Top 10 New Restaurants of 2010 – James Chatto

Number 2  MALÉNA

Sam Kalogiros (a guy from Corfu) and David Minicucci helped define the new vibe at Av and Dav with L’Unita. Now they have opened Maléna a few doors south, a seafood restaurant in a cleverly reinterpreted and sophisticated Ionian idiom. What does that mean? Consider chef Doug Neigel’s sea urchin crostini – crunchy toast spread with puréed avocado, sea urchin, red amaranth seedlings a little black salt. The avocado is a great idea – echoing the texture of the urchin but too bland to impinge on the purity of its flavour. Together it tastes like the sea itself. The menu is packed with delicious things – a great seafood soup full of nicely undercooked clams, mussels, spot prawns and cod; whole fish flawlessly grilled; stone crab claw in avgolemono sauce. If the atmosphere sometimes gets too boisterous to concentrate on the nosh, why not sit at the bar with a glass of Moschofilero from sommelier Zinta Steprens’s fascinating list and converse with half a dozen oysters (from P.E.I. not Corfu) or a crudo of Qualicum Bay scallops: true Canadian-Hellenic détente. Maléna is at 120 Avenue Road (one block south of Davenport). 416 964 0606.