162 Cumberland St.
Toronto ON M5R 1A8
Alobar Yorkville, the restaurant by chef and famed restaurateur Patrick Kriss, is an oasis of elegance tucked into an alley off of Cumberland Street in Toronto. The small 75-seat restaurant is a setting that is part lounge, part dining room, part bar — and all class.
This opening marks the third restaurant in a trio headed up by Kriss, including the ever-popular Alo (consistently topping Canada’s Best 100 restaurants list), and Aloette (an elevated diner with a killer burger). The newest member is a casual addition; the diners show up in jeans, but the fare is as elevated as we’ve come to expect from Alo.
The team behind the new restaurant includes Alo veterans chef de cuisine Matthew Betsch and sous chef Rebekah Bruce, as well as sommelier Christopher Sealy and bar manager Pat Groves to make sure that no one goes thirsty.
“I’ve always wanted to do a restaurant that mirrors what the bar [at Alo] is doing, but in a larger format. I thought it was the perfect space, not too big, not too small and with a patio,” says Kriss. “I love that neighbourhood of Yorkville. It’s a great energy there with lots going on.”
This is the place you can nip in for a quick mid-afternoon snack, or spend several hours poring over the menu, discovering which cocktail perfectly compliments your king crab or which wines best wash down beef tartare.
“We started Alobar with a focus on wine and cocktails, but as the menu developed, we couldn’t help but push for more menu options, and eventually that turned into fish and chops off a charcoal grill,” Kriss explains.
As a result, there are trademark touches of Kriss' gastronomic mastery at work, with rich and creamy foie gras complemented by a topping of sour cherries, a refreshing cucumber salad comprising melon, onions and cucumber with feta cheese sprinkled through, each adding to a symphony of textures and flavours; and Aloette's now iconic wedge salad , with creamy avocado, parm, chive cream and wild rice.
Looking forward, Kriss says. ”There will never be another Alo, there’s only one. We will probably do more fun, casual fun places that are value driven.”
By Karen Stevens