Toronto’s brunch menus are filling up with house-smoked trout, whitefish, haddock and walleye, proving that there are plenty of other fish in the sea...and the lake.
(Clockwise from top left):
1. Kedgeree Queen and Beaver
If you’re not familiar with kedgeree—a dish that throws together leftover fish and rice with eggs—Andrew Carter’s creamy, warming version is a first-rate initiation. He mixes curried rice with haddock (smoked in the pub’s wood-burning oven), and tops it with toasted almonds, peas and a soft-poached egg.
$15, 35 Elm St., 647-347-2712. #DTN
2. Smoked walleye sandwich The Stockyards
Tom Davis’ breakfast sandwich is a dense, rich hangover cure. A buttered Gryfe’s bagel is loaded with fluffy scrambled eggs, red onion, lemon-zinged crème fraîche and a salty, meaty house-smoked walleye from Lake Huron.
$7, 699 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-9666. #SCW
3. Smoked whitefish falafel Beast
Scott Vivian combines ground Georgian Bay whitefish (smoked with apple-wood chips) with cooked chickpeas and forms the mixture into little balls. Once fried, the texture is somewhere between a fish cake and falafel. Vivian serves them with two eggs any style, harissa mayo and crisp home fries.
$11, 96 Tecumseth St., 647-352-6000. #KGW
4. Lake trout melt Hadley’s
The owners call their restaurant a “gastro spoon”—it looks like a diner but the food is homemade with top-notch ingredients. Here’s an example: smoked lake trout mixed with capers, celery, Granny Smith apple and red onion, piled high on a slice of white Italian loaf and draped with house-smoked Emmental. It’s a salty, sour, crunchy delight.
$12, 940 College St., 416-588-3113. #COL
5. Smoked whitefish crepe Keriwa Café
Drawing inspiration from his wife’s Ukranian roots (smoked fish at breakfast is a tradition in Eastern Europe), Aaron Joseph Bear Robe emphasizes balance in this looker of a dish. The cold-smoked whitefish is paired with a dill crepe, lemony sour crème fraîche, bitter mustard greens and sweet, earthy hen of the woods mushrooms.
$14, 1690 Queen St. W., 416-533-2552. #PRK