Photo by Jennifer Gauld
GEORGE 111 Queen E, at Mutual, 416-863-6006, georgeonqueen.com.
Not only is this temple to haute gastronomy one of the few in town that offers a five-course vegetarian tasting menu ($80), but it doesn't require reservations either. Walk-ins are welcome.
Even better, each diner gets a different dish for each course, so there's no getting stuck with the same thing. The tasting begins with either a carpaccio of local tomato dressed with kalamata olives and imported Italian burrata or pickled shimeji mushrooms with a grapefruit and wild rice salad. Follow with crisply deep-fried baby artichokes over farro sofritto or a satay of porcini with sweet potato pommes Anna.
Mains mean tofu seared with arugula tempura and red-pepper miso or grilled with seasonal veg. A cheese intermezzo - Chamblé and Grey Owl goat cheeses, an Ontario Valley 10-year-old cheddar with house-baked brioche - leads to dessert, lately an apple sponge pudding cake finished with pistachio caramel or Bavarian cruellers with a Sambuca ganache.
Lunch Monday to Friday noon to 2:30 pm, dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30 to 10:30 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. Licensed. Access: four steps at door, washrooms on same floor.