What’s on the menu at Nota Bene, David Lee’s redesigned restaurant
Name: Nota Bene
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Contact: 180 Queen St. W., 416-977-6400, notabenerestaurant.com, @NotaBeneToronto
Owner: David Lee
Chefs: Executive chef David Lee and chef de cuisine Geoff O’Connor
The new menu still has carnivore staples like foie gras and wagyu, but it’s rounded out with plenty of meat-free options. “Vegan cooking is such an interesting challenge,” says Lee about his heirloom carrot dish made with sunflower-based faux sour cream. “It’s much harder to make something decadent without dairy.” The restaurant also offers a cinq-à-sept menu (which actually starts at 4 p.m.) that’s divided into snacks (buttermilk-fried cod tongues, chicken-fried mushrooms) and small plates (ceviche, octopus a la plancha).
Hamachi ceviche in a leche de tigre marinade and topped with charred scallions. $12.
Octopus a la plancha with capers and pimentón (left, $12) and crisp pork cheek (right, $4 before 7 p.m. and $7 after).
Bar snacks (clockwise from top): Chicken-fried mushrooms, tuna tartare, salt cod fritters, suckling pig with green papaya slaw, avocado with B.C. striped prawns and puffed beef tendon. ($4-$12).
Roasted Cookstown heirloom carrots, served on sunflower “sour cream” with Malaysian red curry oil. Sided by a kale, radish, hemp hearts and dhal salad. $16.
The Tsukiji Fish Market sashimi plate changes daily. This selection includes madai (Japanese red sea bream), hamachi and kampachi. $MP.
Braised Haldimand County lamb shoulder and chickpea stew served on a sunchoke purée with papadum crisps. $38.
Halibut cheeks with smoked shiitake mushrooms on a lima bean mash with black garlic and gremolata. $36.
Roasted marshmallow topped with Hewitt’s milk ice cream, chocolate ganache, puffed grains and a sea buckthorn coulis. $12.
Vegan avocado sorbet with rhubarb preserve, house-made granola and blueberry dust. $12.
A 15-bottle roster of gin and a short cocktail list with riffs on classics like the Fig 75, which blends Beefeater with crème de figue, prosecco and lemon. A new addition to the menu is sake, including some of Toronto’s own.
An order of gin comes with various accoutrements (cucumber, grapefruit wedge, dehydrated hibiscus) and can be paired with one of Fever Tree’s tonics. For the full G&T experience, guests can choose the ice format: a large cube for minimal dilution or crushed for maximum chill.
Ruby Dee: Tromba tequila, Crème de Cassis, grapefruit, lime and orange bitters. $15.
Design firm +tongtong (Café Belong, Drake Devonshire) reimagined the split-level space. The bar is flanked by two new additions—a po-mo tree sculpture and a backlit wine display—and the main dining room now has 70 Nevada-sourced tumbleweeds hanging from its ceiling.