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Experience the rich flavours of French-Moroccan cuisine from Atai Bistro, a new restaurant in the Junction area currently operating as an online pop-up, as they await for COVID-19 restrictions to ease before officially opening their doors.
Drawing it's influence from regional Moroccan dishes, Atai Bistro aims to incorporate creative spice infusions and classic French cooking techniques to execute their vision of celebrating traditional Moroccan flavours from a modern approach.
The word "Atai" itself is rooted in tradition and hospitality in Morocco, representing the country's cherished tea culture and means "moments" in Hebrew. As a result, their vision is to merge the two values to reflect their restaurant, which will provide a welcoming experience and one that's memorable.
A big focus for the restaurant group is the philosophy of coming together, enjoying every aspect of the experience they provide, from the food, the environment and the people you're enjoying it with. Eventually, when the space opens for dining in, they'll offer both street-level seating and a curb-side patio lounge dressed up with large planters, umbrella shading for the daytime diners and candlelit table tops for those in the evening. Atai Bistro encourages you to "Come share a meal and a moment at one of the city's most intimate, warm and relaxed patio atmospheres," once it is safe to do so.
On the pop-up menu right now, you can find a handful of options like Smoked Eggplant Flatbread that's accompanied by layers of pickled zucchini pomegranate and tahini, as well as two Mezze Platter options with little bites of a variety of offerings such as halloumi cheese, harissa paste, prosciutto di parma and more.
According to Atai Bistro, their Basteeya is a must-try menu item as it's their signature dish inspired by the classic Morrocan B'stilla, a traditional chicken pie encased in sheets of pastry.
Atai Bistro's Basteeya is a savoury braised chicken pie, with almonds, crispy phyllo pastry and creamy brown butter hollandaise, described as "A delicious introduction to the world of Moroccan cuisine."
If you're hoping to get a taste of this Moroccan-French inspired restaurant, but the Junction is just a bit out of your way, you may be in luck because Atai Bistro is also set to open a second location over the summer in the Summerhill area at 1212 Yonge Street, in partnership with the retail store Thirty Six Knots.
You can also look forward to the summer launch of Atai Pantry, where they will be offering vibrant, colourful custom spice blends that will allow you to take home the bold flavours of Moroccan cooking and incorporate them in dishes of your own outside of the restaurant.
Atai Bistro is open for takeout via their website Wednesday through Saturday from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. on UberEats, DoorDash and SkipTheDishes.
Be sure to follow along with Atai Bistro's journey on Instagram to keep updated with their new summer ventures and get a glimpse of their gorgeous interior, before you get the chance to enjoy their newly renovated space yourself.