Sweet Surprise: Most Creative Desserts in Toronto

By Suresh Doss  |  November 15, 2013

A wave of restaurants in the city are pushing the envelope with innovative dessert menus. Here's where to put your sweet tooth to the test. 

  • Canoe

    Pastry chef Robert Gonsalves recently took over the pastry programme at the critically acclaimed Canoe restaurant. Canoe has always had a reputation for their progressive dessert options - much of the city's best pastry chefs have spent time at the Financial District restaurant. Gonsalves doesn't hold back, bringing international flavours to dishes like apple paneer, served with garam masala and squash; sheep's milk semifreddo served with a variety of ice creams and cooked berries; and butter-poached pear served with caramelised milk chocolate and Okanagan hazelnuts. Whenever possible, ask to be seated at the "chef's rail," the best view in the house. 

    66 Wellington St. W.; 416-364-0054

  • Richmond Station

    This farm-to-table restaurant located in the Financial District is popular for its local focus, highlighting the best in produce and meat from Ontario. So you'll be surprised to see that pastry chef Farzham Fallah takes a more international approach with his innovative desserts. Fallah draws from his Persian roots when designing the desserts, so don't be surprised to see dishes like the immensely popular shole zard - saffron-scented pudding served with poached pears and a pistachio dessert. A plate of Chocolate and Orange is topped with stracciatella ice cream, decorated with mousse and a fruit sponge. A rotating 'candy bar' item is featured every Friday on the dinner menu. "I love candy bars," Fallah says, "The boys in the kitchen will go out and bring me candy bars that I've never had before, and I'll do a take on it". 

    1 Richmond St. W.; 647-748-1444 

  • Cafe Boulud

    Pastry chef Saeko Nemoto has one of the most interesting menus at the fine-dining Cafe Boulud located in Yorkville's Four Seasons Hotel. Much like the rest of the menu, Nemoto's creations are divided into four categories: Le Potager (focusing on fruit), Le Voyage (Internationally influenced), La Tradition (a take on French classics) and La Saison (seasonally driven ingredients). One of the highlights of Nemoto's menu is the beautiful grapefruit givre dessert. The spectacle of a dessert is a hollowed-out grapefruit that arrives to the table on a bed of ice, stuffed with chunks of frozen grapefruit, and a sesame crumble, rose-flavoured Turkish delight and grapefruit sorbet. Finish off with a basket of freshly baked madeleines and a glass of scotch. 

    60 Yorkville Ave.; 416-963-6000

  • Credit: Matt Kantor


    Bero draws from head chef Matt Kantor's travels, particularly drawing from his time spent in the Basque region. A daily affordably priced tasting menu is how Kantor prefers to showcase his food, taking you on a culinary journey of Europe. Pastry chef Sopy Han features a whimsical dessert menu that constantly changes.daily. Currently popular, the savarin dessert features a modern take on the ring cake, served with plum, squash rings and lillet.  

    889 Queen St. W.; 416-477-3393

  • Credit: Renée S. Suen


    Since taking over as head chef at the seafood restaurant on St. Clair West earlier, chef Charlotte Langley has quickly made a name for innovative and interesting desserts. Try the frozen s'mores, a blast of textures and tastes with a bed of roasted seasonal fruits accompanying housemade marshmallow that's torched tableside and finished off with graham cracker crumble. 

    744 St. Clair Ave. W.; 416-658-0568