By Katrina Turchin, Steven Sandor, Cory Schachtel | February 22, 2022
If a restaurant can survive opening at the start of a global pandemic, then that’s a testament to its excellence. Tryst opened in March 2020 and it has become a top dining destination. Owner Michelle McDonald and Head Chef Zach Eaton bring decades of culinary experience to Tryst’s tables.
The charcuterie board is a great place to start when browsing the menu. The board comes with the chef’s choice of Meuwly’s cured meats, Paddy’s International Cheeses, preserves and pickles and sourdough bread. The chef’s choices pair incredibly well together and the portion is great for sharing. The Ricotta Gnocchi is a creamy main dish that includes Meuwly’s ’nduja salami, sundried tomato cream, pistachios, garlic chips and grana Padano. The flavours meld together to create a delicious experience. Another aspect of fine dining that Tryst excels at is plating. Each dish is created to look like a work of art. – Katrina Turchin
Rosewood Foods can fool you a bit when you walk in. The feel is totally modern: Large picture windows offer diners great vantage points of Rice Howard Way and Churchill Square. The high ceilings give way to minimalist decor. So, you might be surprised to get big orders of food that feel like they come from a country kitchen. There’s the burger and katsu fried chicken on house-made buns. The olive-oil cake and those darn fresh doughnuts (when available). And, it takes a heck of a lot of willpower to turn down the crispy potatoes. I’ve seen side orders of them on tables, as diners can’t get enough. Putting them in the middle of a plate is like a giant dare shared with your tablemates. Who will break and dive in first? They are as if cocaine was reinvented in potato form. This is the country inn that looks nothing like a country inn. – Steven Sandor
Nestled atop Eleanor & Laurent (next to the Sugarbowl), La Petite Iza is a hidden gem. The French restaurant offers a small-plate menu until 5 p.m. and a full bistro menu until close, both of which may be best described as scrumptious — and hearty. There are seafood options on both, with mussels, oysters and escargots to spare, along with onion soup, charcuterie and steak, and a wine menu that competes with any in the city. It’s the kind of place where the food quality matches the presentation, and even small plates fill you up.
Ideal for date night (and available for group event bookings), the dark and moody interior opens to a heated, covered rooftop patio. Fitting perfectly in the small section of restaurants and shops off 109th Street, this gem shines bright, and won’t stay hidden for long. – Cory Schachtel