Farmers’ market fine dining at the Brick Works, stylish Greek food downtown and a proper bistro on Baldwin
550 Bayview Ave., 416-901-8234
Chef Brad Long’s soaring new room, looking out on the Evergreen Brick Works, will doubtless appear in international travel magazines. The interior design, by John Tong of 3rd Uncle, is reminiscent of an enormous reclaimed farmhouse. The menu, executed by former JK Wine Bar chef de cuisine Dan DeMatteis, is built somewhat earnestly (“Food Is Fuel, Food Is Medicine, Food Is Love,” it announces in flowing script) around the ingredients that appear at the Brick Works’ weekly farmers’ market. There are some fantastic dishes, including a plate of cured meats with lovely smoked duck breast, trout with a slightly sweet cure, and smoked whitefish and fennel that’s been sweetened on the grill and topped with pickled ox-eye daisy buds. A hot pot of steamed mussels, good clams and a few oysters is properly done, if a bit humdrum. By contrast, the sweet and sticky pork with apples—cubes of melting, crisped-up pork belly—is deadly good. But the sum of a meal here is a little underwhelming—the food is well prepared, and the ingredients are as virtuous as a Slow Foodist’s newborn babe; it’s just not that different from the food at Ed Ho’s Globe chain, or Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, or Ruby Watchco. It’s fresh, it’s local, it’s familiar. A liquor licence should be coming any day now. In the meantime there’s house-made lemonade and sodas. Mains $15–$24.
Read the rest of this entry »