Reds Midtown Tavern
Reds Midtown Tavern, an offshoot of the popular Financial District wine bar, is now open at the base of the Aura building at Yonge and Gerrard. The new restaurant shares the same menu and similar aesthetics to its predecessor but is geared towards a more diverse clientele.
Inside, the inviting decor features exposed brick walls, wine bottle chandeliers, shuffleboards and a mix of communal tables, bar stools and dining room seating. Upstairs, the mezzanine showcases quirky collections of vintage sunglasses, motel keys and Zippos.
The menu from Chef Matt Robertson (formerly of TOCA, Canoe, and Spendido) offers sharing plates and mains that aim to be ultra accommodating to both those who want indulge and those who want to eat light.
Decadent platters of fresh shucked Oysters ($14) and charcute-covered Butcher Boards ($19.95/small or $29.95/large) are billed alongside bar food favourites like Cheeseburger Sliders ($14.50) and Buffalo and butter-sauced Wings ($13.25).
The pull apart, Crispy Potato Flatbread ($10.75) is a unique offering that's essentially a savoury version of a Beaver Tail. It's like garlic bread only better — fried, then topped with sweet garlic chimichurri aioli, shaved parmesan, arugula and a roasted tomato, balsamic gastrique.
Lighter options are available too. The menu offers a solid selection of salads, fresh fish features and a showcase of dishes from Four, the SIR Corp sister restaurant that is dedicated to keeping each dish under 650 calories. I try the Double Dip ($11.25), a vegan starter that layers smoky baba ghanoush over garlicky hummus in a deep bowl. Fresh veggies and house-made flatbread are supplied on the side for dipping.
Entrees can be assembled by adding a side salad to any shareable order for $6, or there are hearty tavern plates, sandwiches and a daily curry. Big appetites should consider The Unapologetic Burger ($15.25), featuring two massive caramelized beef patties dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made sauce. With fries on the side, it's impossible for me to clean the plate.
At the bar, the extensive wine list shares the spotlight with a lengthy menu of craft brews and cocktails. Beverage choices include 80 varieties of wine, 30 draught beers, and at least a dozen thoughtfully crafted cocktails. I try the Corpse Reviver ($10), a potent blend of gin, Triple Sec, Lillet Blanc and lemon that's finished with a fiery absinthe rinse.
Reds Midtown Tavern also plans to enrich patio-life on Yonge Street with the addition of 90 outdoor seats. Currently, the restaurant is open daily from 11:30am. Reservations are accepted.
Photos by Jesse Milns