THIS SMALL, CHATTY-AMENABLE 28-SEAT ROOM on an out-of-the-way corner of Verdun consistently charms regulars and newcomers alike with its irresistible combination of an ultra-welcoming atmosphere and a locally unique culinary offer. Argentine-born brothers Ari (former chef de cuisine, Liverpool House) and Pablo Schor (former barman at Vancouver’s Bao Bei) share sophisticated versions of their Italian- and Spanish-inflected childhood favourites, which may well become your grown-up go-tos. Start with their light and exemplary empanadas — say, beef and olive, or the peerless chorizo. Pastas are a strong point, and often seasonal in a manner not typically expressed. In the still-chilly days of early spring, for example, spaghetti alla chittara with a combination of guinea fowl livers and ramps could make an appearance. In winter, Brussels sprouts and smoked almonds offer a landscape of sweet, tangy roasted flavours that should not be missed. Fluke in mushroom butter, showered with Périgord truffles, is an embarrassment of riches. And in summer, on the small patio, you might instead savour the well-executed simplicity of a fillet of wild black bass with gloriously crisp skin on a bed of sautéed courgettes, or roast saddle of lamb with tomato salad and capers. The wine list is short, but replete with well-priced quality from Italy, Spain and France.
Photography by: Rashad Bedeir