Sous Sol is the swanky speakeasy beneath Maison Selby, offering cocktails and a menu of bar bites.
Located in the basement of the historic C.H. Gooderham House, you'll have to tuck downstairs where the washrooms are to find the subtle entrance of this tiny 26-seater.
Out of all the self-anointed speakeasies in the city, Sous Sol takes the cake for cleverest design: its entrance is literally a crack in the wall.
Push the doors open to enter this barely-lit French boudoir filled with fringe lamp shades and velvety couches. Like the bistro upstairs, Sous Sol is a moody ode to the Victorian home it sits in, which dates back to 1883.
I'm told Sous Sol has become the acting watering hole of the residents of the adjoining The Selby condo, giving it a kind of regulars' vibe that harkens back to the property's Selby Hotel days.
That being said, you might have to wait in line behind other thirsty and miserable Hemingway wannabes for a seat at this very cosy, first-come first-serve bar.
There's no more than 20 types of finger food here, like marinated olives ($7) or a half dozen oysters ($19) served with a pineapple mignonette and horseradish.
It also comes with something called the Nasty sauce: a super spicy dip made from Habanero and ghost pepper.
Biff's Charcuterie references chef Patrick Forest's stint at O&B's other eatery in the Financial District with a platter of cooked and cured meats like mortadella, a side of baguette and Pommery mustard.
A perfectly crispy calamari ($14) is the surprising show stealer for me, with a side of yuzu mayo.
Brisket sliders ($16) come in a trio with gooey brie.
The drinks menu features French and local wines by the glass, and draughts from breweries like Lost Craft.
Cocktails average around $16, with some using Maison Selby's own line of spirits, made in partnership with Dillon's, and house-made syrups. If you order an absinthe cocktail, like the Clouds Bursting ($12), it'll come with a fire show, too.
A Selby Mule ($16) is a combination of mezcal, raspberry pepper syrup, ginger beer, and mint.
La Grand Faucheuse ($16) comes from the section of classic of "strong and boozy" cocktails, made with rye, sherry, vermouth, and some stout syrup.
The Smile Between Us ($16) uses the Maison Selby gin, hibiscus bitters, occchi rosa, and a ginger liquer.