In the recent past, Toronto had a full on love affair with Middleterranean food. (For the uninitiated, that’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean mash-up.) Each new resto that opened seemed to dish out haute hummus, labneh and a parcel of items unfamiliar to folks used to shawarma. The frenzy has since died but Byblos and its splendid cuisine hold strong.
Down the stairs and inside, Byblos is all creams and golds with quirky details — like lamp bases turned into light fixtures which hang from the ceiling. The food is superb, the work of talented workaholic chef Stuart Cameron. My table ordered most dishes; each arrival was better than the last and all managed to wow our disparate tastebuds.
Start with the spicy marcona almonds, dabble in some Turkish manti dumplings (with smoked eggplant and molasses) and be sure to get the sweet jewelled rice, redolent of saffron and studded with barberries and almonds. Inventive cocktails are given just as much attention as the food.
There’s a reason why they opened a sibling resto in Miami.