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P.E.I. bluefin tuna, bok choy, seaweed.

AT OPENING, ALO SOUGHT TO ELEVATE Canadian fine dining with fresh international flair and a new standard of finesse. And while that mission was long ago accomplished, the project continues with its original fervour undimmed even as Alo approaches its 10th anniversary. Tightly orchestrated tasting menus are the name of the game in this intimate and elegant third-floor dining room with an open kitchen. Chef-owner Patrick Kriss and chef de cuisine Tim Yun prefer international luxury to local forage, with their flavour pairings more often logical than daring, but there is beauty in the details. Culinary styles veer with studied fluidity from Japanese to French. A trio of amuse-bouches starring Petrossian caviar, foie gras and something raw from the Sea of Japan sets the tone for the delicacies to come. The supply of seasonal delicacies from afar is constant: Alba truffle in the fall, thick spears of white asparagus from Provence in early spring, and so on. Every meal has its conversation stoppers — exquisite renderings of simplicity like chawanmushi with capon, foie gras and winter truffle, or Quebec veal tenderloin paired with escargot, sweetbread and an emulsified mustard sauce. The menu evolves constantly, piecemeal. Service is ultra-professional. Much-lauded sommelier Christopher Sealy’s wine pairings for the tasting menu are the best way to go. On which, note that only one is now available, meeting the previous two-tiered offer somewhere in the middle.

For that odd time when 10 courses seem too much, opt for a casual half-dozen in the Barroom, where bookings are easier to procure.
Impeccable from start to finish. Natalie Goldenberg-Fife