John and Sons Oyster House 416.515.0551 http://johnandsonsoysterhouse.tumblr.com/ open daily lunch & dinner
The décor at this oyster bar in midtown Toronto resembles a New England crab shack with large wood beams and lighthouse pictures hanging on the wall. Large windows let natural light flood the open concept corner spot. John and Sons is a great neighborhood restaurant but not a destination place. However, the oysters taste as thought they have just been plucked out of the ocean. The wine list is nicely selected. Perfunctory servers.
The drink menu has a bunch of excellent cocktails. I recommend the Basil Honey Mule (vodka, basil, honey, ginger beer) and a fragrant Hummingbird (St. Germain, Prosecco, soda) that is lightly sweet. Oysters of the evening include: Raspberry point (salty, clean, sweet finish), La Mallet (high brininess, fruit finish), Beach Angels (earthy, creamy, cucumber), Cotuit (briny-sweet), Quduset Point (buttery, salty), and Standish (umami, high brininess). In an interesting poutine, lobster claw and tail are combined with lobster béchamel and bromont white cheddar curds to top Yukon gold fries. I really enjoyed the cheese texture, it’s like a cross between mozzarella and sharp cheddar.
A surprisingly delicious tuna tartar made with jalapeno, ginger, earthy shitake mushroom, spicy red chili, and a rich and savory miso vinaigrette. Smoked steelhead trout is minced and plopped onto Ontario butter greens, pickled Cipollini onion, and lemon-maple vinaigrette making for a plain, unimaginative salad. Pan roasted Blackcod is lost in a sea of heavy flavour with baby bok choy, edamame, shimeji mushrooms, and a ginger scented smoked bonito broth. The kitchens need to be a little gentler on a delicate fish.