First Look: Figures

Image: Libby Roach

Curating the curious, and dining the daring, Figures is a speakeasy resto-lounge concept from dynamic duo Nader Marzouk and Patrick Marzouk, brothers and restaurateurs who obviously have a deep rooted obsession in both comics, and hospitality.

Taking over the neglected pocket of Av and Dav that previously housed Coco Lezzone, the space has morphed completely changing from thug life mafia-esque Godfather hangout to hidden hideaway. The entrance beams with buzzing neon and is completely covered in decoupage style comics, artfully laid and arranged with hidden messages and graffiti-style tags, along with a shelf of nostalgic toys and trinkets.

Image: Libby Roach

A concealed Captain American festooned button is deployed and a door slowly opens to reveal the 80 seat restaurant. Plushy circular banquettes anchor the entry, and a half set of stairs guides you to more seating and the bar area. Designed by Prototype Design Lab, the restaurant is meant for late nights, with a gutsy high contrast palette dotted with lux gold bar wear and probably the raddest retro ceiling in existence.

Patrick and Nader are also owners of way west end &Company Resto Bar in Mississauga, but always wanted to open a space in Yorkville that was trendy, yes, but also inviting and fun. With villains and heroes covering literally everything, even the cocktails, Figures is what you would expect if Comic book man from the Simpsons opened a chic night club. Service is friendly and intuitive, with a bar program from one of the best in the biz, James Bailey (Furlough) and food executed by Chef Ron Stratton (Centro, Auberge du Pommier).

Image: Libby Roach

Plates are seasonal, but not relegated to any strict 100km mission. Chef Ron uses ingredients that are local but draws creativeness from just about everywhere- other chefs in previous kitchens, his childhood, travel, even Food Network.

Standouts like the handmade Pasta ($22) change up frequently, here with chanterelle mushrooms and spinach fettucine.

Handmade Pasta (Image: Libby Roach)

Cherrystone Clams ($16) highlight Chef Ron’s inspiration and ability to marry different flavours into the menu, with a slurp-worthy Thai style Kaffir lime and coconut milk sauce soaking into the clam’s crevices.

Cherrystone Clams (Image: Libby Roach)

Octopus ($20) with black garlic aioli pairs well with the Lump Crab ($26) here, served in a duo, with a citrusy loose crab meat salad holding up a crispy cake and watercress garnish.

Lump Crab (Image: Libby Roach)

Veggies are dressed to kill too, with pretty plating on point for the Beet ($14) with a goat cheese puff. Fairytale Eggplant ($12) are specially bred for their adorable size and boast a sweet finishing note.

The space beckons you to linger and people watch, and the cocktails echo that vibe. James created two menus, Classic and Contemporary to wash down all the scenery with, or perhaps channel your inner comic book ego. Maleficent ($19) comes out swinging with 3oz of Rye, pineapple juice, bitters, activated charcoal and a wave of absinthe, and yes, of course it’s on fire too.

Maleficent (Image: Libby Roach

Lower key cocktails like the Rarely on Target ($20) are almost too cool to drink, topped with a storm trooper and concocted with coconut milk and Bacardi Maestro. James can pull pints too, with Estrella Damm, Stella Artois, Goose Island and Mill Street all in rotation.

Rarely on Target (Image: Libby Roach)

But with no TV’s in sight, the place is posh after all- so leave your sports games for the pub. DJ’s are in rotation here, so dress to impress, think Clark Kent, not Incredible Hulk.

Figures is open for dinner service from Tuesday-Saturday, but stay tuned for brunch and lunch announcements in the coming months.

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Are you planning on dining at Figures? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe

Libby Roach

Libby Roach

Libby Roach has been following Toronto's food scene since 2011, stalking chefs, overeating and indulging to bring you the best bites in Hogtown. You can follow her new food adventures over at
Libby Roach