Recently reviewed

Tons of restaurants, crossing cultures, every week


Contemporary

Barrio Coreano 642 Bloor W, at Manning, 416-901-5188, playacabana.ca/642-bloor, @barriocoreano Playa Cabana’s Dave Sidhu finally gets the formula right with this surprisingly unpretentious taqueria in Koreatown. Friendly, informed service, an innovative East-meets-Southwest carte and a low-key Latin playlist transform first-timers into repeat customers. Best: thinly sliced “watermelon sashimi” dressed with kumquats, unseeded jalapeños, toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds in tart ponzu vinaigrette grilled calamari in smoky árbol chili sided with pineapple kimchee salsa South Korean fried chicken tacos in sweet ‘n’ sour kampungki sauce on blue corn tortillas the built-to-share 32-ounce Cowboy aged rib-eye steak flourless chocolate cake in jars finished with green tea ice cream to drink, kimchee sours with Jack Daniels, fresh lime and pickle syrup. Complete dinners for $40 per person, including tax, tip and an imported beer. Open Tuesday and Wednesday 5 to 11 pm, Thursday to Saturday 5 pm to 2 am, Sunday 5 to 11 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, three steps to washrooms. Rating: NNNN

Skin + Bones 980 Queen E, at Carlaw, 416-524-5209, skinandbonesto.com, @skinandbonesto Ex-Enoteca Sociale partner Daniel Clarke’s stylish Leslieville wine bar might be more at home on the King West strip, but its moderately priced Sunday brunch menu and supplementary all-you-can-eat buffet – buy any main and get chef Tara Lee’s exceptional spread of charcuterie, cheese and pastries for an additional 3 bucks – fits this brunchiest of nabes like a glove. Best: gluten-free porchetta Bennys with sous-vide poached eggs in textbook hollandaise over cheesy polenta laced with kale buttermilk-battered chicken with Asian apple slaw from the buffet, house-baked cinnamon buns, cheese puffs and palmiers house-cured bresaola and fennel-flecked salami granola, high-fat yogurt and syrup-poached pears. Complete brunches for $30 per person, including tax, tip and a mimosa. Average main $15. Open for brunch Sunday 10 am to 2 pm. Dinner Sunday to Thursday 5 to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 pm to midnight. Closed some holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN

Mexican

Agave y Aguacate 35 Baldwin, at Henry, 647-748-6448, agave-y-aguacate.com, @AgaveyAguacate Celebrated for the Kensington Market cantina that Anthony Bourdain called “some of the most amazing Mexican takeout north of the border – any border,” Francisco Alejandri resurfaces in Baldwin Village in the former home of the equally legendary Gaston’s. Anyone who ever lined up for hours at the old one-man operation will appreciate the much speedier service. Tables and chairs, too! Best: chileajo, stir-fried fingerling spuds, pearl onions, green beans and chickpeas in garlicky guajillo pepper sauce and mild queso fresco cheese white fish ceviche verde with avocado, tomatillo and coriander pesto chile relleno, blistered poblano peppers stuffed with pineapple and puréed avocado, dressed with roasted garlic slow-poached veal ‘n’ pork meatballs in smoky chipotle gravy tiramisu-like lime charlotte with black Hawaiian lava salt. Complete dinners for $40 per person, including tax, tip and an imported beer. Average main $9. Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30 to 11 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms upstairs. Rating: NNNNN

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