If you're in the mood for an evening of drinks, delectable food and laidback elegance, look no further than Swirl Wine Bar. Inspired by bars in Spain, France and Italy, this Leslieville gem is the perfect place to unwind with friends and a glass of wine after a busy day of work.
During my first visit to Swirl, I was greeted by a homey, comfortable atmosphere. Passing the baroque wall pattern on my way up the wooden stairs, Swirl became memorable in those first few seconds as I entered what looked like a small dainty apartment from the Victorian era.
Once seated, I started with a delicious Sangria that had the depth of red wine and the sweet citrus notes of fresh fruit. To accompany this delicious drink, I ordered a wonderfully rich dark chocolate cake with mascarpone cream cheese icing. The chocolate cake was deep and smooth and the icing was not too sweet, making a perfect pair to the dark cocoa flavours present in the cake.
What struck me as unique was that the food was served to us in mason jars – those jars that store preserves like jam, jellies and pickles. These jars add to the cottage comfort feel already present throughout the bar, making it easy to not notice that there is no kitchen at Swirl. In fact, the food is prepared fresh off-site, and put into these beautiful mason jars before being arranged and served on order at the bar. It's a concept that could have gone horribly wrong, but at Swirl Wine Bar, it works and adds a unique touch, setting it apart from other bars around Downtown Toronto. It's no wonder that Swirl is a favourite among regulars from Toronto's restaurant industry.
Jugnistyle Insider Tip: Swirl Wine Bar also hosts book swaps and wine/beer pairing events – as if we needed any more incentive to drink wine and eat dessert at this wonderful, dainty bar on Queen Street East?