“Zany wine descriptions at Mad Crush in­clude ‘bum-clench­ingly dry’ ”

★1/2

Toronto Life - - Culture -

WINE BAR This Lit­tle Italy “un­wine bar” (their words, not ours) from the team be­hind beloved Bri­tish pubs the Oxley and the Queen and Beaver is a quirky one. The wine menu is di­vided into sec­tions with non­tra­di­tional head­ings, like Fizzy But Not Nec­es­sar­ily Cham­pagne. And the descriptions of spe­cific va­ri­eties can be zany (for ex­am­ple, “bum-clench­ingly dry”). It’s ei­ther en­dear­ing or off-putting, de­pend­ing on your sense of hu­mour. Jokes aside, the wine list is am­bi­tious and en­cour­ag­ing of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion— not least of all for the bar’s Co­ravin sys­tem, which al­lows pa­trons to or­der by the glass from any bot­tle on the menu. But for all it of­fers to drink, Mad Crush is lack­ing on the food front. Starters are mostly lack­lus­tre, like an art­fully ar­ranged plate of black mush­rooms with pecorino that looks bet­ter than it tastes (which is, frankly, like not much at all). And though the mains, in­clud­ing a lovely flat­iron steak, are per­fectly cooked, they fall short in the sea­son­ing de­part­ment—which is a shame, as many of the wines would stand up to deeply flavour­ful food. 582 Col­lege St., 647-350-8111. $$$WOVE

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