Taline, which opened on April 5th, 2023, brings diners a taste of Armenia by way of Lebanon. Taline isn’t just a restaurant. It is a tribute to the mother who Head Chef, Seb Yacoubian lost when he was just 16 years old. Partnering with brothers, Saro, Serou, Yacoubian created a space that his mother fills to this day.
“Everything [at Taline] is inspired by my mother. We wanted the restaurant to feel like a family dinner. We use her recipes, the colours of the restaurant were some of her favourites, there is an ambience that she would have enjoyed and photos of her life were made into a collage that you can see as you walk up the staircase,” Yacoubian said.
Located in the heart of Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood, Taline has a unique, upscale vibe without being too pretentious. You can watch the chefs prepare food through a window at the back of the restaurant. Yacoubian shared that they make all of their food in-house. Even some of the microgreens are grown by the three brothers.
Unfortunately, Taline didn’t leave behind measurements for her family recipes, so through a combination of trial and error and through research into Armenian cuisine, Yacoubian was able to finesse his mother’s flavours into the dishes on the menu.
We recently dined at Taline and are giving you the inside scoop on everything you need to know.*
Taline Location and Reservations
1276 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario
For reservations, click here.
A restaurant can have a great story and beautiful décor, but it also has to have the food to back it up. The labneh, made with homemade yogurt is on point. The hummus is creamy and delicious. The baba ghanoush has a slightly smokey flavour and a nice texture from the pumpkin seeds. What makes the mezze even more special is that they are served with delicious, hot matnakash AKA traditional Armenian flat bread. Matnakash translates into “finger draw” or “finger pull”, a nod to how the bread is prepared. Not only is this delicious bread made in-house – they make their own starter too.
The fattoush salad is different than the Middle-Eastern favourite that you are used to thanks to the pomegranate molasses. We had to go back and try the tabule – it’s excellent – just ask for some extra lemon to go with it. We also tried the Tsoug which is a whole grilled fish (branzino the night we were there). When we went back, we tried the Ishkhanatsoug (Ontario huron trout). Both are delicious – the Ishkhanatsoug comes with a spice crusted preserved lemon. That takes the trout to next level delicious – don’t just assume it’s a garnish. Both fish were perfectly cooked.
The drinks are fabulous too. Leave yourself in the hands of your server if you can’t make a decision – just let them know the flavours you like (sweet, sour, strong, citrus, etc.) and the mixologist will send you something that you will love.
When you walk in, you will feel at home in Taline. The restaurant isn’t over the top. The design is clean, taking advantage of the exposed brick. If you look closely, you will also notice things like the beautiful, ornate ceilings, stained glass windows and most importantly, the wall collage of photos of Taline. A skylight and an olive tree that extends into the upper level of the restaurant complete the aesthetic.
The tablescapes are simple and allow the food to be the star. The restaurant is warm and the ideal place for a date night, outing with friends or a nice place to enjoy dinner with your family.
The restaurant is a welcome addition to the Rosedale neighbourhood and is easily accessible by transit, car or even a walk if you live near Yonge Street or in Rosedale or Yorkville. We highly recommend Taline and can’t help but be moved by the story behind the restaurant.
*Dinner was hosted, but opinions are our own.