September 2, 2014
Eat

December 2012

Drink This: a classic Bellini from Toca

01/02/13

Drink This: a classic Bellini from Toca

The holidays aren’t over yet. We’re still desperately clinging on to them while letting loose at the Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, Toca. Come Sundays, the hotel offers up an indulgent brunch that, at $79, is one of the priciest in town. Originally introduced for special occasions, brunch grew into a regular affair due to its popularity. Drawing high society and the hoi polloi alike — along with, yes, tourists — the New Year is the perfect excuse for a hedonistic spread.

Posted at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: Samichlaus, a beer for next Christmas

12/26/12

First Draught: Samichlaus, a beer for next Christmas

The LCBO and Santa — or at least the Swiss-German version, Samichlaus — have had a rocky relationship. In 2008, the provincial liquor monopoly mandated a sticker over the Samichlaus-themed beer from Austria, and, in 2010, the AGCO prevented sales entirely on the grounds that it could appeal to children. This year, Ontario’s door is again open to the Austrian holiday beer that bills itself as the world’s strongest lager. 

Posted at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: Pho Xe Lua’s chicken satay soup

12/24/12

Cheap Eat of the Week: Pho Xe Lua’s chicken satay soup

’Tis the season… for most of Toronto’s restaurants to close down, leaving it to the city’s stalwart Asian restaurants to keep hungry people at bay. Although Pho Xe Lua’s late-night history isn’t stellar (ahem, remember Halloween?), it’s definitely got some hit-the-spot food and it will be open over the holidays.

Posted at 11:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: Howe Sound’s Pothole Filler

12/20/12

First Draught: Howe Sound’s Pothole Filler

The LCBO has brought Howe Sound brewery’s Pothole Filler to Ontario as part of its winter beer release. This imperial stout, which took silver in its category at the 2010 North American Beer Awards, is another great example of B.C.’s thriving craft-brewing industry.

Posted at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cool Hand Luc gets evicted

12/20/12

Cool Hand Luc gets evicted

For over a year and a half, Luc Essiambre, co-owner of Cool Hand Luc, has been providing King West with ice cream, sorbet, soups, grilled cheese sandwiches and more. And although his shop has been gaining popularity, we’re told that it has been given an eviction notice. The shop’s final day of operation, at its current location, is tomorrow.

Posted at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Strada 241

12/19/12

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Strada 241

For the Rubino brothers to open a pizzeria on Spadina is like Meryl Streep playing a walk-on. Like, why? Well, for one, Ame didn’t exactly end well. Their attempt at high-end ultra-modern Japanese and a sophisticated Asian bar met with recessionary times … and it closed.

Posted at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: Rock Lobster’s Ribbons and Swallows

12/19/12

Drink This: Rock Lobster’s Ribbons and Swallows

Following in the footsteps of La Carnita, Rock Lobster Food Co. is the city’s second TUM favourite that’s opened a mother ship to seemingly endless fanfare. Like its somewhat meatier cousin, Rock Lobster has a rowdy atmosphere, thanks to tunes that match its name, plus plenty of boozy cocktails — not to mention the wine on tap.

Posted at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the new secret menu item at The Burger’s Priest

12/18/12

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the new secret menu item at The Burger’s Priest

By now, pretty much everyone is well aware of The Burger’s Priest’s position at the top of the city’s burger totem pole. With two locations spinning out the goods (one east, one north), owner Shant Mardirosian isn’t stopping his domination any time soon; folks can expect to find new joints, well, just about everywhere in the not-so-distant future.

Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: a refreshingly interesting bowl of rice from Santouka Ramen

12/17/12

Cheap Eat of the Week: a refreshingly interesting bowl of rice from Santouka Ramen

Last month, Santouka Ramen opened on Dundas Street East. While ramen is obviously the main reason to brave the cold and stand line for what’s been said to be a 15-minute to 60-minute wait time, don’t miss the rice bowls.  

Posted at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

Friday Restaurant Recap: Bite Me Bakery, Osteria dei Ganzi, Playa Cabana Cantina, Hogtown Charcuterie, Miller Tavern

12/14/12

Friday Restaurant Recap: Bite Me Bakery, Osteria dei Ganzi, Playa Cabana Cantina, Hogtown Charcuterie, Miller Tavern

Friday Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: a cupcake shop with attitude, charcuterie for Kensington Market, a new coffee shop in Church Wellesley village and more.

Posted at 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a citrusy Alsace riesling

12/14/12

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a citrusy Alsace riesling

This is a quintessential Alsace riesling. Aromas of peach and citrus fruits rise from the glass, mingled with petrol notes (characteristic of maturing riesling). The wine is medium-bodied, with peach and floral flavours and a mineral note all carried on bracing acidity.

