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Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

When I told people I was going for dinner to a restaurant that focuses on highlighting seasonal Canadian culture and cuisine, I was greeted with bewildered looks and many questions such as, “what is Canadian cuisine?” Excellent question! I myself was quite confused and unsure of what to expect when I walked into Keriwa Cafe with my dining companions. But after smelling the delicious scent of smoked meat and eyeing wooden tables and serving pieces, I knew we were in for a treat.

Homemade bread with butter, olive oil, and smoked pork fat

Keriwa’s menu is constantly changing and evolving to reflect the seasons and Canada’s heritage. Bison tongue, nettle soup, red wife wheat angolotti were ingredients and menu items that were intriguing and out of the ordinary. Our server was extremely knowledgable and took his job very seriously (maybe a little too seriously?) and I have not one complaint about the entire meal.

Bison slider on bannock bread with a fruit chutney

Wild mushroom soup

Red fife ravioli filled with creme faiche. Place in the soup and magic happened!

Being burger week in Toronto, this slider was a special on the menu…and we almost didn’t order it. What a mistake that would have been! That bannock bread was definitely a highlight and the fruit chutney really complimented the meaty bison flavor. The mushroom soup was another winner. I was expecting the typical cream of mushroom soup. Far from typical, the cream portion came when biting into the delicious creme fraiche filled angolotti. The soup was earthy, rich, and light all at the same time. This was definitely the winner of the night.

Spring chicken with buttermilk, rapini, farro, rhubarb

Rainbow trout with sea buckthorn, fiddleheads, nettles, celeriac

The mains were no slouches either. Perfectly cooked proteins, sauces and sides that were just so flavorful and really made you want to lick the bowl clean.

So now, when someone asks “what the heck is Canadian cuisine anyways?” I can reply, it is simply delicious!

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I feel like lately, I’ve really been digging Mexican food. Maybe it’s the warm weather or maybe it’s my love for corn tortillas or maybe it’s the delicious guacamole that accompanies every meal…whatever the reason, there is nothing better to me than sitting outside on a warm day and enjoying a fresh margarita, guac, salsa and chips.

In hearing many of the reviews for Playa Cabana, a Mexican restaurant that prides itself in fresh and local cuisine, it immediately moved to the top of my list for restaurants to try upon my return to Toronto. And thankfully, a friend of mine had yet to dine there and was up for an early dinner to try to beat the crowds and long waits we had read about.

Guacamole and homemade corn tortilla chips

The guac was good, the chips were fresh, but something was lacking. Maybe it all needed a bit more salt or a bit less heat on the guac…but I think this was the first time there was actually some guacamole left in the bowl for the waiter to take away. Little did we know, this was probably a good thing as the rest of the food was so delicious.

Tacos de pulpo: Grilled octopus tacos with charred jalapeno salsa

Tacos de pescado (baja style): Grilled white fish tacos

Have you ever had octopus tacos before??? Well, you are missing out! And the fish tacos, (now don’t all yell at me here) were some of the best I’ve ever had. Next time, I definitely want to try to score a spot on their patio to satisfy my summer time cravings.

Another restaurant that was on my radar even before moving back to Toronto was Acadia. A southern inspired spot in Little Italy, it has a very small, but unique and inventive menu. I already knew what I was ordering when I arrived there with my friend…and I am glad that I was not swayed by the other delicious sounding menu items.

Anson mills grits: gulf prawns, oyster mushrooms, pimento cheese, ham hock consomme, parsley

Yarmouth Albacore: blackened spices, chickpea, brown butter emulsion, maque-choux, dill

Wild rice and quinoa pilaf with golden raisins and pecans

I honestly can NOT stop thinking about these grits. Creamy, cheesy, salty, sweet, and that smokey ham broth…I would be happy with a double order of these grits on my next visit. And there will be a next visit…anyone craving some southern comfort???

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