What’s on the menu at Loop Line Wine and Food, a sleek new bar and bottle shop from the owners of Stratus Vineyards
Name: Loop Line Food and Wine
Contact: 643 Dupont St., 416-516-8059, looplinewine.com, @looplinewine
Neighbourhood: Seaton Village
Owners: Stratus Vineyards and CRU Wine Merchants
Seating: 27 inside, with 6 more on the CaféTO space
Covid-19 safety measures: Frequent sanitization, hand sanitizer at entrance, physically distanced tables, state-of-the-art air filtration system installed.
Accessibility: Small step up at the entrance; flight of stairs down to basement washrooms.
This bottle shop and wine bar is an extension of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Stratus Vineyards and Toronto-based CRU Wine Merchants. The wines on offer are “wines with personality that are made by producers with a story,” according to winemaker and partner Charles Baker, who himself produces some of Ontario’s best-regarded rieslings. Guests can expect to find a list of sustainable, estate-grown, mostly organic and/or biodynamic wines from big-name and smaller-name wineries , as well as sake, cider and local beer.
In the retail section, bottles are tagged with fun tasting notes to assist thirsty shoppers, but in-house wine experts, like Adrienne Bertrand (Midfield Wine Bar), are around to answer any questions. Customers can purchase their wines to-go (with a small food item, of course) or—if they can’t wait to get home—open their purchase in the dining space for a $30 corkage fee. There’s also a by-the-glass program that features a rotating selection of wines, including limited-availability bottles, and cocktails.
With no more than a countertop oven, the bar’s food offerings range from simple marinated bites to specialty products made by local purveyors and industry friends including Blackbird Baking and Cheese Boutique. During the day, there are pastries, baguettes and a refrigerated case filled with take-away goods. At night, the simple dine-in menu is made up of small-plates featuring house-marinated vegetables, smoked or cured meats, cheeses and pâtés, including a chicken liver mousse by chef Ryan Crawford (Ruffino’s Pasta Bar and Grill, Niagara-on-the-Lake). For something sweet, there are chocolates from neighbouring Stubbe.
Name after the laneway that runs next to the bar (it commemorates the Christie Loop streetcar route that ran until 1963 when the University line opened up), the long room is divided into an airy storefront and a cozy, casual dining area with a central bar. A rear sliding door hides a private dining room slated to host future wine tastings and winemaker events.