SETTLE IN HERE WITH A FRIEND AT A TABLE or at the long, busy bar and, at first, all seems normal. Zébulon Perron’s design for the place is as contemporary and appealing today as it was the day Plaza opened in late 2015. The mood is just as joyous, too — or possibly more so. The wine list is heavy on extravagant well-priced Burgundies. But — hang on a moment — what are all those plastic dinosaurs doing gathered on the pass? Order the sashimi de pétoncles and you’ll soon find out — the raw sliced scallop is served, draped over the striped back of a small Triceratops. This time, it’s dressed with crunchy quinoa, clementine segments, a dash of heat and tiny nasturtium leaves — and it is delicious. Chef Charles-Antoine Crête is an improvisational virtuoso. His co-chef and business partner, Cheryl Johnson, provides an enabling balance. Together they push boundaries. Trained French, they embrace Japanese. Their food is exuberantly original, occasionally busy and best enjoyed shared — especially via tasting menu. Whelk gratinée with miso butter is a Plaza classic. Stay late and the restaurant’s quotient of the unexpected often picks up, until suddenly you find yourself wondering why a birthday cake and sparklers just rode by on the Millennium Falcon. It’s nothing to worry about.
Photography by: Dominique Lafond
A modern, elegant, softly lit culinary oasis tucked away on the third floor of a Spadina Avenue warehouse...