Toronto Life’s weekly assessment of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.
Edulis’s charming (and tiny) dining room propels the restaurant to the top this week on the strength of its Valentine’s bookings. Lower down, a couple new sold-out tasting menus debut, as does College Street’s next hot brunch destination.
- Edulis (↑3)
Don’t even try reserving a table at Edulis for Valentine’s Day: all of next week has been booked solid since December 17.
- Kingyo (↑4)
Lineups on the weekend at this Cabbagetown izakaya are approaching Guu levels circa-2010. The Pork Tan Tan ramen rivals the many specialty shops for Toronto’s best noodle bowl.
- Shōtō (↓1)
A seat at David Chang’s tasting menu flagship is still impossible to snag on a weekend.
- Rose and Sons (↓1)
Brunch lineups at Anthony Rose’s Dupont Street diner have gotten so long, the restaurant’s website helpfully indicates that the LCBO is just down the street for those looking to while away the time.
- Hoof Raw Bar (↓4)
In other brunch news: the second coming of the Hoof Café’s famous brunch menu continues to draw lineups, albeit not quite like in the old days.
- JaBistro (↓1)
Despite taking reservations, JaBistro remains frustratingly difficult to actually get into on a Friday or Saturday night. The Star’s recent three-star review won’t help matters.
- Porzia (↑2)
Basilio Pesce’s new southern Italian restaurant in Parkdale is selling chicken liver agnolotti and tiny cookies by the boatload. It’s also the last place that can open on the strip until the ban gets lifted.
- Daishō (no change)
Daishō continues to pull in a healthy crowd. Tip: don’t skip dessert. The unassumingly named “Citrus,” which has about a dozen components (like katsui pear and dots of olive), is a show-stopper.
- Playa Cabana Cantina (↑1)
Good news: this new contender for Toronto’s top taco takes reservations. Bad news: unless you want to eat at 5:30, all the good spots go really fast.
- La Carnita (new things week)
Lineup-magnet La Carnita officially launches a brunch service this Sunday. Go early.
- The Grove (↓4)
Despite all the recent praise, The Grove’s reservation book is not exactly crammed.
- Ursa (↓1)
Ursa’s new late-night menu is syphoning Queen West’s post-bar traffic away from Poutini’s.
- Patria (↓1)
Charles Khabouth’s clubby Spanish restaurant is also freakishly authentic (witness the the jamón ibérico de bellota sliced to order on the countertop). It continues to draw a crowd with money to burn on the pricy wine list.
- Farmhouse Tavern (no change)
Farmhouse’s sold-out Hunt Camp dinners continue to inspire rapturous reports.
- Zakkushi (new this week)
This new Cabbagetown yakitori bar recently got a liquor license. Friday crowds soon followed (many of them having given up on Kingyo’s line).
- Chantecler (new this week)
Chantecler’s new tasting menu is already sold out for the next three weeks.
- Santouka Ramen (new this week)
In the space of three weeks, we, The Grid and The Globe all published ramen roundups. The consensus from the ramen otaku: Santouka is tops.
- Glas Wine Bar (new this week)
Underserved vegetarians rejoice: Leslieville’s Glas launched a vegetarian tasting menu to a sold-out crowd on Tuesday.
- Bar Volo (new this week)
On Saturday, the newly renovated bar invited Amsterdam Brewery to fill all 26 taps and six casks with special one-off beers. The sold-out event was so packed the crowd spilled out onto the patio in minus-12-degree weather (mercifully, there were heaters).
- Dyne (↓3)
At his new Av-and-Dav restaurant, Richard Andino is turning out creative riffs on Mediterranean standards. The neighbourhood is still skeptical, however—the restaurant was mostly empty last Saturday.
Dropped from the list this week: Splendido, Skin and Bones, Jacobs and Co., Enoteca Sociale, Yours Truly and Hawthorne.