Toronto, ON M6J 1Y6
Best known for being the subject of a vegan protest in the summer of 2018, Antler is actually a restaurant rooted in friendship, family, and above all, the forest. Chef Michael Hunter — aptly named, given the thematic congruence in his personal and professional pastimes — draws on a Canadian focus and a “forest to table” approach. Wild edibles, Canadian game meat and foraged cocktails predicate a dining room philosophy that's rooted in executing on their ideals rather than just preaching them. The restaurant sources nearly all the ingredients from across Canada, and works with local foragers like Forbs Wild Foods and others in the region, while Hunter's training in Italian cuisine turns these raw ingredients into winning plates. The braised Ontario rabbit pappardelle is made fresh, by hand. Despite the restaurant's renewed reputation as a meaty destination, the menu does over vegetarian-friendly dishes, incorporating foraged mushrooms, artisanal cheeses and black truffle. But there’s nothing wrong with a wild boar, bison and deer game burger that sits atop a housemade bun, with hot mustard and smoked cheddar. Unless you're a vegan, of course.