Summerlicious Lunch Pick: Canoe’s steal of a $25 prix fixe

Summerlicious Lunch Pick: Canoe’s steal of a $25 prix fixe

Chilled pea soup, beef short rib and clafoutis (Images: Renée Suen)

There’s a reason Canoe is the most sought-after Summerlicious reservation every year: for only $25, diners can join the Bay Street elite in the serene space 54 storeys up in the TD Tower to feast on chef de cuisine John Horne’s menu of refined Canadiana. The restaurant already has over 2,000 reservations booked for the event (they’re even opening up a Sunday service), so your best bet at this point is to call in seeking day-of cancellations. Our meal begins with chilled pea soup, a delightfully sweet and silky purée that tastes of nothing so much as summer in a bowl. Brightened by minted Hewitt’s Dairy buttermilk, the cool broth surrounds an island of loose, shredded Dungeness crab meat, candy-like sweet peas and nori threads crowned with wildflower crème fraîche. A main of beef short rib is dense and tender, slicked with an incredible molasses-like glaze of tree syrups (cedar, maple and birch). An unctuous layer of collagen shields the mammoth main, which sits proudly over creamy mashed potatoes from Alliston, crisp French beans and addictive battered onion rings. A custardy B.C. cherry clafoutis (created by consulting chef Bertrand Alépée) sports a whipped crème fraîche hat and a toasted almond cream skirt. We finish off the sumptuous meal with a strong cup of Perle Noir Arabica espresso ($4.50).

The cost: $39 including tax and tip. (Note: wine pairings are available for an extra $15.)

The time: One unhurried hour of dining with our head in the clouds.

Canoe, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, 54th Floor, 66 Wellington St. W., 416-364-0054,