Imagine a chic and intimate setting where every day feels cause for celebration and a bottle of France’s finest — that’s the vibe at Toronto’s new champagne bar on King Street West. A dazzling display of sparkling bubbly, oysters, caviar and café au lait await at the aptly named Coffee Oysters Champagne (COC), but despite what the moniker may lead you to believe, there’s more than meets the eye.
The enchanting little resto, clad in pink and gold, has secret surprises in store for a fortunate few who walk through its doors. Rows of rosè line the walls, with bottles of Moët and Veuve Clicquot stowed away in the charming champagne room toward the back.
The boîte’s rotating selection of dressed oysters make for a great pairing. One option offers half a dozen oysters garnished with shallots, cucumber, mint and Prosecco ($19) for a refreshing bite. Fancy something with a bit more flavour? Opt for the cured egg yolk, chives and horseradish ($19). Or for a more savoury option, try sampling the duck, parsley, shallot and sherry combo ($21).
Not a fan? Fret not, the menu has a number of tasty dishes of the non-seafood variety (the fries with garlic aioli are a popular fave) and the cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint.
Staff have managed to keep the spot’s big mystery under wraps for months, so it’s a very hush-hush affair. Discovering it on your own is half the fun — but if you simply must know, allow us to oblige (spoilers ahead).
The small but mighty resto is a front for an even greater venue concealed within the belly of the building. A hidden entrance by way of the champagne room reveals the astonishing à toi, a swanky, dimly lit cocktail lounge and restaurant with a 1920s vibe and a certain je ne sais quoi. The undercover marvel is reminiscent of a fancy Parisian hotel, with everything from the decor to the staff’s delightful whimsy fantastically executed (actors abound).
Executive chef Chris Wilkinson has pulled off a mouth-watering menu of elevated fare, which includes the steak & bones (bone marrow), sous vide octopus, and a scrumptious salad with cured egg yolk shredded atop a bed of warm mushrooms. Not to mention a long list of fancy cocktails with all the fixings.
But ultimately à toi is yours to uncover and the experience promises to deliver delicious food with a side of theatrics that make this spot a must-see.
So if you’re planning a visit to COC, don’t forget to ask to see the champagne room — you won’t be sorry. After all, fizz the season.
Coffee Oysters Champagne, 214 King St. W., email@example.com