Bar Reyna’s blend of Mediterranean flavours is unlike anything in Toronto
Looking for a place to close your next deal? Let ‘Power Lunch’ be your guide to the most delectable spots in the city. With its third location opening this spring, Bar Reyna will be your go-to power lunch anywhere in the city.
Location: 158 Cumberland St, Toronto, ON M5R 1A8
Must-try eats: The lamb shank baklava with saffron and burnt honey aioli is one of Bar Reyna’s standout dishes. Don’t forget to add a side of fries inspired by one of five Mediterranean locations.
Libations: Try something a little different, like a Menabrea beer from Italy or a Thalia Sauvignon Blanc from Greece.
Where to sit so you’re in-and-out in 60 minutes: Take a seat at the gorgeous back patio any time of the year and enjoy the magical lights, hanging lanterns, and Greek vibes.
Restaurant owner Nicki Laborie teamed up with the creative minds at Solid Design to create a magical space worthy of the name Reyna (which means queen in Spanish). The local firm has done other major restaurants in Toronto like Baro, La Carnita, and Valdez, but Laborie worked closely with the group the make sure her space had a feminine feel. Before Bar Reyna moved into its Yorkville Victorian home in 2016, Laborie said there was really nothing else like it in the area. She wanted the restaurant to represent different parts of the Mediterranean, not just in the cuisine but in the decor as well. Each of the three rooms has its own personality. The first floor is very royal with jewel tones all around and gold mirrors lining the wall. Upstairs has a Middle Eastern vibe with stunning Moroccan lamps. And the year-round back patio will make you feel like you’re having lunch on a small Greek island even in the dead of winter.
During the colder months, lunch is only available Thursday and Friday, but once the warmer weather rolls in around May, lunch will be available five days a week at the Yorkville location and it will also be available at their soon-to-be Corktown location opening in March at King and Power streets.
From the Middle East down to Greece and Spain, Bar Reyna’s menu covers a lot of ground. The lunch and dinner menu includes five different types of fries: Greek, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, and of course French, paying homage to Laborie’s own heritage. What makes the cuisine unique is its fusion of Mediterranean flavours. Something like a pide, which is traditionally turkish, is topped with Stracciatella which creates an entirely new experience. Bar Reyna is known for their lamb shank baklava with burnt honey aioli so don’t skip over it next time you’re there. This savoury take on the sweet dessert is the perfect bite. Wrapped in kataifi dough, it’s crunchy on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside. Their Reyna salad is also very popular for lunch. The medley of fresh veggies including beets, cucumbers, and fennel is mixed with avocado, quinoa, and baby kale, topped with fried chickpeas and crispy shallots for a crunch, and served with a serrano tahini dressing.
In terms of drinks, Bar Reyna has it all. From over-the-top cocktails to your go-to classics, they have you covered. Just like the food, the drinks are from all over the Mediterranean. You can enjoy a pint of Krombacher, a German Pilsner, or sip on some Menabrea from Italy’s oldest brewery. Wine-wise, their selection is equally vast. Their Montepulciano from the Italian region of Abruzzo is a medium-bodied red with a fruity, rich aroma and their Thalia is an extra-dry white with citrus aromas and refreshing acidity.