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Reviews for Farmer's Daughter, Byblos and More

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Photo: Farmer's Daughter

The new complement to Farmhouse Tavern from Darcy MacDonell and co. garners a review from Steven Davey. The verdict? Chef Léonie Lilla, late of Auberge du Pommier, Rodneys by Bay and Momofuku Daisho, is on top of her game: "At dinner, her quirky sense of humour shows up in the Cheek 'n' Cheek, i.e., ravioli of braised veal cheeks tossed with pickled halibut cheeks ($22), and the substantial surf 'n' turf-inspired burger topped with a fish 'n' chips-style fillet of battered haddock as well as pickled red slaw and tartar sauce ($18/$17 brunch). You'll arm-wrestle over the latter's fries and house-made ketchup." [Now]

Chris Nuttall-Smith gets whimsical over pashmak, a "Persian cotton candy", at Byblos, the characteristically plush new spot from serial restaurateurs Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth. Other "Middleterranean" items fare just as well. Two stars: "Of all those [Middleterranean] places, however, Byblos is almost certain to be the most polished. Mr. Khabouth and Mr. Harji have a way of producing hits; the two also run Weslodge and the terrific Patria, both on King Street West. This one is more personal than usual for Mr. Khabouth, who is from Lebanon; he has never run a Middle Eastern restaurant until now. And their kitchen seems to be in good hands. In Stuart Cameron, the executive chef behind the pair's three spots, they've found a meticulous researcher who's adept at getting foreign flavours right." [G&M]

With the arrival of Soos, Toronto now has good Malaysian food, writes Joanne Kates: "The cuisine lacks the sweetness of Chinese food, the thick coconut creaminess of Thai curries, and the sexy raw fish mouth feel of Japanese. Which may partly explain why Malaysian cooking has such scant traction in Toronto. And why the other Ossington bistros seem so much more busy than Soos. But I for one am a little tired of some of the more obvious Asian cuisines as they're interpreted here, and am happy to be turned on to the subtle pleasures of Soos." [PostCity]

Amy Pataki tackles a hefty eggplant roti at Indian Roti House and swoons: "The diced eggplant version goes further with highly aromatic spices: stone-ground fennel seeds, cumin, white cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, amchoor (sour mango powder) and anardana (pomegranate powder). The spices, along with creamy potatoes and crumpled fenugreek leaves, elevate the steaming, pulpy gravy into a lunch that's well worth the walk." [Star]

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