Edulis Restaurant, Toronto
Its name means “Edible” in Latin, and for good reason: the critics are eating it up. Chef/Owner Michael Caballo spent years manning the kitchen at the Niagara Street Café, whose spot Edulis now inhabits. His wife, Tobey Nemeth, was Chef de Cuisine at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. After they were married, they pulled up stakes to travel, explore and cook from BC and Spain to Panama and Tuscany. Coming home, the couple has brought unparalleled passion and expertise to the 33-seat restaurant that opened only earlier this year. Copious glowing reviews followed very quickly. Their passion for good food is contagious.
Joanne Kates wrote this of Chef Michael Caballo: “The man is a sensualist and an enabler. I know chicken skin is bad for me, but this guy smokes it and crisps it to the point of irresistible — as a throwaway line beside velvety warm chicken terrine with light herbed vinaigrette (which is completely different from the vinaigrette on the squid). He wraps tender sweetbreads and veal up in little packages with sweet fresh walnuts and sets them off with apple slivers in tangy mayo remoulade.” I think she was impressed.
James Chatto’s mouth-watering review confirmed it … just read this description. “His Spanish heritage is immediately apparent in a freebie of Basque gildas (anchovy-stuffed green olives skewered to morsels of the house-baked red fife bread) and in a super dish of halibut cheeks, clams, fiddleheads and firm rice loosened by chicken broth. But the menu also reveals other enthusiasms for foraging wild foods and mushrooms and for using the less commonplace parts of animals. A dish of cocks’ combs and hedgehog mushrooms, for example, plays up their textural similarity, braised with soft white beans, aromatic garlic-mustard greens and a heavenly slab of crisp bacon.” And just in case there was any doubt left, he calls the Caballo/Nemeth team ” two of the city’s most promising young chefs”
Their menu is about as close to the earth as it can be…wild plants from freshly foraged mushrooms to sea arugula to coltsfoot and even one called ‘skunkberries’ abound. There are no canned soft drinks, rather Nemeth preserves elder flowers for cordials. They cure BC herrings in the French style, in sunflower oil, and layer them with carrots and other vegetables to be served warm. They roast heritage Chantecler chickens in hay (below left). On Sundays, their lunches are designed for long, languorous dining as one might do in France. Those meals have special menus and may be built around a leg of Gaspesie lamb or a suckling pig.
Edulis is one of about 250 restaurants participating in Food Day across Canada. To reserve a table contact them at the number below.
Edulis est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez Edulis directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation pour Journée des terroirs.
169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON
( The gorgeous images were taken by Jim Norton Photography)