Tuck into grilled chicken wings with coriander hot sauce at Big Crow.
Big Crow 176 Dupont, at St George, 647-342-0580, roseandsonsbigcrow.com, @roseandsons Ex-Drake chef Anthony Rose rebounds with a year-round backyard barbecue located behind his popular Rose and Son diner. Where else will you find picnic tables, shareable church-social plates and the occasional passing freight train? Best: retro Shrimp Louie salads with shredded iceberg, sliced avocado, hard-boiled egg and a handful of Quebecois cocktail shrimp in Thousand Island dressing; uncut jerk chicken wings with grilled pineapple splashed with coriander hot sauce; smoked Cornish hen in garlicky pesto; whole grilled rabbits with buttery hot sauce; on the side, baby red potato salad with grilled cremini mushrooms; grilled corn salad with crumbly feta-like queso and crema fresca; to finish, profiterole-like s'mores ice cream sandwiches with roasted marshmallows. Complete dinners for $50 per person (lunches $40), including tax, tip and a Mai Tai. Average main $18. Open Thursday to Sunday 11 am to close, Monday to Wednesday 5 pm to close. Closed some holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: three steps at door, three steps to washroom. Rating: NNNN
Hummingbird 1276 Queen E, at Alton, 647-748-3004, thehummingbird.ca, @hummingbirdTO Conveniently located directly across the street from the Leslieville Beer Store, Otis Creary's island-inspired bistro-cum-take-away breathes new life into tradition-bound Caribbean cuisine. Best: to start, saltfish and ackee bruschetta on house-baked bammy flatbread; aggressively spiced jerk chicken over local greens with sliced avocado, baby grape tomatoes and caramelized plantain croutons in thyme-scented balsamic vinaigrette; delicate dal puri rotis stuffed with callaloo, chickpeas and pumpkin squash; Friday and Saturday nights, jerk pork kebabs with sweet peppers and pineapple sided with grilled corn, roasted sweet potatoes or cornbread; at weekday lunch, $6 specials like jerk or Jamaican fried chicken with coleslaw and rice 'n' peas; for dessert, blueberry Sno-Cones. Complete dinners for $25 (lunches $15), including tax, tip and a beer. Open Monday 11 am to 4 pm, Tuesday to Saturday 11 am to 10 pm. Closed Sunday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN
Silk Road 438 Horner, at Beta, 416-259-9440 There are several things you need to know before making the trek to the GTA's sole Uighur restaurant. Unless you arrive just as the doors open, you'll need a reservation, and even then it's only good for an hour. Park directly in front of the resto or risk the wrath of the neighbours. If you don't like lamb, you're screwed. And unless you go as a group, be prepared for leftovers. Best: grilled lamb kebabs dusted in cumin; tender on-the-bone lamb shank in clear broth thick with chopped parsley, green onion and Thai bird chilies; made-to- hare platters of the kitchen's celebrated handmade lasagna-like laghman noodles layered with chicken, peppers and leeks in an aggressive cumin gravy spiked with whole cloves of garlic and star anise. Complete dinners for $20 per person, including tax, tip and a Canada Dry. Average main $15. Open Monday to Saturday 3 pm to 1 am. Reservations accepted. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: short step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN