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Toronto
10 Temperance St. | 647-348-7000
thechasetoronto.com

The official address for the Chase is 10 Temperance Street, which is a bit like the cheeky gag of calling a bald guy Curly. The truer milieu of Steven Salm and Michael Kimel’s intemperate penthouse of fine dining would be Bay Street, a half-block west and home to Toronto’s captains of finance. This is a place, as Alec Baldwin says in Glengarry Glen Ross, for closers only.

If I were a closer, I’d eat here every night until the fund ran dry. Chef Michael Steh doesn’t lean on molecular trickery or audacious ingredients to wow – the scariest thing on his menu is kohlrabi. His food is more direct and more delightful than that: pretty slices of avocado wrapped meticulously around shrimp, set upon a bed of mango and topped with something your flawless waitress calls “coconut bacon,” sweet and smoky and salty.

Everybody in the fifth-floor room, with its Ralph Lauren fabrics and big picture windows, feels like they’ve scored a sweet table. It’s an atmosphere that makes you want to say yes to things – yes to that bottle of pretty white savagnin from France’s Jura, the catnip patch of sommeliers. Yes, damn it, to the $44 Dungeness crab pasta. And yes to that signature chicken-for-two, stuffed with foie gras and Armagnac-soaked brioche and presented whole at tableside in a polished roasting pan.

Sometimes at the Chase, you don’t even need to say yes – the bread basket here is a whole rhubarb-butter-glazed focaccia on the house, just to sweeten the deal. The loaf arrives with an adorable printed recipe alongside it so that you can, of course, have somebody recreate it for you at home.

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