Ossington Avenue used to be Toronto’s Portuguese area, though you wouldn’t guess it by the army of hipsters who hang here now. But harking back to the roots of the hood, this grown-up wine bar is all over Portuguese wine and tapas. This is a lovely place to appreciate a good glass of vino with a plate of crispy calamari.
The cocktail menu changes eight times a year, and is always good thanks to bar manager Nick Kennedy, one of the best in town. Charring is a big trend in Toronto right now, but Salt take it a step further. They plane the cedar wood in front of you using an antique planer, then char the glasses in a frying pan on the bar top for their signature Charred Cedar Manhattan.
It’s civilized and classy here. There’s just enough comfort in the rustic décor with reclaimed wood tables, chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with preserves and oils. There are a dozen or so tables - good for a bit of candlelit romance - and the walnut bar is a stunning piece of craftsmanship. Sit up on one of the stools here, order a bunch of dressed up Portuguese street food (crispy salt cod croquettes, yum) and work your way through the wine list.