Simple menu. Local ingredients. Attention to detail. Casual charm. Canteen.
O&B’s newest restaurant with a home in the TIFF Bell Lightbox…yep, just in time for film fest.
Defying the notion that simple fare can’t be done well, Canteen’s menu is centered around familiar, comfort foods. Pasta (gnocchi, tagliatelle), pizza (calabrese, al parma), pressed sandwiches (chicken BLT, prosciutto), steak frites, mussels etc. with a weekly chef’s menu that changes based on seasonality.
Two encounters in the past two weeks. Our first was complete with C listening to me lament over forgotten camera every time a new dish was brought out… plated with care and served in beautifully heavy French cast iron cookware…we were all over the presentation. I’m partial, can’t help it.
A feast for the eyes, and our first indication of Chef Jason Bangerter’s influence. Second indication? Housemade ketchup. Seriously, try with the handcut fries…addicting. Third indication? Edible flowers. Try the Soma brownie. Could keep going, but he really does have his hand in everything. A little touch here and there…exceeding your expectations for casual dining.
Imagine spending eight years at Auberge and then making the leap to Canteen/Luma (higher-end lounge, opening Sept 12). Worlds apart and difficult to believe…unless you’ve experienced his personality. Warm, engaging and incredibly personable – he’s just as passionate about creating the finest French cuisine or $7 beef brisket sandwich and $11 mac & cheese.
Returned this eve, with camera in hand, and enjoyed a handful of new dishes. No repeats. Yet.
Stand-outs so far: the salads (thai coleslaw, beet root, israeli couscous), chicken liver parfait and desserts (soma brownie, lemon posset).
New challenges, exciting launches…and if both restaurants survive TIFF (Sept 9 -19), they’ll survive anything. Including the noise on King St.
330 King St. West, TIFF Bell Lightbox