Morello Ristorante's cuisine can't be confined to one region of the map. Instead, its chefs wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of refined Mediterranean cooking, accented with continental flavours and a touch of New-World flair. Escargot and gorgonzola in puff pastry and mussels in a fragrant broth nod to France, while entrees such as linguini carbonara and veal marsala represent its deep Italian roots. However, filet mignon, New York strip, and flank steaks—all of which are cut and aged in-house—display a classically North American sensibility.
The understated elegance of the dishes is echoed in the restaurant's decor. Earth tones and decorative masks warm the walls, and pendant lamps illuminate tables draped in crisp white linens like especially elegant ghosts. Tall windows at the front of the space offer views of the neighbourhood and ample chances to toast passersby.
Instead hefting flatware-laden platters, servers at Ekko de Brasil emerge from the kitchen with skewers of flame-kissed meats straight from the kitchen's grill tops. They slice these succulent cuts, which include bacon-wrapped chicken breast, top sirloin, and leg of lamb, directly onto diners plates, continuing until the guests either signal them to stop by flipping a color-coded coaster or stump them with a riddle. A veggie-filled salad bar of hot and cold sides incorporates as many fresh, seasonal ingredients as possible. The spacious dining room brightens up its dark-wood ambience with cherry-red curtains along the windows and lively Brazilian dance performances on Friday and Saturday evenings. Bartenders also help to keep morale high by uncorking Brazilian-vinted wines and mixing cocktails with cachaça, the favoured spirit of Brazil.
Alternating bands of solid chartreuse, stripes, grey damask, and a silvery geometric pattern, Restaurant Medzes' wall treatments merge the classic with the contemporary—creating an apt visual representation of their menu. Flambeed saganaki, moussaka, and lamb skewers anchor the kitchen's repertoire of traditional Greek fare and can be assembled into a miniature battle map of Thermoplyae, if you're a child. The Hellenic influence also permeates unexpected dishes: feta and tzatziki sauce tops burgers, and black olives, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes are tossed into fettuccine. Cannelloni, veal parmesan, and artisan pizzas further extend the Mediterranean's reach into the dining experience.
Thai Express fuses the familiar flavours of Thailand's eateries with the convenience of the New World's quick-service restaurants, presenting patrons with a vibrant dining alternative. The cooks add personalized amounts of spice to most of the entrees, complementing the aromatic combinations of lemongrass, coriander, and thai basil without overwhelming them. These ingredients, among others, can lend their distinctive flavours to everything from tom yum soup and stir-fries to pad thai and red, green, or yellow curries.
An old-fashioned charcoal grill is the secret behind Maison Kabob's tender, juicy meats. Its flames lick skewers of marinated chicken and filet mignon, infusing them with broiled flavour while locking in their natural juices. Cooks pair the kebabs with creamy sauces, fresh herbs, and roasted vegetables, and they also stuff them into pita sandwiches along with hummus and salad. All of the eatery's dishes are made fresh daily without preservatives.
A meal at L'Echelle de Jacob ferries diners through an oasis of French flavours guided by a menu abundant in traditional, elegant dishes refined over the last 35 years. Let throats swim in the deep end of the soup du jour before selecting one of six thoughtfully prepared entrees—such as the brandied duck and chicken-liver pate or the terrine of venison—to later inherit all your fortunes. Eight mains range in scope from game birds to resplendent cuts of meat, and include the filet of salmon with mango salsa and the hearty rack of lamb perched on a stage of poached apples, pears, and cranberries. Complete the four-course fete by cracking into the crème brûlée or scooping through the terrain of a snowflake lemon mousse, sealing the comforting memory away for recollection when it doing real shovelling this winter.