Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Estia

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Estia


Here’s what I love about Estia: the dreamy mellowness of house-made halloumi and roasted grapes; the daily haul of Mediterranean fish, roasted in a wood-burning oven and served on a porcelain platter with a patchwork of pickled caper leaves and gremolata; lamb chops, kissed with char and slathered with tzatziki; and how, as if we were in a family-run Greek tavern in a fishing town, nearly every dish is paired with floral olive oil.

Charcoal-grilled lamb with tzatziki and mint.

I also love the ridiculously oversized wedding cake of a chandelier, a hanger-on from when this space was the steak house NAO—run by the same restaurateurs, Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth. And I can’t help but enjoy the free entertainment of Yorkville silliness, like how patrons, in the name of specialist diets, customize orders so they barely resemble the original, or the collection of middle-aged guys at the bar with unlit cigars waiting in their breast pockets, or the push for a prime seat on a patio that overlooks the six stop-and-go lanes of Avenue Road.

90 Avenue Rd., 416-367-4141,

Chicken is roasted in the wood-burning oven, and dressed with wild oregano and charred lemon.
This whole red sea bream, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt, gets a turn in the wood-fired oven too.