Daily Archives: August 15, 2017

Review: Leña Restaurante


A Chef Anthony Walsh creation, Leña pays homage to his Argentinean mother-in-law, Elena, from whom he has drawn great culinary inspiration, and embodies what he experiences in her kitchen – a passionate food philosophy that brings people together.
Imaginative yet rooted in tradition, Leña’s cuisine showcases the vibrant essence of South American cooking, with unique Spanish and Italian influences. It, along with stylish design, warm character and lively tunes, promotes a “live to eat” ethos and fosters a convivial spirit at the table. Above all, Leña celebrates authentic, flavourful food and drink, enjoyed amongst old and new friends.
Tucked inside the first level of Sak’s at the Hudson’s Bay on Yonge Street, Leña is full on swoon worthy. Think European decor, delicious drinks, shareable plates and eats that will make you feel like you have been transported to Argentina for some authentic familia cooking.
The wallpaper found on the bottom floor of the space and inside the menu is dark navy with animals of every type strewn about, is a stand out motif in the space, vintage paintings and portraits hang by the doorway, stain glass windows that echo art deco, a luxe bar that could be used in period film and a marble floor that you will want to take home with you. Leña will make you catch your breath. It’s a stunner.
We started off with the Salt Cod Fritters which came with caper & dill crema. Delicious and perfect with a cocktail in tow. Warm, toasty and genuine.
The Broken Avocado Salad followed with kohlrabi, toasted pepitas, smoked paprika & orange vinaigrette is a must. Although we shared this plate in anticipation for our main, it could have been eaten solo. Simple, fresh and the avocados as usual stole the show. Top grade in quality and refinement.
For our main we savoured the 8 oz grilled ribeye, shaved cucumber, piquillo pepper, pickled red onion salad, with a made in house lemon vinaigrette (parsley, mint, coriander) and a green tomato compote with sherry vinegars and cloves. Robust, flavourful and infused with so much delight we were hard pressed to dig into dessert even after a brief respite.
For dessert we tucked into a Torta De Queso, burnt cheesecake, candied lemon. It was creamy and the perfect mix of decadent and refreshing. Order a milky tea on the side for a little extra celebration.
The architecture of the space is worth dwelling upon whilst you dine. Breathe it in. Argentinean, clean and a nice refuge from shopping or a lunch break from the hustle and bustle of the downtown artery – we will visit Leña again. Tourists and visitors will enjoy the overall experience. Leña is brimming with a Canadian kindness, hand to mouth service and a genuine respect for creating and delivering cuisine that will not only fill one’s belly but one’s heart.


Review: Alchemy Food & Drink


If you are looking for the perfect brunch space or evening hang out oozing a Canadiana good vibe, sweet tunes and a chill patio – Alchemy Food & Drink needs to be your new spot.
Think quick drink, shareable plates, craft beers, hearty and comfy eats enjoyed with your mates before you head off to a show or down College Street for a night out, Alchemy Food & Drink will take care of you. Now if you prefer to stay a little longer with their team – grab a pitcher and listen to the great artists showcased in the evenings in their delicious space.
If patios are your thing, the side patio at Alchemy Food & Drink is super sweet for your summer indulgences. We loved that there were shady spots and if you fancy the heat, sit up near the front with your cocktails. The turquoise soft furnishings and lazy wooden tables made for an easy and chill ambience.
The staff were courteous, polite and eager to make suggestions for food and drink without a push. Their sunny personalities and smiles only added to our time at Alchemy Food & Drink.
Indulge on the Pulled Beef Po Boy when you visit Alchemy Food & Drink. Think a braised beef sandwich with deep-fried kimchi and yuzu aioli with either fries or greens. This is the perfect summer dish to soak up your drink and leave satiated. The beef was succulent and tender with a slightly acidic kick. The addition of the kimchi, yuzu aioli and their juices soaked into the warm bread lusciously – really, it’s a quiet moment best enjoyed with a good friend.
Grab a Rusty Tromba on your visit too. Think Tromba, Cointreau, Lillet, lime and topped with Helles Yeah! Lager. This drink could be a perfect ally to get you started off for the evening. Light, tasty and the rose petals that adorn the top of the drink accentuate the bohemian vibe in the space.
Check out Alchemy Food & Drink the next time you are walking down College Street. The live music culminated with their food and drink schedules is a must to pencil into your summer social calendar.