July 28, 2014
Eat

February 2013

Against the Grain expands to Leaside Village

02/28/13

Against the Grain expands to Leaside Village

If the name is any indication, Against the Grain doesn’t do the expected. After all, there are pubs and then there are urban taverns, and Against the Grain bills itself as the latter. The upscale bar opened its first location in 2011, and now it’s opening a second location in Leaside, according to its website.  

Posted at 04:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: Chaman, a hoppy and aromatic imperial pale ale from Quebec

02/28/13

First Draught: Chaman, a hoppy and aromatic imperial pale ale from Quebec

This March, let’s agree to not force our beer into the indignity of wearing green. Instead, beers like the Chaman imperial pale ale from Quebec’s Dieu du Ciel!, which have the ever-green flavour of hops, seem like a more appropriate way to celebrate spring.  

Posted at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Richmond Station

02/27/13

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Richmond Station

Richmond Station is like the best of the British gastropubs — cozy, friendly, and the food is robust and honest, without gewgaws and highfalutin constructions and garnishes.

Posted at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

Guu gets into lunch (and yes, ramen is involved)

02/27/13

Guu gets into lunch (and yes, ramen is involved)

It’s shaping up to be a good year for Guu fans in Toronto. First, the restaurant started taking reservations at both of its Toronto locations, and today, it announced that both of those locations now serve lunch (on weekdays, for now). Choices include the likes of sashimi, udon noodles and shoyu ramen (because everyone knows there’s a shortage of ramen in the city).

Posted at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: Grand Electric’s take on the bourbon sour

02/27/13

Drink This: Grand Electric’s take on the bourbon sour

Although Hogtown’s hottest taqueria has yet to open up that elusive second floor, Grand Electric’s new lunch hours mean that waiting in line no longer comes part and parcel with the experience — well, not always. Lingering guilt-free is now possible, and those Baja fish tacos and pork tinga tacos need not be wolfed down with haste (not that this’ll stop us).

Posted at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

Torito is getting a sister restaurant on Queen West

02/26/13

Torito is getting a sister restaurant on Queen West

A new Spanish restaurant from the team behind Torito is set to open soon on Queen West, near Shaw. Torito’s chef, Luis Valenzuela, has financially partnered up with Torito’s owner, Veronica Laudes, for the new venture. The restaurant is slated to open in late March.

Posted at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Drake Hotel takes on Ted Corrado as its new executive chef

02/26/13

The Drake Hotel takes on Ted Corrado as its new executive chef

Queen West institution The Drake Hotel announced today that it is taking on the acclaimed Ted Corrado as executive chef. Formerly known for his culinary flair and local flavours at c5, Corrado will oversee the research and development of the menus at The Drake Hotel and the soon-to-open Drake Devonshire Inn in Wellington, Ont. 

Posted at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: a Vietnamese sub from Cali Bánh Mì & Chè

02/26/13

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: a Vietnamese sub from Cali Bánh Mì & Chè

Sure, everyone knows Banh Mi Boys, but this old-school Vietnamese place deserves some love too. Part grocery store, part sit-down joint, Cali Bánh Mì & Chè is filled with a plethora of eats to appease the eye and the mouth: fresh salad rolls, cylinders of Vietnamese sausage, steamed buns visible from the window and a vividly hued roster of sweet desserts.

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

Pancho’s Bakery sets its sights on Little Italy

02/25/13

Pancho’s Bakery sets its sights on Little Italy

Looking to build on the success of its Kensington Market and Dufferin Street locations, Pancho’s Bakery is planning to open a new location near College and Beatrice. Pancho’s is known for its Mexican baked goods, such as conchas, tortas and churros, but this location will have an additional focus on Mexican chocolate. 

Posted at 03:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

T.O.’s best spaghetti and meatballs

02/25/13

T.O.’s best spaghetti and meatballs

Top Toronto chef Grant van Gameren tucks into the GTA’s best spaghetti and meatballs, the classic old-school Italian comfort food.

