Nestled in the heart of Greektown at 162 Danforth Avenue is a charming restaurant called Judaline. Named for owner Joshua Mott’s mother, this little gem doesn’t commit itself to one single cuisine. After all chef Cesar Karanapakorn has Thai and Mexican heritage, and Judaline stands as a testament to the joy of culinary diversity.
The space is warm and inviting, with what I like to call a rustic chic vibe. The moment you step inside, you’re enveloped in an inviting, homey atmosphere. Exposed brick walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows up front that can open in pleasant weather. Touches of greenery, green velvet banquets, wooden tables, floors, and chairs with a cozy bar in the back and a small kitchen. There is also an all-weather patio out back with a retractable roof and plenty of heating for the cooler months. The restaurant strikes the perfect balance between casual and refined, making it suitable for intimate dinners, or catch-ups with friends. The attentive staff contributes to an overall sense of comfort.
The menu spans a broad spectrum, allowing diners to experience an eclectic range of flavours and ingredients. There are half a dozen seasonal starters from Gazpacho to burrata with heirloom tomatoes, grouper ceviche, or seared scallops with a pea, corn, saffron, pickled mango and cucumber dressing served under a delicately laced lemon tuile. There are also half a dozen rotating mains like a rich lobster gnocchi, or a red sea bream with succotash, cherry tomatoes, olives, and a swirl of parsnip purée. We also had a duck breast with a side of fennel, plum, chipotle, yuzu ponzu gel in an orange vinaigrette. The shoestring fries are crispy, but be warned if you don’t want them tossed in malt vinegar, speak up. The crispy brussels were excellent, sprinkled with Parmesan, garlic chili vinaigrette, and Anaheim chili. But they were not spicy at all. There were a handful of desserts as well, and we opted for a deconstructed chocolate ganache cake. There was something on offer for every palate. The chef’s willingness to experiment with fusion dishes adds an exciting twist, ensuring every visit is a new adventure.
The wine program offers old and new varietals plus features local and European brews, as well as a creative cocktail list.
They get an A for changing dishware and silverware with every course. The staff were eager to ensure guests left with a positive impression.
I would call the charges, fare, and moderately priced.
Judaline is one of the best options for dining on the Danforth. They serve seasonal, elevated fare, in a cozy environment that embraces a diverse culinary style. While it might not specialize in a single cuisine, its commitment to quality, cozy ambiance, and attentive service make it a charming place to enjoy a meal with friends and loved ones.