Thanos Tripi runs Mamakas, without question the chicest Greek restaurant around (it’s been blessed by a long list of passing-through movie stars, lately Cate Blanchett). This winter, he took over another prime Ossington corner and opened—yes, yes, I know—a wine bar. But the focus here is Greek everything, including the wine, which, like all those strange unfiltered Eastern European orange wines that are suddenly everywhere, is worthy of closer inspection. They’re certainly not shy, and hold their own against the bright sourness of pickled octopus, lovage and red onion, the tang of the tzatziki smeared on lamb ribs charred from the grill, or a hot phyllo tart stuffed with feta and coated with black sesame and pomegranate seeds. The plates are all small and sharable; they show up in quick succession, and you’ll find yourself ordering more. Some options, like a two-bite sandwich of fried trout, briny taramasalata and shredded lettuce, you’ll be tempted to get twice.
Bar Koukla, 88 Ossington Ave., koukla.mamakas.ca