This past winter I had the pleasure of taking a few of my friends to enjoy the lively atmosphere at Moroccan inspired belly dancing dinner and show, The Sultans Tent. During my visit I peaked down to their basement which is home to the funky BerBer Lounge. Their management advised me that they would be launching a new menu at BerBer so was thrilled to check out what they were serving up in this unique space in Toronto’s St Lawrence Market neighborhood.
I invited my friends Lucky, Steph and Vanessa along for the ride. I arrived a few minutes before the rest of the group so that I could take pictures of the exterior and interior of the restaurant. Berber is one of those spaces where you open the front door and are quickly captivated by an unexpected ambiance. The entire interior is decorated with Moroccan art, stools and wood paneling. I honestly felt as though I had just stumbled into a restaurant in Rabat…a bit of escapism in Toronto’s East End. The bar and lounge area at the front of Berber is the perfect spot to take someone on a date (take note)!
At the table, over the course of the next three hours we were served their entire menu. Chatting with the ladies we all agreed Berber would be an excellent spot to take someone from out of town or for a special occasion (read: to impress someone on a first date). The food and drink is reasonably priced, its the atmosphere they have created here that really makes Berber a romantic spot.
While the Sultan’s Tent’s menu is predominantly inspired by foods from Morocco, the Berber menu (as you can see) offers a broader snap shot of northern African cuisine and tastes of the Mediterranean. The two must have’s here are the Cambozola fritters (I ordered us an extra two before our dessert because we were so obsessed with these oozing balls of cheese) and the Chicken Supreme which is stuffed with a rich combination of gouda and caramelized onions.
We enjoyed (* notes my favorites):
Blue BerBer “Champagne” Cocktail
Pondview Gewurztraminer-Riesling, Niagara *
Puerta de Alcala Crianza, Spain *
EastDell Riesling Ice Wine, Niagara
The Signature Anti-Pasto
artichoke, smoked salmon, olives,
Celeriac Soup *
all spice, smoked gouda
BerBer Country Salade *
greens, pear, spiced caramelized walnuts, red onions, grapefruit, pommery dressing, rice paper basket
Cambozola Fritter *
walnut encrusted fritter, arugula, fennel, blonde frizee, champagne raspberry vinaigrette, heirloom beets
poached moroccan octopus, scallops, shrimp, green lentils, scallions, cirtus mint vinaigrette, roasted peppers and orange
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Supreme *
stuffed with smoked gouda and caramelized balsamic onions, saffron mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables
flat iron steak, crispy pancetta confit, roasted brussels sprouts, mini white potatoes
mussels, calamari, white fish, tomato broth with capers and black olives
Stuffed Pepper and Polenta
vegan friendly option, quinoa stuffed pepper seasoned with lemon-thyme served with chickpea ragu and grilled polenta
Lavender Creme Brulee *
Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake