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Restaurants & Bars Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Swirl (Leslieville)

jlunar | | Aug 17, 2009 07:36 PM

Surprised there's been no mention of this place. I've been twice now (see blog/flickr), and this place is pretty fun and well-priced. Really enjoyed the concept and the execution is well done. I also like that they're open late and when talking to the manager/owner Janean, she says she'll always be open the posted hours - which is nice.

So basically, there's no kitchen. It's just jars of pate and pickles ($6), so don't expect to eat a full meal. However, as snacks and nibbles to supplement your drinks, it does just fine. Really fine, in fact.

Of liquid note: the $7 Malbec is very drinkable and the Chamomile-infused Grappa is phenomenally good. And I really don't like Grappa. Also, I am a drink noob, so...

Of solid note: I really liked the Stilton & caramelized apple (though my DC did not). The smoked salmon & goat cheese was also yummy. I also wish they'd sell the garlic found in the pickled mushrooms separately. Bread was a bit stale the first time I went, but perfectly fine the second time (a week later). Maybe she took our advice (or we were unlucky the first time). The chocolate cake was serviceable and reminded me of box cake. Both the Chicken Liver Pate and Creme Caramel were out the times I went.

I was less excited about the chacuterie ($15). However, the cheese board ($15) had nice selections. Nothing crazy, but solid. From the Leslieville cheese market down the street. Nice touch.

Between the nibbles, drinks, and super price-point, (food is $1, $6 & $15), Swirl is really easy to return to. It's a tiiiiny apartment above a pet store (next to Reliable), so I'd call ahead for a group of 5+

Swirl Wine Bar - 946 Queen St. East, Toronto
(and hey, is the "link to a place" broken? can't add new places anymore..?)

--- -- food. is. love.