Posted at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: a beer from Norway’s top craft brewery

12/13/12

First Draught: a beer from Norway’s top craft brewery

Aficionados of Scandinavian food and drink — they are everywhere these days — will be thrilled to see that the LCBO has joined the parade by featuring Nøgne Ø. For as long as supplies last, we’ll have the chance to try five different selections from Norway’s best-known craft brewery. 

Posted at 04:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Smoke, a new temple to barbecue at Harbord and Manning

12/13/12

First Look: Smoke, a new temple to barbecue at Harbord and Manning

There is an age-old debate in the world of barbecue: should the food be served dry, or should the chef season it with sauce beforehand? For Tony Gallippi, chef at Harbord and Manning’s new Smoke BBQ House, too much sauce implies that there’s something to hide. So his barbecue — lightly rubbed meats that are smoked with mild woods such as apple or cherry — is served with sauce on the side. Power, as they say, to the people.

Posted at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

Charcuterie king: a profile of chef Grant van Gameren

12/12/12

Charcuterie king: a profile of chef Grant van Gameren

“I kinda have a confidence complex,” admits Grant van Gameren, renowned Toronto chef. “I always have to do better.” After rising to the forefront of the city’s culinary scene at a little place called The Black Hoof, van Gameren stepped out of the limelight just as the frenzy surrounding the eatery reached a fever pitch.

Posted at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Fish Street, a new midtown seafood market

12/12/12

First Look: Fish Street, a new midtown seafood market

The fish are swimming uptown. They’ve landed themselves at a new fish shop on Yonge, just north of Eglinton, called Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen. The name pretty much sums it up.

Posted at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: Brassaii’s Cranberry Mint Smash

12/12/12

Drink This: Brassaii’s Cranberry Mint Smash

King West’s Brassaii is a little bit of everything: lounge, restaurant and bar. In addition to its seasonal Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, the hotspot has a heated patio and offers bottle service come weekend. Additionally, an interesting cocktail service is available: a bartender passes through the dining area with a trolley and mixes up beverages tableside.

Posted at 09:25 AM | Permalink | Comments

How Queen West’s newest ramen house makes its noodles

12/11/12

How Queen West’s newest ramen house makes its noodles

Making a proper bowl of ramen is a time consuming process, but for Chris Jang, chef at Queen West’s newly opened A-OK Foods, the noodles are the most labour-intensive part. Every day, for five days a week, Jang dedicates at least an hour and a half to crafting ramen noodles.

Posted at 04:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: Christmas dinner on a bun from Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens

12/11/12

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: Christmas dinner on a bun from Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens

Having just blown out the candles on its first year, Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens is known for its storied past, an expansive food selection and, of course, its rather large wall of cheese. This time of year, however, the fromage is dwarfed somewhat by the addition of a hefty gingerbread house, built from some 1,000 gingerbread “bricks” and a casual 700 pounds of candy. While the deli offerings may not be quite as large, they are, however, just as festive.

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

Kates: Museum Tavern is more than just a pretty face

12/10/12

Kates: Museum Tavern is more than just a pretty face

Fun pub grub is rare and sweet, for too often it’s grease all the way. If you find yourself hungry on Millionaire’s Mile at Bloor and Avenue, good luck. Precious little there is fit for humans to eat. The new Museum Tavern, a splendid-looking homage to Parisian bistros like Le Vaudeville, dishes more than good looks.

Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: a soul-warming bowl of soup from the new Sukhothai

12/10/12

Cheap Eat of the Week: a soul-warming bowl of soup from the new Sukhothai

Last Monday, super-popular Thai restaurant Sukhothai opened its much-anticipated second location at Wellington Street East, just west of Church, after much success with its sister restaurant, Khao San Road.

Posted at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments

Friday Restaurant Recap: Dr. Laffa, Cajú, Toucan Taco Bar, Cafuné, Terroni

12/07/12

Friday Restaurant Recap: Dr. Laffa, Cajú, Toucan Taco Bar, Cafuné, Terroni

Friday Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: a popular Middle Eastern restaurant expands, one Brazilian restaurant opens while another closes, a wine bar for the Junction and more.

Posted at 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Rock Lobster Food Co., Ossington’s new crustacean station

12/07/12

First Look: Rock Lobster Food Co., Ossington’s new crustacean station

Opening up a lobster-obsessed eatery wasn’t always in the books for Matt Dean Pettit, but after witnessing Hogtown’s insatiable palate for the hefty crustacean, there was no looking back. In March of this year, Pettit set up his first Rock Lobster Food Co. pop-up restaurant; he eventually ended up becoming a huge hit at the Toronto Underground Market (TUM).

