Mint, a stylish, low-key tapas and wine bar just opened at One West Strand, the site of the former Downtown Café. “We wanted to open up something with a nice atmosphere, a place to come for cocktails and tapas-style food,” said Alessandra Tecchio, who operates Mint with her sister, Ileana. Alessandra is also proprietress of Dolce café, around the corner, and she is now extending her culinary talents to the night crowd.
The food has a distinctly Mediterranean accent, not surprising considering the sisters’ native city is Venice, Italy. There are 10 tapas and 5 desserts on the menu, ranging from $3 to $12. Sample dishes include prosciutto on homemade focaccia with fig conserve (figs carmelized with onions in balsamic vinegar), a kale or white bean bruschetta, and a cheese fondue, with ham, bread, and fruit. There’s also a chocolate fondue, with berries, pound cake, pretzels, and macaroons. Other desserts are tiramisu and strawberries with mascarpone and limoncello.
The wines are French and Italian, along with an Argentine vintage, and include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cote du Rhone, and Fume Blanc. Mint opened with a performance by internationally known jazz singer Rebecca Martin, who also happens to be a Kingston resident. “Right now we’re doing music once a month,” with plans to expand the live performances to twice a month. Mint is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to midnight.