Fishbar is turning two this month! In celebration of its second anniversary, owners William Tavares and Renata Andreazza have revamped their menu, offering a fresh take on existing items and adding new ones that play with both texture and flavour. As an Ocean Wise Program Partner, Fishbar offers patrons a seasonally-changing tapas menu with a focus on sustainability. My invitation to cover a media dinner showcasing their new menu promised a “visit from Octopussy”. I was quite curious what their interpretation of the James Bond femme fatale would be. Turns out, it’s a dangerously strong martini with a single fresh oyster, very Bondesque!
Fishbar totally spoiled us with numerous menu samplings. I tend to enjoy cuisine with variety and dimension in flavour over lighter tasting fare; Fishbar had a mixture of both, suiting different tastes.
Oysters ($2.50 each, below) – Freshly shucked, these went down easily with the help of some must have fixings; freshly grated horseradish, vodka infused oil, lemon and cocktail sauce.
Anchovy Crostini (4 for $10, above) with caramelized onions and an olive and lemon gremolata – I really liked this one-bite crostini. A lot happening in one little morsel, it was a nice mix of rich, crispy and sweet.
Tuna Sashimi ($14) with toasted almond and mango slaw, radish, sesame seeds and a soy glaze.
Ecuadorian Tilapia Ceviche ($13) with pineapple and chili salsa and avocado oil – This was my personal favourite of the two. A fresh tasting dish, Tilapia is a great light tasting fish that was well paired with sweet pineapple.
Spiced Lentil Salad (available in June, above) with lobster crème fraiche, micro greens and a crispy papadum clam shell – This was a hit at our table. Full of a variety of textures, no one ingredient overpowered the other. No skimping on lobster here!
Wild Pacific Salmon Tartare ($14, above left) with pickled cucumbers, ginger, tempura onions and sweet basil aioli – the salmon was very tender. Flavour-wise, I would have liked to taste more of the pickled cucumbers and ginger.
Oysters Rockefeller ($3.75 each, above right) with smoked bacon, arugula, Pernod cream and Grana Padano – They had me at bacon and Pernod cream. These oysters were decadent and rich, albeit a little salty.
Diver Caught Sea Scallops ($18, above right) with cumin and coriander roasted pig belly, apple chutney and sesame soy dressing. You get a couple of good sized scallops with this dish.
Maple Miso Glazed Wild Pacific Salmon ($16, above left) with poached tomatoes, asparagus and sweet pea sauce. The salmon was perfectly cooked, tender and sweet, resting in a delicious creamy sweet pea sauce.
Rowe Farms Grilled “Petite Tender” and Lobster ($19, above left) topped with truffle-scented Hollandaise sauce. Being somewhat of a “meat and potatoes” kind-of-gal I had a few helpings of this dish. Topped with a nice amount of lobster, the meat was very good. It was cooked just right and pink in the centre, but would have liked it warmer in temperature.
Sicilian Gnocchi ($16, above right) with prawns, shiitake mushrooms, arugula and olive oil – I really liked this! The gnocchi were delicious without being too starchy. Surprisingly I didn’t mind the bitterness of the arugula; it was a nice contrast of flavours.
We enjoyed a luscious mini dessert trio ($9 each) of white chocolate mascarpone mousse with espresso soaked lady fingers, lemon curd with vanilla cream and shortbread crumble and caramel and coffee gelato with cinnamon foam.
If you find yourself at Fishbar on a weekend, you can take advantage of their 3:30 -5pm happy hour with $3 beer and $4 wine specials. Bring your own bottle of wine on a Wednesday and donate $2 to the Ocean Wise Program in lieu of a corkage fee.
217 Ossington Avenue (at Dundas), Toronto
Natalia Dziubaniwsky is a professional in the not-for-profit sector and an avid traveller forever searching for a new adventure. A lover of life, wildlife enthusiast, movie buff and hobbyaholic, you can interact with her on Twitter @taliasfootsteps or simply follow her footsteps through her blog.