Restaurants in Toronto come and go on the regular, but if there's one restaurant everyone couldn't wait to open it's Baro. The 4 storey, Latin-inspired spot has been on everyone's radar for several months after a giant sign surrounding 485 King St W went up. So what exactly does this place have in store?
Before even walking inside the restaurant, you are automatically taken aback by the sheer size of the place. The brick and beam building consists of four 4,000 sq ft floors, each one different from the next. The first floor is a designated dining room, complete with a bar and an open concept kitchen.The second floor is a raw bar lounge, while the third floor is private event space. The real kicker is the 4th floor: a year round patio looking over bustling King St W!
The vibe is warm and rustic, yet still elegant and sexy, with exquisite attention to detail. Check out the beautiful tiling that can be found at the counter seating in front of the kitchen.
Before we get started on the food, I think it's almost more important to talk about the drinks. When it comes to drinks, I'm picky. Like really really picky and it takes a lot to impress me. Baro has impressed me and then some. The Five Flower cocktail may literally be the best cocktail I've ever had. Yes! I said it! The combination of Eristoff Vodka, wildflower honey, lemon, and violet and mango flavours, topped with edible flowers and Guanabana foam was out of this world. The foam was much thicker than the typical egg white foam and almost had a jelly-like texture to it. It made the drink just THAT much more fun and allowed for the aromas of all the other ingredients come through beautifully.
The food of this restaurant comes from the mastermind executive chef Steve Gonzalez, who was behind the dishes at Valdez. He has been able to perfectly translate the complexity of Latin culture into his plates, taking inspiration from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. But then he takes it one step further: 'Ceviche Nikkei', that also blends in the Asian influence (nori, edamame, and lotus root) felt in Latin America due to migration patterns of people coming from Japan. It is details like that which make Chef Gonzalez's food truly special. There are 4 types of ceviche on the menu that can be ordered in small snack sized portions, larger portions for sharing (or if you just freaking love civeche), as well as a flight of ceviche where you can try every type.
Other points of interest on the menu are definitely the OG Duck Chaufa, a crispy rise with duck confit, and as well as my personal favourite at Valdez, the 'Chori Papa', a combination of chorizo, potatoes, peppers, topped with fresh goat cheese and chipotle sauce. End your meal off with a dulce de leche desert and perhaps a trip to the secret bar upstairs, Escobar...but only if you can get the password. (That's all we're going to say about that...)
If you're looking to add a little spice to your life, you should definitely head to Baro for your next dinner date!