Moliceiro Restaurant opened last night at 217 Ossington. The space was long occupied by sustainable seafood restaurant Fishbar until it’s surprising closure last summer, and then replaced for a very short time by Return to Oz. Since then, the empty space has been renovated into a rustic room with exposed brick walls, pretty lights in the entryway, and a giant mural in the back of one of the owners cooking pig on a spit.
Moliceiro bills itself as modern Portuguese cuisine. When we went to the opening night last night we felt almost like we were at a Portuguese family’s house for a potluck dinner. It was a “sneak peek” buffet offering for opening night, with pans of all the different menu items they will regularly serve a la carte, which provided an opportunity to get a taste of everything. The Portuguese menu included the traditional potatoes, but with a sweeter sauce than we expected, the suckling pig, churrasco chicken, and tarts for dessert. Also on the table: a cheese platter, varieties of rolls and breads, salads, breaded lamb chop with lentils, cod cakes, and a shrimp and mussels paella type dish.
A musician was playing classic rock inside the open garage door style window. Most of the customers seemed to be family and friends – we’ve heard the place is being run by family members of the owners of Alex Rei dos Leitos. If they can maintain the quality level of the churrasco they’ve been serving for decades next door, they should be able to find a customer base.
We were told by one of the servers last night that Moliceiro is where the owner’s father is from in Portugal. It turns out – after a wiki search – these are traditional Portuguese boats common to the Alveiro region. That boat is incorporated into their logo.
Moliceiro will have regular dinner service plus brunch on the weekends. They have a full bar, an assortment of Portuguese wines, and some Canadian craft beers on tap like Hops & Bolts and Creemore.
The suckling pig:
Beer taps and bar: