Bar Salumi straddles the border of Parkdale and Roncesvalles on the gentrifying frontier of antique row. Not just a bar but not quite a bistro, Salumi offers a selection of wines, apperitivi, and piattini dishes (think tapas) similar to that of their older sibling, Local Kitchen. With the new addition of pizza to their menu, this cozy joint is a great spot for a quick bite and drink to bookend your evening.
Kitschy chandeliers and hanging cured meats dot the ceiling - a tongue and cheek nod to not only the charcuterie-centric menu but to the previous tenant, an antiques dealer. A handful of two tops in back are the only table seating, otherwise pull up a stool to the bar which dominants this cozy space.
Keeping in step with their appertivi ethos, a selection of Negroni's ($10) are the house's specialty cocktail. Not always a purest, I opt for the 'Il Professor Negroni' which deviates from the norm with a berry infused Cointreau that tones down the harsh bitter orange of the Campari.
About a dozen or so wines are offered by the glass, less than what I was expecting compared with Local. The Concerto Lambrusco ($12) is a young versatile wine that goes well with our charcuterie and pizza.
For the price point, the charcuterie plate ($15), nay, platter, is one of the best in town. Most of the meats are cured in house and are some of the freshest I've ever tasted - all are sliced to order right in front of us. Just a few highlights are the spicy sopressata, prosciutto and a unique cured bison with blueberry.
I jumped at the chance to review Salumi for one dish only, their Burrata Pizza ($14). Burrata world be the love child of a high fat cheese like brie with mozzarella that marries the best of both worlds. Creamy but with a good melting point, this cheese should be on more pies. As I've said, I'm not a purest. The pizza itself has a well developed blistering crust and is a tad wet with sauce which I personally like. My enthusiasm only wanes by the small portion of Burrata on top but I'm not disappointed.
We round out the evening with the octopus and potato crostini ($8). Unexpectedly chilled, the octopus is cooked to perfection - nod to the chef. Tender and flavourful, it reminds me more of a ceviche that was enhanced by the starchy potato.
Beyond the apperitivi and piattini, Bar Salumi's atmosphere is comfortable, intimate and unhurried. Salumi at heart is a neighbourhood bar. A nice break from the stress of the holidays to sit with a few friends to nosh and catch up over good drinks and even better food.
Photos by Peter Henderson