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From the Stable to the Table

Shamez Amlani’s little restaurant, La Palette, sits in Toronto’s Queen Street west neighbourhood among fabric shops, furniture stores and fashion boutiques. An old-world Parisian feel permeates the bistro with its checkered floor, open kitchen, mismatched table cloths and the ceramic horse head mounted on one wall. If one were inclined to imagining – and this place was on the opposite side of the Atlantic – it might be where writers like Hemingway found solace in absinthe. “Fun fact,” says Amlani as he prepares a café Americano at the bar. “This building was originally used as a horse stable.” He grins as he carries the coffee over. Amlani’s cheeky approach to the horse meat debate and his refusal to kowtow to protesters and remove equine permanently from the menu has made his restaurant a target for anti-horse slaughter activists. His horsey offerings include a Escabeche Chevaline Nicoise, which has horse heart…

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