Ever since Duchess Bake Shop moved in, 124th Street looks extra tasty. The patisserie might have helped put the street on the map, but so many new flavours have cropped up since 2009, you'll need a map to explore them all.
Its name comes from the three owners (plus an extra ‘k’ for good measure), but partner Matt Klatt says there are three more words to live by: “Casual, local, fresh.” It’s fine dining without the tablecloths, plus vegan and celiac options.
Owner’s Pick: Alberta duo, a Merlot slow-braised beef cheek and panseared striploin with Merlot reduction
Andrea and Frank Olson made their markwith the south side’s preeminent gourmetrestaurant, Red Ox Inn. Now they’re toutingcasual dishes, overachieving wines startingat $36 and simple, un-muddled cocktails.
Built on a service for chocolate-dipped fruit bouquets, the real attraction is Julie andHeather Mateer’s family recipes. Whetherwaffles or moan-inducing Bavarian custard crepes, fresh fruit is always at the centre oftheir breakfast/lunch menu.
Though it opened at the height of thecharcuterie rage, meats and cheeses areno longer the allure. The attraction is chefNeil Chamberlaine’s modern French disheslike pan-seared scallops with arugula, pesto,lime, chili and smoked sea salt.
Owner’s pick: Steak frites: a seven-ouncefilet mignon with handcut fries, truffle butter and jalapeno ketchup
Hinted bythe National Post to be “the bestpatisserie in Canada,” this branched-outsupplies shop carries everything to make thebest pastries in your postal code – even an apple Earl Grey jelly so local, some of its apples are plucked from the neighbourhood.
Name another place where you’ll simultaneously find kids building puzzles, yogis and studying students in the same line of sight? Seble Amelga’s vision of a utopian society converging over simple Italian recipes brings them together.
Owner’s Pick: Gorgonzola pizza withgreen apples and walnut
A month into business this southernbarbecue joint closed its doors due to -save the jokes – a fire. The restaurant willreopen within the next few months. Call it a hiccup, because nothing can replace Terry and Sherry Sept’s authentic recipes and smoker, which slowly softens briskets and ribs into napkin-requiring sandwiches.