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