What’s on the menu at the Rosebud, a new wine bar in Corktown
It’s from the team behind Mira Mira Diner
Name: The Rosebud
Contact: 498 King St. E., rosebudto.com, @rosebudto
Owners: Amira Becarevic and Justin Cheung
Executive chef: Jeffrey Yap
Accessibility: Not fully accessible
This is the newest project from the husband-and-wife team behind Mira Mira, the Beaches diner that specializes in nostalgic dishes with creative twists. The Rosebud is decidedly more refined but just as warm and charming as its sister spot. “Justin and I both come from fine-dining backgrounds,” says Becarevic. “So something like this was always in the back of our minds.”
The couple had their eye on this location for at least a decade—the small, one-room space was perfect for the intimate wine bar they envisioned. It used to house the Kingsbrae—also a diner—but had sat empty for the past 15 years. There’s been a lot of action in the area lately, with the openings of Gusto 501, Spaccio East and other Corktown gems. With the neighbourhood’s forward momentum, Becarevic and Cheung saw an opportunity to realize their dream project.
One of the many things to do when it came to revitalizing this abandoned building was choosing a name for the new restaurant. It just so happened that, when they were mulling over the name “Rosebud,” they came across an old photo of national treasure Eugene Levy inside the Kingsbrae (it was taken during the filming of The Man in 2005). And, as any Schitt’s Creek fan would know, the Rosebud is the name Levy’s character, Johnny Rose, gives the motel he reluctantly takes over. The stars aligned, and Toronto’s own Rosebud was born.
French classics with modern twists and the occasional Asian and Mediterranean influence. There’s luxurious duck confit served with savoury crêpes and orange relish, a daikon-forward take on the traditionally chickpea-based panisse, and house-made tagliatelle in an uni-infused beurre blanc. It’s a tight menu that will rotate roughly every month, according to seasonality and supply. And—in a refreshing departure from the “small plates” trend—many of the dishes at this wine bar make for perfectly adequate dinner portions, so there’s no need to cobble together a meal.
The wine list, which includes a rotating by-the-glass menu, strikes a nice balance between old-world classics and vibrant new producers and will change on a regular basis to keep pace with the food. Between delicate Loire Valley rosé, bold Spanish Mencia and bright Venetian Soave, there’s something for everyone on the list. There’s also a selection of digestifs and a tight cocktail list, which includes a trio of martinis.
Designed by former Mira Mira catering client Dart Studio, it’s a cozy, elegant room with blush suede furnishings, hardwood walnut finishes and soft (read: flattering) lighting. There’s a small open kitchen and colourful, whimsical art by illustrator Jules Monson on the walls. In honour of the building’s heritage, the black-and-white tiles are replicas of the original flooring, and a vintage fridge found in the space was lovingly restored and put on display.