Canoe - still very good and a good place to take out-of-towners [Toronto]

I know Canoe has been around a long time and may not be at the cutting edge. But we have yet to have a weak meal. And with the stunning views and Canadian-focused menu and wine list, it is a great choice for guests from out-of-town. So with a friend visiting, we went with her and had another lovely evening.

Cocktails and initial drinks:

  • Leonard Cohen [above]: Tanqueray gin, Quaglia Bergamotto, crème de cacao, salted ginger tarragon, lime - floral, a little sweet, a little sour.
  • Lavender Collins: lemongrass infused Georgian Bay vodka, pamplemousse rose, lavender cordial, lemon, soda - very pleasant but could have had way more lavender and lemongrass.
  • Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario NV - very nice with the oysters.
  • Closson Chase ‘Churchside’ Pinot Noir, Prince Edward County, Ontario 2020 - light, some fruit, went well with the meats.

Half dozen fresh oysters: three Malpeque and missed what the other three were. Sauces were served in empty sea urchin shells.

Onion soup: Parmesan custard, caramelized onion, laurel oil - delicious and impressively served in an onion.

Heirloom tomato with wild snow crab, consommé vinaigrette, pickled watermelon, pretzel grissini - sweet crab, sweet tomatoes, with the right amount of acid from the vinaigrette.

Scallop en croûte: pancetta, celeriac rémoulade, preserved chanterelles, lobster oil, sea lettuce - just-cooked scallop in the fanciest chowder, served in a giant scallop shell encrusted with tasty pastry.

Pig’s trotter in a spot prawn bisque, sweetbreads, tarragon, crisped ear on the side - the meat was wrapped in the tendon, sitting in a delicious broth.

Venison tartare, barbecued asparagus, charcoal oil, pickled evergreen shallots, potato lattice - light, with forest-y touches.

[Not pictured] Wild pacific halibut, chicken fat crumb, salted halibut pomme purée, sauce Albuféra, roasted onion soubise, pickled vermouth - perfectly done fish and inhalable potatoes.

Lamb nose-to-tail (chop, mini haggis, loin, braised shoulder), nettle haché, morel ragoût, parsley cavatelli with garlic cream beside - all wonderful, especially the jus.

Crispy pork jowl, chaga roasted loin, local rhubarb, crispy pig ears, beetroot + blood orange - crispy rind, lots of tasty fat, blood orange helped cut some of it.

Ontario rhubarb, Sauvagine cheesecake, crispy meringue, spruce tip vinegar - very pretty, with nice tang and evergreen notes.


It’s now several years since my only visit to Toronto but dinner at Canoe was a highlight of that trip. Fantastic view. Great food (our first ever encounter with enoki mushrooms). Good to read it’s still going strong

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