No. 27: Canis
CANIS OPENED quietly in 2016 on a strip of Toronto’s West Queen West known not for fine dining but for a concentration of boutiques dedicated to weed, doggies and eyeglasses.
At first the locals were confused: canis…cannabis…was this another dispensary, albeit a very pretty one? No. And as the accolades poured in and word of chef Jeff Kang’s brilliant cooking spread, the seats in the dark, sparse, wood-accented space began to fill. Kang came to Toronto via Vancouver, where he cooked at C and Diva at the Met, taking a job as chef de cuisine at Bosk at the Shangri-La Hotel. Viewed from the sidewalk, Canis exudes serenity in contrast with the gritty vibe of the street. While fine (or, at least, finer) dining is beginning to infiltrate the trendy Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, Canis is unique. It has the area’s only multi-course tasting menu and its tiniest dining room, which affords a clear view of the kitchen where Kang and chef de cuisine Tosh Agassiz do their stuff. Kang has eliminated the five-course tasting menu, and the only option now is an eight-course dinner ($95) with wine pairings (add $74) from a small, global list of food-friendly wines (read: low on alcohol and wood and high on acid and nerve) curated by sommelier Ashley Costa Sousa.