Chantecler (416) 628-3586 http://www.restaurantchantecler.ca/ closed mon-tues
Cute, small and modern, Chantecler offers Asian and Canadian inspired dishes. Upbeat Jazz softly plays in the background. The menu, which changes frequently, will excite and inspire food obsessed individuals. Plates are small and made for sharing, and believe me you will want to order the whole menu.
The wine list is made up of mainly lighter French reds. Cocktails are few and take time to create.
“Gin and Tonic” is revitalizing, made from Victoria gin, a lemonade-like housemade tonic, and garnished with a grapefruit.
My favorite cocktails for summer 2012 must include a herbal liqueur and “Toronto cocktail” hits the spot. Rye, Fernet Branca, Angostura and burnt orange fills the nostrils with mint, fruit and flowers.
Next standout zucchini blossoms lightly dusted and crispy outside with a sweet corn purée (tasting as though freshly picked) and spiced Romesco is brilliant.
Roast Chantecler chicken with poached egg, ramp (wild leek), seaweed and dried oyster has aromas of sweet and sour. Maybe just a touch of salt is needed. I never paid attention to chicken meat before, now I can taste the Chantecler difference.
Pork neck with Kusshi oyster, lettuce and xo sauce is nicely done. The texture is chewy at first then falls apart releasing the fatty texture with each bite.
Ricotta Gnudi delights with juicy smoked tomatoes, tender summer squash and fresh basil. Each element works on its own then combines together for an amazing finale. I was pleasantly surprised.