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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bar Bricco - No Holds Barred

No reservations. No nonsense. No holds barred.

These three descriptors, when taken together, nicely sum up Bar Bricco. Bar Bricco is right downtown, the nearest neighbour of Corso 32. Both share the same mastermind, the incomparable Daniel Costa. Similarities end there. Bricco trades Corso's bare incandescent bulbs and pared-down simplicity for thundering blackness punctuated by a backlit bar framed by pitch-black, honeycombed wallpaper of sorts. Not that Bar Bricco isn't underscored by simplicity of food and drink, but the honeycomb - I'm quite certain - is not accidental. Few things in this realm are left to accident, chance, or happenstance.


Black honeycomb is apropos; on its maiden evening, Bar Bricco breathes and throbs with the pulse of downtown. New downtown - not the old one where everyone packed up, drove home, and shut their garages and drapes tightly to lock away the outside world, leaving naught but desolate streets that waited, in vain, for rebirth. No; tonight, the evening begins with a shot of herbal amaro that precedes a platter of Culatello. Akin to proscuitto, culatello is finer, more fragrant and more fragile - if indeed that were possible.


Eggs Cacio e Pepe arrive with a basket of crisp, toothsome crostini. It would be grossly erroneous to intimate that this dish is a re-imagining of eggs on toast. Hardly. Such comparisons are specious. Barely-scrambled eggs are dusted with cheese and pepper. Nothing more, nothing less.


As the night swoons on, wedges of Pincion cheese impart cheeky contradictions that vacillate between crumbly and creamy, brazen yet demure, and self-assured yet impressionable. This cheese hails from northeastern Italy. Veneto, to be exact. Pincion has surely found a home on Jasper Avenue.

By now, crowds rub shoulder to shoulder, unknowingly choreographed by the infrasonic interaction of music, food and drink. There are no reservations, but no one minds. Everything, as the crescendo of animated conversation arcs, subsides, and suggests, led up to this point. It wasn't by chance either.


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