The Guild ★
1442 Dundas St. W., 647-343-7288
This new Dundas West spot has plenty of potential, but needs more polish to compete with the other Canadian-centric restaurants on the scene. The best thing about The Guild is the selection of inventive, potent drinks from bartender Alex Jones; for his Orange Cigar, he blends scotch, apple brandy, sweet vermouth, aperol, and orange flower water into a smoky, tart cocktail, garnished with a singed, still-smouldering orange peel. The decor is intentionally hodge-podge—pressed tin ceilings, terrariums, bathrooms wallpapered with old cookbook pages—but the jumbled approach doesn’t always work so well on the plate, as in a bland combination of smoked duck, bok choy and foie gras. Superb handmade gnocchi are pillow-soft, though the wild boar–porcini sauce could use some extra oomph. On the plus side, warm house-made beignets come with a scoop of glorious dark chocolate sorbet. Service is attentive but scattered.