A truly local Canadian dining experience can be discovered in Toronto’s Rosedale neighborhood. Identified simply as Earth, this discriminate restaurant is branded by its slogan ‘think global, eat local.’ Simply, by actively seeking open dialogue with local farmers and producers, the resulting superb culinary experience presented at Earth, remains undisputed. Expect five-star luxury dining
Using the ‘think global, eat local’ concept, the chef has set his staff to creating a menu that varies with the seasons, and incorporates quality seasonal fare produced within a 100-mile radius of our own region. Many chefs would find such restrictions, well just that, restricting. However, the team at Earth uses this premise as an opportunity to be creative and innovative, utilizing fresh greens grown in the summer, pumpkin and squash in the fall, and royal red beats in the dead of winter. The cooking team’s ingenuity is quite astonishing.
From experience, I can highly recommend any one of the appetizers, soups, and salads in which to begin your dining experience, but I have a soft spot for the fresh PEI shucked oysters, with a dash of horseradish, lemon, and sauces made in-house. A dozen or so cooled, smooth and raw, accompanied by a glass of Canadian sparkling wine to enhance the experience, is a perfect warm up for your palate. Seasonal soup, again made fresh in- house, range from Atlantic Lobster Bisque to fresh Butternut squash, can vary on the menu daily depending on what fresh ingredients at the morning market appeal to the chef.
Many people will ask, “What is Canadian cuisine?” My answer is always, that which is unique to our land, the fish, foul, wild game that our country was literally built on. With that in mind the menu has developed in a way everyone can enjoy.
The entrees at Earth feature fresh vegetables, potatoes, and uniquely Canadian game. The culinary team perfectly makes use of Canadian elk, venison, duck, regional fresh-fish and Atlantic seafood, in addition to locally farmed poultry and beef. The farmers in Wellington County provide Earth’s beef, particularly their incredible grilled beef tenderloin, juicy and moist, cooked to perfection without exception. Dinner at this dining establishment could not be more Canadian than savoring a rare seared duck breast or fresh Ontario rainbow trout. For desert you can’t go wrong with a ground cherry donut, served hot out of the fryer, with Earth’s handmade ice cream.
The wine list boasts an impressive selection, which again remains true to the term ‘local’. Lynne Stimpson has personally selected over 30 wines from Ontario and British Columbia, as well as a select few ‘global’ choices. By working directly with regional vineyards, Earth staff has also had a hand in creating signature wines featured only on its wine list. Ontario’s Cave Springs Winery provides an incredible Chardonnay made specifically for the restaurant.
My affection for Earth only grows with its list of signature cocktails, made with liquor flavor-infused on-site. For example, the blueberry vodka is with real Ontario blueberries and whiskeys are smoked with Canadian back bacon right on the premise. Earth is a mixologist’s dream and a bartender’s playpen, with these house-infused liquors becoming the elixir for the people behind the bar demonstrating true expression and artistry. By being creative with spirits, Earth’s signature cocktails are unique to them. I say try one of everything on the creative cocktail menu, but do it responsibly, like one or two a day over the course of this summer!
In addition to delicious food and drink, the service at Earth is amazing. It is like watching a well-choreographed dance, with every move timed perfectly, and refined wait-staff anticipating each customer’s desire and need As a tribute to Ms. Stimpson, the ‘service choreographer’ Earth offers a wonderful experience each time you pass through its doors, whether you are out for a mid-week meal, hosting an exclusive VIP event in its spacious 16-person private dining room, or sipping a cocktail on one of the restaurant’s two patios, be assured it will be a flawlessly executed event.