No. 10: Edulis
169 NIAGARA STREET, TORONTO, ONTARIO
With decor running more to modest than stylish, and only 30-odd seats spread over its twin main-floor rooms, this restaurant appears to the uninitiated as your average neighbourhood bistro.
But its devotees border on cultish—and this loyalty has not waned one bit since the restaurant opened in 2012. Part of the reason is that husband-and-wife chef-owners Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth are devoted to making everything from scratch—properly. Or, failing that, procuring it from the best possible sources. For example, the meal starts with crusty house-baked sourdough served with artisanal fermented butter from Quebec. Caballo and Nemeth’s culinary passions are strictly Western European. Sometimes the focus falls on France, as with their special-order canard à la presse, the finest example this side of the Tour d’Argent.
More often, though, they find their inspiration in Spain—say, with charcoal grilled clams accompanied by artichokes, jamón ibérico and ajo blanco. Their tried-and-true five- and seven-course tasting menu format features enough daily inspiration to keep things fresh and lively, and a special truffle menu—for white and black seasons—is a hot ticket. The short but well-curated wine list is angled to the Old World, and rounded out by a small but intriguing selection of Champagnes. The mood is always convivial.