No. 35: Aloette
Questions were certainly raised when Patrick Kriss, one of Toronto’s most exacting and rigorous chefs, announced he would be turning his attention to glorified diner food: can I get a table, is it going to be affordable and, most important, will there be milk bread? Probably, yes and so long as you order the burger, definitely, are the happy answers.
Aloette bills itself as a bistro, but the snug booths and long line of counter stools give off a distinct Barry Levinson vibe and the aforementioned burger, iceberg wedge salad and lemon meringue pie add to the diner sensation. Nonetheless, the kitchen executes those classics with rare expertise, and the menu offers much more to discover.Lacy and fragile long bean tempura might be topped with furikake and kimchi mayo or fried capers and garlic aioli.
Maillard-tinged octopus tentacles are joined by curling rounds of chorizo, nearly collapsing shishitos and crusty shards of potato. And we’re clearly not at Mel’s when the supplest agnolotti this side of Piedmont come topped with Périgord black truffle. Idiosyncratic and clever wine selections almost force guests out of their comfort zones, with close to universally happy results. And the serving staff, in their sharp bow ties, are relaxed and gregarious in that particular way that can only be achieved when all the details are in order.
Photos by : Stephanie Madeira; Maison