Whether you’re looking to explore Toronto’s top cuisine or celebrating a special occasion, tasting menus have made a comeback in the past year around the city. More than ever, chefs and diners alike are becoming more ambitious with how they’re looking to experience dining and it’s making for quite the exciting moment.
Named after a small town in Ontario known for its mining, this restaurant, which works under the supervision of chef Justin Cournoyer, is all about showcasing foraged, local ingredients that are painstakingly gathered every day by the kitchen team. Take autumn, for example, when you’ll find dishes pairing pumpkin with apricot, turnip with parsley and barley, or for dessert, flavors of birch with pear and chocolate.
When David Chang first opened the three-story Momofuku in Toronto, attached to the stunning Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Shangri-La, Toronto, it was Momofuku Shōtō that brought long-format tasting menus back into the fold, showing that tasting menus didn’t have to be stuffy or rich but could be creative and combine unique, Asian-fusion flavors that were relevant to today’s diner. The multi-course set menu changes with market availability, but should you see selections such as cauliflower with black truffle, shio kombu and black walnut, or veal cheek with shishito and onion brûlée available during your visit, consider yourself very lucky.
Connected to the Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Buca Yorkville has been one of the most exciting restaurants to open in the city within the past year. Here, it’s the seafood done with Italian flair that keeps drawing patrons night after night. Two tasting menus from top toque Ryan Campbell offer either seven courses or 16 courses, highlighting the latest seasonal ingredients flown in from Italy as well as other restaurant highlights like squid ink gnocco fritto “dumplings” or the establishment’s cured fish offerings.
At Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto’s signature fine-dining restaurant, TOCA, guests are invited to enjoy an evening of fine Italian fare from award-winning helmer Oliver Glowig. The Rome native’s four-course tasting menu features items like seared foie gras with pistachio mousse and green apple or bread-crusted black cod. The Chef’s Table tasting menu, with a front-and-center view of the kitchen, offers seven courses that showcase the freshest herbs and vegetables of the day.
Passionate about creating a truly memorable, delicious and warm dining occasion for their guests, husband-and-wife chefs and owners Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth are attentive and honest about everything you find in the dining room and back in the kitchen. Five- and seven-course menus showcase seafood and vegetables in a European-bistro style through the décor (white walls, leather banquettes, hand-painted tiles) and delicious offerings (wild striped bass with porcini mushrooms, dry-aged partridge with roasted apples and onions).
Considered the hottest tasting menu in the city right now, newly opened Alo Restaurant has certainly made its mark. Sitting pretty above the intersection of Queen West and Spadina Avenue, it’s here at Alo that chef Patrick Kriss and his team are executing high-level, detailed cuisine that showcase their creativity and a penchant for highlighting flavors in unique ways and textures — like king salmon with chanterelles and sorrel.