Toronto: Edulis

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Edulis and especially since it made 2012’s En Route list.  We’ve been meaning to try it but reservations are not easy to come by. Nonetheless, when the restaurant came out with their 8 course tasting menu (including 2 Croatian White Truffle courses) last November I immediately called to reserve to satisfy our addiction to the rare and aromatic tuber.  The décor was homely with added touches charm.  There was a duck press on display and items the owners may have picked up from their travels around Europe.

Edulis-pintxosTo amuse our taste buds we started off with a plate of Pinxtos (Basque style tapas). Guilda olives stuffed with anchovies and peppers and some cubes of homemade toasted bread with Spanish olive oil.

Bread. Baking and cooking are two separate crafts.  One should perfect and specialize their skills to offer their best product.  I’ve been to a few restaurants with home-made bread where they should have just ordered from Ace’s (which I believe makes a fine baguette and is widely available in almost any grocery store in the Greater Toronto Area).  In the case of Edulis, they should continue baking because it is some of the best in-house baked bread I’ve had at any restaurant in the city.

Edulis white truffle 1We then moved on to the first truffle course, which by the way blew my mind.  Raw Portuguese fish with shavings of white truffles. The fish’s clean and fresh flavour brought out the earthy butteriness in the white truffles.  An unusual but perfect duo. My most memorable item of the night.  You can shave truffles on pretty much anything but in my experience, it’s best paired with a simple dish.

Edulis fish with rice crispTheir next  course was an incredible torched mackerel in a cucumber and apple juice with shaved cucumber and puffed rice.  Refreshing with a delightful texture from the cucumbers and puffed rice.  Edulis’ fish preparation is exquisite yet so modest.

Edulis duckGround duck dumpling. Yatsutaki mushroom with a duck consommé with shaved radish.  I liked the idea but the consommé had a gameness which was borderline unpleasant and even for a person like myself who adores duck.

Edulis cooked fishFluke over Japanese charcoal with chanterelle mushrooms with sliced radish, celeriac purée and sunchoak chips. Again another superb fish course but this time cooked. The flavour and texture combinations were just right.  The tenderness of the fluke’s flesh with the crisp chip and creamy purée were a perfect combination.

Edulis potato risotto white truffCelery root and potato risotto with white truffles.  Instead of the typical Arborio, the chef chopped tiny celery root and potato cubes. Creamy, seasonal and comforting.  However, because this dish was salty it somehow diminished the white truffle aroma instead of enhancing it.

Edulis first meat courseHouse made rabbit and pistachio sausage and brussel sprouts, mushrooms and kale.  I’m not the biggest fan of rabbit.  Overall, my least favorite course.

Edulis duck courseRoast duck breast, spelt, kilrabi, carrots and spinach. The duck breast was chewy but the duck confit croquettas were enjoyable.

Edulis dessertDessert was a homemade citrus tart with a side of Ontario kiwis.  Who knew Ontario grew such exotic fruits. About the size or even smaller than an M&M.

Overall, an inspirational and rustic Mediterranean meal.  Comforting and unpretentious dishes using superior ingredients and skillful preparation.  The white truffles were divine and I will be returning tonight for their winter black truffle menu. The dinner started with a big bang with incredible fish, however, after the risotto I felt the meal plateau-ed somewhat. My only major complaint of the evening was that I was freezing cold!  When it’s minus 20 degree Celsius the owners need to crank up the heat.

169 Niagara Street, Toronto, ON

5 course tasting menu price per person = $65

7 course tasting menu price per person = $85

8 course truffle tasting menu price per person = $150