It is supremely special when you have a unique dining experience located right in your neighbourhood, but when you have two located right next to each other, it’s a huge bonus. Enter sister restaurants Alo and Aloette, located at 163 Spadina Ave.
Aloette embraces the decadence and the culinary authenticity of French cuisine; they “take time-honoured comforts and seek to do them better than we did last time”. Their blind tasting menu is meant to be savoured and lingered over, like any indulgence. It’s not uncommon to require at least a couple of hours to consume the courses and allow you to give each dish and each flavour the attention that it desires. This really is all about a dining experience. For those who prefer, the adjacent barroom offers a la carte dishes that complement the offerings in the tasting menu (and some incredible signature cocktails).
Located on the top half of a heritage building, the atmosphere is incredibly intimate with few tables, an open kitchen and décor that is subtle but supportive to the overall experience. There is an attentive sommelier with an impressive wine list to ensure that your palate is properly piqued.
Alo holds a prominent position on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
Aloette is Alo’s little sister, is located on the ground floor in the same building as Aloette. What is particularly neat about this resto is that it is fashioned after an old-school rail car with a hint of diner thrown in for good measure. Old-fashioned rail travel evokes images of adventure and romance… which is exactly the vibe the Aloette atmosphere achieves (along with an a la carte menu that delights!)
This 38-seat dining room does an impressive job of replicating a dining car with diner elements, complete with swivel stools, penny-tile flooring, wood and leather and of course-a barrel vault ceiling. The nostalgia of the dining car has been brushed with a contemporary edge, giving just the right amount of edge.
With simple single-page menus, the focus is on fun yet fabulous food at a lower price point than Alo upstairs. They are self-described as a place where “taste for haute cuisine meets cravings for cheeseburgers and lemon meringue pie” which is a clever and apt description of the fusion with diner and bistro.
In 2019 Aloette took spot 35 on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurant List by Canada’s Best. It’s also received nods from Toronto Life (listing on 100 Best Restaurants in Toronto) and also was included in Canada’s Best Restaurants in 2018. Alo is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Photos courtesy of Alo’s Website – with thanks!
Here’s what you need to know to get a bite of this action:
Opens at 5 pm
Barroom closes at 1 am
11:30am – 10:30pm
163 Spadina Avenue
Toronto ON M5V 2L6
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