Bar Reyna is a great new addition in the heart of the Yorkville neighbourhood, a Mediterranean snack and cocktail bar, with a patio ready for summer. In the 2-storey Victorian house, both the main and second-floor dining rooms have their own dedicated bar and out back, a covered patio for year-round enjoyment.
Bar Reyna is the new project by Nicki Laborie, the former owner of Vibe the Vibe (now Vv Magazine).
The atmosphere is casual sophistication and fun, the restaurant is filled with inspiration from the Mediterranean – jewel and gold accents, Moroccan lanterns that fill the ceiling and walls with an exotic light pattern, and the patio is filled with pendant lights dangling from the ceiling. A place fitting for its name, as ‘Reyna’ translates to Queen in Spanish.
Bartender Mana Moghadam crafted a playful cocktail menu, with its home-made syrups and spices. Fit for a queen, ‘Her Royal Highness’ is a picture-worthy cocktail, served in a copper pineapple tumbler, filled with Mt Gay XO, Absolut Elyx Vodka, scented with saffron and cardamom and sweetened with almond syrup.
The eclectic menu gives a nod to the Queen, featuring food from different Mediterranean regions. Their signature dish, one of our favourites, in the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ section was the Cataplana, as shown above. It’s a luxe Portugese seafood dish filled with half a lobster, monkfish, shrimps, clams and mussels in a tomato broth.
‘Memories from the Med’ section included the Merguez Lamb Pide, a savoury dish seasoned with spice and topped with herbs and dollops of Greek yogurt. For those looking for table snacks, they have the Veggie Flower Pot, a lovely and colourful spread of heirloom vegetables, crudités, tzatziki, hummus and green olive tapenade. Other snacks and pinxtos include the popular Zucchini Fritters, which is served with a roasted tomato aioli.
Then we have the Eggplant Byaldi, sweet roasted eggplant and pomegranate seeds spread on sour dough bread.
Bar Reyna is serious about their snacks, with five different fries flavours to choose from: Greek, Arabic, French, Spanish and Italian, each with its own regionally take on toppings, spices and dipping sauces. We recommend trying the Arabic fries, which is za’atar spiced fries with homemade ketchup.
The wait staff wear outfits by local designer Paria Shirvani and on top of that for the men, custom Baffi wooden pocket squares.
158 Cumberland St
Photos by Nick Lee