Sara Says...

DINE and Destinations - - TRAVELS - Jazz Bistro, 251 Vic­to­ria Street, Toronto ON M5B 1T8 416-363-5299 www.jazzbistro.ca

A one-of-a-kind red Stein­way pi­ano adorns the stage on which the top names play. The au­di­ence files in for the live band. They sit at bistro ta­bles, booths and up top on the sec­ond floor over­look­ing the bal­cony, all with an­tic­i­pa­tion of great mu­sic… and food. No other venue can match it. Chef Brad Macdon­ald’s chal­lenge is to cre­ate an ac­ces­si­ble yet ex­cit­ing menu that can wow a dif­fer­ent au­di­ence ev­ery night of the week. Vi­brant dinosaur kale and brus­sels sprout salad plays all the notes with light lemon cit­rus and toasty pine nuts, while a colour­ful med­ley of beets scores with creamy chèvre mousse, blood or­ange coulis, and maple­wal­nut pra­lines. The rooftop pa­tio crowd loves the chicken karaage. Crunchy morsels of meaty Ja­panese-style fried chicken with yuzu aioli are lively pop-in-your-mouth bites. Dur­ing the ap­plause, our waitress ap­pears in per­fect time with risotto—a rich con­flu­ence of sweet corn and smoked ba­con with plump seared diver scal­lops. Ten­der red wine­braised short ribs sing for a wine pair­ing. Chan­de­liers and vel­vet drapes raise the ro­mance of this eclec­tic gem, where ev­ery nook af­fords a dif­fer­ent view and feel. The Jazz Torte of choco­late sponge, pecan-pra­line but­ter cream and lux­u­ri­ous dulce de leche mousse makes us ap­plaud the chef.

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