FABARNAK 519 Church, at Dundonald, 416-355-6781, fabarnak.com.
Overlooking Cawthra Park, this stylish café in the 519 Community Centre ain't your ordinary restaurant. What other T.O. bistro would rather feed the homeless on Sundays than serve brunch to yuppies?
But its chef Jason Becker's ever-changing four-course vegetarian Square Peg tasting meals ($10 lunch/$15 dinner) that really put the cheekily named joint on the foodie map. Start with slices of Ace baguette stacked with organic arugula, sweetly pickled oyster mushrooms and creamy house-made ricotta. A warm fingerling salad comes tossed with barely wilted kale and a hard-boiled duck egg gribiche laced with capers and cornichons.
A crispy round of panko-crusted eggplant dressed with romesco sauce and a tangle of raw fennel could be a vegan spin on eggplant parmigiana, while a compact wedge of roasted white chocolate 'n' brittle pie sports a perfect pastry crust. What's the secret?
"It's 50 per cent butter!" laughs Becker.
Monday to Saturday 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, lunch Monday to Friday from 11 am, dinner Thursday to Saturday from 5 pm. Brunch Saturday 9 am to 4 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free.