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Food & Drink

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

By Renée Suen| Photography by Renée Suen
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.

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
House-baked sourdough with whipped tallow. $5.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Marinated cerignola olives. $7.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Smoked ricotta empanada with house-made hot sauce. $7.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Potato churros are a savoury twist on the popular sweet snack. Served with piquillo pepper honey. $8.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Tongue a la vinagreta is served as an hors d’oeuvre with salsa golf. $8.

 

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What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Ensalada rusa, made fancy with pickled beets, fingerling potatoes, hearts of palm and prosciutto ham. $12.

 

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

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Grilled cabbage with egg yolk, pesto and crispy house-cured guanciale. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Grilled squid with burnt almond salsa, pancetta and preserved mushrooms. $18.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Grilled Cornish hen with chipa guasu (a cheesy cornbread), marinated Brussels sprouts and grilled butter sauce. $26.

 

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What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
This grilled meat platter features short ribs with chimichurri and grilled lettuce, bavette steak, morcilla and sweetbreads. Market price.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Coconut tres leches cake, topped with passion fruit and mint. $13.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
A spread.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Iliopolus, all up in his own grill.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
A closer look.

 

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

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Fernet Julep. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Bartender Conor Meldrum, pouring the Café Zahir.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Café Zahir: espresso, Fernet and orange. $14.

 

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What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Here’s the wine lineup, with a few other things.

 

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

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
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
What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Here’s the chef’s table.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Meat, glazed in beef tallow, is aged in-house.

 

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What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
A pile of birch, destined to fuel the Grillworks grill.

 

What's on the menu at Tanto, an Argentine restaurant from a Cava alumnus
Meaning “so much,” Tanto was named after the gracious hospitality Iliopolus experienced in Argentina.

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