What is it? What started as a wine bar between two friends who share a passion for collecting fine vino, resulted in Figaro, a sweet spot sandwiched on the staircase that runs between Hollywood Road down to Gough Street. This tucked-away location is enhanced by the cool neighbourhood it inhabits, giving Figaro a hidden gem appeal that when coupled with its open-fronted design, set over two floors, provides a nice locale for whiling away the hours over fine wines.
The wines: Housing over 2,000 bottles of wine, the cellar takes up a good portion of this tiny bistro with the bottles being nearly exclusively French in origin. We sipped a wonderfully balanced Fleur De Lotus from Alsace as well as a lush and fruity Syrah that made for perfect pairings with the cuisine.
The food: It’s a short and sweet menu of reasonably priced dishes done well. The dishes themselves are surprisingly adventurous for a wine bar and most hit the mark with aplomb. We began with a pleasant charcuterie platter generously portioned with cold meats, rilletes, a small selection of cheeses and pickles. We were then served an impressive langoustine tartare ($115) topped with a cucumber consomme that combined with the oil of the langoustine to make a refreshing yet filling soup with a number of textural elements that kept things interesting.
We sampled another dish of pollock ($140) with an inventive and delicious gin and oyster sauce that was served surrounded by bulbous bites of salmon roe and tiny, salty herring roe that contrasted with the crunchy asparagus and was decorated with edible flowers for a fresh and nourishing dish that we all enjoyed. We were intrigued by the sweet and sour lamb ($145) that appeared like a lamb meatball only to reveal a second layer of sliced lamb beneath. The meats were surrounded by an apple and shiso foam and savoy cabbage for a well rounded main dish.
Desserts: We unfortunately weren’t crazy about the two desserts we sampled, the tarte ($85) tatin was accented with black garlic, which we aren’t sure worked flavour-wise, and the poached peach with cardamom mousse and smoked cream ($85) was a bit pungent for us as we generally prefer a sweeter touch to our sweets.
Verdict: We were heartily satisfied by the delightful savoury dishes, exceptional wines and relaxing yet vibey setting and would readily recommend Figaro. We are very likely to return to this lovely new addition to the NoHo area especially as they are starting to do a lunch set from June with two courses for $150 or three for $190.
2 Shin Hing Street, Central