Since opening in 2000, Reds Wine Bar & Bistro has been popular location for those working in Toronto’s financial district to hold power lunches or dinners. With a menu of classic bistro favorites including seafood and steaks, and an extensive wine list befitting its name, the restaurant could always be counted on to provide a fine dining experience in a setting that was the right mix of business upscale and downtown casual.
Despite more than a decade of success, Reds shut its doors in summer 2012 to undergo a renovation and a rebranding. When the restaurant reopened in October, it was known as Reds Wine Tavern.
The new Reds retains important links to its past. For one, the focus on wine remains strong. The restaurant’s cellar holds 350 bottles, and the wine list offers an impressive 77 selections by the glass. And the menus still offer fresh and flavourful dishes to suit a variety of tastes.
But there are important changes, too. Ryan Gallagher, previously a contestant on Top Chef Canada and sous chef at Toronto’s Ruby Watchco, has been brought in to run the kitchen. For the new menu, Gallagher has put his own unique touches on comfort food dishes from around the world. There’s fresh butternut squash-stuffed pasta, topped with Brussels sprouts leaves and crushed amaretti cookies, and lamb shank tagine paired with citrus-almond couscous and apricot tomato chutney. And he’s placed a particular emphasis on fresh fish, with three or four daily specials using fresh catch items brought in daily.
With communal seating, a private dining space, leather and wood touches and vintage items worked into the design, the new Reds Wine Tavern is aiming to create a space ideally suited for both its financial district clientele and residents looking for a spot for a casual weekend outing with friends.