Feast On Spotlight: Canis Restaurant
Across Ontario alone, 130 restaurants, bars, caterers, breweries, butchers and shops have received official Certified Taste of Ontario Feast On designation.
These folks have not only pledged to buying food and beverages from Ontario - they have to prove it with receipts showing 25 per cent of total annual food and drink purchased within the province.
Now that’s a commitment.
To celebrate, Toronto Restaurants will be showcasing Feast On certified restaurants situated right here in the 6ix, once a month.
First up, Canis Restaurant.
If you follow the city’s restaurant openings (such as Toronto Restaurants’ own Open/Closed every Thursday), you’ll know that tasting menu restaurants are in full effect right now. No longer housed exclusively in swish hotels or relegated to specific parts of town, they’ve since settled into trendy neighbourhoods - look for slender spaces squeezed in between chain eateries and quirky clothing boutiques.
Canis arrived well before the recent tidal wave of dégustations, with a stunning debut in summer of 2016.
In fact, chef/owner Jeff Kang and his crew’s fascinating dishes featuring simple, seasonal, and fermented ingredients, were ahead of the curve.
Though simply written (i.e. “tuna, radish, walnut,” “duck, celeriac, currant”), the ten-course tasting menu ($95, optional wine pairings add $74) opens with noshes that introduce you to the meticulous, multi-layered process each ingredient goes through - ingredients from local suppliers such as La Ferme Black River Game Fare, Woodward Meat Purveyors Inc., and Tamarack Farms. Main courses and dessert receive the same fastidious treatment, delivering deep, complex flavours and captivating textures.
Wines too, are au natural. While funky, cloudy, low-sulfite vintages are currently enjoying a renaissance, three years ago, “orange” and biodynamic wines hadn’t gone mainstream yet.**
Despite being relatively new, the finer dining spot has racked up a number of accolades, including nabbing the No. 2 spot on En Route 2017 Canada’s Best New Restaurants, securing No. 15 on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2018 list, and Ruth Reichl anointing it, “a little dream of a restaurant.”
While similar destinations have since appeared on the scene, the experience at the minimalist 30-seat Queen West eatery remains markedly unique.
746 Queen St. W.
**Cool fact: Canis launched sister spot Après Wine Bar in December, focusing on natural, organic, and biodynamic wines, alongside small shared plates, a la carte items, and 5-course tasting menu for two.