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Weekly Lunch Pick: a refined Italian splurge at Modus Ristorante

Pan-roasted sole fillet (Image: Renée Suen)

At Modus, one of our Best New Restaurants for 2012, executive chef Bruce Woods (Centro, Brassaii) services refined Italian classics in a restrained and modern room that caters to the Bay Street crowd (along with their padded expense accounts). Our meal starts with a breadbasket filled with addictive cheese flatbreads, breadsticks, a sundried tomato roll and a herb-flecked bun, all sided with a creamy sweet potato spread. For our main, we opt for the sogliola ($24): shielded by a thick golden crust, the elegant pan-roasted fillet of sole is perched over a mound of sautéed rapini, briny capers and aromatic black olives. A rainbow of grape tomatoes and tender microgreens round out the light yet substantial meal, which we wash down with a glass of gewürztraminer ($14).

The cost: An expense account–worthy $50 including tax and tip.

The time: 68 minutes.

Modus Ristorante, 145 King St. W., 416-861-997,