Now Open: Taline

Taline Restaurant meals on table with cocktail drinks

TORONTO — Taline has opened in Toronto. Named after chef Sebouh Yacoubian’s late mother, the restaurant is a celebration of her spirit, recipes and heritage. Together with brothers Saro and Serouj, the chef aims to showcase Armenian culture.

The dishes incorporate flavours and spices from Anjar, Bourj Hammoud and Armenia, which tell the story of Taline’s heritage and Lebanese upbringing. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and boasts familiar dishes of dips, salads and roasted meats but the adventure is in the nuance of spices, herbs and ingredients. Many of Taline’s feature ingredients are grown in partnership with Krop in Vaughan, Ont., where they grow Armenian crops, such as rehan (purple basil), cantaloupe leaves and oortz (wild mushroom thyme). Saro Yacoubian oversees the beverage program, which was created in collaboration with Tunisian-born, Netflix Drink Masters finalist, Tao Zrafi.

A few menu highlights include Banru, a creamy dip made from feta, halloumi and shanklish (a preserved, fermented yogurt-based cheese made in house), a mix of roasted red peppers, candied Thai chilis and smoked paprika and topped with micro-cilantro; Kibbeh Nayeh, steak tartare made with shallots and Taline’s signature red-pepper paste and dehydrated, puffed bulgur; and Vochkhar, Ontario-raised lamb that’s butchered in house and adorned with Ras El-Hanout and thyme served with a side of jajekh and bulgur salad.

The restaurant’s warm colour palette is a nod to Taline’s favourite hues – rose, olive green, copper and tawny brown which complement exposed brick walls, wood paneling and leather banquettes. Art pieces by husband-and-wife duo, Karagusi, also pay tribute to Taline, including a puzzle of interlocking T’s and S’s that symbolize Taline and her three sons.

“I really wanted to remain true to my mom’s cooking, but I also want to elevate Armenian cuisine to the status that French cuisine has,” says chef Sebouh Yacoubian of his classical culinary French training. “I want to be the first Michelin star Armenian, fine-dining restaurant in Canada.”

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