bar banane toronto

Bar Banane

Bar Banane is a classy evening destination serving intricate cocktails and French-inspired snacks on Ossington. 

The speakeasy-style bar is the sister space of La Banane, a restaurant that serves contemporary French cuisine. 

bar banane torontoBar Banane is located in the upstairs unit above the restaurant. Matthew Johnson, general manager of the bar tells blogTO that ideas for expansion into this space had been in the works since 2018. 

bar banane torontoPrior to taking it over, the upper unit had been occupied by a couple popular nightlife spots including Ballet and Jezebel

Initially, Bar Banane was slated to open as a fondue concept, but when it became unsafe for people to dine out, let alone share a fondue pot,  plus lockdowns, they pivoted. 

bar banane torontoBar Banane opened in November 2022 as a luxe pre- or post-dinner spot to grab a drink. It's also where you can momentarily satisfy your hunger before partaking in the main meal downstairs at the restaurant. bar banane torontoThe interior takes inspiration from 1970s Manhattan with burnt orange velvet sofas, arched panelling around the bar, and deep-set moody lighting casting warmth throughout the space. 

bar banane torontoIt reminds me of the aesthetics found in sunken living room concepts from the decade. There's more seating in the rear that's surrounded by shelves lined with jars of fruit preserved in alcohol. 

bar banane torontoThere are no smoke-infused drinks served here. They keep things simple, making their own infusions, keeping things simple and allowing the cocktails to speak for themselves. 

bar banane toronto The Chai Mumbai ($18) is served in a long-stemmed glass that's been pre-chilled. The drink uses a clarified milk punch made with rum, lemon, garam masala and parsani chai as its base. 

The cocktail is then topped with coconut foam to the rim of the glass. 

bar banane torontoThe punchy spices in this drink is apparent and stand out among those that I've had before that are made with artificial chai flavouring. It's smooth thanks to the rum and the flavours pair nicely with the coconut foam.

bar banane torontoIn Bloom ($18) is also served in a pre-chilled glass but with a large ice cube. It's made with rose petal-infused Peruvian pisco and gooseberry cordial, and is topped off with sparkling wine. 

It's super light and refreshing and has a cider-like taste that's more grape than apple in flavour. I found the bubbles a fun touch.

bar banane torontoBar Banane has a list of spirits, including Japanese whiskies like this single malt Nikka Miyagikyo ($19). It was like drinking a dessert that had a bite from the whisky. 

bar banane torontoThere were distinct notes of raspberry, caramel, and chocolates. While unique, this is one spirit I'd gladly leave for whisky connoisseurs. 

The food served reminds me of the hors d'oeuvres that are served on silver platters. You can choose to order the items individually or try one of everything for $55. 

bar banane torontoThe Nova Scotia Lobster Croustade ($10) has a thin slice of toasted brioche inside a crispy pastry cup. It's topped with butter-poached lobster and bacon lardon that's been tossed in tarragon mayonnaise. 

bar banane torontoThe super fresh-tasting bite is topped with frisee and a tiny cured lemon peel that complement the lobster and mayo. 

bar banane torontoPommes Paillasson ($8) tastes like a fancy French tater tot.

Using potatoes that have been shredded and confited, the mixture is moulded into a ring shape before it's deep-fried and topped with a heavy layer of shaved Perigord truffle.

It has a crunchy exterior and fluffy interior that's perfumed with the aromas from the truffle. 

bar banane torontoBrillat Savarin ($6) starts with toasted brioche which is topped with a layer of creamy cheese and then capped with apricot gelee. 

bar banane torontoBrillat Savarin reminds me of a rich Brie. It adds a savoury note that balances the gelee's sweet touch. 

bar banane torontoFor dessert, the Lime and Black Pepper Souffle ($40) is a popular choice at Bar Banane. It's made to order and takes about 45 minutes to get to your table. My suggestion is to order it at the beginning of the night. 

bar banane torontoThe dessert is made by folding a lime, black pepper and yuzu curd into meringue and then baking it in a tall ramekin. When ready, it arrives hot at the table. 

bar banane torontoTo serve, a hole is dug into the surface of the souffle before the accompanying scoop of buttermilk ice cream is added in. Plunge your spoon past the sweet golden exterior and you'll find a lush, creamy and fluffy filling. 

Each citrusy sweet bite melts in your mouth. 

bar banane torontoThe entrance to Bar Banane is adjacent to the entry of La Banane. You'll spot a bunch of bananas on the bar's front door that opens up to the tall stairway that leads you to the upstairs unit. 

Photos by

Fareen Karim 


Bar Banane

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