Diana's Oyster Bar
Diana’s Oyster Bar and Grill is one of Toronto’s best seafood restaurants, known for serving excellent oysters, mussels, and lobster rolls prepared using fresh ingredients from their retail store next door.
The 100-seat space positions the bar with a bank of oysters on ice right near the entryway, opening up into a dining room with a narrow patio just beyond it.
A luxurious platter of market-priced oysters on the half shell is shucked over at the bar and obtained fresh from the store, flown in from expert farmers on North American coasts and around the globe.
We get Diana’s own BC-grown Lucky 88 brand ($2.35), Kusshis ($2.75) also from the West Coast, New Brunswick Acadian Golds ($2.75) and PEI Malpeques ($1.75).
They’re served with lemon, fresh-shaved horseradish, house mignonette and a house scotch bonnet, chili and banana pepper hot sauce, though the best way to try them is on their own at first and then with very small amounts of each accompaniment.
The Lucky 88s, for example, have a very creamy flavour that can be cut with hot sauce. The Kusshis start out briny then get sweet and rich as they’re chewed.
Steamed Salt Spring mussels ($18) from BC are huge, meaty, juicy and briny, available prepared three different ways.
Our Provencal aromatically sets off the shellfish with Herbes de Provence, onion, garlic, tomato, butter and white wine, but you can also opt for Spicy Thai with a lemongrass shrimp broth or Marinara with tomato, oregano, garlic and onion.
Ahi tuna tartare ($) is another great start to a meal here, the supple diced fish mixed with shallot, sesame seeds, pickled ginger, and soy, topped with a cucumber pepper seaweed salad and served with smoky seasoned crispy tortilla chips.
There’s also delicate but decadent calamari fritti ($26), buttermilk marinated squid rings dredged in seasoned flour and fried, served with typical tzatziki and a more unusual chipotle marinara.
Pan-seared day boat scallops ($18) are shown off for their incredible freshness by subtle pairing with Roma tomato and Manouri cheese, drizzled with a silk chive vinaigrette.
A lobster, crab and shrimp roll ($18) is today’s special, meaning you can’t just get the straight up lobster roll every time you come here, but this is just as satisfying.
The refreshing and creamy mayo and green onion seafood salad is stuffed into a roll that’s the perfect level of stale and crusty, the sandwich accompanied by monstrous fluffy potato wedges and a house slaw.
Though there’s another location of the restaurant in Markham that gets delivery every day, this is the only one that’s directly adjacent to Diana’s where the fresh-caught seafood central to this menu is obtained.