Sunday, September 4, 2016

Bar Reyna

Serving Middle Eastern and Spanish-inspired fare, Bar Reyna is the newest restaurant on the stylish Yorkville strip. The two-story Victorian house - completed with a gorgeous enclosed back patio - is an elegant and cozy location. Chic, yet not pretentious in the least, Bar Reyna (Instagram: @barreynato, Facebook: Bar Reyna) is an excellent spot for date night, or cocktails and snacks with friends.

The glamorous cocktail bar is the focal point on the first floor at Bar Reyna.

The window faces Bar Reyna's front patio on Cumberland Street.

The second floor is the main dining room. Everybody, myself included, took advantage of the few remaining days left of summer and opted for the patio instead. I'll check out the second floor next time I'm at Bar Reyna.

Bar Reyna exudes a rustic, sophisticated charm.

A narrow walkway leads to the back patio.

I'm completely in love with this space. It is so pretty, serene, and romantic.

A retractable awning makes this patio accessible all year round.

I started the evening with a cocktail, but not just any cocktail. Fit for a queen, Her Royal Highness is probably the most exuberant and swanky cocktail I've ever ordered. I mean, c'mon, it is served in a frosty copper pineapple!

Mount gay xo, elyx vodka, saffron, cardamom & rosewater syrup, orgeat, grapefruit, citrus

Inspired from Mediterranean regions, Bar Reyna is a cocktail and tapas restaurant. Offering an extensive selection of shareable plates, chef Omar Ma's menu is divided into "Table Snacks", "Reyna's Fries", "Pinxtos", "Light & Bright", "Memories from the Med", and "Go Big or Go Home". From small bites to larger dishes, guests can essentially tour the menu from Turkey to Spain, Lebanon to France, Greece to Portugal.

My two friends and I shared the following seven dishes and dessert:

Sweet potato, red onion, leche de tiger, avocado espuma, radish, mint, jalapeno

Pomegranate, pine nuts

Beet, cucumber, avocado, fennel, radish, tomato, quinoa, purple kale, fried chickpeas, crispy shallot, serrano tahini dressing

Roasted tomato aioli

Arabic - Za'atar spiced, homemade harissa ketchup

Yogurt, harissa, preserved lemon herb salad

Lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, lemon aioli, sourdough toast


 We probably ordered way more than necessary but there were too many things we wanted to try. To be honest, I still want to try the Veggie Flower Pot, Big A's Burger & Fries, and Spanish Reyna Fries, but they'll have to wait for next time.

There was nothing I didn't like that evening. Nonetheless, the dishes that stood out for me the most were the Zucchini Fritters, Reyna's Fries (Arabic), Merguez Lamb Pide and the Cataplana. The Zucchini Fritters were light and not oily, and the roasted tomato aioli was a fantastic condiment that added extra depth of flavour. There are five types of fries to choose from - Greek, Arabic, French, Spanish and Italian - and we decided on the Arabic. I wish I could have them all to myself, that's how much I loved those thin, hand-cut Reyna Fries. So scrumptious! The Merguez Lamb Pide blew me away. This Turkish dish, much like a pizza but with Merguez lamb spread along an elongated football shape dough, was topped with yogurt, harissa, and a light herb salad. Really delicious. The Portuguese Cataplana, from Bar Reyna's "Go Big or Go Home" section of the menu, was a show stopper. Served in a Le Creuset pot with a roasted red pepper Lisbon sauce and a half-lobster, shrimp, monkfish, clams, mussels and sourdough toast, the Cataplana was simply mouth-watering. A must-order for seafood lovers.

In case you're interested, Bar Reyna also serves a "7 @ $7 MENU" on weekdays from 4pm to 7pm, where certain wines by the glass and bites are at a discounted $7 each. Up for brunch? Then check out Bar Reyna's weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. You can expect crazy delicious things like breakfast Spanish "poutine", avocado on toast, croque madam, duck benedict, and many more.

Bar Reyna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato