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Restaurants

Fishbar

Posted by Ryan Spencer / Reviewed on August 12, 2011 / review policy

Fishbar TorontoFishbar has recently surfaced on bustling Lower Ossington near the corner of Dundas. William Tavares and partner Albino Silva of Salt Wine Bar have created a broad menu of tapas style seafood dishes that adhere to a sustainable practice that bears the Ocean Wise stamp of approval. Oh, and of course a well stocked oyster bar too.

Fishbar TorontoThe bar itself boasts about five different types of oysters, both West and East Coast origins that rotate daily. We decided to try the PEI Oyster, Uncle Willy ($2.50 each), simply served with fresh grated horseradish and lemon wedge. No shallot vingarette or heavy cocktail sauces were needed for this little sucker. The mineral and briny flavour was paired nicely with the reasonably priced Masicanco Pinot Grigio ($5).

Calamari TorontoThe Crispy Calamari with Srirachi aioli ($7) were unexpectedly tender and large. A shake up from the usually skimpy chewy squid that's shocked to life from a deep freeze with a plunge in boiling oil.

Fishbar TorontoThe oyster pogo with tomatillo relish ($8) was a playful take on a carnival corn dog; however issues with it's execution left less than stellar results. The batter absorbed too much of the oyster's brine creating a weepy undercooked center that was unsettling tepid.

Fishbar TorontoThe line caught Haddock Fish & Chips ($11), with a St. Ambroise beer batter and homemade tartar sauce, was a step above the greasy batons of unidentified fish that are normally served at pubs. Tender and flaky, the fish crumbled in its hoppy shell.

The PEI Mussels with chorizo and tomatoes ($8 - top photo) was the stand-out dish of the evening. The mussel's fume, coupled with the hearty chorizo, caused us to immediately sop up the rich both first before prying into the shells.

Fishbar TorontoAlthough we were already full by this point, the chocolate brownie with cherry jam and vanilla ice cream ($8) was calling out to us from the trio of desserts being offered. The pink peppercorn dusting on the ice cream surprised us, adding a yin to the yang of the vanilla - a great combo.

Fishbar TorontoIf not for their sustainable practices, Fishbar is worth a try for the high quality ingredients and solid fare.

Fishbar TorontoPhotos by Peter Henderson.

Discussion

32 Comments

Aldrin / August 12, 2011 at 09:38 am
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I want to go to there TONIGHT!
GoGoGo / August 12, 2011 at 09:43 am
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Do it Aldrin, do it.
FB / August 12, 2011 at 10:31 am
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Man I hate it when restaurants make calamari the same way they do onion rings. I miss the Bar One calamari - perfectly grilled with a bit of oil, not slathered with batter and deep fried...
Moi / August 12, 2011 at 11:20 am
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yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
David / August 12, 2011 at 11:26 am
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...The reviewer ordered almost a completely deep friend meal... Is that reflective of the menu?
Robert replying to a comment from David / August 12, 2011 at 11:49 am
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http://www.fishbar.ca/the-food.html

Looks like the reviewer just really likes fried fish. (And who doesn't?
niteowl_janet / August 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm
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FB, did you even go to their site and look at their menu? Obviously they have more items on their menu than the 6 mentioned here.

