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Globe Bistro

2010 Dining Guide: Nosh from Nearby

Cowbell is a favourite for locally sourced, sustainable fare (photo by Derek Shapton)

It’s no surprise that some of Toronto’s top-rated restaurants are devotees of the local food movement: sourcing from nearby artisan farms and producers ensures freshness, which in turn guarantees flavour. Any discussion of “slow food” in this city begins with chef Jamie Kennedy, whose Gilead Café & Bistro serves modern Canadian fare that lets his farm-fresh ingredients shine. Tastefully simple, too, are the artisan meats butchered in-house and served at such restaurants as Cowbell and the Black Hoof—the latter’s charcuterie is legendary, as are the bone marrow–filled beignets at its sister space, Hoof Café. Slightly less meat-
centric is chef Teo Paul’s contemporary country cooking at Union—though you’d be remiss not to order the elk sliders.

Of course, using homegrown ingredients doesn’t mean a chef has to forsake global influences. Local Kitchen and Wine Bar preaches respect for one’s ingredients through exceedingly fresh Italian small plates, while amongst chef Victor Barry’s contemporary offerings at Splendido are a handful of traditional pastas plated with family-farmed accompaniments. High-end, internationally inspired cuisine made with Toronto flair can also be found at long-standing favourites like elegant George and Globe Bistro.

Hot Dining: Second Globe

Enjoy appetizing flatbreads and much more at Globe Earth

The well-to-do denizens of Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood can be a fickle flock, but lately they’ve come home to roost at Globe Earth. Sister space to the Danforth’s popular Globe Bistro, this smartly elegant yet still inviting restaurant shares its predecessor’s taste for internationally inspired, locally sourced food, but offers it in a dressed-down package that’s a bit simpler and more affordable. Executive chef Kevin McKenna’s green cuisine includes appetizing flatbreads ($10), a daily whole fish roasted in a wood-fired oven ($21), beer-braised beef cheeks ($22), and naturally raised Ontario meats cut and priced to order ($1.99 to $3.19 per ounce). If the weather’s right, enjoy your meal alfresco on the courtyard garden patio.