Cowbell, 1564 Queen West, at sorauren, 416-849-1095
No other local resto captures the current culinary zeitgeist as accurately as Mark Cutrara's (pictured) Cowbell. Subscribing to the food philosophy that what grows together goes together, the iconoclastic chef not only butchers his own naturally raised beef, but also grows organic veggies on his roof. Why, he even churns his own butter. Toss in a perfectly sized room, calm, focused service and a soundtrack conducive to conversation and the foodies deservedly flock.
But the privilege of being a locovore comes at a cost. Will Cowbell's pricey farm-focused card still fly in a downsized economy?
"Some think that local food and the organic movement are for the über-rich and nobody's going to be able to afford it," says Cowbell manager and front-of-house Neal Murphy, who's minding the shop while Cutrara's in Italy, foraging for truffles, no doubt.
"On the contrary, people need to get more connected with food. We need to rethink, and in slow times, that's what Cowbell's doing."