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Hot Dining: Marben’s Down-Home Reno

Formerly a hip resto-lounge known for its glowing onyx bar, Marben has taken a step back from the King West area’s condo-crazed trendiness and reinvented itself as a “farmhouse revival” restaurant complete with reclaimed wood fixtures and a “living wall” herb garden. As one might expect, local ingredients feature prominently here. In fact, each dish is named for the farmer from whom its fixin’s were sourced—try Marianne’s duck breast with soft polenta ($16), for example, or Jesse’s halibut with kale, couscous and clams ($14). A front-of-house boutique sells preserves, direct-trade coffee beans, cookbooks and more, adding to the welcome-to-the-neighbourhood ambience.

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