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Solera Review

SOLERA

Neighbourhood:  South Osborne
Address:  725 Osborne Street
Phone:  204-219-2276
Entrees:  $10 – $35

Tucked within corner spot Tabula Rasa, behind the façade of a bookshelf decoy, you find Solera, a delightful loungey space elegantly appointed with Mediterranean touches and sumptuous seating operating as an ultra-hip speakeasy inspired bar serving imaginative drinks and food. 

It’s a get in when you can kind of place. Though, once you’re in, the reward is enough to forget any wait there was to win the pleasure. Past the discreet entrance the martinis are appropriately icy, cocktails are fragrant and enchanting, and nibbles are revelatory. 

A handsome bar, appointed with bartenders pouring tinctured liquids vigorously shaken into vintage glassware, is the centerpiece of the beautiful Spanish influenced décor. Behind it, backlighting evoking porcelain tiles cleverly coordinates with antique style pendant lights and textured textiles. It’s a space one could imagine stumbling upon walking the streets of Barcelona. 

A broad and interesting one page food menu shared with TR suitable for sharing, takes diners from fresh seafood to elk tenderloin. Seafood-centric delicacies run the gamut from oysters to Mediterranean adored cockles, mussels and white anchovies on Fridays and Saturdays. 

To start any day, scallop crudo practically melts in your mouth, enlivened with perky passionfruit, pickled radish, made even more savoury with plump dollops of trout roe shining like bubbles, and pops of chili oil. 

The kitchen’s prowess with unexpected veggies, featured in hot and cold dishes, is worth a visit alone. Sunchokes and salsify, roasted and braised, sitting atop a saffron kissed mousseline, punctuated with the sourness of pickled shallots and sweet earthiness of toasted walnuts, make a memorable first impression. 

The Burrata and Brussels is best in class, a cheese that arrives mostly surrounded by tomatoes, amid shaved leaves of Brussels sprouts here mingling in buttermilk and poppyseed dressing. Pleasantly salty guanciale, sour apple, cucumber and puffed quinoa round out a texturally triumphant medley.

It’s a polished operation, professional yet friendly delivering under-the-radar vibes with better booze and exquisite food for today’s thirsty set seeking a lovely place to hide out or simply thirsty for something delicious.