What’s on the menu at Pollyanna, an eclectic new restaurant from the owners of Eastside Social

What’s on the menu at Pollyanna, an eclectic new restaurant from the owners of Eastside Social

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Name: Pollyanna
Contact: 1054 Gerrard St. E., 647-352-6969, thepollyanna.ca, @pollyannaeats
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Previously: Aprilé Bambina Cucina
Owners: Cherie Stinson and her husband Joey Skeir (Eastside Social, Thirsty Duck)
Chefs: Executive chef Stefan Skeene (Eastside Social) and chef Amber Farrell (Eastside Social)

The food

A menu of composed plates that bounce around the Mediterranean from Spain to Tunisia, with the odd detour to Asia. In true nouveau-Canuck style, no particular dish has just one influence: a typically Italian plate of black fettuccine, for instance, has both Spanish (chorizo) and Japanese (tempura-style octopus) elements.

The bagna cauda is Farrell’s favourite dish on the menu. Steamed and raw veggies are topped with a foam made from anchovies, butter and white wine. $14.


Avocado rolled in a corn nut-dukkah blend, heirloom tomatoes, garlic ancho chili jam, charred corn and a scallion-buttermilk vinaigrette. $13.


Cauliflower croquettes are served with saffron aïoli and a sweet chili sauce. $12.


This halibut tartare is served on top of a flame-torched avocado with peach habanero sauce, sun-dried tomato oil and crispy leeks. $14.


Pollyanna’s black fettuccine is made in-house using sepia ink sourced from Hooked. The noodles are then tossed with chorizo, garlic-and-marjoram-roasted cherry tomatoes. Ricotta salata and tempura-battered octopus finish the plate. $20.


The rib-eye is left to sit for a day in koji, which gives the meat some added umami. “It almost tastes dry-aged as a result,” says Farrell, who then cooks the steak sous vide before searing it in a cast iron pan. It’s served with caper-raisin relish. $29.



The drinks

A tight cocktail list of refreshing classics (dark and stormy, salty dog) and a list of international wines, all available by the glass. There are only two beers on tap: Creemore and Lagunitas.

The Lavender Brown is made with bourbon, lavender honey and fresh lemon. $14.


The space

The 50-seat room has great bones: The exposed brick (Stinson pulled back a bunch of drywall to liberate it) and 10-inch floor boards are original to the building. And playing on the Pollyanna-as-parrot angle, Stinson (previously of Restaurant Makeover) has decked the space out in a parrot paraphernalia. Coming next summer: another 46 seats outside.