Yours 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.
Depending 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.
The 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.
Sriracha 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.
With 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.
Another 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.
Chef 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.