The temperature has officially hit summer highs and we’re now deep in patio season, but once again we’re bringing you a peek into a secluded patio that isn’t on everyone’s radar. Estia, located in Yorkville at 90 Avenue Road, recently invited Torontonicity to the official opening of their patio where guests were treated to open grill eats and delicious cocktails!
If you’re not familiar with the Mediterranean restaurant that quietly sits just a few blocks north of Bloor, that’s probably because you’ve driven or walked right past it without even noticing. The front patio is blocked off by a row of long slender hedges, with just a slim walkway leading guests towards the main door. This unassuming entrance is exactly what makes Estia’s patio so fantastic, as guests aren’t sitting directly beside a long line of people waiting to get in, quietly judging you for how slowly you decide to enjoy your beer or cocktail of choice.
The patio also has a row of cabana-style seating where small groups of friends can relax and enjoy a cocktail, like the Goddess of Soul: Ketel One, Kahlua, espresso, and rosemary syrup, topped with salted caramel foam. The added espresso makes this cocktail a delicious pick-me-up, as the shots are pulled directly at the bar, so it’s the perfect way to start your patio visit after a long day at work. The rosemary syrup is subtle and adds a grounded earthy note that’s lovely! The cocktail also doubles as a dessert drink, thanks to the rich salted caramel foam.
If you’re looking for a more refreshing cocktail to enjoy on Estia’s patio, try the Goddess of Wind: Bombay Sapphire, crème de violette, Cocchi Rosa, lime juice, thyme syrup, and rosewater. The lime note is the first flavour that hits your palette, and it’s sharp, but then the floral quality comes through at the end and you realize that you haven’t tried a cocktail like this before. This is the perfect summer sipping to enjoy if you’re normally into spirit-forward cocktails!
Guests at the patio season party were treated to fresh eats from the open grill, which included the Adana Kebab: grilled lamb on fresh mini pita topped with za’alouk and Turkish pepper. Za’alouk is a Moroccan salad made with eggplant and tomato, and these flavours offset the heat from the freshly grilled and perfectly tender lamb, as well as the slight heat from the pepper. This would be a great sharing dish for a group on the patio as everyone can tear off pieces of pita and create single-bite servings for themselves, allowing you to sample more from the Estia menu!
If the summer weather has you craving something more refreshing, try the Kanpachi Crudo that has chopped cucumber in zhug (cilantro and parsley sauce), avocado, and topped with sumac coated onion. At the patio launch, we were treated to the Ahi Tuna version of this dish, but I would absolutely recommend this either way! The sumac onion is fresh, so the flavours are strong, but the avocado is creamy and softens the punch. Each bite will leave you craving more, so make sure to order enough for everyone you’re with if you want a second shot of those delicious flavours.
Maybe patio season isn’t your favourite, or you’re looking for a spot that lets you shift the setting as the mood of the evening evolves – Estia has you covered. If you’re looking for an indoor setting that’s still chic and comfortable, you can grab a seat inside at the bar. Their main floor has gorgeous high ceilings, so the space feels expansive. There’s also an incredibly intimate second floor, where you can sit for a quieter area and enjoy your conversations more privately; For that reason, I’m also recommending you keep Estia on your list of date night options.
Don’t wait on visiting Estia’s patio and having a fun evening with your closest friends or loved ones, as patio season is short! This intimate setting let’s you enjoy the season without dealing with the chaos of other patios in the city, all while treating yourself to some delicious dishes and cocktails. If you can’t decide where to start or what to drink, do what I do and kick it all off with a glass of bubbly then let the evening take you into the night as you enjoy the gorgeous Toronto summer weather!
Estia Patio, 90 Avenue Road
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