Eight Wine Bar
8 Colborne St.
Ambience: The former Doku 15 has taken on new life in recent months, transformed into an oenophile’s paradise replete with contemporary accents, but far warmer and more inviting than in its previous incarnation. Toronto uber-sommelier Zoltan Szabo has hand-picked Eight’s extensive wine list (roughly 70 selections all available by the glass and bottle) which he plans to fully rotate every month. “People are more knowledgeable, they travel, they have access to the Internet and they’re more open-minded,” Szabo says of the reasoning behind such an extensive and varied list featuring bottles from traditional hot spots such as France, Italy, but with a nod to burgeoning wine producers such as Israel and Greece.
Crowd: Expect to find a clientele in their mid-20s to late-30s, largely composed of corporate types during the week with a more casual crowd on weekends. Even if they’re here to do business, Eight’s brand of lively serenity compels customers to sit back and enjoy the time they spend here.
Dress code: A Bay Street crowd will typically arrive in business-friendly attire, but on weekends, stylish casual wear should suffice.
Will I get lucky? Never say never, but don’t bet your last Grand Cru on it.
Should I dance on the bar? Absolutely not.
Best reason to pay a visit: Szabo’s innovative presentation of wine in 3 oz., 5 oz. and 8 oz. serving sizes, not to mention his helpful tasting notes to aid novices and connoisseurs alike.
Cocktail du jour: Obviously wine, but with dozens from which to choose, where to begin? The Palmina Dolcetto from California would be a good start, but for a second glass, pick a spot in the world you’ve always wanted to visit — odds are they have one of the region’s wines on offer. But next month, the menu changes again!
Hours: 4:30 p.m. to close. 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. lunch hours to commence in April.