Bar Fancy (@BarFancyTO) is not fancy. It never was and it never will be. The one-month old snack bar on 1070 Queen St. W. may have a lavish gold facade but I beg you, don't let that metallic glow or its name fool you. Am I being too harsh? Not one bit. Actually, owners and chefs Jonathan Poon (@J6poonTo) and Jesse Fader want Bar Fancy to be anything but fancy. They serve fun and tasty snacks with cheap drinks at the new neighbourhood bar.
Forget trying to find a door at the front. Instead, walk through the left alleyway (you can't miss the bright neon tiger sign) and the second door on your right is where you're supposed to be.
Continuing with the ironically "not-at-all-fancy" theme, the interior of Bar Fancy is pretty cozy with warm woods, candlelight and splashes of stainless steel. There's no gold in here! It's a laid-back place with mellow vibe. Take a look at that teeny tiny kitchen.
There are a few reds and whites by the glass, each priced at $11 for a 5-oz pour, and several beers. No cocktail menu though - if you want something just ask. The first time there I had a glass of white and an Old Fashioned, the second time I opted for beer.
Dieu du Ciel! Rosée D'hibiscus
With Poon still in the Chantecler kitchen (he is the chef and co-owner of the successful Parkdale restaurant) Fader runs a one-man show at Bar Fancy (Fader was sous chef at Chantecler). The short snack menu at Bar Fancy is comprised of classic bar snacks as well as several new creations (we were told that more plates will be added as things settle in). Except for the ribeye, I've tried everything on the menu during my two visits:
1/2 DOZEN OYSTERS ($16)
MARINATED OLIVES ($5)
SCALLOPS WITH APPLE, WASABI & YUZU ($10.5)
CHEESE ON TOAST ($5)
DEVILS ON HORSEBACK ($6)
ARTICHOKE DIP ($5)
HAM PLATE ($8)
SHRIMP BURGER WITH MAC SAUCE ($9.5)
NUMBING WINGS ($7)
DIRTY NACHOS ($9)
FRIED CHICKEN ($16)
Bar Fancy is not reinventing the wheel with its food; its simply serving food that people want to, and can afford to, eat everyday. The menu is reasonably priced and the plates are great for sharing. Though the food is inexpensive Faber's execution is bang-on; there's absolutely no sloppiness here. My favourites at Bar Fancy so far are the oysters, artichoke dip, devils on horseback, numbing wings and fried chicken. The slightly sweet and tangy fish sauce is a delightful mignonette with the oysters. The artichoke dip, served hot and creamy with a generous layer of seaweed and sesame on top, is one of the best dips I've had in awhile. The devils on horseback is excellent; it's one very luscious bite with notes of sweet and savoury. The numbing wings are my favourite thing on the menu. Brined very lightly, battered then seasoned with Sichuan peppercorn, these wings pack some serious heat. Wait, does it really? Was it spicy or was I imagining things? Tongue. Is. Numb! Next best thing is Bar Fancy's fried chicken. Tender, moist and not at all greasy, the fried chicken here - I promise you - will most likely be one of the most juiciest fried chickens you've ever had. The fried chicken is also served with a humongous dill pickle, some whipped butter and two pieces of soft Wonderbread.
Open Monday to Saturday from 5PM to 2AM, Bar Fancy is the perfect joint for dinner or late-night drinks and snacks (kitchen closes at 2AM). And more the reason to check the place out if you're a 9-5'er because they have half-price oysters and $2 fried chicken before 7PM every single day.