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Yours Truly

Posted by Ryan Spencer / Listed on January 18, 2012 / review policy

Yours Truly TorontoYours Truly isn't just a valediction anymore, but the latest restaurant-cum-bar on Lower Ossington. Chef Jeff Claudio has created a modern-styled daily prix fixe dinner and a small plate menu that's complimented by an inventive cocktail list.

Yours Truly TorontoDepending on how the evening may unfold, the bar can be a bit of a scene, so plan accordingly for dinner — i.e. the earlier the better if you're looking for a quieter meal.

With both classic and signature cocktails listed on the menu, we decided on the Vanilla Pisco Sour, a bourbon-based Rare Earth and Banana Cognac. Each drink carried a flavour profile that hit our sweet tooth. The Pisco Sour was a refreshingly tart lemon meringue in a glass. The heavy noted cognac only needed to be set a fire to perfectly match Bananas Foster. Does having a perfectly spherical piece of ice to cool my drink also make it taste better? Yes, it does. It also looked stunning on our candle lit table. Details, folks.

Yours TrulyThe plating at Yours Truly reveals some precise knife skills in the kitchen. We chose the special that evening at the suggestion of our cordial waiter: Chorizo with torn croutons over a potato puree with a duck egg. It was a spectacular dish with admittedly humble beginnings, and it perhaps not so oddly reminded us of breakfast.

Yours Truly TorontoSriracha Deviled Eggs is a definite go-to. The deviled egg is a nice throwback that has been updated with the inclusion of sesames and nori, which balance the heat thrown off by the Sriracha. Old dish, new flavours.

Yours TrulyWith slight hesitation, we ordered the salt cod (I've had bad experiences in the past with this cured fish). Yet again, I was completely thrown off by the appearance of the dish. The cod was incorporated as an inari — basically an tofu pocket stuffed with rice, fish and seasoning. The rice vinegar and mirin masked the usually pungent cod and when dipped in the wasabi aioli was the perfect combination of sweet, tart and salty.

Yours Truly TorontoAnother Asian inspired dish, the Pork Ssam is served on bib lettuce with honey or tamarind glazed pork belly and garnished with coriander. Not my favorite, I prefer more heat than sweet for this Thai dish.

Yours Truly TorontoChef Claudio has designed a superb and approachable menu that reads as a pastiche of flavours native to different cuisines. Fusion wouldn't be the right word to describe the menu, but it'd be fair to say that it shows off a modern approach that highlights both the visual experience of food and the the type of unconventional flavour combinations that can be scored through innovative techniques. Claudio is someone to watch in the Toronto restaurant scene. Yours Truly may have opened last month, but it'll be on top of my list for a long time to come.




CassC / January 5, 2012 at 01:54 pm
Love this place! Great food, Amazingly designed cocktail list, and fabulous atmosphere!! 10 out of 10!!
Andrew / January 5, 2012 at 02:57 pm
Stumbled upon the place last week but what a find: the prix fixe is good value for the quality of output, and the rotating snacks are also worth it. Definitely a keeper for the area
Mike / January 5, 2012 at 04:32 pm
Stumbled into this bar late on NYE and ended up having a great time. We want to go back and try the menu after having the chef serve us some complimentary bites.
Rooster / January 5, 2012 at 08:00 pm
The BEST new bar in Toronto, without a doubt. The food there is unlike anything I've had in the city and the atmosphere is incredible. You're missing out if you haven't been yet.
Geoff / January 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Ate the entire snack menu last night - delicious!!! Friendly atmosphere, the quality of the food is fantastic, the presentation excellent and great value. Excited to go back and try the tasting menu.
boo / January 18, 2012 at 10:52 am
FYI, the pocket for inari is called aburaage, and it's not made of egg: it is a fried tofu pocket.
Derek replying to a comment from boo / January 18, 2012 at 11:19 am
Correction made. Thanks!
L / January 18, 2012 at 11:25 am
A long line up at the Dakota had us end up here on Saturday night. An amazing find and a great time was had by all. I will definitely be back!
Simon / January 18, 2012 at 11:33 am
Looks great! How are the veg options?
Ryan / January 18, 2012 at 11:39 am
I came across this place when waiting for my table at Libretto. The hostess came out and gave me a business card while I was browsing the menu. She said they were open to menu suggestions, so I cant wait to try them out since they seem to be really in tune with customer satisfaction.
Veg / January 18, 2012 at 11:46 am
Something to add to this is that by splitting the prix-fixe into vegetarian and non-vegetarian, Yours Truly is a welcome edition to a meat-centric strip and its surrounding area (aside from Golden Turtle, not exactly a great place for atmosphere, and Liberetto, usually full and on weekends almost exclusively a 905 tourist spot). There are many places downtown you can go for legitimately good food, but most of them will simply whip up a vegetarian some boring pasta dish. This is one of the only places in the city that does relatively 'fancy' vegetarian (others include Woodlot and perhaps Fressen, thought I'm not a fan of the latter) and doesn't treat them as an afterthought.
Veg replying to a comment from Veg / January 18, 2012 at 11:58 am
Welcome 'addition' (oops)
ira / January 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Looks amazing. Question though...how does that first dish demonstrate and knive skills at all? The only thing cut (besides the potatoes done by prep) is the sausage?

