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Rating: NNNNNFOCACCIA (17 Hayden, 323-0179) Chef Sam Gassira joins the pantheon of artistes -- Patriot's David Chrystian, Roxborough's Elaina Asselin.


Rating: NNNNN


FOCACCIA (17 Hayden, 323-0179) Chef Sam Gassira joins the pantheon of artistes — Patriot’s David Chrystian, Roxborough’s Elaina Asselin — who are shaking the foundations of Toronto’s old-guard dining scene. Best: osso buco with anchovy-spiked portobello gravy and crisp asparagus multi-mushroom risotto with a cornbread-dusted crown of calamari gazpacho unlike any you’ve ever tasted semi-sweet dark chocolate tart. Complete dinners for $40 per person ($25 at lunch), including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Open for lunch Monday to Friday 11:30 to 2:30 pm, and for dinner Tuesday to Saturday 6 to 10 pm. Closed Sunday and holidays. Fully licensed. Access: one step at door, 18 steps to washrooms on second floor. Rating: NNNNN

PATRIOT (131 Bloor West, 922-0025) Ex-Cafe Societa whiz kid David Chrystian re-materializes in the Colonnade with an inspired take on Canadian cuisine. And there’s a $25 three-course prix fixe! Reservations essential. Best: stuffed saddle of rabbit with lentil tourtière velvet-centred sauteed calf’s liver over broccoli puree and sunchoke-and-red-onion stew in black-mustard-seed sauce other-worldly chevre cheesecake. Complete dinners for $50 per person ($30 at lunch), including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch 11:30 am to 3 pm and for dinner 5:30 to 10:30 pm. Closed Sunday and holidays. Fully licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNNN

SUSUR (601 King West, 603-2205) Susur Lee is one of the top chefs in the world today, and here’s proof. Occasionally, the food borders on overkill, but what a spectacular way to go! Best: place yourself in the hands of a genius and order the $100-per-person multi-course tasting menu. Complete dinners for $160 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Open for dinner Monday to Saturday 6 to 10:30 pm. Fully licensed. Smoke-free. Access: slight step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN

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