FRESH FROM A DESIGN MAKEOVER COMPLETED JUST BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, Canoe enters its 28th year with its culinary mission of haute Canadiana freshly renewed. A promotion from chef de cuisine to executive chef came with a licence for Ron McKinlay to tune his cooking exactly as he pleases. That means frequently updated tasting menus with dishes conceived in real time to feature the best of Canadian terroir — farmed, foraged and fished. Classics remain — the mushroom soup is untouchable — and the raw-bar tower is just about as good as it gets. That kind of precision comes with experience, specifically that of sous Eric Valente and executive sous Des Murphy, who have been with McKinlay and the Canoe brigade for years. More luxurious dishes lean on old-school techniques that few restaurants can manage this capably, like, for example, winter’s recurring beef Wellington with sauce Périgueux. Desserts are imaginative and just as polished. The wine list rewards bargain hunters and has plenty of big-name firepower. Sharp staff makes sure the experience is memorable for all the right reasons. The best seats here are window-side where, from 54 floors up the TD Bank Tower, the views of the sprawling city and Lake Ontario are hard to beat.
Chef Ron McKinlay’s instagram was one of the most awe-inspiring content producers of the pandemic”
Photos: Pauline Yu