Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to



Must-Try: a dainty parfait with tear-jerkingly sour sea buckthorn berries at Chantecler

Must-Try: Parfait

The bright orange berries of the sea buckthorn tree (a spiky shrub hearty enough to endure Canadian winters) are so tart, they make rhubarb taste like candy. They’ve insinuated themselves into some of the most esteemed kitchens in southern Ontario (Eigensinn Farm, Langdon Hall and Keriwa, to name a few). At Chantecler, a tiny new Parkdale restaurant, chef Jonathan Poon serves them in a satisfyingly homey parfait. He layers a champagne coupette with vanilla pastry cream, unadulterated sea buckthorn purée, rosewater and orange blossom jellies, sticky-sweet meringue and rough-chopped almond praline. The treat is unassumingly quaint, like an old-fashioned sundae, but the potent berry gives it an addictive, face-puckering edge. $10. 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586.