Lobby Boy serves shareable tapas in the lobby of the Beverley Hotel on Queen West.
Though the menu is mainly limited to small plates of meats, cheeses, olives and the like, there are a couple mains as well as cocktails that go way beyond mixed drinks.
The neon-lit space has barely 20 seats, including a few in a front gift shop area where you’re also welcome to sit and nosh.
A mix of warm olives ($7.50) is given a boost of fragrance with citrus peel and aromatic herbs. Varying sizes and textures and a slick sheen of oil make the little morsels delightful to pick away at slowly, a classy little dish provided for pits.
Bread and butter ($6) pairs Forno Cultura sourdough with potent, herby garlic butter. Makes for a simple snack on its own to soak up alcohol, or a great foundation for meats, cheese and other items on the menu.
Bruschetta and cheese ($6.50) sees minced tomato and paper-thin slices of sharp manchego on top of thick slices of toasted bread: crispy, juicy, and relatively filling for the size and price.
Shishito peppers ($8) are presented relatively typically with a light, bright lemon dressing, the wrinkly peppers popping with acidic flavour. As always with shishitos, some are spicier than others.
Brussel sprouts ($7.50) are also a ubiquitous bar snack, but manage to be much more of a don’t-miss item here with a secret, savoury black dressing that really brings an extra tang to the veggies.
Jamon serrano ($11) has been aged for six months, the fatty meat presented sliced super thinly and drizzled with a little oil so it melts in your mouth (ideal with the sourdough).
A chorizo burger ($14.75) puts a twist on the usual bar burger with a house chorizo patty with a fine texture and bold seasoning.
On brioche, it's topped with pickled jalapeno and red onion plus melted mozzarella and Oaxaca cheese.
A stripped-down but refined list of shaken cocktails eschews names for numbers.
The No. 2 ($16) is made with lemon, egg white, Empress 1908 gin that gives it its purple hue, and maraschino and lychee that lend a lot of sweet, floral flavour.
No. 3 ($16) pairs smoky mezcal with ripe, fruity blackberry and hibiscus that highlights the spirit in an unusual yet tasty way.
No. 1 ($13) is my personal favourite, easier on the wallet and kind of feeling like a lighter Boulevardier with Wild Turkey, Aperol, St-Germain and lime.
The No. 5 ($15) combines pineapple, Campari, sweet orange jam and vodka infused with saffron in house.
Ask about secret off-menu snacks and drinks like other cheeses and XXL cocktails.