit his wood-fired grill.

Here’s the chef’s table.


Meat, glazed in beef tallow, is aged in-house.


A pile of birch, destined to fuel the Grillworks grill.


Meaning “so much,” Tanto was named after the gracious hospitality Iliopolus experienced in Argentina.