Pastiche brings a dash of spectacle to Ossington
Eccentric new space a bricolage of artwork, fiery cocktails and delicious fare
Expect a full-blown performance when ordering the bittersweet symphony cocktail ($15) at Pastiche
Pastiche opened its doors on Ossington just before the new year, with a plan to delight and even mystify curious patrons with one-of-a-kind cocktails, expertly curated sharing plates and accessible, unique wines. The space, formerly the home of Boralia, has been redone to host a glitzy bar, statement chandeliers, and jewel-toned velvet booths surrounded by an eclectic mix of artwork.
A peek at the restaurant's luxe interior
Pastiche has a strong team behind it, each with their own skillset, who are united in their goal of letting creativity reign as they build a welcoming space that encourages patrons to try something new. The creative team includes manager and noted sommelier Marc Lamontagne, as well as chef Stefan Skeene (formerly the executive chef for EastSide Social, Pollyanna and The Thirsty Duck).
Thought-provoking wall art greets patrons at every turn
Skeene created a menu of sharing plates that draw inspiration from around the world, with a deliberate focus on dishes that haven’t yet received a lot of attention.
“The inspiration for a lot of this was to do food that’s very refined and elevated, but that pays homage to my main inspiration for cooking, which was growing up with my grandmother cooking dishes that paid specific attention to flavour development,” says Skeene.
The team has placed a great emphasis on keeping their flavour combinations, cocktail spectacles and décor firmly “out of the box,” however, the concept is less a hodgepodge and more an artful bricolage. There’s method to the madness, here, and it shows.
More of the restaurant's eclectic wall art
The restaurant's menu has many unique offerings, from the Bavarian meatballs ($17) served atop a delicious broccoli and gouda puree and finished with lemon zest and sauteed pea shoots, to the saffron chicken mahjouba ($18) which is a house specialty that uses Algerian crepes as the base for a tender and flavourful helping of saffron chicken that’s finished with ground turmeric and a corn puree. The duck confit egg rolls ($17) are presented beautifully under a tangle of bitter green salad and a side of plum sauce.
Pastiche's black sea bass crudo
The black sea bass crudo ($18) is accompanied by an avocado puree and shaved radishes and is served with crostinis.
The roasted rainbow trout (two portions for $17) is plated beautifully on a sea of carrot puree with raspberry relish. The trout’s skin is rendered crispy and is tucked under a gorgeous matcha crepe lace with milk foam.
The braised short ribs
The braised short ribs ($17) are slow-roasted for eight hours, and seasoned with a mouth-watering kumquat soya glaze.
One of the most important details for manager and sommelier, Lamontagne, was that inclusivity and accessibility be considered as they put Pastiche together.
“Every wine on our menu has a price point that allows us to sell it by the glass,” says Lamontagne as he pours a glass of 2017 Smallfry Rosé from the Borossa Valley in Australia ($11/glass, $55/bottle). “It’s also part of the ‘hobo wine movement,’ which means it’s made with little to no technology whatsoever. It’s entirely natural, biodynamic, and fully unfiltered.”
The bittersweet symphony ($15) is an easy choice when it comes to Pastiche’s cocktail menu. The drink involves a performance of mixing and pouring the ingredients (Maker’s Mark, amaretto, amaro Montenegro, luxardo maraschino and honey) while they’re on fire, creating a beautiful river of blue light that’s poured into your glass.
Corn husk is served with the pelon and then set aflame
The pelon ($15) is a refreshingly smooth blend of poblano tequila, creyente mezcal, tamarind pineapple and lime. It’s served with corn husk which is lit on fire, and burns out into the drink, lending a delicious smoky aroma to the cocktail.
Pastiche has struck an intriguing balance between comfort and refinement, intimacy and spectacle, and is likely to be a fast favourite for the Ossington strip.
Pastiche, 59 Ossington Ave., 647-508-5959