1. When acclaimed chef David Lee left fine-dining destination Splendido to focus on a new endeavour, Toronto foodies understandably questioned whether the award-winning Harbord Street staple would survive. They needn’t have worried. Now co-owned by chef Victor Barry and manager Carlo Catallo—both of whom were integral to Splendido’s past success—the restaurant has re-opened with a bright new look and a tasty, more affordable dinner spread. A cross-Canada photographic mural and a prominent display of preserves replace chandeliers and gilded mirrors in the dining room. On the menu, locally sourced mains like Yorkshire pork chop ($32) from Cumbrae Farms and Lake Huron pickerel ($26) are complemented by chef Barry’s fresh-daily pastas, and lovingly presented by the exceptional servers for which Splendido has long been known.
2. This city’s reputation as a raw fish–lover’s haven continues to grow as Japanese restaurants such as Yuzu stake their claim on the local sushi scene. Situated on the edge of the financial and entertainment districts, the cozy boîte offers both bankers and theatre goers an extensive selection of sashimi, maki and more. Of course, freshness is key when it comes to uncooked seafood; if co-owner Bruce Bu’s other hidden gem of a sushi house, Japango, is any indication, high-quality ingredients are assured. And be sure to try one of Yuzu’s signature cocktails, given a kick with a splash of premium sake.
3. It’s easy to eat well (and affordably!) at the latest nosh spots to open near downtown’s Yonge-Dundas Square.
>> French import The 3 Brewers is known for its five made-in-house unfiltered beers, but its brasserie-style fare, including crisp Alsatian tartes flambée ($9.95 to $13.45), is equally satisfying.
>> Thoroughly British, The Queen & Beaver offers dishes like cider-braised leg of duck ($17) and beef short ribs ($23) amidst rustic, club-like ambience.
>> Expansive Woo Buffet Restaurant & Lounge presents a fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines—everything from dim sum nibbles to barbecued pork ribs—as part of a lavish buffet spread.