A MODERN, ELEGANT, SOFTLY LIT CULINARY OASIS TUCKED AWAY ON THE THIRD FLOOR OF A SPADINA AVENUE WAREHOUSE, Alo forged its reputation on highly orchestrated tasting menus that run three hours long. In its seventh year the disciplined kitchen (now helmed by Tim Yun) continues to turn out dishes with the same elevated finesse that regulars have grown accustomed to. The culinary style veers from Japanese to French and North American. Techniques are cutting-edge, but the kitchen prefers to seduce with luxurious ingredients rather than daring combinations. For luxurious, here, read imported from afar — asparagus from Provence, Venetian caviar, scallops and uni from Hokkaido, etc. Dishes are always pretty, and the sauces rich — despite habitual aeration. Expect to get started with a tiny foie gras–filled tart with rhubarb and Sicilian pistachio. Next, a salvo of Japanese-accented raw fish (like fluke sashimi). From there, a grilled double-stacked fillet of Spanish Dover sole, with grilled B.C. honey mussels and an intense clam sauce emulsified with butter. Then, some prime meats, like a chop of New Zealand lamb rack, with green curry, sheep’s milk yogurt and a crispy pearl onion. Still peckish? Opt for an addon of A5 Kumamoto wagyu. Descend gently from this fatty pinnacle with not one but two desserts and a cluster of mignardises. The best way to drink along to these luxurious menus dégustations is to opt for sommelier Christopher Sealy’s course-by-course wine pairings, which now come in two differently priced flights. Of which we say: Why hold back now? Go premium and don’t look back.
The closest we have to a 2-star Michelin experience in this country.”
– Howard Levitt
Photos: Jonathan Adediji