2016 JOANNE KATES 100 BEST RESTAURANTS

The Spend A Lot list is Joanne’s sky’s-the-limit guide to dining in the big city.

#20 Actinolite

Actinolite

No other chef but Justin Cournoyer puts the likes of lichens and pine needles on a plate… and makes them taste great. This is edible Canadiana with a dash of molecular gastronomy. You can do seven courses for $90 or four for $55, both with ingenious wine pairings (for $60 and $40). Chef does perfectly cooked wild brown trout from Collingwood in golden broth made of rutabaga cooked with moss and pine needles! He says his food is simple but he lies. It tastes of strong simple messages but has been built painstakingly, layer upon layer, like Venetian under-painting. Like one warmed but not cooked Colville bay oyster sitting on buttermilk scented with lemon verbena powder and topped with a nest of shredded fermented apple and cute little yeast crisps. Who could ever have imagined that the food of our country could be so much fun?


  • Actinolite
  • 971 Ossington Ave., Toronto (map)
  • 416-962-8943
  • www.actinoliterestaurant.com/

  • Chef: Justin Cournoyer
  • Sous Chef: Barbode Soudi
  • Cuisine: Seasonal
  • Cost of dinner for two: $110
  • Hours: Wed. to Sat. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 50
  • BYOB?:
  • Corkage fee:
  • Patio: Yes
  • Private party area: Can rent out entire venue
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Street parking available
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