City Betty’s fried chicken is a must-try
Affordable farm-to-table in a sweet setting
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 fresh (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 from 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