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Restaurant review: LOV

 King West’s latest eatery serves up plant-based fare in a bright and beautiful environment.

What’s the vibe

Toronto’s taste for vegan eats has only grown in recent years with new fast-food options along with proper sit-down eateries boasting entirely plant-based menus. The latest addition to the mix is LOV. The Montreal-based restaurant group already has four locations but this marks its first in Ontario.

LOV takes no shortcuts in creating a stylish, bright and beautiful interior. High ceilings and an emphasis on white decor creates an airy feeling inside, coupled with plenty of hanging plants for added greenery. We’re looking forward to returning in warmer weather to lounge on its wrap-around patio and popping into the grab-and-go café counter for our next latté.

What to drink

The average cocktail consumer might not realize that their shaken creations aren’t always vegan, but it’s certainly the case for beverages made with egg whites. LOV makes its foam-topped cocktails vegan by using aquafaba – the water from a can of chickpeas. It creates a lovely texture on top of the Poptail, a rich and flavourful sipper made with buttery popcorn syrup and complemented by a hit of spice with Appleton Rum. The theme of planet-conscious consumption continues with an organic wine list covering both local and international options.

What to eat

The menu here spans flavours and regions, covering everything from Italian to Asian and Middle Eastern. We started with the arancini which had a pleasantly crisp exterior with a creamy ‘cheesy’ centre, along with an order of Brussels sprouts (perfectly roasted in a sweet and spicy sauce) and the kimchi fries which our server said were a popular selection at LOV’s other locations.

Mains include burgers (both Beyond Meat and black bean patties), salads and power bowls but we went for two of the signature dishes. The Truffles & Caviar puts savoury tapioca pearls atop a bed of zucchini noodles and roasted mushroom. It was a bit brothier than we expected but we liked how the truffle flavours helped add umami and depth to each forkful. Our second main was the LOV lasagne which uses cashew cream for a convincingly rich sauce alongside bolognese made with tempeh. It was a filling dish that didn’t leave us longing for its meat-based alternative.

Dinner and drinks for two: about $100

620 King St W, (416) 366-8568, lov.com

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