Canis: the restaurant I don’t really want to tell you about

Duck for two at Canis.

I don’t really want to tell you about my meal at Canis. Royce convinced me to do it, but that doesn’t mean that I want to.
But please, allow me to explain. It’s not that I’m hoarding, trying to keep a good restaurant all to myself. The logic isn’t lost on me that the better a restaurant does the longer it will be around. And furthermore, I’m a planner. If something is worth it, I have no qualms making the effort required to reserve a dinner advance.

My resistance to share is driven by a fear that is deeply rooted in a marriage between superstition and paranoia. It’s something that’s developed, nay festered, over the years.
Too often, Royce and I will have a great meal at a restaurant, rave about it to friends and family, only to visit again and be disappointed. Am I being a little dramatic here? Maybe!
To the point, there are many plausible explanations for this disappointment-syndrome. Things change, people change, restaurants change. And, unfortunately not everyone is capable (or willing) to put forth the kind of consistency that one might find desirable in a dining establishment. Common sense and logical explanations aside, I am nearly certain these disappointments are most likely explained by the fact that we jinxed it.
In life, there are just certain things that should not be said aloud: beetlejuice (beetlejuice, beetlejuice), bloody mary, … and over time I’ve come to feel that, for the most part, restaurant praise is right up there.
And yet here I am, tempting fate (thanks a lot, Royce), telling you about our meal at Canis. Fingers crossed, this one will be an exception to the rule. I’m sure we’ll be back, so I will have to let you know.

The basics: Canis is a new(ish) restaurant on Queen West, near Trinity Bellwoods. They offer a 4-course meal with a $60 price tag. This, ladies and gents, is a steal-of-a-deal for what you’re getting. Compared to the cost of a meal at many upscale/trendy/whatever restaurants in Toronto nowadays, the price was so reasonable.

  • They also have appetizers, which is a nice option if you’re extra hungry, or just like to have the possibility of being extra piggy (yes please)
  • We were a table of 4, and our combined choices (there is a choice for each course) ended up touching on most of the menu options. Unanimously, everything was great. No one was disappointed with their choices.
  • My favourites:
    • Duck for two. Yes, you need to convince another member of your party to order this with you. But convince them you must! This dish was outstanding. To be honest, I usually steer away from duck as a main protein. I’m not the biggest fan, but we had heard good things about it, and oh my god I’m so glad we listened! So good!
    • Quince & koji dessert. Usually I opt out of any restaurant dessert. I am really spoiled in this department, and more often than not I am unimpressed, bordering on offended, and wishing we’d just gotten a soft serve cone somewhere. But lo-and-behold, this dessert was good! Not overly complicated, nice balance of flavours and textures, no soft-serve, no regrets!

Really, this was the best meal I’ve had in the city in a very long time. I thought about it on multiple occasions the following day, just pausing to reminisce about the food. This is coming from a girl who habitually orders the least popular item on a menu, so kind of a big deal. In light of this, today I look danger in the face, throw caution to the wind, and so on. Today (tonight, rather), I share this post with you.


Some snacks to start. Not pictured: oysters, falafel.
Ricotta-stuffed pasta, kelp oil, mushroom broth.


Duck for two. (pre-plating pictured in lead image)


Quince, toasted koji & almond dessert.

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