David Chang, the New York superstar chef responsible for our obsession with ramen, all things pork and nearly every food trend of the past few years, has opened Toronto’s most exciting restaurant. At Shoto, on the third floor of the lofty Momofuku complex, a black granite bar with just 22 prized seats encircles an open kitchen, where Michael Bates, Chang’s right hand at Ko in New York, and his team of studious cooks prepare decadent 10-course meals with tiny spoons and tweezers. They concentrate lemon jam to a point of supernatural tartness, so just a few dabs ignite a lobster tail bathed in smoky tandoori spices. And patiently sous-vide the sinew of a veal cheek for three days into meltingly tender goodness, then sear it with Sichuan pepper until every forkful is a luscious, tongue-tingling event. The course-by-course pairings of rare sakes, French vintages and microbrews are equally exacting, like a nutty porter from Toronto’s own Bellwoods Brewery that perfectly complements a silky quenelle of banana ice cream. Admission is $150 and an extra $80 for pairings—the best money you’ll spend all year.
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