A dish from Martine's, a new restaurant

Grant Van Gameren of Bar Raval and Bar Isabel opens new restaurant in Little Italy

A new restaurant backed by local restaurateurs Grant van Gameren (who founded trendy spaces like Bar Raval, Bar Isabel, El Rey Mezcal Bar, and Harry’s Charlbroiled) and Chef Luke Haines (Bar Raval) have just added another restaurant to their roster — Martine’s Wine Bar located in Little Italy.

There’s no website as yet for the restaurant, but a new Instagram page notes that the space — located at 293 Palmerston Ave. — is open from Thursday to Monday, 6 pm-12 am.  Walk-ins are welcome and reservations are coming soon.

The menu hasn’t been posted, but Chef Haines has shared some of the restaurant’s delicious dishes on his Instagram page. It appears the restaurant offers everything from seafood-based options and international flavours, like Salt Spring Island mussels, farm fresh greens, and green sambal broth, or — one of their biggest hits so far — razor clams, oyster mushrooms, and wild leeks.

The chefs also prepare hearty food options, like handmade garganelli with fennel lamb ragu, pecorino, and fennel pollen or wood-oven Giannone Ross Ross chickens from Quebec—brined or marinated, available in classic or spiced flavours.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Luke Haines (@chef_lukehaines)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Luke Haines (@chef_lukehaines)

They spot already has a few five-star Google reviews, with patrons noting that the spot is “a warm and sophisticated atmosphere” — a place where people can treat themselves for special occasions or eat there every day.

“Thoughtful dishes incorporate fresh ingredients in a unique way. The menu is beautifully balanced offering vegetables, seafood, and meat,” one patron noted on Google, adding that her favourite dishes are the peppercorn steak and charred escarole.

Another praised the restaurant for being charming and unpretentious.

“Warm service from both front and back of house. Delicious food and a great wine list, with shockingly reasonable prices!”

One local restaurant guide noted that, when you see Martine’s from the street, you’d be forgiven for walking right on by without noticing it.

“Unassuming and understated, Martine’s is nestled behind sister restaurant Bar Raval in a beautifully warm and welcoming space. Whether you’re having a date and sitting in the beautifully adorned mezzanine overlooking the whole space or you’re leaned up at the well-stocked bar, you’ll be met with friendly, knowledgeable servers ready to make your night the best it can be.”

The review also praises the restaurant for its thorough wine list and house cocktails, but adds that it’s the food that truly stands out.  Bonus, at the chef’s table, patrons are able to watch as the chefs work tirelessly to craft incredible, unpretentious food that looks beautiful, but tastes even better.

“Some stand-out dishes from our meal include the Green Sambal Mussels, Spiced Roast Pork Shavings & Arugala, Bavette Steak in peppercorn sauce, and Fish crudo with cucumber, lovage, and chili,” the reviewer wrote. “Each plate was nicely presented and uniquely flavourful in their own ways. Don’t even get me started on the delicious Coffee Kombucha ice cream, sponge cake, and meringue dessert.”

Martine’s Wine Bar is located at 293 Palmerston Ave., near the corner or College St. and Palmerston Ave.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO