Bar Reyna / by Didier Young

A whole new world.

First, coffee.

Newly opened in Yorkville, you might have stumbled upon a white two-storey building with a cute frontal patio under the name Bar Reyna. The Mediterranean restaurant’s name translates to Queen in english, something that is apparent in the numerous depictions of female monarchs in the building. 

Her Royal Highness.

We went to the restaurant to try out their brunch menu and were warmly greeted by the owner herself. The setting of our meal was magical: the back patio of the restaurant creates an oasis in the middle of the city that transports the patrons to a different land and culture.  First order of business; Her Royal Highness, a 3 ounce mix of Vodka and rum paired with notes of cardamom, saffron, rosewater and grapefruit.  The drink arrived in a copper tumbler in the shape of a pineapple and is the crowning beverage of Bar Reyna. Perfect to share with friends or to drink on your own.

The strong and tasty cocktails at the restaurant.

Her Royal Highness was then followed by a delegation of other cocktails, the most interesting of which was the Mescal Smokeshow which featured Hawaiian Black Salt on the rim. While good, the cocktail was a tad too salty for my taste. My favourite of the cocktails was by far the Prickly Beach, a great mix of vodka, strega, pear and Lem-Marrakech bitters which will leave you craving more.

Brunch is served.

One of the crown jewels of Reyna is their plate of fries. Prior to attending this brunch, I had asked a few of my friends who dined at the restaurant for their recommendations and they unanimously proclaimed the fries to be their favourite. The plate comes in a few different incarnations but we settled on the Italian, Greek and Spanish Reyna’s Fries. Out of the three, the truffled Italian version was my favourite followed closely by the Spanish one. One thing to be noted however was the different thickness in the fries, a detail that may seem banal but that affects the crispiness of the fries greatly.

Spanish Breakfast Fries are a great substitute to the Reyna's Fries.

On to the mains, my Steak on Toast was absolutely delightful. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium rare and came on a tasty bed of fresh pea and chickpea mash which added an interesting sweetness to the plate. Another one of the mains struck a cord; The Reyna Salad was fresh and well dressed with a nice touch of crunchiness thanks to the fried chickpeas. A few runner ups were the Avocado on Toast and the Breakfast Spanish Poutine, a perfect brunch option in lieu of a side of fries for your table.

Overall, we left Bar Reyna greatly satisfied by the food and drinks. The atmosphere and service created the perfect frame to showcase the food and created an experience befitting a Queen.

-Didier