The Bar at Alo (Queen & Spadina): This French bar made me feel like Toronto has finally made it in the cocktail scene. Refined, elegant but somehow not pretentious. The kind of place one might more typically find in London or New York.
Shane, our bartender, was extremely knowledgeable but welcoming and friendly. The cocktail book is seasonal and includes measurements, meaning patrons can attempt recipes at home. Once again, this kind of menu has never existed in the city. Common in London, the greatest cocktail city on earth, the recipes are divided into semi-seasonal house creations and French classics. I started with the light Alfonso, a classic Dubonnet version of the incredible Champagne Cocktail. I followed up with the more potent Armagnac Old Fashioned, which beautifully combined two of my favourite things.
The bar stock is impressive but not over-the-top. Situated on the third floor of an old Victorian in Chinatown, the place is a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. The restaurant next door is probably the city’s most difficult reservation at present, but it means the bar food on offer is over-the-top incredible.
Anyway, at long last is all I can say. We finally have a true bar of unpretentious sophistication in the city!