A little background: The intention behind Actinolite is straightforward; their focus is food. They explore their landscape and search for ingredients that are at their peak of freshness. They source and promote Canadian products and producers, prioritizing how and where they are grown and raised.
Actinolite evolve the menu according to what’s in season, fresh and available.
My visit: I am ashamed to admit that I am not too familiar with Canadian cuisine other than the stereotypical foods like poutine, ketchup chips (which I can’t live without!), bacon and maple syrup. Ideally I wanted to visit Borealia to learn more about our culinary traditions but unfortunately they were closed for summer break so we headed over to Actinolite instead.
We went with the summary tasting menu and was first presented with a bowl of Ontario strawberries with a variety of flowers and garden herbs. The red strawberries were juicy and perfectly ripe and was nicely counteracted by the tartness and perfumy flavor of the green strawberries. The dish would have provided a sweet taste of summer if it wasn’t overly seasoned with salt.
Next up was a selection of house cured ham.
Our first course was a gathering of local farmed raw vegetables served with frozen vinaigrette, fermented plum and cheese. Although the fresh greens were crisp and sweet, I thought the preparation was a bit lazy.
The house baked bread served with salted butter was light and fluffy.
The kohlrabi was crunchy with a pungent peppery flavor that paired well with the lemon scented herb and edible flowers.
The rabbit with peas, charred lovage and rose butter foam was an earthy and rustic dish. However the meat was overcooked as it was rubbery and dry.
Our last savory course was a tuna served rare with mulberries on top that were too acidic and it overpowered the delicate fish.
For dessert, we had raspberry with sour cream. It was light and refreshing and I enjoyed the added texture from the jelly.
To conclude our meal, we were served a sponge toffee with mushroom powder and candy mosh which was a bit too sweet for my liking.
Verdict: I felt that Actinolite was too focused on showcasing the purity of flavor derived from fresh local produce therefore some dishes were lacklustre and not balanced. The service was also very slow. It is not a restaurant that I anticipate on returning.
Happy eating 🙂
971 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6G 3V5, Canada