Aaron Joseph Bear Robe’s well-run room is the city’s only native-focused restaurant, but the chef, who grew up on Alberta’s Siksika Nation reserve, is intent on making the place about more than his heritage. Although the overarching ethos here is fresh, local and organic, it’s the more traditional Aboriginal dishes that are the most memorable, particularly the braised bison pemmican, which is flavoured with saskatoon berries and served with maple syrup–goosed fry bread that tastes like a mash-up of traditional bannock and Tiny Tom doughnuts. The room is lovely; watch first-timers get that “I can’t believe we’re in Parkdale!” look when they walk in.
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