there isn't even any brown on the stem of the baby greens so no knife there.

Otherwise good review! I look forward to trying it.
Al / January 18, 2012 at 01:24 pm
Ssam is a Korean dish!
Rick / January 18, 2012 at 05:51 pm
I feel like Ssam's aren't cool anymore.
What Veg Said / January 18, 2012 at 06:38 pm
Yes, what Veg said! The menu is amazingly inventive for vegetarians and will keep me coming back. It's so refreshing to not be served the standard $19 wild mushroom risotto dish and to actually be stunned by what this kitchen comes up with in terms of vegetarian fare.
andrea / January 20, 2012 at 09:57 am
got there at 8, first dish at 9:30. the host wanted to add more people to our table even though there was no room. why not serve us quicker if you want to serve more people in one night, instead of crowding us. it took 30 minutes just to get my second beer. dinner took 4 hours, a lot of time waiting and not much time spent eating, when every dish was just a taster / tease. the dessert was the biggest part of the meal and it was just bland white cake with yogurt on top. ended up spending twice as much as i was planning and then came home to experience the runs. annoyed i spent so much money on a shit experience.
Margaret / January 26, 2012 at 03:04 pm
Does anybody know who are bartenders are? The cocktails sound amazing. Adding spot to my list of must-visit places this Spring.
Sara / March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
HORRIBLE service, will never go back.
Sarah / March 18, 2012 at 12:24 am
Delicious food! This was the best meal I've had in a really long time. The service was AMAZING and I will definitely be returning soon for another delicious meal! Yum!
adf / May 4, 2012 at 10:54 pm
not all asian dishes are thai, chinese or japanese. Ssam is Korean and you should have researched a bit more before you just assume that it is thai.
Rebecca / May 7, 2012 at 02:02 am
Earlier this evening, I ate at Yours Truly. After the meal, I vomited. I still feel sick to my stomach as I write this comment and am contemplating vomiting again.

Aside from the unpleasant aftermath of eating at Yours Truly, the dining experience itself was the worst that I have had in a long time.

1. The wait time between tasting menu courses was inordinately and unjustifiably long. After finishing each course, I and the members of my party waited for at least 20 minutes before the next course came out. Considering that there were only 2 meal options on the menu, we were baffled by the long wait times. The meal took roughly 2.5 hours.

2. The cauliflower soup and salad starters were so salty that I couldn’t even get through them.

3. The aforementioned cauliflower soup reappeared later in the meal (in a poorly disguised version) as a sauce for vegetarian gnocchi. Similarly, the same seasoned rice in the inari small dish reappeared later in the bream course. Eating the same things in reshaped forms throughout a meal left us feeling cheated and dissatisfied.

I could go on, but here is the bottom line: I highly discourage anyone from eating at Yours Truly (unless you enjoy vomiting after a disappointing meal).
Roctop replying to a comment from Rebecca / May 7, 2012 at 10:42 am
Sorry to hear about your misfortune, Rebecca. The chef must be the biggest lazy-a$$ed imbecile trying to re-hash recipes and have the nerve to ask to be paid for it. I'm telling everyone I know to AVOID this puke-trap of a place.
SM / May 7, 2012 at 05:13 pm
what a joke. Worst restaurant meal I've ever had.

