DIRT COW­BOYS

Richmond Hill Post - - Food -

#7 DANDYLION

Be­fore chef Ja­son Carter opened up Dandylion, he worked un­der some bold­faced names like Susur Lee and Marc Thuet. But that doesn’t mean Carter is keen to fol­low in their foot­steps. Chef is far from be­ing a name at­tached to a buzzy event; in­stead, he works his sim­ple magic in his very own kitchen. The menu checks off all the boxes — lo­cal, or­ganic, sea­sonal, veg-for­ward — and is short and sweet. Meals al­ways start with Dandylion’s home­made bread, warmed just so and ready to smear with its soft fro­mage blanc. Starters like ri­cotta ravi­oli with sweet peas and basil speak to the veg­e­tar­i­ans, and mains like bavette steak with lentils and fresh as­para­gus are for the meat­heads. Carter is about the flavour, not the fuss. 1198 Queen St. W.

#16 ACTINOLITE

Holed up on an off-the-radar strip of Oss­ing­ton, this con­tem­po­rary Cana­dian restau­rant turns out eye-open­ing fare. The level of re­spect chef-owner Justin Cournoyer has for the land, for the sea­sons and for the cli­mate is pal­pa­ble in ev­ery dish. All is lo­cal and sea­sonal, and the ethos per­me­ates ev­ery as­pect of the busi­ness. As­para­gus is served with soured cream and fresh gar­den herbs, laid per­fectly ver­ti­cal on the plate. Turnips come with fer­mented apri­cot and pineap­ple weed, show­cas­ing their sim­ple glory. Not enough for ya? The joint re­cently nabbed the distinc­tion of be­ing the coun­try’s most eco-friendly restau­rant. Chew on that, ve­g­ans. This is more than a restau­rant; it’s a life les­son in a meal. 971 Oss­ing­ton Ave.

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