It seems nearly impossible that I could love Leslieville any more than I already do, but then partners, Harry and Daniel, of Pizzeria Libretto (my favourite place!) and Enoteca Sociale go ahead and open up their new restaurant on the east side of the city – those smart cookies. The east end, and Leslieville in particular, is the god damn bomb. I love it so much that I’m having second thoughts about telling you how much I love it because I don’t want its lovely sleepiness to ever disappear. Best of all, the area is filled with amazing restaurants, including the mind-blowingly good brunch spot, Lady Marmalade. Now, I have a new nighttime spot, Skin + Bones Wine Bar, that, in even more exciting news, features my friend, Matthew Sullivan (remember him from the best ever Friends with Cooking Skillz?) as head chef.

Matthew was nice enough to invite me to the restaurant the night before their official opening, to experience Skin + Bones alongside the team’s friends and family. Since I tried every single thing on the menu except for the two items that were sold out (they were just snacks so don’t worry too much), this will give you a good idea of what you can you expect to find when you make the trip over the bridge.

A treat from the kitchen: crispy calamari on top of refried beans with a pinch of tequila worm salt.

This is their Rhode Island Marinated Squid Noodles salad and it’s a-mazing! I mean, have you ever even heard of squid noodles? They are essentially just thin strips of squid that would easily fool any less adventurous eaters. It was also surprisingly spicy for anyone who loves a bit of KICK to their food.

Chicken tails! This was a fun little snack to have around the table throughout the meal for all to share. You guessed it, they’re little deep friend chicken tails served with home fries.

If there’s one thing Chef Matthew does really well, it’s come up with the most unexpected pairings of flavours and styles. This dish is a prime example of his work, these are fried potatoes in a clam and uni cream sauce. To my knowledge, men don’t like uni, never mind volunteer to cook with it! He is special, and so is this dish.

This dish is called the Gnocchi with Uni bottarga. The dough is made from celery root and potatoes, while the sauce is confit tomatoes, garlic and chilli. The dish is garnished with fried bread crumbs and uni which add a fantastic texture and crunch.

Chicken & Wine – could there be a better combination in life? For this dish, the chicken id de-boned and then wrapped in its own skin. Then it is cooked sous vide for 2 hours. Before it is served, it is pan seared to make the skin nice and crispy. The side is a rutabaga puree with red wine and blue cheese sauce.

Donuts are everywhere lately – but are the ones near you brioche? Probs not. The Skin + Bones team deep fries brioche dough and serves it with a burnt white chocolate suave and dehydrated white chocolate.

This version of sticky toffee pudding is made with red beets and figs, served with a bone marrow caramel sauce! Also garnished with a chantilly cream (vanilla cream) that altogether = heaven in your mouth – and that’s coming from a girl who doesn’t like dessert!

Welcome to the neighbourhood Skin + Bones!