Course 1 - Carrot
a roasted stub of carrot served with sliced raw carrots. We all had a good chuckle and decided this place might be taking itself too seriously but we decided to reserve judgement.

2 - Egg
an undercooked poached egg on a bed of what must have been Miracle Whip. Absolutely vile and stomach churning. Served with a fork and no bread, so quite impossible to eat, assuming you were so inclined.

3 - Gnocchi
not bad, but no better than what comes out of the frozen section of my grocery store

4 - Milk and Honey
I thought it would be hard to eff-up dessert, but they managed. tasted like sweetened buttermilk

Service was dismal. Our sullen, hipster waitress couldn't be bothered to ask us if there was anything we needed or how everything was. I remember this quite clearly because I was dying to tell her.

Vile meal
RG / June 13, 2012 at 07:51 pm
I don't generally write bad reviews. If I feel strongly about writing a review, it's because I loved something that much...

Probably the worst service I've had in recent memory. Just awful. Food was fine, but when you're sitting there waiting for that long between tiny servings, it's a bad experience regardless.

You know, a little 'sorry', or 'thanks for your patience' goes a long way as well.
GC / August 10, 2012 at 10:17 am
Great dining experience. I really can't picture the staff that was working last night being able to provide some of the negative experiences described above - they were courteous, helpful and professional. As an example, I wet my beak with a cocktail (Aviation) and the bartender made sure to ask if I wanted egg white included in the drink, knowing that I was taking it as an aperitif (to some, the egg white might make the drink too sour for consumption before a meal).

This is not a typical restaurant, so don't expect dishes to come out in more traditional portion sizes - or quickly for that matter. These dishes supposed to be savoured, discussed, and digested before the next one comes. The glazed duck breast that I had (with beet, currant, and cocoa) was of Michelin star calibre.

The only thing Yours Truly needs is an espresso machine. I feel like a full cup of drip coffee contains too much hot liquid to follow up an extraordinary meal.
waterbored / January 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm
"the latest restaurant-cum-bar" yummy!
tigerlily / May 2, 2013 at 06:35 pm
We were a group of six. It took over 3hours to have our dinner. I can't imagine why it took so long to present courses that were only two-bites. This place is overrated. We all went to Lakeview after because we were all still hungry after spending an average $80/person. What a joke. DO NOT dine here. Also, there sister restaurant A-OK is not okay. It's pure garbage!
Tori / December 11, 2013 at 03:55 pm
My husband and I really enjoyed the food and the service was good. Overall it was a nice experience to have.
TorontoFoodBwoy / March 21, 2014 at 12:46 am
Yeahhhh long waits between bites of over complicated food that left me feeling unsatisfied to say the least. Meal took almost 3 hours. Although there were some good bites here and there, for what I spent there I could have been eating lobster and filet mignon like a king. Instead I was eating dainty dishes. One of the vegetarian courses was burnt cauliflower....cmon....not surprised some people said they went to Lakeview after because they were still hungry. So many better places on Ossington than here. You'd be well advised to stay away. Holla at me on instagram @torontofoodbwoy
Eric Hacke / April 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm
I went here last summer but I'd just like to chime in.

If you are expecting extremely generous portion sizes and to be in-and-out in 20 minutes, or even an hour, you are at the wrong place.

That's not the intention here. The idea is that you are paying for an evening of fine food, carefully prepared, and custom drinks.

I loved the place. It obviously ended up being more costly than a quick dinner, but it was a great experience and something I look forward to repeating.

It was almost full when we got there and we ended up being seated at the bar. At first I wasn't super-happy about this, but it turned out really well. The nice thing about sitting at the bar is that we had the near-continuous attention of the bartender who made all kinds great cocktails for us as we enjoyed our food.

Definitely would recommend as an evening out.
Someteeth / June 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm
I believe they recently got rid of the prix-fixe; the menu options when I went were divided between snacks, garden, sea and land. We tried the aligot (potato puree with chicken skin), the octopus and some garlic knots, and I thought everything tasted quite good. We sat at the bar, and the bartender was very friendly and showed us the history behind the old fashioned cocktail tasting menu; perhaps it was because of this interaction, but I found the servers generally pretty nice. Overall, a rather nice night out!

(maybe I'm not being discerning enough, but since I don't remember anything bad I'm not going to try and be picky)

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