Cantilevered over the city in Daniel Libeskind's new addition to the Royal Ontario Museum,
C5 has sweeping views of the skyline. In the open kitchen, chef Ted Corrado produces elegant
"Toronto cuisine," a mix of influences, as in a perfect smoked octopus with Iberico
ham, yucca, red pepper gelée and pea tendril.
We loved: The new Afternoon Teafrom the Dungeness crab and wasabi finger sandwiches to the foie gras profiteroles.
The menu at this tapas spot runs from fun (chipotle-caramel popcorn) to high-minded (the
house-made charcuterie and pintxossmall bitesof sea urchin with pickled
cabbage). Diners can't go wrong with dessert at the restaurant (spiced plum clafouti with
pistachio ice cream) or at Cava's just-launched chocolate shop, Xococava.
We loved: The chorizo truffle (milk chocolate encasing chorizo ganache).
Now in its third year, this industrial-chic restaurant is still the city's hottest.
Chef-owner Claudio Aprile bristles at the term molecular gastronomy, but there are
futuristic elements in uninhibited, borderless dishes like prawn ceviche with avocado and two kinds
of aioli, puffed corn noodles and corn nuts, and desserts like Thai-chile ice cream with a
cardamom-caramel powder prepared tableside with a nitrogen dispenser.
We loved: Crispy stir-fried squid with caramelized peanuts, Asian pear, Chinese sausage and pink grapefruit.
Insider tip: Book the chef's table in the kitchen for a 15-course tasting menu.
Chef Tom Thai gets inspiration for his menu of simple dishes with unexpected flavors from
Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean and Latin America. He sautés frog's legs with Sichuan
peppers, for instance, and stuffs his ingenious potstickers with duck prosciutto and lamb. The
ceviches, especially the sea bream flavored with yuzu and shiso, are a triumph.
We loved: Pork ribs with a sticky caramelized-shallot glaze.
At this modern Chinese banquet hall (think maple paneling, framed Chinese calligraphy and
lacquered high-back chairs), seafood from both coasts is kept live in tanks until cooked. Dishes
like wok-fried lobster medallions with deep-fried claws are wonderful, but the restaurant is most
famous for its innovative dim sum, like the fillet of bass with thousand-year-old egg in a rice
We loved: Delicate dumplings of egg white, minced scallop and Japanese fish roe.
Chef Scot Woods has returned from an apprenticeship at Chicago's Alinea with more
experimental ideas for his two-year-old spot near the St. Lawrence Marketan emerging
restaurant area that's also home to Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and Colborne Lane. His reworking
of the classics includes a fried chicken he makes by cooking the breast sous-vide, then frying the
skin to a crisp.
We loved: The Chocolate Complex, pure chunks of artisanal chocolate.
When star chef Susur Lee announced he was shuttering his famed Susur and decamping for New
York, Toronto's food cognoscenti mourned. And thensurprisehe turned Susur into
Madeline's (named after his mother). The Mediterranean-inspired family-style dishes include everything from sautéed chanterelle mushrooms in a Marsala cream sauce served in a copper pot to spot-on
roasted duck breast with a honey and chili-orange glaze.
We loved: The crispy lobster in noisette (brown butter), with chili lime and lemon balm.
Chef David Lee and partners decided to take advantage of the opening of Toronto's new
Opera House to set up shop nearby with this more affordable alternative to the team's
high-end Splendido. Lee turns out finely wrought French-, Latin- and Asian-inspired dishes like
Yucatan hot and sour soup with goji berries and smoked chicken, and 60-day dry-aged steaks from his
private stock of naturally raised cattle.
We loved: Sumac-dusted crispy duck tossed with green papaya slaw and cashews.
Owner Max Rimaldi's pizza joint on the white-hot Ossington strip serves authentic
Neapolitan pizzas fired in a wood-burning oven imported from Italy. Starters include charcuterie
like house-made duck prosciutto, but the clear draw is the pizza: crunchy, blistered crusts topped
with things like homemade sausage, wild mushrooms and duck confit.
We loved: The pizza Margherita with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, and local cow's milk mozzarella.
What happens when a World Oyster Opening Champion launches a restaurant? In the case of Starfish
owner Patrick McMurray, the results are a stellar, daily changing selection of oysters, fish and
seafood, plus fun dishes like Lake Huron pickerel with lobster pierogies.
We loved: The oyster tasting at the bar, with everything from sweet Prince Edward Island Malpeques to little Kumamotos from Washington State.