It is no secret among those who know me (and the Spotted By Locals readers) that I love the restaurants of Jen Agg. I have reviewed Rhum Corner, The Black Hoof, and her bar, Cocktail Bar. Now, very recently, she has opened a new spot in the hip Kensington Market, Grey Gardens.
Like the documentary of the same name, the interior of Grey Gardens has a whiff of elegant decay – painted vines covering the walls and a garden-like, pastel palette as though faded by the sun. Add to this polished brass finishings, and the result is very chic, yet warm.
The food is helmed by Mitchell Bates, formerly of the Momofuku restaurants in Toronto and New York. It is superb. You might call it “New North American”- vegetable-forward, with a subtle brashness (slices of cheddar cheese with rutabaga, shaved leeks with burst of roe)- but there are Asian influences as well. It’s a magnificent marriage. The knockout punch is the sweet potato ravioli- bursts of hot, rich flavour with shavings of black truffle on top.
The meal may sound fancy, but there isn’t anything fussy about it. Plates are meant for sharing, and pair well with the list of bold, funky natural wines. It has a swagger to it, tempered with a lightness and femininity. It could be a casual drop-in spot if you want to sit at the wine bar, or a hot reservation for special evenings. Destined to be one of the best spots in the city.