Introducing: Antler, Michael Hunter’s game restaurant in Little Portugal

Introducing: Antler, Michael Hunter’s game restaurant in Little Portugal

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Name: Antler
Contact: 1454 Dundas St. W., 647-345-8300, antlerkitchenbar.com, @AntlerKitchen
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Previously: This End Up
Owners: Michael Hunter (Scarpetta, Reds Wine Tavern) and Jody Shapiro
Chef: Michael Hunter

The food

Contemporary Canadian cuisine focused on flavours from northern Ontario, including farm-raised game and ingredients that Hunter foraged (morels, wild leeks, black walnuts). The menu is made up of familiar dishes, each with a twist: there’s a Jamaican patty (filled with curry-spiced venison), gyoza (stuffed with wild boar) and a burger (made with deer, bison and wild boar).

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

The venison patty made with a paté brisée shell comes with a spicy dipping sauce. $8.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Wild boar gyoza are steamed and then pan fried. $8.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Charcoal-grilled duck heart yakitori with a sweet soy glaze. $6 for two.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Chestnut gnocchi in brown butter with parsnip purée, roasted squash, brussels sprout leaves, almond brittle, sage and shaved parmesan. $19.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Spice-ash crusted rack of deer, served with parsnip purée and swiss chard. $38.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

A warm chocolate brownie with toasted meringue and cedar dust, topped with chocolate mousse and candied, foraged black walnuts. $10.

The drinks

Craft beer (most of which are from Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery), local and international wine by the glass or bottle, and “foraged cocktails” made by Steven Gambee (Reds Wine Tavern) that feature seasonal ingredients.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

The Kordonis: gin, house-made beet purée, basil simple syrup and foraged sumac. $14.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Foraged-cedar gin sour: cedar-infused gin, simple syrup, lemon, bitters. $14.

The space

The room is filled with nods to the great outdoors—like wall-mounted ferns, a deer skull (of the first buck Hunter shot) hanging above the open kitchen and framed photographs of his Caledonia foraging grounds.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

This End Up’s vintage beer signs were replaced with ferns.

(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 
(Image: Renée Suen) (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Chef and co-owner Michael Hunter (front) and co-owner Jody Shapiro (back).

Correction

November 11, 2015

Previously, this post listed an incorrect phone number for the restaurant. It has since been changed. We apologize for the error.