I had dinner Friday night at Oasi. It's opened in the former Mildred Pierce space at 99 Sudbury. For those that aren't familiar, it's a bit of an isolated warehouse area south of Queen West at Dovercourt. The street and buildings are much like New York's meat packing district, however the tenants vary from indoor golf, offices, fitness, to this, a fine dining restaurant. This variance leaves it always quite empty given the fact the visitors times may overlap but are not synced.
Albino Silva is the co-owner of Oasi, and is a long time fixture in Toronto's restaurant scene. Watching him move about the restaurant during dinner, allows a glimpse into the efficiency and perfection which he demands in the operations. He was always only a few paces away watching as a dish is served, or a wine glass is filled. I was impressed with the unwavering eye he offered. We arrived close to 9, and there were only a hand full of tables occupied. The space is formidable. The ceilings are three+ stories high and the detailing grand. A space like this deserves, and needs to be filled with a bustle of people. It reminded me allot of Terroni on Adelaide. The energy from the patrons is half the charm.
I can always point out design choices I'm not keen on, and this for sure has a few strange chair selections, perhaps a home depot door I'm not crazy about. We are however but a sum of our parts, and Oasi was beautiful, unique, had exceptional service and that's without speaking to the food. I've not had a more delicious, simplistic, perfect meal in, well I can't remember when. We ordered a bottle of red, Portuguese, but I'm afraid I can't remember the name. It was fantastic. I started with the roasted beet salad, ate no less than 4 pieces of fresh bread with olive oil, then had the mushroom risotto as my main. I was so incredibly stuffed I honestly felt ill.....but I kept eating. The risotto was ridiculous. I didn't know rice could taste like that, ridiculous. It was so good in fact, I stood up and walked around in hopes of freeing some space to fit a dessert. The hollow leg didn't let me down....we ordered two desserts and shared.
The food and beverage director Jaime Duran was lovely throughout the meal. Chatting about business and the area. She brought us each a nip of the most amazing liquor to enjoy with dessert. I had her write it down.... It's called Skinos Mastiha Spirit. It smells like carrots but has the most floral and lovely taste. reminded me of having lavender truffles. It's a bit odd but so unexpectedly wonderful.
I wouldn't just recommend Oasi. I feel the need to tell you, you must go, and bring friends....many many friends.