Posted at 03:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: Thai-style tapas at Sabai Sabai

02/25/13

Cheap Eat of the Week: Thai-style tapas at Sabai Sabai

A couple of years ago, Khao San Road reinvented Thai food in Toronto. Now, Jeff and Nuit Regular (the ex-owners of Khao San Road) are doing it all over again (and then some) at Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar, located at Church and Dundas, just around the corner from Santouka.

Posted at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

Weekly Restaurant Recap: Marky & Sparky’s Smokehouse, Darwin Bistro Bar, Marben, The Pink Grapefruit, Jelly Modern Doughnuts

02/22/13

Weekly Restaurant Recap: Marky & Sparky’s Smokehouse, Darwin Bistro Bar, Marben, The Pink Grapefruit, Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: a new smokehouse near the Junction, doughnuts for Kensington Market, the closure of two legendary restaurants and more.

Posted at 05:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a Bordeaux that’s both elegant and affordable

02/22/13

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a Bordeaux that’s both elegant and affordable

Blaye is a lesser-known region of Bordeaux that produces good value wines. This wine has the characteristic claret nose of cedar and blackcurrants; its soft-mouth feel belies its firm structure. Medium-bodied and dry, with expressive fruit flavour.

Posted at 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

After 25 years, Centro closes its doors

02/21/13

After 25 years, Centro closes its doors

Shortly after learning of Colborne Lane’s impending closure, we were notified that the legendary Centro is closing after 25 years in business. The restaurant had seen some of the city’s most famous chefs pass through its kitchen, including Chris McDonald, Michael Bonacini, Marc Thuet and David Lee.

Posted at 05:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

Say goodbye to Colborne Lane

02/21/13

Say goodbye to Colborne Lane

Claudio Aprile has just announced that he is closing the highly acclaimed Colborne Lane. “I feel that I’ve said everything I’ve had to say with this restaurant,” Aprile tells us. “It’s time for me to focus on different projects. It just feels right.”

Posted at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: an American-style IPA from Kensington Brewing Company

02/21/13

First Draught: an American-style IPA from Kensington Brewing Company

Kensington Brewing Company’s second beer, Baldwin FishEYE-PA, needs a bit of explaining. The name refers to the densely packed row of fishmongers on Baldwin Street, around the corner from the brewery’s current home at 156 Augusta. The brewery’s Michael Gurr says: “For us, it’s about finding a connection to the neighbourhood around us through the names of our beers.”

Posted at 01:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Patria

02/20/13

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Patria

How do you make something cool? Restaurants play the no sign game. If it has no sign, only cool people know where it is. Which is why we walk by Patria three times before asking in the nearby Weslodge. It’s down the laneway! With no signs.

Posted at 03:24 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: the chocolate raspberry mousse martini from Boutique Bar

02/20/13

Drink This: the chocolate raspberry mousse martini from Boutique Bar

Boutique Bar has been teasing the Church Street coterie with its martinis for almost three years now. The swish spot is outfitted with plenty of nouveau rococo pieces, while an electric fireplace next to the bar adds a touch of warmth. Co-owner Julien Salomone has crafted an extensive cocktail menu that’s ideal for an after-work tipple.

Posted at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: Two Bite Saloon’s tofu sliders

02/19/13

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: Two Bite Saloon’s tofu sliders

When Two Bite Saloon first opened, it was mostly about the meat. There was meat in the kale salad, meat in the beans, and meat, well, on the ribs. Out front, a stuffed baby buffalo demonstrated the place’s love for the stuff. But despite chef Nathan Jones’ carnivorous touch, he is more than game for a tofu challenge.

Posted at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

Weekly Restaurant Recap: The Chase, Dineen Coffee Co., Cupcakes, La Burrita, BruDa, Sneaky Dee’s

02/15/13

Weekly Restaurant Recap: The Chase, Dineen Coffee Co., Cupcakes, La Burrita, BruDa, Sneaky Dee’s

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: a new Mexican spot in Koreatown, new tables for Sneaky Dee’s, the Dineen Building gets some new businesses and more.

