City Betty’s fried chicken is a must-try

Af­ford­able farm-to-ta­ble in a sweet set­ting

Annex Post - - FOOD - By Caro­line Ak­sich and Karolyne El­la­cott

At the Dan­forth’s new farm-totable bistro City Betty, the sage green room looks like an An­thro­polo­gie dis­play, with a pas­tel mu­ral, hang­ing suc­cu­lents and crys­tals strewn about.

Chef Am­ber Farrell’s ev­er­chang­ing menu draws on in­flu­ences from Cal­i­for­nia and New York, with dishes made from what­ever in­gre­di­ents are in sea­son in On­tario at the time.

Sur­vey­ing the menu

Right away we com­mit­ted $15 to drinks (one zero per cent cock­tail, made with Seedlip; one Bur­dock brew), leav­ing enough for an or­der of bread, wa­ter­melon carpac­cio and trout crudo. Fried chicken, cost­ing a cool $26, is deemed the linch­pin of the en­tire meal.

But first: bread. It ar­rives smeared with melted but­ter and ac­com­pa­nied by, well, more but­ter. With all the fresh veg that’s about to ar­rive, that seems sen­si­ble.

Food as good as it looks

We were right — the wa­ter­melon carpac­cio ($12) is the per­fect bal­ance of f resh (yel­low wa­ter­melon, pick­led cauliflower) and spice (chilies, shaved black radish), with pops of fill­ing fatty good­ness (crum­bles of Fifth Town’s Lemon Fetish cheese).

Next up is the crudo. Fanned sugar pears, pick­led chilies and quenelles of za’atar-whipped cream hide sliv­ers of On­tario trout ($16). Although de­li­cious, the trout is drowned by the many strong flavours aboard.

Top-notch fried chicken

Fi­nally, it’s time for the only large plate our bud­get could af­ford. This is the fried chicken that sets the bar when it comes to crispy birds. You can hear a crunch as you crack into a morsel.

The duo of juicy thighs comes with egg­plant (ren­dered into a but­tery caviar on the bar­be­cue), deep-fried, pick­led ar­ti­choke and cherry toma­toes. All f rom On­tario farms, of course.

A sweet end

Our server then places the dessert menus on the ta­ble. He clearly spot­ted us eye­ing the peach cob­bler a ta­ble over. A cit­rus pud­ding is or­dered — sunny jew­els of key lime and Meyer lemon curd ac­com­pany del­i­cately smoked co­conut cream — we don’t re­gret a penny of it.

Our own Betty and Veron­ica, Caro­line Ak­sich and Karolyne El­la­cott

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