After 23 years, The College Street Bar is a denizen of the Little Italy bar scene that has seen its ups and downs. There have been times in its long history that the CSB has been less than stellar, but with a little help from new owner Gavin MacMillan, it cleans up real nice.
New menu, new chef, but same sweet soulful sounds combine to make this my favorite makeover of the year. The combination of the alcoholic alchemy from the adept CSB mixologists and the shareable pleasures of Chef Joe Friday’s comfort foods make for a magical evening.
The CSB atmosphere is speak-easy chic and boasts the longest running music event in the city: Soul Sundays. The live music really sets the scene and you can sidle up to the bar to enjoy one of the best cocktails in town. Sporting award-winning mixologists (owner MacMillan among them), this cocktail bar will shake, stir and fizz your troubles away. The expert service and friendly bar staff will soon have you in your cups.
The menu does present a little something for everyone, although vegetarians may feel a tad neglected. Still, the comfort foods abound and are created for sharing and enjoying. Start with an excellent charcuterie with house-made apple butter, pickles and crostini.
Then on to short-rib poutine and southern fried Ontario chicken that will make your toes curl (no surprise really as chef Friday hails from North Carolina.) The baby back ribs and burger also cut the mustard.
For dessert there really isn’t any other choice but the cheesecake or if you want to end on a classy note, the College Street Car is a cocktail worth its weight in gold!
For locally grown soul foods with music to match and really great cocktails, the College Street Bar comes highly recommended by this Little Italy resident. Go ahead and enjoy – you’ll be so glad you did!
The Details:The College Street Bar
574 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M6G 1B3
-- Nikki Fotheringham is the Editor of a leading green living blog, Green Moxie. She’s traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives with her husband and a very bad dog.