West Queen West welcomes Canis, a restaurant with a brand new take on Canadian cuisine. With a cozy venue that offers unique and complex dishes that emphasize local Canadian ingredients, Canis manages to make upscale cuisine approachable and welcoming to all. Offering 100% organic wines, vegetarian, pescetarian and carnivorous dishes, the menu is tremendously attractive to all restaurant-goers.
The Fresh Goat Cheese Beet Almond ($15.00) is not only an edible work of art that demonstrates more complexity than the name provides, but also takes texture profiling to a whole new level. The dish is composed of beet ribbons, which delivers a familiar earthy flavour. This dish takes it further with semi-dried beets that emphasize the sweetness of the root vegetable while also offering a contrasting gummy texture that pairs perfectly with the crunchy almonds that are scattered throughout. House made goats milk ricotta is dispersed among the plate and provides a nice saltiness and a luscious creamy mouth feel. Fennel seed, mint and cold pressed canola oil brings everything together and provides a crisp, fresh finish with every bite.
The Lamb Shoulder ($29.00), which is braised for 12 hours and paired with a charred gem lettuce, which is topped with yogurt and lamb jus, was another winning item on this menu. The presentation was almost too beautiful to disrupt, but with just the touch of a fork, the meat began to fall apart and become one with the broccoli puree and baby carrot that was placed on top. With such tender meat and perfectly paired accompaniments, each bite takes your palate on a warm fall adventure that keeps you wanting more. Even the charred gem lettuce on the side hosted a smoky essence that brings to mind cooking by a Canadian fire on a brisk fall eve.
Each dish was artfully presented and had ingredients that were strategically plated to emphasize the contrasting textures and flavour profiles of each dish, but nothing was quite as exquisite as the dessert. We were lucky enough to try the grape and chocolate offerings. Our taste buds were tickled by the texture of the fermented grape granata with its contrast to the fresh grapes and buttermilk ice cream beneath. The chocolate mousse with buckwheat ice cream holds a familiar chocolate taste with nutty notes from the buckwheat meringue, which was artfully placed atop a delicate scoop of buckwheat ice cream and finished with organic honey and candied buckwheat.
Although every dish at Canis is (almost) too beautiful to eat, flavour is far from compromised. TorEats highly recommends a visit to this new establishment located at 746 Queen St W. for a truly unique take on Canadian flavours.
TorEats rates Canis: