Best Toronto Restaurants 2016: The Commodore

Going by the movies—I’m thinking specifically of the Atlantic crossing in Brooklyn—steerage class doesn’t make for ideal dining conditions. The regulars at this nautical-themed bar, where the whitewashed walls curve like a ship’s hull and the lights were salvaged from Harbourfront’s once-iconic Captain John’s, would disagree. (Many of them, with their scraggy beards and puffy plaid vests, appear to have fully adopted the fisherman lifestyle. Such is Parkdale.) They come for chef Jon Vettraino’s super-sweet, anchovy butter–brushed Cape Breton shrimp on toast, St. Simon oysters with a miso-ginger vinaigrette, and three-day-braised pork cheek, so tender it dissolves the moment it meets your tongue. You may feel like you’ve walked into a kitchen party—i.e., the best kind, fuelled by the potent rounds of Bobby Burns (sweet vermouth, scotch, Benedictine), one of a handful of cocktails available on tap.

1265 Queen St. W., 416-537-1265, commodorebar.ca

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