Est is a restaurant serving impeccably-plated tasting menus, with vegan options and snacks at the bar.
Helmed by Sean MacDonald — who, at 28 years-old, has already been the recipient of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef award and is the only Canadian currently on the Best Chef Awards list — Est (pronounced East) is a refined spot for seasonal, six-course meals.
Taking over the Riverside location of Sugar Loaf bakery, the minimal space has been transformed into a narrow 30-seater.
The restaurant is open six days a week, and you can expect it to be fairly booked up most nights, but a sleek bar offers up seven seats nightly for walk-ins.
Here, guests can either follow the tasting menu or opt for snacks like prawn hotdogs ($12) instead, if you've ever wanted to eat a hot dog in a restaurant.
A traditional tasting menu here is $90, with options for traditional or premium wine pairing options. The same goes for the vegan counterpart, which has a completely different list of dishes, like smoked potato with white mole or ube poppy seed rice pudding.
MacDonald has been featured several times on the The Art of Plating, a site dedicated to amazingly-arranged food, so unsurprisingly dishes like quaint fresh heirloom tomatoes with green garlic oil and housemade spelt tofu are lovely.
Cod that's been cured in shio kombu comes with a tableside show of unwrapping a layer of cabbage.
It's followed by the pouring of a spiced almond sauce with herb oil.
Duck, which might be considered one of MacDonald's specialities, is dry-aged for four weeks.
It comes with house pickled turnips, a sweet potato hoisin sauce, a fermented coffee and duck jus, plus garlic chives and pickled turnips.
Potato dumplings in cultured butter are a recipe that he's been working on since his days at Calgary's MARKET.
Gnocchi, dumpling, whatever you want to call them: these little bites are doused in sauce that's been emulsified with bay leaf, parmesan rinds, and sprinkled with chives on top.
Arriving on a stack of maple twigs are skewered grilled pork cheek, sous vide for 20 hours and brushed with a caramelized maple fish sauce.
Est opens at 5 p.m. daily.