In the last year, Toronto’s restaurant makeup has become about 80 per cent fishier. Rock Lobster, once a cute pop-up shop, has morphed into a crustacean-based restaurant chain (soon to open its third location in Leslieville), The Chase has turned haute seafood into the meal of choice for Toronto power brokers, and oysters and tuna tartare have become as ubiquitous on restaurant appetizer lists as last decade’s bruschettas and caprese salads.
Camp, the homey brunch spot in Baby Point, is the latest Toronto dining venue to take a pescatarian turn. The restaurant recently reopened as Fish Camp, a full-service dinner spot with an elaborate raw bar, buck-a-shuck Wednesdays and a menu of fish-focused dishes from former Catch chef Charlotte Langley, who is helping get the new concept off the ground and will eventually hand the reins over to her culinary mentee, Ian Shute.
At Fish Camp, Langley’s goal is to make seafood approachable. “Fish still scares some people on restaurant menus,” she says. “The food I’m making here is simple, user-friendly cuisine.” Menu-wise, that translates into casual, comforting dishes, like bacon-topped lobster rolls, fish-cake sliders on mini milk buns and Steelhead trout with bourbon-butter sauce, plus a handful of fishy brunch dishes on Sundays. “It’s comfort food with the chance to get risky,” Langley says.
Some of the biggest risks, it would seem, come in alcoholic form: the drinks list includes something called the Dark and Screechie—a spin on the Dark and Stormy made with super-potent East Coast rum—and a uniquely fishy martini, which features a submerged oyster along with the obligatory olive-studded swizzle stick.
Fish Camp, 244 Jane St., 647-346-2267, camprestauranttoronto.com