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Tons of restaurants, crossing cultures, every week


Brunch

Edulis 169 Niagara, at Wellington W, 416-703-4222, edulisrestaurant.com. After being named one of the best new restaurants of 2012 in the country by no less an authority than Air Canada’s En Route magazine, Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth relinguish their acclaimed nightly multi-course tasting menu for a proper Sunday lunch. Six courses for $40 is a steal! Best: start with the likes of warm house-baked crusty bread spread with Stirling Creamery butter and chicken liver mousse smaller plates like smoked albacore tuna with heirloom carrots and tapenade toasts Huevos Estrellados over fried potatoes and crumbled chorizo croquetas thick with nutty béchamel coq au vin with foraged mushrooms, raw celery root julienne and chicken-fat rice watermelon-radish salad in a shallot vinaigrette caramel pudding cake with vanilla custard and strawberries. Complete lunches for $65 per person, including tax, tip and a glass of wine. Open for lunch Sunday noon to 3 pm. Reservations essential. Licensed. Access: two short steps at door, small washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNNN

Hey! 89 Roncesvalles, at Pearson, 647-748-0439. Following in the tradition of Rosebud, Citizen and Hey Meatball, Rodney Bowers’s abbreviated west-side bistro combines all three, equal parts juice bar, in-house patisserie and comfort food café. Stellar service, a gorgeous 65-seat room and family-friendly price points make this one of the best brunches around. Best: ex-Mistura pastry chef Leslie Cairns’s cheesy scones and not-too-sticky cinnamon buns breakfast pizzas dressed with spicy pork sausage, nutty Asiago cheese and the requisite runny-yolked egg the daily quiche, like classic butter crust topped with whipped eggs, caramelized leek and pecorino cheese old-school tourtière with ground grass-fed beef and diced carrot ‘n’ onion, sided with organic greens in evo chocolate-dipped donuts dense blueberry bread pudding. Complete brunches for $30 per person, including tax, tip and a gluten-free kale Caesar. Average main $12. Open for brunch Saturday 9 am to 3 pm, Sunday 9 am to 4 pm. Licensed. Access: short step at door, eight steps to dining room, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN

Karelia Kitchen 1194 Bloor W, at Brock, 647-748-1194, kareliakitchen.com. Leif Kravis and Donna Ashley bring a touch of Nordic cool to sleepy Bloordale. Anyone old enough to remember the Copenhagen Room in the Colonnade will be in heaven. Best: to share, the Smokehouse Platter with house-smoked salmon, organic chicken, trout and cured pork tenderloin with sweet ‘n’ sour pickles, grainy mustard, fig preserves and Ryvita flatbread crisp potato rosti dressed with beet-cured gravlax, smoked trout and slow-poached eggs scrambled ducks’ eggs sided with smoked salmon and home fries smoky bacon ‘n’ potato hash with over-easy eggs massive blueberry griddle cakes with whipped maple butter, green-apple compote and dehydrated pear chips open-faced sandwiches to finish, gluten-free chocolate cake house-baked lemon-lime shortbread cookies and black-pepper ginger snaps. Complete brunches for $35 per person, including tax, tip and an Akvavit Sour. Average main $14. Open for brunch Saturday 11:30 am to 3 pm, Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. No reservations. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNNN

Red Fish 890 College, at Delaware, 416-733-3474, redfishresto.com. Fishbar vets David Friedman and Jamie Duran’s cozy west-side bistro offers a civilized alternative to our too-often frenzied weekend ritual. Why, they even take reservations! Best: to start, $5 Caesars and mimosas followed by flaky house-baked scones spread with tart rhubarb and sweet plum preserves gluten-free mains like sustainable Ocean Wise rainbow trout tartare with peppery arugula and crispy fish skin replacing traditional toast points seared confit duck wings glazed in apple butter over eggy waffles terrific octopus hash paired with poached runny eggs in textbook hollandaise banana bread French toast with peanut butter mousse and maple syrup on the side, local pickerel fish cakes house-made breakfast sausage. Complete brunches for $30 per person, including tax, tip and a budget-priced cocktail. Average main $12. Open for brunch Sunday 11 am to 3 pm. Dinner Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday 5:30 to 10 pm, Thursday to Saturday 5:30 to 11 pm. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN

