100 Top Restaurants: #45 – Union

For the past nine years, chef Teo Paul’s Union has been un petit piece of Paris on Ossington and has avoided the trendiness trap by simply putting out excellent food made with high-quality ingredients day after day. Things like oysters served with horseradish and mignonette, but also with a killer habanero spread. The same kicky concoction comes with one of the city’s best steak tartares, served with toasted cornbread instead of the usual paper-thin crostini. Also good: fried and baked polenta soaking in a tomato bath, and sticky pork ribs, smoked and slathered in a sweet-and-sour house barbecue sauce. The dining room is a tad cramped, but nobody seems to care—throw in delicious food, great cocktails and smiling service and suddenly personal space is no longer an issue. 72 Ossington Ave., 416-850-0093.