Posted at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: an easy-drinking red from Greece

12/07/12

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: an easy-drinking red from Greece

Made from the local Agiorgitiko grape (a.k.a St. George), this well-priced wine has a deep ruby colour and a nose of tobacco leaf, cedar and cherries. It is an easy drinking wine with a sweet flavour that finishes dry and savoury with ripe tannins.

Posted at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

Dr. Laffa is opening a second location, with more to come

12/06/12

Dr. Laffa is opening a second location, with more to come

Popular Middle Eastern restaurant Dr. Laffa — recently the subject of a glowing Globe and Mail review — has announced plans to expand. A second incarnation of Dr. Laffa is set to open near Bathurst and Lawrence by early 2013, and we’re also told that plans are in the works to franchise the business.

Posted at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Cupcake Girls take on Leaside

12/06/12

The Cupcake Girls take on Leaside

Vancouver cupcake queens Heather White and Lori Joyce — stars of The Cupcake Girls — have been teasing us for months now with promises that their cupcake shop franchise would soon make its way to Toronto. Well, it looks like they’ve finally settled on Leaside as the neighbourhood, with a new shop currently undergoing construction near Laird Drive and Millwood Road.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: ODDSEOUL, a new Korean fusion restaurant from the owners of Swish by Han

12/06/12

First Look: ODDSEOUL, a new Korean fusion restaurant from the owners of Swish by Han

For those who thought Ossington couldn’t get any more exciting, last weekend saw the opening of two new spots: pop-up-turned-restaurant Rock Lobster Food Co. and new late-night spot ODDSEOUL, the long-awaited second child of brothers Leemo and Leeto Han, who opened Swish by Han almost four years ago.

Posted at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

Animal houses: four Toronto feasts that release the beast

12/05/12

Animal houses: four Toronto feasts that release the beast

Let’s be honest: Christmas dinner is not going to be tasty this year. It never is. Turkey is difficult to cook, and Aunt Muriel seldom does a good job, unless she’s deep-frying it, which she probably isn’t. Not only that, but nobody at a holiday dinner — nobody — is permitted to admit that the turkey they’re eating is about as tacky as subway gum. Christmas dinner makes a stoic out of everyone.

Posted at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: an eggnog cocktail from The County General

12/05/12

Drink This: an eggnog cocktail from The County General

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, what better way to indulge than with some classic cheer in liquid form? The County General just so happens to be known for its cocktails, and with some 35 bourbons (and just as many rums) available, you know you’re in good hands.

Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Hawthorne Food and Drink, a new restaurant from chef Eric Wood

12/04/12

First Look: Hawthorne Food and Drink, a new restaurant from chef Eric Wood

Ask chef Eric Wood about fusion cuisine, and he says it’s become the scarlet letter of the restaurant industry. But fusion still has its place in his kitchen.

Posted at 04:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: a delightfully messy take on the bo ssäm from Sanagan’s Meat Locker

12/04/12

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: a delightfully messy take on the bo ssäm from Sanagan’s Meat Locker

Ever since Peter Sanagan up and moved his Meat Locker to a bigger and better space, he’s been able to quadruple his carnivore-directed offerings. Now, in addition to options like Crown Salumi — chef Grant van Gameren’s boutique line of cured meats — the butcher also has space for terrine, pâtés, soups and grab ‘n’ go sandwiches.    

Posted at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

Guy Fieri and Drake cooked together for some reason

12/03/12

Guy Fieri and Drake cooked together for some reason

The top news story of last week, of course, had nothing to do with Rob Ford and everything to do with Guy Fieri. The American celebrity chef headed to Toronto last week for his show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and he apparently hit up Hey Meatball!, Caplansky’s Delicatessen and The Lakeview, among other places. Also: he somehow ended up cooking with Drake. Thanks to the power of Instagram, Your day is now improved.

Posted at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: the soup-filled dumplings from Asian Legend

12/03/12

Cheap Eat of the Week: the soup-filled dumplings from Asian Legend

One staple of northern Chinese cuisine is the soup-filled dumpling with ground pork (six for $5.95 at Asian Legend). A first-time soup-filled dumpling eater will wonder two things: just how do they get the hot piping soup into the dumpling (like the Caramilk secret), and how on earth will I eat this?

Posted at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Café Boulud

11/28/12

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Café Boulud

When a New York superchef like Daniel Boulud comes to Toronto, a foodie has to go. You can’t just ignore it. You can, however, feel sad that our beloved local superstar hotel, the Four Seasons, wasn’t confident enough to go it on its own, foodwise. Okay, so the super-snazzy Truffles in the old Four Seasons wasn’t a money-maker, and the Studio Café, despite its great beauty, was never exactly a hotbed of gastronomy.

Posted at 02:47 PM | Permalink | Comments