Posted at 01:07 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a fantastic white from a celebrated South African winery

02/15/13

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a fantastic white from a celebrated South African winery

This is one of my favourite South African producers, with an almost unpronounceable name. This wine is straw-coloured with a minerally pear nose. It offers good weight on the palate with well-defined pear and quince flavours.

Posted at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

Chef & Me: some wine for your Valentine

02/14/13

Chef & Me: some wine for your Valentine

On one of my first dates with Chef, he brought over a bottle of wine for us to share while watching a movie. To me, the date went fine, but apparently (as I only recently learned) I had in fact committed something of a deal breaker on that date.

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: Nostradamus, a Belgian strong ale that’s perfect for winter stews

02/14/13

First Draught: Nostradamus, a Belgian strong ale that’s perfect for winter stews

Last week’s First Draught focused on a Belgian-style saison from an Ontario brewery. This week, for contrast, and to demonstrate the diversity of Belgian brewing traditions, we have a beer from Brasserie Caracole in Belgium, one that’s made in the quite different Belgian strong ale style.

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Hitch, Leslieville’s newest purveyor of beer, cocktails and tapas

02/13/13

First Look: Hitch, Leslieville’s newest purveyor of beer, cocktails and tapas

Situated next to The East Ender, Hitch has taken over part of the space once occupied by restaurant Tomi-Kro. Owner Douglas Tiller is no stranger to Leslieville — he co-founded Mercury Espresso Bar, also on Queen East, back in 2006, and he also previously co-owned Morning Glory Cafe on King East.

Posted at 02:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

Kates: Yours Truly may not serve snacks anymore, but A-OK Foods fills the void just fine

02/13/13

Kates: Yours Truly may not serve snacks anymore, but A-OK Foods fills the void just fine

When Yours Truly went 100 per cent tasting menu and quit serving snacky dishes, they left a hole in my heart. So hallelujah for their new A-OK Foods, where their salt cod inari has reappeared. This is sushi rice with salt cod in fried tofu pouches.

Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: Aria’s La Bella Cosa

02/13/13

Drink This: Aria’s La Bella Cosa

Valentine’s Day is upon us. And although we’re not wont to get particularly sappy, the occasion is a perfect excuse to sip on a pretty pink cocktail — with a bit of a kick to it, of course.

Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

A mouthful of Mardi Gras: four Toronto versions of the po’ boy sandwich

02/12/13

A mouthful of Mardi Gras: four Toronto versions of the po’ boy sandwich

Fat Tuesday (otherwise known as Mardi Gras) is today, and what better way to mark the occasion than with a hefty, overindulgent, trashy-good Southern sandwich known as the po’ boy? While an authentic New Orleans po’ boy is hard to find in Toronto, various takes on the sandwich are popping up on menus across the city. Herewith, four po’ boy-esque creations from around the GTA.

Posted at 04:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Brioche Dorée, a Parisian-style bakery and café on King West

02/12/13

First Look: Brioche Dorée, a Parisian-style bakery and café on King West

Torontonians may not be familiar with Brioche Dorée, but Parisians certainly are. Dishing out goods since 1976, the successful French café-bakery is taking baby steps into the Canuck market. After opening at kiosk at Pearson Airport, the chain has just opened its first downtown Toronto location (with more to come), offering brioche, baguettes, pastries and more.

Posted at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the shrimp smørrebrød from Karelia Kitchen

02/12/13

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the shrimp smørrebrød from Karelia Kitchen

Pronouncing smørrebrød is the hard part; eating these sandwiches is easy. Denmark’s official open-faced sandwich hasn’t gotten too much love in Hogtown — until now, that is. At Bloordale’s Karelia Kitchen, the selection of smørrebrød is enough to make Danish expats feel like they’re smack dab in the centre of København (a.k.a Copenhagen).

