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Bent’s card of inventive tapas features salmon gravlax.
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Head to Bestellen and discover that the term “breakfast burger” is not an oxymoron.
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Stuffed chicken wings and peach cobbler cocktail are a big hit at Museum Tavern.
972 College, at Rusholme, 647-341-6769, bestellen.ca. Top Chef Canada season-one runner-up and ex-Mercatto toque Rob Rossi parlays his TV game show near-win into one of the most meatcentric restaurants in town. His dinner menu features the likes of $98 house-aged steaks and whole suckling pig platters, and the brunch carte is only slightly more veggie-friendly. Best: to start, complimentary banana bread straight from the oven dolloped with crème fraîche and crushed walnuts; bags of cinnamon-dusted doughnuts; classic croque madame with house-cured ham, mornay sauce and a pair of runny fried eggs; old-school southern-fried chicken doused in maple syrup sided with jalapeño cornbread muffins, both with organic greens in lemony vinaigrette; massive 8-ounce breakfast burgers on house-baked English muffins dressed with crispy fried onions and bacon jam. Complete brunches for $30 per person, including tax, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $13. Open for brunch Sunday 11 am to 3 pm, dinner nightly from 6 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNN
208 Bloor W, at Avenue Rd, 416-920-0110, museumtavern.ca. With a lineage that goes back to such celebrated boîtes as Bemelmans, Bistro 990 and the Bellair Café, this bustling brasserie has a much more inventive and cosmopolitan carte than most Yorkville hot spots tend to serve. For best results, make a meal of L'Unita chef Stephen Gouzopoulos's multi-culti starters. Best: boneless Buffalo-style chicken wings stuffed with double-smoked bacon and blue cheese; whitefish tostadas with pickled cabbage, adobo mayo and crema fresca; steamed Chinese buns with shredded duck confit and pickled veggies; from the mains, the house double cheeseburger, 7 cooked-to-order ounces of prime beef on a house-baked egg bun dressed with local aged cheddar, lettuce, and onion (hold the sauce), perfectly skinny fries and Asian slaw on the side. Complete dinners for $65 per person (lunches $40), including tax, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $28/$18. Open daily 11:30 am to 11 pm. Bar till close. Closed some holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNN
777 Dundas W, at Markham, 647-352-0092, bentrestaurant.com. Don't come to superstar Susur Lee's latest resto-lounge expecting salad followed by meat 'n' with two veg and dessert. If, however, your tastes run to inventive tapas-style dishes with a preponderance of seafood meant to be shared over exotic cocktails, have we got the boîte for you! Best: sake-cured salmon gravlax over blocks of tamago over horseradish crème fraîche showered with a julienne of toasted nori, a stack of buckwheat blinis on the side; watermelon and tuna ceviche dressed with slivered chilies and lime; a spin on Lee's signature Singapore slaw, duck salad with crackling, kohlrabi and crispy taro ribbons finished with exotic sprouts and edible flowers; buttery foie gras and chicken pâté with tapenade-spread brioche, ice-wine syrup and onion marmalade. Complete tapas-style dinners for $60 per person, including tax, tip and a cocktail. Average tapas $16. Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30 to 10:30 pm. Bar till close. Closed Sunday, Monday, some holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNNN