One need not cross the globe—or even, for that matter, this city—to experience international flavours. Skilled chef David Chrystian brings them all to your table at Victor with his Taste Toronto menu, which highlights cuisines of the world as represented by local ethnic pockets such as Little Italy and Chinatown. Like their main-menu counterparts, such as roasted elk and venison ($28), the seven shareable “Taste” dishes ($14 for one dish, up to $79 for all seven) are made with sustainable ingredients and can be matched with selections from a highly regarded list of wines and cocktails. Another reason to visit: the restaurant just received a flattering facelift.
1. Dining out is always something of a social experiment. A keen observer can draw myriad conclusions from how we interact with dinner companions, what we choose from the menu, even the amount we tip the server. Conviction, a new incarnation of chef Marc Thuet’s former Bite Me space, adds an intriguing twist to traditional restaurant dynamics—it’s staffed by ex-criminals hoping to turn their lives around. Beyond that novelty, the redesigned resto also represents for Thuet a departure from his comfort zone of French-Alsatian cookery. Instead, you’ll find a Mediterranean-inspired spread of pizzas, pastas and such mains as suckling pig with mascarpone polenta ($26) and an organic salmon and halibut pairing with black olive sauce and oven-dried tomatoes ($26).