Posted at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Appetite, a new east-end destination for sandwiches, salads and take-home dinners

02/11/13

First Look: Appetite, a new east-end destination for sandwiches, salads and take-home dinners

As residents of Riverdale for some 18-odd years, Simon Holder and Athena Kalkanis felt there was a culinary gap waiting to be filled in the neighbourhood. In Holder’s words: “Most Riverdale eateries are either fast-food or strictly sit-down restaurants. We wanted to give residents the option of having restaurant-quality food to take home with them, although they can sit down for a quick bite if they want.”

Posted at 03:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: a red velvet cupcake from Prairie Girl Bakery

02/11/13

Cheap Eat of the Week: a red velvet cupcake from Prairie Girl Bakery

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’re going with cupcakes. Because everyone loves cupcakes, even if they don’t want to admit it.

Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

Weekly Restaurant Recap: Lisa Marie, PS by Prettysweet, Brioche Dorée, Appetite, Cowbell, Tortilla Flats

02/08/13

Weekly Restaurant Recap: Lisa Marie, PS by Prettysweet, Brioche Dorée, Appetite, Cowbell, Tortilla Flats

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: two new confection shops for King West, a new restaurant from the Fidel Gastro’s team, a longstanding Queen West restaurant closes and more.

Posted at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: The Burgernator, the newest combatant in Toronto’s hamburger wars

02/08/13

First Look: The Burgernator, the newest combatant in Toronto’s hamburger wars

With its black and army-green décor, staff-donned military berets and combative name, The Burgernator is ready for a fight. “I’m a pacifist,” says co-owner Amer Mokdad, “so my weapon of choice is the burger.” Kensington Market’s newest burger joint is keen to offer up handcrafted burgers to those seeking out a quick and hearty bite.  

Posted at 01:59 PM | Permalink

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a dry, full-bodied white from California

02/08/13

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a dry, full-bodied white from California

You’re more likely to find this style of wine in Northern Italy or Alsace — a dry Muscat. Straw coloured, the wine has a gorgeous perfume of freshly crushed grapes and cardamom with tangerine notes. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, it has the immediate suggestion of sweetness but finishes with a linger, dry flavour.

Posted at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

Rooster Coffee House expands to King Street East

02/07/13

Rooster Coffee House expands to King Street East

After opening in the east end in late 2009, Rooster Coffee House quickly became a neighborhood institution. And now, just over three years later, owners Shawn Andrews and Dave Watson are opening a second location at 333 King Street East.

Posted at 03:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: a saison from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Oast House Brewers

02/07/13

First Draught: a saison from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Oast House Brewers

New breweries seem to sprout up in groups. The once-dry Junction now has two; new ones are opening in Muskoka and now Niagara has a few. Last November, Oast House joined Silversmith Brewing Company in the growing club of breweries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Farmhouse Saison is a notable selection from Oast House’s small portfolio of beers.

Posted at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews JaBistro

02/06/13

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews JaBistro

My sushi fatigue is so much better now. Sushi fatigue is when it all tastes the same and nothing much jumps out, flavour-wise. It’s when raw salmon and tuna start feeling boring. The thrill was gone.

Posted at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

Drink This: the mulled apple cider from Enoteca Sociale

02/06/13

Drink This: the mulled apple cider from Enoteca Sociale

Enoteca Sociale may have taken the city by storm last year with a particular kale salad, but there’s much more to the place than leafy greens. Currently the enoteca is serving its answer to Winterlicious: a set dinner menu based on a glorious round of parmigiano reggiano that’s been aged for six years.  

Posted at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: The Red Bench, a new café, fro-yo shop and made-to-order cookie spot on Yonge Street

02/05/13

First Look: The Red Bench, a new café, fro-yo shop and made-to-order cookie spot on Yonge Street

Although hubby and wife team Elie and Dena Kirreh have tried to split up their brand new business, The Red Bench, into a shop that’s equal parts fro-yo, loose-leaf teas and made-to-order cookies, it’s the last item in particular that caught our attention.

