Babel Toronto

Babel

Babel is a restaurant where cooking centres around an open hearth. This cooking method is used to showcase traditional Mediterranean flavours, ingredients and dishes.

It's from Oliver & Bonacini, the same people behind restaurants like Canoe, Auberge du Pommier and Lena.

Babel Toronto

DesignAgency is responsible for the look of the 134-seat space with a bespoke bar, 45-foot mural by Moss & Lam and long, narrow dining room ending in a 12-foot live-fire hearth.

Babel Toronto

Simit and pita ($7) are respectively crispy and fluffy, baked by O&B. The simit is oblong rather than round, both breads paired with tangy house labneh, sumac and olive oil.

babel torontoHummus ($12) is paired with O&B pita and topped with warm chickpeas, green harissa, grated tomato with garlic, sumac and Italian olive oil for a classic dip that still has something unexpected up its sleeve.

Babel Toronto

Falafel ($9) are crispy on the outside and dense on the inside, made fresh each day and plated with green harissa, tahini and olive oil.

Babel Toronto

Lamb meatball bites ($13) are don’t-miss, house-ground and combined with lemon zest and crunchy pine nuts. A bold red harissa and buttery tahini pack this tiny plate with flavour.

Babel Toronto

Roasted cauliflower for two ($18) makes for a banger of a starter. Who can resist slicing down into a whole head of cauliflower?

I love the colour that a secretive seasoning brings to the vegetable, and house labneh, pomegranate, sunflower seeds and berbere bring out further contrasts in texture.

Babel Toronto

Creamed burrata for two ($28) sees the creamy flavours of burrata paired with the acidity and bitterness of grilled confit Ontario Concord grapes as well as charred fennel and radicchio.

Babel Toronto

A vegetable slaw ($13) is a bit of an outlier, composed of tendrils of heirloom roots paired with cabbage, sesame, and a fresh citrus dressing, but makes for a good option for those looking for a light, raw, vegetarian option.

Babel Toronto

Cauliflower-stuffed vine leaves ($16) see fluffy cauliflower wrapped in juicy vine leaves and plated on top of labneh for dipping.

Babel Toronto

Boneless lamb shoulder ($36) is braised for five or six hours until it’s fall-apart tender, smothered in a savoury barbacoa sauce and plated in a tagine.

Couscous handmade at Parcheggio and house labneh provide a solid foundation for the meat, snappy spiced roots and pomegranate seeds breaking up the richness a bit.

Babel Toronto

An eight-ounce beef tenderloin kebab ($29) is given an herb marinade and grilled, then plated atop a grain and ginger pilaf with wheatberry, beluga lentils and fragrant onions caramelized over the course of four hours. Garlic tomatoes, greens and a lemon buried in embers accompany.

Babel Toronto

$10 spritzes and sangrias include a Pomegranate Spritz that punches up sparkling wine with chamomile syrup and pomegranate juice.

Babel Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Babel

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