What’s on the menu at Judaline, a new neighbourhood gem on the Danforth

What’s on the menu at Judaline, a new neighbourhood gem on the Danforth

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Name: Judaline
Contact info: 162 Danforth Ave., 416-792-8088, judaline.ca, @judalineto
Neighbourhood: The Danforth
Previously: Combine Eatery
Owner: Joshua Mott (Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen)
Chef: Cesar Karanapakorn
Accessibility: Not fully accessible

Joshua Mott, the man behind Harbord Village cider bar Her Father’s, has long been eyeing the Danforth for his next spot. “The neighbourhood reminds me of Harbord Village in many ways,” he says. “It has a friendly, tight-knit feel, and that really comes down to the wonderful community here.” The idea came to him well before the pandemic, but Mott decided to wait it out.

Bartender Allysa Paul, chef Cesar Karanapakorn and owner Joshua Mott.


Judaline is named after Mott’s mother, who happens to be the inspiration for the restaurant’s warm, welcoming atmosphere. Mott’s goal isn’t for Judaline to be a destination restaurant (though chef Cesar Karanapakorn’s excellent seasonal dishes may have that effect anyway). Instead, his top priority is to get the community out.

Rustic-chic, homey and bathed in sunlight, this is a good-mood spot for elevated seasonal fare. And, though food is certainly the focus, guest experience doesn’t take a back seat—expect classic but unpretentious service.

The food

A rotating menu inspired by Canadian seasonality features all-Ontario meat and local produce wherever possible. Chef Karanapakorn draws on his Thai and Mexican roots to bring punchy flavours to classic Canadian dishes. A rack of lamb, for instance, comes with a tomato salsa made with epazote, a zippy and pungent herb commonly used in central and southern Mexican cuisine.

Heirloom and cherry tomatoes from White Lily Farms—the cherries lightly confited in thyme oil—are simply seasoned and garnished with pearl onion, radish, dill and basil. Beneath them: some goat’s cheese. $18


Puréed corn kernels and broth made from the husks absolutely saturate this risotto with corn flavour. Confited chanterelles, pickled beach mushrooms and a whack of pecorino liven it up. It’s garnished with chili oil, cilantro oil, micro cilantro and powdered corn—in case it wasn’t already corny enough. $24


A Middle Eastern–inspired rack of lamb is served with house-made harissa hummus and a tomato sauce with epazote, a piquant Central American herb also known as Mexican tea. The lamb is cooked sous-vide and finished on the grill to the guest’s desired temperature. It’s also served with house-made pita (not pictured). $41


A 10-ounce striploin, dry-aged in house for 30 days, is grilled to perfection and served on a wildly delicious cremini mushroom cream sauce—a move inspired by Mott’s mother’s love of Steak Diane. It comes with a rotating selection of seasonal vegetables: here we have yellow zucchini two ways (seared and pickled), pearl onions and romanesco. $41


King salmon is cured and smoked in house before being finished in a pan, typically to medium and with shatteringly crisp skin. It’s served with a punchy sauce of sorrel and lemon, velvety butternut squash purée, baby beets and seared bok choy. $29
The drinks

Food-friendly alcohol is the name of the game here. A balanced wine program includes old- and new-world varietals, and draught beer features both local and European brews. Cocktails are mainly classics with a twist, like a rosemary gin and tonic rimmed with smoked salt. And, just like Her Father’s, Judaline has a strong cider program.

The Pomorange blends vodka with vanilla syrup, lemon and orange juices, and egg white. $14


Rosie’s Cabin pairs house rosemary syrup with gin and soda. Rimmed with smoked salt. $16


The Enchilosa, a spicy take on a Moscow Mule, is a mix of lime, ginger beer, muddled jalapeno and tequila. It’s garnished with habanero Tajín. $15


The space

Exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of greenery in the form of hanging vines—which have been around since the space was Combine Eatery—lend a warm, lived-in feel. The restaurant’s colour scheme was inspired by the vines, hence the comfy forest-green banquettes. A spacious all-season back patio has a retractable roof for the warmer seasons (and, mercifully, insulation and heating for what’s to come).