Posted at 05:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

Chef Profile: Claudio Aprile, the mastermind behind the Origin empire

02/05/13

Chef Profile: Claudio Aprile, the mastermind behind the Origin empire

Driven. Focused. Obsessive. As one of the GTA’s most celebrated and visionary chefs, Claudio Aprile has carved out a name for himself thanks to his relentless pursuit of perfection. Initially stepping into the city’s culinary consciousness while heading the kitchen at downtown Toronto hot spot Sen5es, the top chef daringly took off on his own in 2007, opening his critically acclaimed restaurant Colborne Lane, swiftly followed by Origin.

Posted at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: Delica Kitchen’s take on the ham and Swiss

02/05/13

Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: Delica Kitchen’s take on the ham and Swiss

Delica Kitchen has been tempting the uptown lunch crowd for over three years now. Sitting pretty near Yonge and St. Clair, this shrine to wholesome eats is Devin Connell’s first solo foray into the food biz. Inside, rows of freshly made sandwiches and daily soups are perfect for grabbing and going.

Posted at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Zakkushi, Cabbagetown’s new yakitori house

02/04/13

First Look: Zakkushi, Cabbagetown’s new yakitori house

Translating to “the skewer” from Japanese, Zakkushi is the latest Vancouver transplant to hit Hogtown running. Tucked away in Cabbagetown — and but a stone’s throw from Kingyo, another Van City newbie — this izakaya is a warm sight on a winter’s eve, with cheerful lanterns beckoning from the window. Serving Japanese pub food, the eatery focuses on the skewered eats known as yakitori.

Posted at 05:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

Cheap Eat of the Week: the fried sesame seed balls from Dynasty Chinese Cuisine

02/04/13

Cheap Eat of the Week: the fried sesame seed balls from Dynasty Chinese Cuisine

As a kid, one of my favourite parts of Chinese New Year — celebrated this year on Sunday, Feb. 10 — was getting the red envelopes stuffed with fresh, crisp money bills, given to children by parents and married couples. Today, be it old age or simply nostalgia, I consider the meals at Chinese New Year to be the highlight.

Posted at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Comments

Weekly Restaurant Recap: Aft, Hitch, The Loose Moose, Ursa, The Federal, La Carnita, Pilot Coffee Roasters

02/01/13

Weekly Restaurant Recap: Aft, Hitch, The Loose Moose, Ursa, The Federal, La Carnita, Pilot Coffee Roasters

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: three new restaurants for Riverside, a new bar from the owner of a popular indie coffee shop, a Mexican brunch on College Street and more.

Posted at 04:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Draught: Terrible, a dark Belgian ale that is definitely not terrible

02/01/13

First Draught: Terrible, a dark Belgian ale that is definitely not terrible

Ontario’s craft beer industry has grown at a steady clip over the last three years, and while the gap is closing, we’re still playing catch-up with our neighbours to the east. Since 1990, Unibroue (now owned by Sapporo, via Sleeman) has been one of the leaders of a class of Quebec breweries that borrows heavily from the Belgian playbook.

Posted at 03:03 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Nu Bügel, Kensington Market’s new wood-fired bagel shop

02/01/13

First Look: Nu Bügel, Kensington Market’s new wood-fired bagel shop

With its tangerine-coloured sign, Nu Bügel is easy to find among the hodgepodge of Kensington Market businesses. Sitting in the former Kensington Clothing Co. space, the shop is both a takeout joint and a sit-down café, with its Montreal-style bagels already drawing plenty of customers in the first week of business. 

Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a lively, zesty Chardonnay from Australia

02/01/13

Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a lively, zesty Chardonnay from Australia

A good buy at the price. Straw-coloured with a nose of apple, spice, toast and a touch of barnyard. Medium-bodied with a green pineapple flavour and zesty acidity. Very satisfying with its freshness and lively flavours.

Posted at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments