Skin+Bones is a great neighbourhood go-to. But is it, in the words of the Michelin guide, “worth a special journey?” Only if fried meat fat is your drug of choice.">

Kates: is Skin+Bones worth the trek to Leslieville?



Pork belly with octopus salad and arancini $18 (Image: Jon Sufrin)

If you live in Leslieville, Skin+Bones is a great neighbourhood go-to. But is it, in the words of the Michelin guide, “worth a special journey?” Only if fried meat fat is your drug of choice.

Go figure why chef Matthew Sullivan, who did wonderful work with Mediterranean seafood at Maléna, has gone over to the dark side. Creativity lives here, but with no leash on it.

Do squid “noodles” on lettuce need pig crackling? Celeriac gnocchi are heavy and don’t taste of celeriac, and of two sides on offer, one is potatoes deep-fried and then fried again, with cream sauce.

Chef gets his pork belly good and crisp and sides it cleverly with coins of marinated octopus and radish in orange vinaigrette. But deep-fried bone marrow risotto? Dense toffee pudding with bone marrow caramel and whipped cream?

Chef Sullivan can do way lighter than this.

Skin+Bones, 980 Queen Street East 416-524-5209

Joanne Kates trained at the Ecole Cordon Bleu de Cuisine in Paris. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Maclean’s and Chatelaine, and she was the Globe and Mail’s restaurant critic for 38 years.