What’s on the menu at NishDish, Toronto’s new Anishinabe café

What’s on the menu at NishDish, Toronto’s new Anishinabe café

Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette’s Anishinabe catering company, NishDish, moved into the old Tacos El Asador space earlier this month. Since then, the all-day weekend brunch menu has had people lining up along Bloor West, waiting patiently for braised bison short ribs with eggs and cedar tea. During the week, there’s no à la carte menu. Instead, Whiteduck Ringuette serves a rotating selection of dishes informed by his catering gigs: dandelion-cranberry salad, elk with cranberries, roasted buffalo, thyme- and sage-spiced pheasant and a variety of stews. “My father was a hunter, fisher and trapper, and he taught us how to snare and clean rabbits at a young age, but I never learned about indigenous cooking,” says Whiteduck Ringuette. “I talked to all the kokums [grandmothers] to find out what traditional food is.” Using this knowledge, he closes the store every Monday to teach a culinary class to a group of indigenous youth.

A bowl of Three Sisters Stew (green beans, butternut squash and corn). $6.

Carrot, sweet potato and ginger soup with a hit of maple vinaigrette. $6.

Roast venison and a fig balsamic reduction served with maple flake-topped butternut squash and shimeji mushrooms. $16.

Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette.

Many of the products on the menu are sourced from First Peoples producers. The Moccasin-Jo coffee beans, for example, are roasted in Kanehsatake, Quebec. They’re available for sale by the pound, along with maple syrup and some non-edible items like moccasins and earrings.

Ren Lonechild painted the front of the building and this 13 moon calendar.

Photo by Caroline Aksich

690 Bloor St. W., 416-855-4085, nishdish.com, @nishdishmarketeria