Salt Wine Bar: Spanish and Portuguese Dishes on Ossington

Salt Wine Bar is a popular Iberian restaurant on Ossington Avenue.

Located at Ossington and Dundas in Toronto’s west end, Salt Wine Bar specializes in serving dishes inspired by the culinary traditions of Spain and Portugal. It’s considered one of the best tapas restaurants in Toronto and offers a creative craft cocktail program and divine Spanish and Portuguese wine list.

Ossington Restaurants: Salt Wine Bar offers dishes from Spain and Portugal.
Ossington Restaurants: Salt Wine Bar offers dishes from Spain and Portugal.

Step Inside Salt Wine Bar

This past Fall I had the pleasure of dining at Chiado, one of Toronto’s best Portuguese restaurants on Dundas Street West. Albino, the restaurants gracious owner mentioned he owned a sister property, Salt Wine Bar on Ossington, which he encouraged me to visit.

Salt Wine Bar and I actually share a special history. It started three years ago when I first arrived back in Canada after traveling around the globe on a shoestring. I was living with my parents in Oakville during the week but would hop on the Go Train to visit my cousin who lived in the apartment directly above the restaurant. Their windows were covered in brown paper and I remember trying to peak in to see the interior which was under construction. At the time Pizzeria Libretto was being lauded as the best slice and Ossington was really just starting to bloom.

So when I found myself marching up Ossington from Queen Street in the bitter cold of winter I couldn’t help but reflect on how the Ossington restaurant strip has flourished in three short years. The street glows throughout the week with a happening bar and restaurant scene as well as a potpourri of vintage shops and design studios. Ossington had grown up and at the same time I couldn’t help but smirk at the way my own life had evolved since first touching down in Toronto.

Petite chandeliers hovered from the ceiling casting light on the Salt Wine Bar menu as I perused with the tip of our fingers. The interior of the restaurant is dark and cozy, an all wood dining room dotted with flickering candles and shelves lined with wine bottles. Small wooden tables fill the intimate space, making it one of Toronto’s most romantic restaurants.

Salt Wine Bar offers craft cocktails and quality wine from Spain and Portugal.
Salt Wine Bar offers craft cocktails and quality wine from Spain and Portugal.

Salt Wine Bar Cocktails

Wine lovers will enjoy the restaurants comprehensive list which mostly focuses on bottles from Spain and Portugal. Salt Wine Bar’s sommelier has a clear affinity for Portugal’s crisp and cool Vino Verde varietal so be sure to sip a sample or two of their best bottles. If you’re a cocktail fan head to the bar and sip through one of the bartenders signature libations. The drinks list at Salt Wine Bar, just like its menu, evolves to reflect what’s available in season.

  • The World Is Ginja: chartreuse, gin, lime, ginja.
  • French Lessons: calvados, benedictine, orgeat and lemon juice.
  • Empress Royal: gin, cranberry juice, lemon, creme yvette and cava.
  • Smokey & The Bandit: mezcal, averna, cocchi americano rose.
  • Charred Cedar Old Fashioned: bacon washed bourbon, smoked glass, maple syrup.
  • Barrel Aged Boulvardier: classic trinity of bourbon, campari and vermouth aged in an oak barrel for 90 days.
Spanish Croquette at Salt Wine Bar on Ossington.
Spanish Croquette at Salt Wine Bar on Ossington.

Salt Wine Bar Menu

Salt Wine Bar does an excellent job at showcasing a playful take on Portuguese flavours. And in the dead of winter when all you want to be doing is relaxing on a beach in The Algarve, a charming dinner at Salt Wine Bar is certainly the next best thing.

We suggest ordering 5-6 dishes for a table of two. Salt Wine Bar’s strengths are its imported cheese and charcuterie program, tasty tapas and hand rolled pasta.

Diver Scallop Ceviche at Salt Wine Bar.
Diver Scallop Ceviche at Salt Wine Bar.

Salt Wine Bar Appetizers

  • House Made Charcuterie: pickles, crostini
  • Foie Gras & Chicken Liver Pate: pickled grapes, brioche, toasted pecans
  • Cheese Board: cheese, seasonal jam, toasted nuts, crostini
  • Jamon Iberico: aged 36 months
  • Jamon Serrano “Grand Reserve”: aged for 24 months
  • Sourdough Bread & Marinated Olives: house made chili bomba
Five Spice Duck Confit Ravioli at Salt Wine Bar.
Five Spice Duck Confit Ravioli at Salt Wine Bar.

Salt Wine Bar Montaditos on Toasted Sourdough

  • Grilled Sardines: fennel, preserved lemon, pickled red onion
  • Nova Scotia Lobster and Red Shrimp: chipotle aioli, avocado, tomatillo
  • Smashed Avocado: malden sea salt, pickled fresno chili, pepitas
  • Duck Confit: pickled cherry, mustard seed, thyme
Hand Cut Tagliatelle Carbonara Iberica.
Hand Cut Tagliatelle Carbonara Iberica.

Salt Wine Bar Tapas

  • Patatas Bravas: spicy tomato sauce, garlic aioli, fresh herbs
  • Sauteed Rapini: garlic, lemon, chilil, Souto Montanha olive oil
  • Beet Salad: soft goat cheese, orange, pistachio, organic arugula, citrus vinaigrette
  • Steak Tartare: caper, gherkin, quail yolk, white truffle aioli, toasted sourdough
  • Sea Scallop Ceviche: passion fruit puree, avocado, red chili, cucumber, lime
  • White Asparagus Salad: jamon serrano, manchego cheese, lemon aioli, toasted breadcrumbs
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken: hot jalapeno honey, ranch dip
  • Spicy Lamb Meatballs: fennel puree, yogurt, zucchini, pine nuts, tomato, pomegranate
  • Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly: butternut squash puree, apple, pickled red onion, thyme jus
  • Wagyu Beef Sliders: chimichurri aioli, sherry onions, idiazabal cheese
  • Risotto Negra: grilled calamari, zucchini, chili, lemon, squid ink lobster broth
  • Yellow Fin Tuna Crudo: avocado tomatillo, jalapeno, cucumber, aguachile
  • Grilled Octopus: chorico iberico, almond, romesco, fingerling potato, rapini, lemon, olive oil
  • Truffle Gnocchi: butternut squash, wild mushrooms, parsley, porcini cream, parmesan
Chipotle Wild Boar Taco at Salt Wine Bar.
Chipotle Wild Boar Taco at Salt Wine Bar.

Salt Wine Bar Hours

Sunday to Thursday: 6-10pm

Friday and Saturday: 6pm-12am

Salt Wine Bar Reservations

225 Ossington Avenue, 416-533-7258

Finish your meal by sharing a plate of Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Finish your meal by sharing a plate of Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding.
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