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Indulging in an expensive workday lunch is an extreme luxury for me. So when a co-worker and I decided to try out the highly lauded Nota Bene (180 Queen St. W.), it was a special day. Thanks to Executive Chef David Lee, this food destination was named Canada’s best new restaurant by both Toronto Life and enRoute magazines.

When we walked in, the sun-filled dining room played host to what looked like important business meetings and high-powered executives. We were way above our pay grade here, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the delectable dishes.

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We started with Pommes Frites covered in shaved pecorino cheese with aioli ($8). These skinny fries were piled so high, eating them was like maneuvering through a game of potato Jenga. There were several casualties that ended up doting the crisp white tablecloth like fallen soldiers. Alas, this was too swank a spot to follow the three-second rule.

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Our mains came next. Based on a recommendation, I went with the Big Eye Tuna Tartare with Potato Chips ($20). The circle of raw tuna is placed in citrus soy with ginger and topped with a layer avocado and a sprinkled of crispy shallots. It was a light dish that was thoroughly enjoyed right to the last bite. My companion Jason ordered the Nova Scotia Lobster Salad ($24). When the bowl was placed in front of him, he let out a sigh: “Bacon and lobster, together at last.” His satisfaction was complete once he tried the greens that were tossed with avocado, maple bacon, blue cheese and coated with a buttermilk dressing.

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Nota Bene certainly isn’t the kind of place I can afford to go everyday for lunch. But until I’m a high-powered executive, it makes for a terrific exception.

Nota Bene / 180 Queen St. West, Toronto
416 977 6400 / Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm, Dinner: Mon-Sat 5-11 pm

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