The Little Canadian Restaurant That's Fast Becoming One of the World's Best
Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth, owners of Toronto’s Edulis restaurant (Photo: Edulis)
Keep going south after the crayon-red Fu Sien Tong Buddhist Temple, fronted by a posse of stone carvings: That’s how insiders will tell you to find Edulis restaurant, located on a leafy side street in downtown Toronto. Latin in name, French and Spanish in tone, the 32-seater opened in 2012 and has only grown in lore since, becoming a locus for culinary pilgrims from around the globe.
Ruth Reichl lingered there for four hours. Martha Stewart arrived in leather pants and live-tweeted her own go-‘round. Superstar chef René Redzepi, from Noma, made it his maiden meal when he arrived in town.
A dish at Edulis restaurant (Photo: Edulis)
Plying “the gulf between refined and rusticated” is how Canada’s leading restaurant critic, Chris Nuttall-Smith, of the Globe and Mail, described the place, which is the love child of chef Michael Caballo and his front-of-the-house wife, Tobey Nemeth. Visiting the restaurant for the second time after his initial review in 2012, Nuttall-Smith pronounced that the restaurant had only grown more distinct, more thrilling, giving the spot an almost unheard-of four stars.
My two cents (even though Canada abolished the penny recently): It’s a restaurant where there is ambition but no bluster. Any swagger is the stealth kind. Many of its standards — a hay-roasted chicken, lobster blanquette, an octopus paella — are the sorts of things lifted from an M.F.K. Fisher sense-poem. Its herring in oil with carrots is good enough to convert even a herring atheist.
One of the cozier experiences at Edulis comes via its $40 set-price, stay-as-long-as-you-want Sunday afternoon lunch, with wines all half-price. The whole scene is the very definition of languorous.
A table setting at Edulis restaurant (Photo: Edulis)