Queen Street West welcomes Bar Altura, a bar that serves modern-meets-traditional Italian cuisine in a relaxed and easy-going setting. As depicted in its name, “Altura” reflects a heightened experience in cuisine (like artisanal pasta, cured meats, and cocktails) and “Bar” represents the restaurant’s approachability and comfort.
This is evident in their interior, which captures a welcoming ambiance with a cocktail bar and open kitchen; all beautifully embellished with marble tables. The team behind the newly opened resto-bar modern interpretation on classic Italian cuisine are Marcello Tomarelli, Ricardo Chico, and Chef Marco Zandona, who also own Kay Pacha, a Peruvian cuisine.
The concoctions are curated with elegant detail like the Pasquale’s daughter, a drink that infuses butterfly pea with vodka, cointreau, and a splash of lemon juice to induce the pretty lavender colour. The yellow Aperol pearls, ginger, and cucumber add a delicate touch. For a stronger flavour, the Cinquecento packs on a smoky flavour in a mixture of Makers Mark, vermouth, benedictine, orange bitters, and a hint of apricot.
Not only do the drinks at Bar Altura look picture-perfect, but the quality and freshness is also elevated in their dishes. The canapés to start already prove impressive. In their interpretation of caprese, tomatoes are been cured with olive oil and stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and pecorino, which provides a fascinating take on traditional Italian ingredients. The salsa verde-infused sardines are also cured in-house, then carefully wrapped in Yukon gold potato strings. Afterwards they are deep-fried and then topped with peach gel and radishes. A showstopper canapé is also the “Tu vou fa L’americano, an olive oil-poached Nova Scotia lobster with Campari & Vermouth essence
Sardines wrapped in potato strings
Zuppetta Fredda ai Frutti de Mare is a playful appetizer that teases the tastebuds in temperature. The chilled watermelon gazpacho has a spicy kick, and is amplified by citrus-marinated seafood garnishes. It is recommended to be paired with Cantina Valpentena Chardonnay Veneto 2017.
Zuppetta Fredda ai Frutti de Mare
Cavatelli all’Ortolana is an invigorating multicolour cavatelli dish, garnished with equally colourful and fresh vegetables, like cherry tomatoes and peas. The ragu along with the pecorino & fior di latte add a warm touch to the dish. The pasta pairs well with a rose, Primaronda, Nero di Troia, Puglia, 2017
A classic Northern Italian dish is the tender slow-roasted pork shoulder; complete with cotechino medallion, puffed rind, caponata, and apricot & amarena agro dolce. Of course crisp wine from the Toscan region would be perfect with La Porchetta, so opt for the Frico Rosso, Sangiovese Syrah/Merlot, Scarpetta, Toscana 2016. If you enjoy pound cake, the Camomilla e Fragola is a must. With their mouth-watering glazes; Chamomile & bee pollen semifreddo and strawberry consommé, and an equally tart limoncello, this would make for a memorable dessert.
571 Queen St W
Instagram: @baraltura #meetmeataltura
Photos by Janey Tso