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.

#8 Byblos

Byblos

Partners Charles Khabouth (king of clubs) and Hanif Harji bring us dazzling Mediterranean cuisine. Actually, eastern Mediterranean. No hummus ‘n’ pita here. Instead we find spectacular octopus with fingerling potatoes, chili vinaigrette and preserved lemon, uber-crispy bread salad with barely marinated veg, lamb ribs that sell out most nights (and for good reason), a healthy salad of beets with yogurt that has no right to taste this great. Two desserts stand out: Flourless yogurt cake, a cross between panna cotta and cheesecake but lighter and tastier than both. And deep fried pastry cream with strawberry fragments on top. To entice us further — for the Khabouth/Harji mandate is enchantment you can buy — everyone makes an entrance at Byblos, down the pale cream stairway into the pale buzzy room that speaks metaphorically but not literally of a beach on a Greek island.


  • Byblos
  • 11 Duncan St., Toronto (map)
  • 647-660-0909
  • www.byblostoronto.com

  • Chef: Stuart Cameron
  • Sous Chef: Jay Tanuwidjaja
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Cost of dinner for two: $75
  • Hours: Mon. to Sun. 5 p.m. to late
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 150+
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: Yes
  • Private party area: Semi-private, can rent out entire venue
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Valet, street parking
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