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Restaurants

Bricco Kitchen and Wine Bar

Posted by Jen Hunter / Profiled on January 24, 2014 / review policy

Bricco Kitchen and Wine Bar TorontoBricco Kitchen and Wine Bar opened in the Junction in mid December. The name originates from the vineyard Bricco Vergne, situated on a large sloping hill overlooking the city of Barolo, and outlines the commitment to bringing the neighbourhood's oenophiles a place to hang out.

Owner and Sommelier Eric Gennaro (formerly of Crush Wine Bar) grew up in the neighbourhood and wanted to create an elegant yet unpretentious dining spot, offering the food he grew up with: Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on simple, clean, and bold flavours. To do so he teamed up with a former colleague, Chef Justin Zamperin (Crush, Buonanotte). The two owners have succeeded in fostering a familial and relaxing atmosphere.

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarThe dining room mirrors this philosophy; the space is both refined and warm. Though the menu is decidedly Mediterranean, the furniture and decor are pure '60s Scandinavia. Most of the items have been sourced from antique stores and collectors around the GTA, though there's a few complementary modern touches, including an ornate wooden sculpture made of reclaimed ash tree by talented locals Brother Dressler.

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarBar Manager Max Romer (Scaramouche) has put together a short but smart list of classic cocktails, alongside a range of apertivos and digestifs, including a completely house-made amaro.

A long list of ingredients including gentian root, black walnut bark, citrus peel, star anise and mint are all macerated in a neutral grain spirit. Even with an excellent range at the LCBO, this one stands out as unique. The result is a wonderful mixture of sweet, bitter and savoury. It's worth stopping in at the bar just to try this, but, given the menu, you might be inclined to stay for a few more treats.

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarScallops with bacon soffritto ($15) are three perfectly seared Nova Scotian sea scallops, dressed with a reduction of diced thick-cut bacon, celery, onion and garlic, and garnished with micro greens. It's a really nice balance of salt, sweet, and smokey.

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarThe tagliatelle with tomato and basil ($16) starts with fresh made pasta, with a sweet, slightly acidic, fragrant pomodoro e basilico sauce (composed of olive oil fresh and crushed tomatoes along with confit basil). It's all topped with fresh grated parmesan and micro basil.

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarFinally, we tried the cornish hen ($20). This small, single serving chicken is roasted with lemon before being accompanied by an accent of caramelized cherry tomatoes, a veal jus and crispy fried sage. The flavours blend harmoniously, but the dish really benefited from adding a side, so make sure to account for that if you're the kind to check the menu with a calculator. We opted for the 6 hour creamy polenta ($6).

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarI've been really impressed with how serious restaurateurs have been spotting the opportunities in The Junction, rather than trying to cram themselves into already saturated markets like Queen West, and this effort doesn't disappoint - there's a huge amount of polish to the service, the wine list is well crafted, and the place is easy on the eye.

Bricco Kitchen and wine bar is open, Wednesday thru Monday 5-10pm.

Bricco Kitchen and Wine BarPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

10 Comments

What gives.. / January 24, 2014 at 09:43 am
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5-10pm?


john / January 24, 2014 at 10:48 am
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This building once housed the first mosque in Toronto (and one of the first in Canada). It was just a block away from the Junction's Jewish quarter on Maria street.
tracey / January 24, 2014 at 07:53 pm
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How is it possible that a review of a wine bar does not tell me a single thing about the wine list? Did I miss something?
Jesus / January 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm
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Mosque turned wine bar? Nice!
Imagine a city with no mosque, church, tempale, ... But wine bars.
It even makes me to want to come back after all those shit you did to me.
aisha / January 25, 2014 at 03:50 pm
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jesus you actually made me laugh out loud
ag / January 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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opened in mid-dec....still no website? i agree with tracey - why profile a wine bar and not talk about the wine list?
Stephka replying to a comment from tracey / January 27, 2014 at 12:11 am
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I agree with AG and Tracey.... where's the info on the wine bar. Thats the problem with the city, there's NEVER ANY attention paid to the wine list and everyone becomes complacent. Visit Chicago, NYC or London to see what an actual wine bar looks and feels like.

Bricco is great and worthy of wine bar but can these writers actually learn a thing or two about wine?
MrsPotato / January 27, 2014 at 11:30 am
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no website. no wine list?

wtf.
Aura / February 3, 2014 at 11:39 am
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Great addition to the junction. I was there last week with my husband. The food was delicious; I started with the chestnut porcini soup, the best I've ever had, followed by the duck confit with quince jus, let me tell you how perfect that was. The wine selection is beautiful, great Rioja and the price is even better. And to finish you can't leave without trying the yogurt pannacotta. Servers are awesome. Highly recommended!!!! thanks Bricco.
chk / February 3, 2014 at 07:29 pm
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No mention of dessert either ... Would love to hear something about that, please...

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