Introducing: Cleo, a new spot for Middle Eastern cuisine near Yonge and Lawrence

Introducing: Cleo, a new spot for Middle Eastern cuisine near Yonge and Lawrence

Name: Cleo
Contact Info: 3471 Yonge St., 416-440-0700, cleorestaurant.ca
Neighbourhood: Hoggs Hollow
Owner and chef: Sam Girgis, the former executive chef of Oro on Elm Street

The Food: Cleo is uptown’s answer to the Middle Eastern trend that’s been inundating Toronto diners with za’atar-dusted flatbreads and oil-drizzled dips. Girgis’s background is Egyptian, and his mission is to showcase the kind of food he grew up eating. His menu lists contemporary takes on traditional Mediterranean dishes—things like stuffed grape leaves, warm barrel-aged feta and grilled chicken and beef kebabs flavoured with sumac and harissa.

The Place: The simple room is adorned with lots of dark wood and a pair of elaborate chandeliers festooned with golden vines.

The Numbers:
• 30 seats
• $28 for the priciest dish on the menu: lamb three ways (sirloin, shoulder and Merguez sausage) with eggplant, figs and pomegranate couscous
• 3 dips: artichoke hummus, pickled eggplant “caviar” and taramasalata with lobster oil and nori