French

Elle M’a Dit 35 Baldwin, at Henry, 416-546-3448, ellemadit.com. Though the heavy Alsation carte at this très charmant Baldwin Village bistro might not suit a balmy August eve, come a chilly night it fits the bill like a pair of fleece-lined Gortex gloves. Best: to start, tarte flambée dressed with hickory-smoked trout, fromage blanc, green olives and fresh dill on a thin, flaky flatbread crust mains like coq au vin with spaetzle laced with onion, mushrooms and slivered celery velvety foie gras over gingerbread French toast Baeckeoffe, an Alsatian shepherd’s pie thick with slow-braised short ribs, lamb shank and pork belly sided with greens in cranberry vinaigrette to finish, another tarte flambée dressed with cinnamon-dusted apple. Complete dinners for $50 per person (lunches $30), including tax tip and a glass of wine. Average main $20/$13. Open for lunch Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30 to 10 pm. Weekend brunch 11 am to 3 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms upstairs. Rating: NNNN

Gastro-pub

Emerson 1279 Bloor W, at Lansdowne, 416-532-1717. Bloordale? Bloorcourt? Blandsdowne? Whatever they call the nabe, there’s no question that the stretch of Bloor running west of Christie Pits is the new Dundas West. And Conor Joerin and Scott Pennock’s family-friendly storefront bistro fits the nabe like a glove: large portions, low prices and zero attitude. Best: frisée salads dressed with lightly battered sweetbreads and crunchy croutons massive 8-ounce burgers dressed with tomato, lettuce, creamy Beemster cheese sauce and a huge dill pickle 10-ounce sliced rib-eyes slathered in Béaranaise sauce Wednesday-night racks of old-school ribs in sweet barbecue glaze sides of skinny frites butternut squash gratin roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup to finish, classic ice cream sundaes. Complete dinners for $35 per person, including tax, tip and a cocktail. Average main $14. Open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday 5:30 to 11:30 pm. Lunch/brunch Friday to Sunday 11 am to 3 pm. Closed Monday to Tuesday, some holidays. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN

Japanese

Kingyo 51B Winchester, at Parliament, 647-748-2121, kingyotoronto.ca. This laid-back Cabbagetown izakaya proves you don’t need the full-bore frat-boy party vibe of Guu and the like to have a good time. Where else can you enjoy shareable plates that are as much fun for the tongue as they are for the eyes as a kitschy Japanese sci-fi movie unspools over the bar? Best: rice paper-wrapped salad rolls stuffed with barbecued cha shu pork, cucumber and lettuce splashed with house-made teriyaki sauce and sweet kewpie mayo tataki-style seared albacore tuna dressed with ponzu jelly and deep-fried garlic chips cold al dente ramen noodles tossed with salty cod roe, barbecued pork, bitter radicchio and strips of both seaweed and scrambled egg hamachi yellowtail carpaccio over organic mesclun, slivered red radish and daikon sprouts in sesame ‘n’ wasabi vinaigrette. Complete dinners for $40 per person, including tax, tip and a cocktail. Average main $11. Open nightly 5:30 to 11:30 pm. Closed some holidays. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN

Spanish

Patria 478 King W, at Brant, 416-367-0505, patriatoronto.com. Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji follow up scenester Weslodge with their tastiest collab yet. Show up early to appreciate executive chef Stuart Cameron’s unusually authentic Spanish tapas before the cavernous resto-lounge turns into a packed-to-the-gills meat market. Loses an N after 9 pm. Best: to share, blistered padrón peppers creamy Manchego croquettes Manchego-stuffed dates and guindilla peppers wrapped in fatty Iberico bacon blood-red Iberico pork flank over piquillo pepper jam deep-fried churros with caramel sauce soft coffee ice cream sandwiches with olive marmalade at brunch, sponge-cake muffins with olive-oil pudding potato frittata with romesco sauce braised cannellini beans ‘n’ chorizo octopus terrine on flatbread splashed with aioli wood-fired Spanish pizzas dressed with white anchovies, piquillo peppers and Manchego. Complete dinners for $60 per person (brunches $30), including tax, tip and a glass of wine. Average tapas $9. Open for dinner nightly 5:30 pm to close. Brunch Sunday from 11:30 am. Closed some holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNNN

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