What’s on the menu at Core, Leslieville’s new contemporary Canadian bistro

What’s on the menu at Core, Leslieville’s new contemporary Canadian bistro

Name: Core Restaurant
Contact: 896 Queen St. E., 416-519-8101, corerestaurant.com, @corerestaurant
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Owners: Hyun Jung Kim (George Restaurant, Globe Bistro) and Mark Moffatt (Bosk, Crush Wine Bar, Victor, Reds Wine Tavern)
Chefs: Executive chef Hyun Jung Kim and chef de cuisine Lewis Robinson (Canoe, Restaurant Daniel in NYC)

The food

The contemporary Canadian bistro’s seasonal menu features a five-course chef’s tasting menu ($65) that changes frequently, depending on daily ingredient finds and unique cuts the kitchen brings in from neighbouring Butchers of Distinction. Core will also host regular wine dinners, the menus of which will be posted to their website and Instagram account.

The seasonally inspired whole wheat-rye bread is made in house daily and uses a mother that sous chef Andrew Chung made. Both the bread and the house-made cultured butter are complimentary.


Scallop crudo with scallop katsuobushi featuring cucumbers in three forms (juice, shaved, pickled) dressed with wild ginger oil and vinegar. (Pictured here is the tasting menu version.) $18 for a la carte.


This terrine features duck confit topped with a layer of foie gras mousse that’s garnished with hibiscus poached rhubarb and nasturtiums. It’s served with toasted slices of house-made duck fat brioche. $16.


BC rockfish is charcoal grilled and served with fresh peas, salsa verde, grilled maitake mushrooms and chicken skin crumble. (Pictured here is is the tasting menu version.) $26 for a la carte.


Aged Tamworth pork loin from Butchers of Distinction is served with grilled asparagus, turnips and a boudin noir sauce. $30. Photo by Renée Suen


The simply named beef, eggplant, hazelnut dish features seared flatiron, a hazelnut-miso eggplant pavé, grilled baby eggplant, eggplant “catsup,” and stout jus. $27.


Seasonal desserts include this strawberry number featuring a flourless almond cake crowned with Drambuie- and Cognac-macerated berries, fresh slices and a strawberry–vanilla bean sorbet. $10.


A cloak of dark chocolate glaze hides a dome of dark chocolate mousse with a coffee crémeux filling on a coffee syrup-soaked chocolate genoise base. It’s garnished with cocoa nibs and sided with an espresso and milk chocolate ice cream. $12.


Here’s the whole team.


The drinks

Moffatt is behind the always changing wine list that “represents the best from the best regions,” including a selection of premium wines like Markus Molitor’s Zeltlinger Schlossberg riesling. Besides bottles and by-the-glass options of wine and sparkling, there are some prohibition cocktails and a few local beers.

Those who order the tasting menu can choose standard wine pairings for an extra $35.


Or more-adventurous premium wine pairings, which may feature things like Pichler’s Grüner Veltliner, for an extra $45.


The space

“We wanted to impact the community,” says Moffatt who lives nearby. “To give back and bring something that was elevated but not pretentious.” Named for the restaurant’s location in the centre of Leslieville, the long room has been brightened up with modern pendant lights and a Queen Street-flanking garage door.

Photography from real estate agent and “A Day in the Life of Leslieville” photographer Diane Walton hangs at the entrance.


Paintings by local artist Tetyana Bibik decorate the room’s exposed brick walls.


Photo by Renée Suen