What’s New on the Menu at Babel, a Mediterranean-Inspired Gem in North York

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Chef Rosalin Keshishian offers colorful reimaginings of her heritage and a mosaic of Mediterranean flavors

Warmer weather is upon us, the days are longer, and Torontonians are all eager to dive back into the treasure trove of the city’s foodie scene. Nestled near the York Mills shopping center in North York is Oliver & Bonacini’s Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired restaurant, babel. From mocktails, cocktails, flatbreads and falafels to a variety of seafood and halal meat options cooked over an open flame in the kitchen’s 12-foot fire pit, Executive Chef Rosalin Keshishian and Head Bartender Joshua Chia bring explosive flavors from a mosaic of cultures to the Bayview and York Mills community with the support of O&B District Manager Andrew Piccinin.

Name: babel
Contact: 305 York Mills Rd. Unit 19, babelrestaurant.ca, @babel.to
Piece: York Mills
Owners: Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality
Chief: Rosalin Keshishian
Seats: 134 indoor seats, including a private dining room that can accommodate events for up to 52 guests
Accessibility: Fully Accessible

The food

It’s not often that a cut of meat that’s typically on the gamer side can strike a delicate balance and exist at the intersection of sweet, salty, spicy, and umami. But Babel’s lamb shank dish does just that. Braised in Babel BBQ sauce, this lamb shank is served with labneh, roasted root vegetables and herb couscous.

Delivering a beautifully balanced symphony of flavors using ingredients sourced from land to sea, Chef Rosalin Keshishian has brought vitality to the look and taste of each dish. “My passion for food came from my late grandmother and my mother. They were some of the best home cooks I’ve ever met, but they worked within structures and rules, you might say. , what to serve and how to serve it. To me, there are no rules. Flavor and ingredients are a big ocean for you to dive into and explore, and our menu is designed to help our guests to explore with us,” explained Chef Rosie. “I developed our menu based on the season and the colors that the season brings. There are a lot of cooking methods and foods from the places I have called home on the menu, but the Mediterranean is so vast, so you see this rainbow of flavors and techniques.

From the fire, the whole branzino is seasoned with “samke harra” marinade, spicy chilli, coriander and lemon, leaving it juicy, delicate and tender. On the other hand, the beef tenderloin kebab is just as juicy and tender, pairing perfectly with a fresh picada herb pesto. For a vegan option, opt for one of Chef Rosie’s favorite dishes, the Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushroom.
Finish your meal with one of the best knafeh in town. Shredded phyllo dough meets fresh cheese topped with pistachios and a palate-pleasing orange blossom syrup. Feeling a little more forgiving? Garnish your warm knafeh with pistachio ice cream.

Chef Rosie’s favorites on the menu? Freshly prepared hummus and pitas from Babel served with green harissa, tomato and pickled chickpeas, and from the hearth, grilled hen of the woods served with mashed cauliflower and a garlicky dukkah spice.

Every bite of the smoked charred eggplant is rich, creamy and decadent. Layers of smoky eggplant dance with citrus, tahini and date molasses, while pistachios act as a nutty textural element.

The drinks

With a slew of options like wine by the glass and beer, the shining stars of Babel’s drink menu are actually their assortment of cocktails and mocktails. Head bartender Joshua Chia shared that he and the team at Babel carefully and intentionally designed the beverage menu to both complement the food menu and be an experience in itself. “I love cocktails; they’re a great way to get anyone who dines here on a trip. You’ll see plenty of Mediterranean flavors in cocktails and mocktails, from fresh pomegranate and passion fruit to saffron, apricot and even za’atar to our tasty za’atar gum syrup made home,” he shared.

Dive into a Babel favourite, the Nimbus. A lighter than air cocktail of Prosecco, Dillon’s Selby gin and Angostura bitters topped with a cloud of pistachio, this cocktail is both delicious and the perfect visual experience as the cloud of pistachio disintegrates in the process. moment it hits your drink.

The falafels with a crispy exterior and incredibly chewy filling are diligently handmade every day, with each piece having to be approved by Chef Rosie before going out.

Prefer to explore Babel’s non-spirit offerings? Enter our favorite, the Fatima. The Fatima was created and named after a regular patron of the establishment who wished to celebrate an educational milestone and accomplishment with Babel. A delicate balance of blueberry, pomegranate, lavender, hibiscus and lime juice, this mocktail is a sure way to refresh your palate between appetizing courses.

Chef Rosie’s Sujuk Manti are earthy spiced handmade dumplings stuffed with house sausage and sprinkled with Aleppo pepper and sumac, and served over yogurt, making it a multi-textural experience hitting every part of your palace.

Space

Sage greens, marbles, woods and golden tones, along with lush greenery, make Babel a sunny bohemian dream. The space is as soft and welcoming as it is perfect. With a private dining room, bar and banquettes and an unobstructed view of the fireplace, Babel is both feast for the eyes and food for the soul.

Click on here to explore Babel and book your reservation today.

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