FourAcadia - Toronto

The best seats are next to Acadia’s full-monty kitchen. Otherwise, there’s not much to look at before the food arrives (unless you’re interested in bargain floor tile), and when it does, it will demand your full attention.

So while waiting 15 minutes for your cornbread to cook, between sips of superb mint julep, peek at the historical French maps running from New England down through the Carolinas, delineating the old territoire anglaise. They trace the regional foodways that inspired Scott Selland, former Colborne Lane general manager, to open a restaurant (originally with chef Matt Blondin) encompassing Lowcountry and Acadian cuisines.

Under chef Patrick Kriss, the menu reinterprets with technical aplomb the messy jumble of rustic French and southern coastal influences.

That skillet cornbread, dense, fluffy and crumbly, comes with sweet-potato bourbon butter that’s so smooth, it spreads itself.

Left: Cornbread with pork butter and mesquite at Acadia