Sneak Peek: Bar Raval, a Barcelona-Inspired Bar in Toronto

In a recent “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, we gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the intricate design work at Bar Raval in Toronto, an establishment helmed by the acclaimed chef Grant van Gameren. Here, we dive deeper into the operational side of Bar Raval with Robin Goodfellow, bartender and partner.

“We wanted the space to be just like the experience, very organic,” said Goodfellow. “We’ve heard people say it looks like the inside of a tree’s heart.”

In this “Across the Bar” preview, get a sneak peek of what Goodfellow has in store for us behind the bar, including a drink inspired by Robin Williams, called One-Hour Photo. “I made this drink on the day that Robin Williams died, so I thought I’d name it after his weirdest movie.”

A Taste of Mediterranean at Boston’s Oleana

“We cook Mediterranean food, but with a huge focus on Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Turkish,” says James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun, chef and owner at Oleana. The restaurant, located in Cambridge, Mass., is in its 15th year, a clear indication of its success.

Known for its inventive cuisine, Oleana’s menu features dishes like octopus and potatoes bravas with smoked aioli and Turkish spices; Vermont quail kebob with Baharat spice, barberries, and pistachio; and duck with spring dug parsnips, walnut tabouleh, and smoke honey labne. But it seems Sortun is most excited right now about lamb. And spices.

“Spices and lamb, to me, go naturally hand in hand. They really bring depth and richness to dishes without making them heavy. And they’re a perfect match.”

There are three lamb dishes on Oleana’s menu at time of publish: a lamb and grape leaf tart with cumin, orange, orzo, and spicy feta; lamb shoulder with chickpea, fried artichokes, turmeric, and cilantro; and a moussaka (lamb and eggplant pie) with tahini, fava beans, and fried peas.

Check out the sneak peek above, and stay tuned for the full “Table 42” episode, coming soon!

Get a Taste of Linwood Essentials in Toronto

“The idea for a lot of the cocktails I freestyle come down to a simple ratio: strong, sweet, sour, herbacious,” says Jake Valianes, owner and bar manager at Linwood Essentials in Toronto.

And, like most good drinks, each cocktail has a story. But at Linwood Essentials, these stories are not elusive; in fact, they’re sometimes clipped onto the side of the drink. “Cocktails should be fun,” he adds. “We want people to experience a different style of drinking here.”

Check out a sneak peek of this “Across the Bar” above, and stay tuned for the full episode, coming soon!

Check Out the Insane Design Work at Toronto’s Bar Raval

A restaurant would not be successful or complete without good food. A bar would not be successful or complete without good drinks. But just as important is the ambiance: how does the space make someone feel? Ambiance can be communicated through a lot of channels, one of them being design. And no place strikes this as evidently as Bar Raval in Toronto.

Alex Josephson has made this connection of feeling and architecture his life. As co-founder of Partisans, a Toronto-based architecture and design studio, Josephson and his team “primarily make the improbable possible.” He says, “We believe in the political power of architecture.”

Partisan’s partnership with Bar Raval was a serendipitous one, and Josephson compares the woodwork of this project to a 3D tattoo. “These are like our children, these projects,” Josephson says. “And I think the best clients give you enough freedom, but they really know what they want.”

Stay tuned to catch the full “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, coming soon!

A Sneak Peek Inside Ilan Hall’s Esh

If you’re looking for “Top Chef” Season 2 winner Ilan Hall, you’ll probably find him floating above an Urban Outfitters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. No, not like some hipster stunt team — on the third floor of the building is where his concept, Esh, lives, and where “everyday” Israeli barbecue can be found. We’re talking banh mi poutine, octopus with za’atar, pinenuts, and olives, and more. Recently transitioning from his New American concept called The Gorbals, the chef says of Esh, “We’re not doing barbecue on the Israeli side; we’re not doing barbecue on the American side, so we’re kind of taking the best of both worlds.”

Check out the sneak peek above, hosted by Foodable video correspondent Agnes Chung, and stay tuned for the full “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, coming soon!