Archive Wine Bar
Archive Wine Bar is a casual place that dispenses with the snobbery commonly associated with Toronto's more food-focused wine bars.
Nestled on a section of the street that includes Cocktail Bar and the Black Hoof, there's little doubt that it's a good location for a bar of this nature. One suspects that many patrons of these neighbouring establishments stop in before or after their visits for a glass or two.
Co-owners Joel and Josh Corea, who have ties to Pizzeria Libretto and Ortolan , get that true wine bars need to live up to their name - serve lots and lots of wine by the glass and make sure the place feels like a bar and not a restaurant.
So what about the wine? The first thing to note is that there's an obvious focus on Ontario offerings. They make up well over half of the 30 some-odd selections on offer.
To my mind this is both good and bad. Good in the sense that our local wines could use better representation. There's excellent stuff coming out of Beamsville , Jordan and Prince Edward County, and it's nice to see a commitment to showcasing these wineries.
The problem is, of course, they're not amongst the most value-friendly options. If you want a sample of what Archive does best, be prepared to shell out some cash (i.e. $14-16 a glass).
As for the food, it's all small plates and just right. No complaints here. While I'm a total lush and often enjoy my wine without accompaniment, these snack-like offerings are exactly what you'd want if you're feeling peckish in the midst of a wine tasting/consumption session.