City Bites

Now open! Jon Svazas (Fauna) launches Bar Laurel in Hintonburg

Two years after opening Fauna restaurant in Centretown, chef Jon Svazas has launched a second eatery in Hintonburg. Bar Laurel (1087 Wellington St. W.) makes the most of two wood-fired ovens, offering a menu heavily influenced by Spain and its Mediterranean neighbours. Svazas, who made time for a quick spring trip to Spain for inspiration, is offering a tapas menu that guests can enjoy with a glass of wine, as well as large, family-style sharing plates.

Bar Laurel opens for dinner starting Tuesday, July 19 and will also be hosting a “communal-style” Sunday brunch. No reservations at this time, though Svazas says they will begin taking them for certain areas of the compact restaurant once they get a sense of how guests want to enjoy the space.

Read the detailed backstory on Bar Laurel before you go. City Bites did a full interview with Svazas a few months ago when he first announced his plans.

City Bites Hot Tip: Try the conservas (marinated appetizers) and pinchos morunos (skewered meat cooked on Svazas’ new charcoal barbecues). The chef’s favourite personal bite right now? A tiny squid stuffed with merguez (a spicy, North African sausage).

City Bites Factoid: We thought Laurel might be the name of the chef’s wife, but Bar Laurel is actually named after a street. Calle del Laurel is located in the heart of the medieval city of Logroño in northern Spain. Here, close to 50 top-notch tapas bars are crammed into a single block.