I was put under the gun to find somewhere for dinner recently. I usually have no shortage of recommendations but when your group consists of food lovers and writers (and I’m not just talking bloggers). …Yeah. No pressure, right? So, where did we go?
From the owners of Nota Bene (Yannick Bigourdan, David Lee and Franco Prevedello) comes The Carbon Bar – the newest and much buzzed about restaurant to Toronto. Located at Queen Street East, this spot has quickly garnered much love in the few weeks that it’s been open to the public (have you seen their Twitter feed?)
Don’t let the entrance fool you! This is one massive space with high ceilings. It was the former space of TV station, Disney Studio, and even a nightclub! You’ll want to find the Donald Duck toy figures too!
The vibe is casual and unpretentious. Service is excellent although our group may have been upsold as our eyes were bigger than our stomachs! And the food is heaven served on plates!
David Lee was at the kitchen’s helm the night we were there last week . By the way, for your first time I would strongly suggest going with a small group because you WILL want to try EVERYTHING on the menu! Our eyes danced around the offerings and we were eager to indulge . The menu plays with southern US BBQs, South American and Asian influences. Everything is worth sharing!
I absolutely adored the Hamachi tartare appetizer that included the most incredible and tasty little sweet tomato-chile peppers – my South American friend Mary Luz knew exactly what they were and beamed with pride when she saw this ingredient on the plate. The Queso De Cabeza was like a breakfast platter that included fried suckling pig, pork ‘n beans, pickled beets and a hen’s egg sunnyside up. I probably should have stopped ordering at that point. But…
The Pit Master Platter is definitely the “hero plate”. If you are a meat lover this is orgasmic! Mouthwatering and absolutely satisfying beyond your dreams – this platter included pulled pork, beef beef, ribs, sausages and accompanying barbecue house-made dips. We also wanted to try the Goat Ribs but by 9:30 pm they were sold out (only available on Fridays). You’ll definitely want to get a few veg sides like collard greens or the raw salad but also try the Poutine Grits (we agreed this was by far the best grits ever tasted), and the “hot mess” fixins was delish!
If meat isn’t your thing… no worries! We won’t hold it against you! The sea scallops, sea bass and octopus dishes were just as tantalizing and so, SO good!
Definitely save room for dessert! The Banana Toffee Cream Pie should be shared – just remember to schedule in your gym time for another day! My friend Cory ordered the Carbon Chocolate Bar made of bitter chocolate, pecan ganache and bourbon caramel – a morsel that was just enough to finish him off on a high note. I ordered the Lychee Kombucha Sorbet and it was a perfectly refreshing end to the meal of meals….although that chocolate bar has me curious. I need to go back!
Oh, David Lee, I could just kiss you!
Visit the website at www.thecarbonbar.ca