(fyi, they DO have grilled calamari)
krisp / August 12, 2011 at 02:04 pm
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the grilled calamari was excellent, as was the haddock ceviche. We had totally different dishes than the reviewer and they were all amazing.
Zvi / August 12, 2011 at 03:20 pm
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Agreed, mussels were the standout. The ceviche was also excellent.
Danielle / August 12, 2011 at 03:29 pm
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Would have appreciated being asked for my consent before the photograph above was taken/posted. Just common courtesy.
Clive BTS / August 12, 2011 at 04:42 pm
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My buddy Nick Sweetman did the artwork there. I went to see it and ended up spending over two hours trying out the items on the menu. The seafood was great!
j-mitts replying to a comment from Danielle / August 12, 2011 at 06:46 pm
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boo hoo
nick / August 13, 2011 at 01:21 am
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what a fantastic meal i had, service was great and the fish was fresh, sustainable is impressive, the fact that they carry Sake is also impressive, i will be back. i hope you open another in the east end where i live please!
j-mitts / August 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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i ate here last night, and everything about this place was fantastic.
we sat at the bar right in front of the oysters. the service was amazing, and we had a great conversation with the oyster guy. everything we had was fresh and delicious, especially the oysters. i would highly recommend this place to anyone.
nat71 / August 15, 2011 at 09:23 am
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Service is atrocious.
j-mitts replying to a comment from nat71 / August 15, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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you're atrocious.
JoeSchmoo replying to a comment from Danielle / August 15, 2011 at 04:15 pm
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Daniele: LOL....guess you didn't want anyone to see you with your 'sugar daddy'.......LMAO.........!!!!!!
Footwear Faux Pas / August 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm
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I wouldn't want my photo published either if I had on a pair of shoes like that ...
Adam / August 23, 2011 at 11:19 am
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I ate at Fishbar last Friday, and it was fantastic. We had oysters, shrimp, swordfish, fish and chips and the crisply calamari. Staff were very pleasant and service was good. I can't wait to go back to try more on the menu.
lauren / September 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm
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Went to fishbar last night and it was AMAZING. The wait staff were very informed, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was outstanding - we had oysters, seared scallops on a kind of creamed corn, and the deep fried calamari. A great experience overall, can't wait to go back!
cindy / October 3, 2011 at 06:30 pm
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This place looks and sounds awesome! Can't wait to try it. Great write up!
not a happy customer / October 31, 2011 at 09:33 pm
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Shitty service!!! The meal could have been great, but they ignored us several times and did nothing to speed up our order when we waited for so long. While waiting for our order we saw every table around us get food before ours.
Maureen replying to a comment from not a happy customer / November 1, 2011 at 01:28 pm
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Next time wear neon coloured shoes. They sort of like that.
JUST THE FACTS replying to a comment from Aldrin / November 12, 2011 at 06:00 pm
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I WENT THERE LAST WEEK , THE APPETIZER WAS GOOD. CALAMARI AS IN THE PIC. HAD THE SMELTS AS WELL. I THINK THEY COUNTED THEM. MY DATE ORDERED A MIXED BAG PLATTER. I HONESTLY CANT REMEMEBER WHAT I ORDERED AS A MAIN. IT CAME AND WENT WITH OUT FANFARE. I WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH THE PORTION AND I'M ABOUT 5'10, 170. NOT A BIG EATER BUT DAMN I WAS STARVING AFTER THE MEAl I HAD TO ORDER ANOTHER APPETIZER. THEN DESERT WAS A MUST CUZ I WAS STILL HUNGRY , FAIL IT WAS ICE CREAM WITH A BROWNIE. THAT SEALED IT I WASN'T GOING BACK. LOVE THE ATMOSPHERE AND DECOR SERVICE WAS GOOD . THE PORTIONS TO PRICE WOULD KEEP ME FROM GOING BACK
j-mitts replying to a comment from JUST THE FACTS / December 15, 2011 at 06:57 pm
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what is it that people don't understand about taps? the portions are going to be small because thats the point. they are designed to be shared plates, not to serve as a main course. you should expect to order between (ate least) 3-6 things off the menu for two people, depending on how hungry you are.
Khan Kamboneu / February 1, 2012 at 03:18 am
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Do you really know the history of Fishbar?How they came about to exist?Believe me! Once you find out, the calamary won't taste so good.
Foodie replying to a comment from Khan Kamboneu / March 28, 2012 at 01:57 am
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You can't just make a bold statement like that and leave us all hanging ... Explain please!!!
Clint replying to a comment from nat71 / November 8, 2012 at 03:07 pm
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Why do you say t hat? Would love to know. Heading there on Saturday!
Megan / March 2, 2013 at 11:56 pm
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Ate at Fishbar tonight for the first time...food was perfect & service was amazing!! No complaints...our server was Nix, she was super friendly & very knowledgeable of the menu, etc...will be back 100%, had a fabulous Saturday night out! 5 stars by far!!!!!! :) :)
Patrick / March 21, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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I ate at fishbar when it first opened and had a very good experience. Recently went back and found the food below average...service wasn't too friendly either. If you're wondering where the good food and talent went...it moved to Red Fish on College Street. http://www.thegridto.com/blog-post/the-audit-red-fish-an-ideal-date-spot-on-college/
Cee / April 20, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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So we went to Fishbar last night, and while I never really comment on restaurant reviews, I felt I had to write something. The service was quite bad, the server didn't take any time to explain the specials to us and seemed completely unable to give us any information about the wine we ordered. While I recognize that tapas are small and to be shared, the serving sizes at this place are really, really small. But that's not really what bothered me. It's the fact that we paid $16 for a small plate of grilled calamari and then $18 for a two seared scallops. The quality of each dish wasn't bad, but by no means was it amazing, and for that price for the portion size really wasn't worth it. In fact we were still so hungry afterwards that we went for burgers, instead of paying $40 for two more minuscule dishes. I'm sorry to give this restaurant a negative review, because I do really support places that try and use sustainably caught seafood, but I don't think I would ever go back.
Erica / August 19, 2014 at 10:11 am
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I visited Fishbar for the first time on Saturday evening with a Friend and was so overly impressed, I have been raving about it ever since. We enjoyed the Tuna Tartare, the spicy shrimp, grilled octopus and the soft fish tacos. We also had the brussel sprouts and the seaweed salad. We loved everything we tried and since we weren't drinking the bill only came to $80.00 which was impressive. We left satisfied and full but everything felt so fresh that we didn't feel overloaded or disgusting! We sat at the bar because we didn't have any reservations but even that was a good experience as the bartender was on top of our water and orders.
I would definitely recommend this to people :)

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