Pastiche is a dimly-lit restaurant that'll tingle all your senses for the evening.
Operating on a certain level of intrigue, the low-key establishment where Boralia once was is one of a growing number of restaurants to eschew a sign for a 'if you know, you know' vibe.
Walking through a velvety set of floor-to-ceiling curtains, you'll be met immediately by a distinct perfume. It's not so strong so as to be offensive, but it definitely sets the mood: the regal scent of British perfumery Penhaligon's Duchess Rose.
An eclectic mix of Art Deco vibes is fused with contemporary artwork like piano keys stuck to the ceiling or a collection of 63 Fornasetti plates on the wall.
The vibe in this 44-seater is equal parts rustic and fun house, and the same can be said for the cocktail menu, which offers boozy drinks with a flare for dramatics.
The Pelon ($15), which gets it name from the Mexican candy, is a strong tequila-based drink with smoky Creyente mezcal, poblano peppers and pineapple. It's served with a small piece of corn husk, set aflame for a pre-game show.
Inspired by general manager Marc Lamontagne's first dinner with his partner's family (they ate homemade tamales), the ashes of the husk are meant to flavour your drink for aromatics and a touch of nostalgia.
The Bittersweet Sympony ($15) is an equally showy take on a Manhattan. Made with Croatian Marschino Luxardo and melted cooking chocolate, you'll feel the burn of this drink immediately, accompanied after by a great sweet aftertaste—highly recommended.
As for food, Chef Stefan Skeene has arranged a rotating menu of worldly shareable eats. It's not limited to any type of style, but you'll note that every dish has its region of origin written beside it.
A warm vegan falafel salad ($14) is a creative take on a meat-free staple. Roasted oyster mushrooms come with creamy avocado sauce and a hibiscus vinaigrette for an easy starter.
The braised short ribs ($17) come with a kumquat soya glaze and torched chanterelle mushroom wafers. The crispy fingerling potato halves the dish comes with are mouthwatering.
The saffron chicken mahjouba ($18) is definitey a standout dish. A trio of Algerian crêpes (traditionally stuffed with different types of fillings) arrive topped, tostada-style.
Saffron-cooked chicken is served with ground turmeric and baby corn purée on a trio of crispy rounds for a juicy, crunchy snack.
There's definitely a sense of enforced intrigue at Pastiche that immediately makes it a contender for great nighttime getaways, but simply put, it's a solid spot for a strong drink and high-quality eats.