One of the pitfalls of contemporary Canadian cooking is a tendency to overemphasize proteins—charcuterie remains hugely popular, and meaty mains can sometimes see huge slabs of beef, pork and lamb crowding out their accompaniments. Not so at Ursa.
Chef and co-owner Jacob Sharkey Pearce has a background as a nutritional consultant for athletes; his menu and methods place significant emphasis on healthy eating, which ensures every delicate dish balances not-too-big portions of, say, pork loin or Great Lakes whitefish with a bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and in certain instances, silky house-made kefir, yogurt or tofu. Locals seem to approve of the concept—the cabin-chic Queen West space has done brisk business since its January opening.
Ursa, 924 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-536-8963, ursa-restaurant.com.