Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Hexagon

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Hexagon

Hexagon

Oakville has nice steak houses and trattorias, but nothing like Hexagon. It’s another world, with a floating space-age fireplace, backlit agate wall and menacing hexagon-shaped light fixtures.

Hexagon’s dining room.

The cooking is ambitious tweezer cuisine—finicky dishes assembled by steady hands. I recommend going for the carte blanche menu, which runs to a dozen-plus dishes and might include a tartare of beef and shaved beet that gets its heat and crunch from crushed wasabi peas; a charred curl of tender octopus, which you slice and dip in emulsions of almond, avocado and chili; and, the stunner plate, a petit-four of foie gras mousse encircled by pearls of hazelnut crémeaux and wearing a hat of edible flowers. The desserts are gimmicky, like a white chocolate shell, suspended on a string, that you smash like a piñata.

A tiny mound of foie gras mousse, crowned by edible flowers.
Mackerel with peanut pesto, sunchokes and nashi pear.

At the time of my last visit, the chef was 26-year-old Sean MacDonald. His backer, an Oakville restaurateur named Artur Koczur, plucked him out of Calgary to run the kind of gadget-packed kitchen of which every chef dreams. Buzz built about the precocious guy who cooks like he’s on a much bigger stage. He began hosting special events with notable chefs visiting from New York, Barcelona and London, and collaborations with Toronto stars like the kitchen team at Canis. Sure enough, MacDonald has since left Hexagon to break out on his own. The kitchen is now run by his exec sous chef, Rafa Covarrubias, a fellow Albertan expat, and the steady hands responsible for many of those pretty plates. Oakville is lucky to have him.

210 Lakeshore Rd. E., Oakville, 905-844-1286, hexagonrestaurant.com

A white chocolate shell filled with pearls of chocolate puffed rice and candied hazelnut, dangling over meringue and banana cream.