The airy, high-ceilinged room, which fills early on a late autumn evening, features plenty of hard surfaces and, raised up a few steps from the floor, a busy open kitchen turning out refined comfort food.
Pureed pear brings sweet depth of flavour to pumpkin soup jazzed with five-spice powder. That same spice shows up in acorn squash smoked to custardy succulence and garnished with leeks, dried cranberry, pumpkin seeds and soy caramel.
An earthy mound of lentils beautifully complements smoky, thin-sliced sea scallops, while an inspired mix of tender lobster, sweet creamed corn, tangy buttermilk and crunchy celery tops slices of Atelier Thuet’s sourdough bread.
Tender and juicy chicken thighs wear a cloke of lively Moroccan spices and sit on a bed of dried fruit and sunflower-seed quinoa.
Ending things on a high note is the Venus bar, a yummy construction of dark chocolate marquise, whipped ganache, caramel, salted-peanut nougat and toasted banana marshmallow; huge profiteroles stuffed with milk chocolate ice cream and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces; tender poached pear with honey mascarpone and toasted oatmeal streusel; and rich, honey-sweetened semifreddo animated with pistachio crumble and pomegranate molasses.
Group buyouts will be considered for the restaurant, which accommodates 110 people for seated dinners and 175, cocktail style.
— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 25 years and, during that time, has critiqued almost 1,000 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.