The intersection of Queen and Carlaw has seen a boom in dining options in the past months with the arrival of Paulette’s, Leslieville Pumps, and bacon-sandwich shop Rashers, the latter of which is still in construction mode. Slated to join them is Skin and Bones, a large wine bar taking over what used to be an auto parts shop at 980 Queen St. E. (at Carlaw).*
“It’s essentially a wine-focussed restaurant,” says partner Daniel Clarke, formerly of Pizzeria Libretto and Enoteca Sociale. “We’ll have 40 to 50 wines by the glass. We’ll start with 40 labels by the bottle first, and the plan is to grow it with every year and get it to the hundreds. We’ll be focussing on emerging regions and finding those hidden gems.”
The 5,200-square foot space was where Irish pub An Sibín was going to open had The Real Jerk legal battle dragged on any longer. But when that cleared up, Clarke and partner Harry Wareham moved in around August. (They had worked together at Jacobs and Co., as well as Libretto and Enoteca.)
The place will seat about 90 guests, but Clarke says that, upon opening, they’ll restrict the restaurant space to 3,200 square feet and eventually use the rest of the space for private dining or as a wine cellar.
Former Malena chef Matthew Sullivan, who also runs a pop-up dinner series called Boxed, says the food will be inspired by cuisines of the wine regions the bar will be featuring. Examples include beef-heart tartare and pork belly with octopus and bone marrow.
As for the name, it’s less of a play on the “Eat! Eat! You’re nothing but skin and bones” catchphrase embedded in the minds of grandmas everywhere and more of a reflection of the menus: The skin refers to the grape skins in wine, while the bones signify the food menu. Skin and Bones is aiming to open in November. —Karon Liu
Pictured at top: Partners Daniel Clarke and Harry Wareham with chef Matt Sullivan
CORRECTION, OCTOBER 15, 2012: The original version of this article listed an incorrect address; Skin and Bones will be located at 980 Queen St. E.