Attico is a tapas bar hidden away from the street. With no real exterior signage to speak of, only those in the know will be able to find this 30-seat Spanish-style cocktail bar on the mezzanine level at 134 Peter Street .
The evenings-only lounge is related to Ricarda's downstairs. And while the two establishments share the same kitchen, each restaurant has a unique menu and atmosphere.
The bright and airy second-storey space is swathed in natural light when I visit early on a recent weekday.
Low velvet banquettes and brass accents fill the room, while a bar in the corner turns out two-ounce cocktails, like the Ginger Up ($15) comprising Blantons, Domaine de Canton and a ginger twist.
Attico aims to offer a true Northern Spanish tapas experience, and while there's a menu of snacks to choose from, the real draw is a procession of daily pintxos presented by roaming waiters.
A colour-coated system denotes prices; green skewers cost $2.50, red are $3, blue are $4 and black ones are $5. Staff tally the final bill from the empty toothpicks left behind.
While it's fun to leave your meal up to chance and just graze on whatever comes by, there's also a menu of small plates and shareable offerings for you to choose from.
A display case at the bar features ready-made toasts with toppings like figs and prosciutto over olive tapenade and smoked whitefish on whipped ricotta.
Olives ($4), oysters (four for $12), charcuterie boards ($13) and cheese ($10) are meant to be shared.
Mini duck empanadas ($5) are very tasty. The flakey pastry pockets are stuffed with confit meat and cured foie gras and come served with sweet and tart garnishes, like puréed pear and pickled gooseberries.
Green eggs and ham arrive next. The parmesan and herb coated egg boasts a luscious soft centre that's paired with crispy sheets of soppressata.
I catch a glimpse of the wild mushroom tartlet ($4) featuring porcini cream in a chickpea parmesan crust as it passes by and lands on another table.
I then turn my attention back to my own tiny table where a chilled shrimp and crab claw cocktail ($12) arrives along with another libation. The Kick Start ($15) is a habanero-spiked blend of Casamigos and Hine VSOP.
It's easy to have a quick drink and snack at Attico (theatre-goers take note), but you can also assemble a whole meal just by sticking around long enough.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.