Had an awesome lunch at JK wine bar yesterday. It was my first time there and I sat alone at the bar. Pretty busy but there was much bar space---the address used to be a sushi bar and because JK has a fully open kitchen, it retains that sort of bustling atmosphere.
The bartender mentioned three dishes from the menu and I ordered them all, creating a very meat-heavy meal.
1. chicken liver pate: this came with a tiny slaw of celery root dressed in walnut oil, and a couple delicious pickled beans. The pate was very smooth with an intense liver flavour. wonderful
2. Lamb poutine: this is a bunch of JK's famous fries with some grated cheese (didn't ask what kind), surrounding an oval-shaped lamb meatball (reminded me of greek meatballs) and sitting on a pool of lamb jus. The meatball was very nicely spiced, but the jus was by far the best part of the dish. I used the fries to get as much as I could of this super rich fancy gravy. It was excellent. It doesn't taste, look, or capture the feeling of poutine at all...if that's what you're looking for.
3. Duck confit with white beans: The confit was good, at this point I was a little meated-out, though. It was very comfort-foody, and the white beans made it a little like cassoulet. -- I should have tried the salads or the asparagus soup.
4. Coconut cream pie: There was no attempt to fancy-up or make this pie hip. Just your standard old-style pie. Very creamy and very coconuty, with a short-bread-like crust. It was really awesome. If there were a store in your neighbourhood that sold such a good pie, you would be proud to live in the same neighbourhood as this pie store.
w/ 2 3oz glasses of wine the bill came to about 55 bucks. For the quality of food, I thought that it was really incredible. And unlike Lee (where the food was still very good), the only other Toronto haute-Tapas place I've tried, I did not get the feeling that I was paying any style-premium that was not present in the food on my plate.