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$2 desserts! Let me repeat that again, $2 desserts!! Sure, it’s tiny, in a shot glass, but there’s something ingenious about this. If you’re stuffed, you still have room for a sweet ending to your meal. If you were smart and left room for dessert, you can have two or three.

Found along the PATH underground walkway and below Far Niente, FOUR is a restaurant frequented by Bay Street types and perfect for business lunches or an after-work drnk. The restaurant promotes “guilt-free dining” because every dish is under 650 calories. The ambiance is a bit stuffy and the interior design leaves a lot to be desired, but if you’re popping in for a quick meal (and a few desserts), these things are easy to overlook.

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My dining companion Jason and I split an appetizer of Black Bean Calamari with coriander sauce ($9.50). I love black bean sauce and I love squid, but I’ve never actually had these two together. Now I know it’s delicious. The squid was extremely tender and perfectly cooked, and the accompanying Asian Slaw with chili-orange vinaigrette almost stole the show. I could happily eat a bowl of this.

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I was surprised to learn that pasta could be under 650 calories, but there are four choices on the menu and Jason chose the Squash Ravioli ($16). It included cheese, nuts, greens and whole-wheat pasta but Jason’s complaint was that it “tasted healthy.” We both prefer when healthiness is well disguised. (Note: according to their website, this item is no longer available). I went for the Asian-inspired Chicken Burger ($10.50) and was not disappointed. The chicken featured a tasty Yakitori glaze, accompanied by chili mayonnaise, cucumber slaw and ginger squeezed between a sesame-seed bun. There was also a side bowl filled with romaine salad and miso dressing.

Halfway through the mains, we got distracted by the dessert contraption the wait staff carry from table to table. They present all eight selections and you simply point at whatever you want to try. For $2 each, it’s a simple concept that appeals to everyone’s basic instincts.

Here’s the list from their dessert menu:
Lemon Meringue
Tiramisu
Double Chocolate Cream
Pecan Banana Caramel
Coconut Kaffir Lime
Passion Fruit Salad
Chocolate Cherry Crunch
Bumble Berry Cheesecake

We went for the first three and they were excellent. Tiny, but that’s completely the point. And if you don’t actually have time to sit down for a whole meal, you can get these delightful desserts to-go (which are $3 each for some reason) at the neighbouring Petit Four Bakery which always has a line-up for its sandwiches, soups and salads.

FOUR / 187 Bay Street, Toronto
416 368 1444 / Mon-Fri 11:30 am-10pm

   
   
   
   
   
   
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