416 Snack Bar
416 Snack Bar
181 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON M5T 2R7
416 Snack Bar is the quintessential hipster bar on by Queen West. It's cool how the chef Adrian started up a food blog touring the city's eats, and has now turned that into a full fledge brick and mortar. The resto itself is rather small on the inside and the bar in the middle takes up most of the space anyways. Dim lighting and the menu is entirely focused on small tapas style plates with a wide ranging menu.
We had the chef's special thing, which happened to be arancini that night. Also got an order of the korean fried chicken, foie gras torchon with toast, and a dim sum stack.
The Chef's "Special Thing" is an item that changes nightly based on how the chef is feeling that day (i.e. chef's special). The arancini was done very well. The light batter on the outside was very crisp. As soon as you bite in, the cheese explodes, so do be careful. The marinara sauce that comes on the plate is light. No fork and knife here. Be ready to use your hands.
The Korean Fried Chicken was exceptional. We eat a lot of KFC (I mean, we even had KFC before we came here...) and they did a great job with theirs. The chicken came as small lightly fried nuggets that were coated in a nice sweet and spicy sauce.
The Foie Gras Torchon was my favorite dish personally. The foie gras was done perfectly. It had a mild flavor and a consistent smooth texture that spread so easily on the toasted crostini. It spreads like butter and even comes accompanied with a sweet apple puree to balance out any of the pungent taste.
The Dim Sum Stack was my least favorite of the night. For $14, you get 3 bamboo steamer baskets with 2 pieces of dim sum each. The first layer had a mushroom croquette of some sort. The mushrooms were good and the croquette was crisp. Almost tasted like a mushroom arancini with how creamy the inside was. The hargow shrimp dumpling tasted good but were tiny, as were the pork dumplings on the bottom layer. For the portion size, it's not worth getting. I always hate overpaying for dim sum too.
They don't take reservations so it's first come first serve. The vibe is pretty cool and the service is stellar. The food is a bit pricey and portions are small but tasty. They also don't offer utensils, so everything is meant to be eaten by fingers. Real cool concept and nice place to go for "snacks" with some friends.
Ambience: A- | Service: B+ | Price: B | Food: B+