Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Bacchanal

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Bacchanal

Bacchanal

Certain people, myself included, will sometimes impatiently fork through an entire dinner with eyes on the dessert menu. I’d like to believe we’re not permanent kids but connoisseurs of the artistry that goes into sweet things. I first noticed the pastry chef Cori Osborne creating mind-­boggling desserts at Alo. Now she’s riffing on classic pâtisserie at Bacchanal.

The two standouts are her slice of spiced baba au rhum topped with a wave of white chocolate ganache, mini-cubes of pine­apple and micro basil; and her sugar-dusted Paris-Brest, the finest doughnut known to humankind, two choux layers sandwiching praline cream studded with flakes of feuilletine. For all the work put into them, they’re not unduly precious—you don’t feel guilty taking up a fork.

A Paris-Brest, with praline creame and crackling flakes of feuilletine.

I’m just as impressed by the rest of the menu—chef Luke Donato preps a first-rate choucroute with a white sausage stuffed with veal and another stuffed with foie gras; petal-thin slices of hamachi crudo and pebbles of cuke, dressed with a lemon emulsion; and a grand slab of two-months-aged côte de boeuf.

The côte de boeuf makes for a mean steak frites.
Executive chef Luke Donato and pastry chef Cori Osborne, and some truly one-of-a-kind wallpaper.

The room is a beauty, too, with its cognac banquettes and walls dressed in a toile depicting Toronto’s unsung icons—raccoons, Honest Ed’s and the Zanzibar. (There’s far stranger wallpaper in the bathrooms—I’ll let you see for yourself.) But for all of Bacchanal’s wonderfulness, once you encounter an artist like Osborne, the thing that matters most is what comes last.

60 Sudbury St., 416-586-1188, bacchanal.ca

Order generously, but save room for dessert.
Inside Bacchanal’s window-wrapped dining room.