Progressive Portuguese Cuisine and Tapas | Fresh Seafood | Portuguese Wine List | Acclaimed Restaurateur
Dessert: chocolate mousse with espresso crème anglaise and raspberries
What to Drink: Chiado boasts an extensive wine that spotlights vintages from Portugal. The sommelier also curates a concise list of his favourite suggestions, making it easier for diners to discover the perfect pairing for their meal.
The Vibe: In the dining room, dark oak wainscoting offsets pale-yellow walls. Paintings of wild Spanish street scenes punctuate the space, including one large piece with vibrantly rendered street performers, jugglers, and onlookers that lends an unexpected dose of whimsy to the otherwise sophisticated ambience.
Fun Fact: In 2003, the President of Portugal knighted Chiado’s owner, Albino Silva, with the Commander Order of Merit for promoting Portuguese gastronomy and culture in Canada.
While You're in the Neighbourhood: Dance the night away with a beer in hand at The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue), a divey music joint with regular live acts.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Check out Adega Restaurante (33 Elm Street), restaurateur Albino Silva’s foray into Spanish-Portuguese fusion cuisine.
As Justin Lussier traveled through Naples in 2005, he decided to stop for the city's famous pizza at a small street-side eatery bearing the sign Pizzeria Sorbillo. He loved his traditional thin-crust pie so much that he rushed to a pay phone and called his friends Christian Bullock and Jason Allard to tell them that he wanted to make that same pizza. When Justin returned to Canada, the trio travelled to confer with the culinary experts at Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) in order to uncover what truly makes a pizza Neapolitan. Two years later, the friends set out to open Famoso.
Famoso's chefs all follow strict guidelines set by the AVPN—they only use OO Caputo flour imported from Naples, and they hand mill tomatoes imported from the foot of Mount Vesuvius, where each crop is grown in soil enriched by volcanic ash and sung to daily by volcanologists. Chefs top the crust with local fior di latte mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and pecorino romano cheese. They then spread dough into wafer-thin disks, which they blast-fire at 900 degrees for 90 seconds inside imported Italian bell-shaped ovens. Pizzas are also topped with ingredients such as soppressata, oven-roasted Italian sausage, kalamata olives, and truffle oil.
Famoso Baristas can pair many of these pies, some of which are reinvented twice each year, with a mix of local and international wines—including vintages from Italy and Canada—and hand-crafted gelato. At each restaurant, they ferry dishes and drinks through rustic and inviting interiors, each of which reflects the unique style of its neighbourhood, though all are united by accents of exposed brick and wood, wine-bottle art, and sculptural pizza-box displays.
Though Mrs. Biederhof, Monty, and Veda play central roles in the world of Mildred Pierce, in Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, they’re covered in sauce and served on shared plates. Restaurateurs Donna Dooher and Kevin Gallagher discovered their mutual love for the classic novel and film when working in an upscale restaurant in Ottawa. Their shared passion for local, approachable cuisine led them to open their warehouse-district eatery in 1989, though they eventually settled in Liberty Village, where they continue to serve their character-inspired dishes with the aid of a diverse team of chefs.
Their chefs draw from a range of culinary backgrounds to reinvent classic dishes with global twists, such as gnocchi poutine, Sri Lankan–style shrimp and crab cakes, and chicken biryani. Though many of their menu items change seasonally, some have been menu mainstays since the beginning, including burgers hand-ground in house, profiteroles infused with Lindt chocolate, and pancakes hand-raised on a farm. To ensure each dish lives up to its potential, staff members seek out the freshest potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, and other produce on twice-weekly visits to the Ontario Food Market and use only Ocean Wise–certified fish.
Servers ferry dishes to small tables and a large, communal harvest table in the contemporary dining space, where hardwood floors contribute a rustic aesthetic and railroad-side windows spill in natural light while keeping out engine noises and railway bandits. A slightly raised, open kitchen lets diners watch their chefs prepare the meal, and an outdoor patio lets them bask in warmer weather.
Cuisine Type: Gastropub
Most popular offering: Habits burger, mac 'n' cheese, and nachos
Delivery / Take-out Available: No
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 11?25
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Handicap Accessible: No
Pro Tip: When making reservations, please advise of any allergies. Also be advised that groups of six and more have one bill and 18% gratuity.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Pub-style with a twist. We offer fresh ingredients in all of our menu items, but we tie everything to the "comfort-style" nostalgia that we all know and love in bars.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
We infuse alcohols with our own favourite flavours in-house. We have also made custom infusions for private events. We are the third-largest whisky bar in the city.
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem?not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
We change our menu often, so this is a difficult question to answer. I recommend asking servers for the "hidden gem" instead of "what's popular"?you may surprise yourself.
Smoked meat. Albacore tuna and sockeye salmon salad. Pear, mango, avocado, and brie. For more than 38 years, staff members at Druxy's more than 45 locations have built traditional, deli-style sandwiches based entirely on their customers’ requests, no matter how unorthodox or how difficult it becomes to eat the resulting masterpiece. A roster of 11 breads and more than 50 toppings means that each sandwich is someone's personal favorite. Staff members are also willing to go big; if a regular sandwich can’t fill your appetite, they'll gladly add as much meat as you would like for a nominal extra charge (the current heavyweight champion is a 42 oz. corned beef on rye).
At the heart of the operation are Druxy's delicatessen roots, still apparent in the steaming hot meats sliced to order and the kosher dill pickle wedges served with each sandwich. In addition to their deli favorites, Druxy's can meet any craving; their menu includes everything from a design your own salad bar to comforting grilled cheese sandwiches and more than 30 soups.
While corned beef and grilled cheese might not sound like the definition of healthy eating, Druxy's salads, along with four sandwiches and six soups, are Healthier Options with less fat and sodium and more protein and fibre. Druxy's also carries on this dedication to healthy nutrition by crafting gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan options for diners with food sensitivities.
Low lights, wood detailing, and comfortable chairs create a casual lounge vibe at Insomnia, which fosters its namesake with a late-night atmosphere, drinks, and internationally-inspired comfort fare. Contemporary American and European fare populates the menu with dishes such as an 8-oz. ribeye steak in a red wine mushroom reduction. Crispy pizzas call out local locales such as the Queen Street topped with pesto, smoked salmon, and chèvre, or the Annex with grilled eggplant, roasted garlic, and portobello mushrooms. Dozens of martinis give patrons a reason to linger, with sips of innovative Rivera martinis or top-shelf martinis such as a classic preparation with Hendrick's cucumber-infused gin. A cluster of fairy lights twinkles above the bar and guides patrons to their tables, which are often occupied by complimentary imaginary friends. Against one of the exposed brick walls, paintings from monthly featured artists hang above a long wooden banquette faced with tables.
On weekends, Insomnia serves brunch garnished with mimosas and martinis. Multiple variations on eggs benedict feature house-made hollandaise sauce and a Heaven on Earth french-toast sandwich channels dulcet divinity with a filling of wild berries and cream cheese drizzled in Canadian maple syrup.