Opened this late Summer is Canis, named after the Grey Wolf (scientific name: Canis lupus), and is a take on the minimalism of Canadian cuisine. When they opened, Jeff and I were about to try it only to find the menu not so intriguing.
One thing to note about Canis is the menu changes based on seasonal ingredients. We may not have find their first menu interesting, but their current menu (at time of writing) is where it’s at.
Like the menu and concept of keeping it simple, the space itself is minimalist with touches of concrete, wood, and leather.
Complimentary sourdough bread with in-house made chimichurri cream cheese (Jeff went crazy over it) and in-house whipped butter with chive. Even with complimentary bread, there is some sort of aesthetic.
If you’re feeling adventurist, a must get is the Chicken Liver Parfait ($6). A savoury tart, it has Concord grape jelly glaze and thyme. At first, you would think it’s a strange combination that wouldn’t work but it somehow does. You get the flavour of tart and sweet from the grape jelly, then the creamy whipped chicken liver comes through with the piney, slight mint flavour of thyme. It’s unique and something that shouldn’t be dismissed.
Pork jowl with chili, brussels sprouts and pickle ($18). Pork cheek that is sous vide and then finished in the grill. Where is the pork jowl you ask? It’s hidden underneath the greenery and quite frankly, it’s like opening a surprise. The pork jowl was so melt-in-your-mouth. There is some spicy hits, but nothing too dangerous. I’m still dreaming about the pork jowl and it makes me want to get a sous vide machine.
The pièce de résistance (or everyone seemingly orders it) is the Duck for Two with onion and wheat berry ($59). Jeff calls it Duck for Jeff, which I completely said no and told him if that was the case, he better order a second one for me (Duck for Jen ;)).
Essentially, it is a whole duck breast that has been honey glazed and served with wheat berry and duck confit porridge, onion purée, pearl onions and a jus gras made with the jus from the duck, foie gras and sherry. They bring it out to the table whole, with the duck breast lying on a bed of hay and the bring it back to the kitchen to fully carve. The duck breast is cooked to medium rare and just perfect with everything in accompaniment.
From start to finish, everything was spot-on. Yes, it’s a little on the high-end side, but Canis really showcases local and seasonal ingredients beautifully without putting poutine on the menu.
746 Queen St. West