Four of Toronto’s best food splurges
Despite the ascendancy of comfort food, some occasions still require more than a tricked-out sandwich. These four posh dishes are worth the splurge.
Handmade spaghetti noodles are tossed with sweet chunks of lobster meat in a sublime sauce of ripe tomato and buttery-soft leeks, with a flicker of red chili–ginger heat. Every part of the palate is brought to life by layer upon layer of flavour. $22. Mistura.
HAMO WAN SOUP
To honour Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri festival in July, Masaki Hashimoto builds a menu around this eel-like fish, flown in fresh from Japan. Fluffy poached morsels of the delicate white flesh, meticulously deboned, arrive in an ethereal hamo stock refreshed with a sugar snap pea purée. A slice of Japanese squash rests in the bowl like the new moon reflected in a pool. The braid of subtle flavours is as refined as the artful presentation. Six-course prix fixe $150. Hashimoto.
BLACK ANGUS RIB-EYE STEAK
A hulking 32-ounce, 36-day-aged cut from Nebraska is first seared in a cast iron pan, then finished under an 1,800° F Montague broiler. The result is an impossibly tender, pink slab with a caramelized crust. Served on the bone on a platter all its own, it’s simply the best piece of beef we’ve eaten all year. $96-$121. Jacobs and Co.
FRESH SOFT-SHELL CRAB
One impossibly plump blue crab is sheathed in a whisper-thin tempura batter, then quickly deep-fried. The result is a body full of sweet meat, and crunchy, oily tentacles, best dipped in sweet ponzu sauce (ordered separately). This treat only comes around once a year (May’s full moon marks soft-shell crab season), which is probably for the best, given the $21-per-tiny-crab price tag. Ematei.