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Actinolite's 'Inspiring', 'Magical' Food; THR & Co. Disappoints

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Photo: Actinolite / Website

What could have resulted in professional suicide has transformed a 30-seat neighbourhood restaurant "from an elegant has-been into one of the most essential places to eat in Ontario, if not in Canada." The place is Actinolite, helmed by chef Justin Cournoyer, and reviewer Chris Nuttall-Smith can't stop gushing: "The food is odd, inspiring, beautifully executed, even magical in places. It's Canadian cooking as I've never tasted it."

Despite its stylish design, Amy Pataki is totally not into THR & Co. It doesn't help she had a service snafu that was managed "inelegantly" by preoccupied wait staff. But she is perplexed to find dishes that "sound great on paper but fail to register on the fork," and mash ups that "meet in strange and uncomfortable ways." Targeting burnt pizzas and "erratic" seasoning, she only finds culinary enjoyment in the sea bream that has the power to "wake up winter-dulled palates."
· THR & Co.: Slow food not worth the wait [Toronto Star]
· Actinolite: One of the most essential places to eat in Ontario, if not in Canada [G&M]