Walking in the door of Pray Tell at College and Ossington I think I’m in a wine bar. Dimmed lighting, 80’s modern decor and an abundance of greenery defy the snack bar concept I’m about to explore.
The idea of a restaurant where you can have a few drinks and some nibbles instead of a full-fledged meal is not embraced nearly enough in the city. After the success of sister restaurant Track and Field owners Nickie Minshall and Dustin Keating decided they wanted something more food related and brought in Chef Sonia Mondino (Note Bene, Patois, Home of the Brave, Porchetta and Co.)
Travelling across Asia at the time Mondino had yet to star in a kitchen as head chef and knew this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. Passionate not only about the food, Mondino cares just as much about her staff who she considers family. Her travels play a huge role in her seasonally changing menu.
Crispy Dumplings are served with an au jus (from the braised short ribs) and they are exactly how you want your dumplings to taste. The crispy addition of the potato starch is both addictive and mind-blowing.
Roasted Garlic in a Clementine oil, with honey and olives requires multiple requests for more sourdough bread as you want to devour every last drop.
Mondino’s signature dish is by far the perfection that is her pizza pockets. This college student staple has been updated using lemon herb oil alongside meat Bolognese and lot’s of melty cheese. A vegetarian option is also available.
While at first glance it appeared wine bar-esque, Pray Tell is actually a brilliant spot to get a killer cocktail or pint of beer. Bar manager Max Brunke has created a perfect accompaniment to Mondino’s ever changing, outstanding menu. Soups, heartier mains and more are slowly finding their place.
Pray Tell is one of those places that draws you in time and again. A spot for a first date, late night snack, after work tipple or even a moment of peace on your own the warmth Mondino exudes to everyone through her hospitality and food makes everyone feel at home.
838 College Street