Weekly Lunch Pick: an escape from winter at Yorkville’s Mideastro

Weekly Lunch Pick: an escape from winter at Yorkville’s Mideastro

The seafood couscous at Mideastro (Image: Renée Suen)

With Toronto’s wet, sloppy winter weather setting in, it’s nice to be reminded of warmer climes. The five-month-old Yorkville location of Mideastro does just that with its sophisticated take on Mediterranean and Israeli cuisine. It’s a particularly good bet at lunchtime, when smaller versions of many favourites from the dinner menu are available at a fraction of the cost. The meal starts with a wire cone stacked high with fresh-baked ciabatta bread and a trio of condiments: olive oil and balsamic vinegar with little bits of Parmesan and garlic, savoury-sweet sundried tomato paste and olive tapenade. Our order of the seafood couscous ($17, compared with $30 at dinner) comes with an ocean’s bounty of just-cooked scallop, plump, succulent shrimp, crisp squid, tender mussels, briny cherrystone clam and sweet cracked king crab legs, all swimming in a light saffron-tomato bisque. The fluffy homemade couscous comes in a separate little bowl on the side and ably performs its task of absorbing every last drop of the white wine–laced sauce.

The cost: $26 including tax, tip and a carafe of sparkling Q water ($2.50).

The time: 38 minutes with no wait at midday.

Mideastro, 27 Yorkville Ave., 416-477-2427, mideastro.com.