TOCADOR

Air Canada enRoute - - MONTRÉAL -

AT MAIN STREET NEIGH­BOUR­HOOD HANG­OUT TOCADOR, A Ha­vana-chan­nelling beauty awash in aqua, pink and red, an old pal and I quickly aban­don our cor­ner booth. We want to get closer to the ac­tion at the bar and sit in the early-evening sun. It feels pos­i­tively un­nat­u­ral to sway to the trop­i­cal tunes while hid­ing in the shad­owy back (though it would be a fab­u­lous make-out cor­ner, were one so in­clined). I’m in­trigued by a drink called Elec­tric Hot Tub, which turns out to be a deep, ab­sinthe-soaked num­ber gar­nished with a white-sage sprig. My friend, who ran here from work, cools off with a pinky-peach spritz made with guava-in­fused Aperol and sparkling rosé. Both of them are In­sta­gram-per­fect, just like every­thing else here, from the tasty lit­tle pork-stuffed cro­quettes we snack on to the vin­tage van­i­ties where the liquor is stored on the back wall. The drinks – like To­cororo, with its gen­tle smack of pa­prika-in­fused tequila and ginger notes – are full of per­son­al­ity, not un­like bar­tender Javier, who darts lightly around like the hand­some bird that gives the cock­tail its name. He may be rest­less, but Tocador is re­laxed as all get-out.

BE­LOW, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Jas­mine Radu tends bar at this Ha­vana-con­jur­ing hang­out; it’s hard not to get fresh with the weekly punches; a painted to­cororo has a bird’s eye view of din­ers dig­ging into fried Pa­cific prawns, cit­rus-mar­i­nated skirt steak and Cubanos made with smoked pork or braised jack­fruit.

CI-DESSOUS,DEGAUCHEÀDROITE À dé­faut de tra­vailler à Cuba, Jas­mine Radu con­cocte des drinks dans un dé­cor ha­vanais ; les punchs spé­ci­aux de la se­maine ont de quoi rafraîchir ; le to­cororo peint au mur donne des ailes aux clients plongeant dans les crevettes du Paci­fique frites, le bifteck de hampe mar­iné aux agrumes et les sand­wichs cubains à base de porc fumé ou de fruit du jaquier braisé.

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