No. 9: Dandylion
THIS SMALL, 30-ODD-SEAT ROOM HAS MUCH CHARM IN ITS SIMPLE DESIGN.
But the reason this restaurant is full night after night has mostly to do with the man who can be observed at work in the back, toiling away in the open, white-walled kitchen, head down, eyes focused on his food and little else. Chef and co-owner Jason Carter enjoys a reputation as a chef’s chef. He trained and worked with the best—Susur Lee, Marc Thuet—and since then has quietly earned renown as one of the most skilled and least self-promoting chefs in the city. This is his first restaurant, and he describes his food as “simple.”
Which is true of how it looks—but seldom of the culinary technique behind it. You’ll sit down to some warm bread he just baked with a starter he got going six or so years ago—crisp-crusted, with a dense, moist crumb, served with fresh fromage blanc. (You’ll want more of it, but you’d better not.) Next, maybe a perfectly balanced salad of citrus segments, yogurt and mint, or some delicately poached shrimp in a flavourful shell broth. Poultry, fish, pork or lamb—cooking is always precisely à point, the flesh succulent, the seasoning perfect. Meat is never really the star of the plate: it’s the beautifully prepared vegetables that one’s fork tends to lunge for first. The menu is short, just a few choices described with only the essential words, and edited into threes—three courses, three dishes each, three primary ingredients, and always the very best available (sourcing is irreproachable). What sounds simple is in this case so much more than the sum of its parts.
Tuesday to Saurday
5:30 PM until 10:30 PM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MAT FABIJANIC