June 2013

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Weekly Restaurant Recap: Magic Oven, Edo, Pisco, Bistro 896, Full Stop Cafe, Hey Meatball!

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: even more new places for the Junction, an iconic sushi restaurant expands, a makeover for Le Canard Mort and more.

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First Look: Fare Game, a gamey new addition to Cabbagetown

You may not have noticed it, but Cabbagetown’s Jam Café quietly closed in April. Save for the sign (which now reads “Fare Game: continental cuisine with a Canadian panache”) and the menu, the restaurant itself has barely been changed.

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Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: the best Wildass Red yet

A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tannat, this red blend is the best Wildass Red yet. Deep ruby in colour, it offers a nose of cedar and red- and blackcurrants. A medium-bodied wine, dry with well-extracted fruit and a herbal note on the finish.

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First Look: Foodbenders, a new health-conscious takeout spot in the Junction

Foodbenders, a new health-conscious take-out lunch joint, has opened on the eastern edge of the Junction. The miniscule shop, helmed by Ottawa natives Kim Hawkins and Kevin Rickey, offers a menu of salads and sandwiches in a variety of permutations that will suit even the most intolerant of eaters. Lactose intolerant? Gluten intolerant? Meat averse? Foodbenders has you covered.

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First Draught: Mikkeller Canadian Dream, a hoppy Danish lager

As part of its summer beer release, the LCBO has brought Mikkeller’s American Dream to Ontario. The Danish brewer of this beer was good enough to rebrand the hoppy lager as “Canadian Dream” for us, though the recipe is the same.

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Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Vita Sociale

Downtown has finally come uptown. Close your eyes, click your heels three times and you could be dining at Buca. Only it’ll be cheaper at Vita Sociale because when owner Armando Mano abandoned Centro earlier this year, he got really smart. Fine dining is so ’90s. The people want (in this order) inexpensive food, they want it to be Italian and they want hot young wait staff.

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Drink This: the namesake mojito from Valdez

A couple of weeks ago, Valdez, Toronto’s latest Latin street food purveyor, opened shop on King West. Stepping into the former Cheval space, this highly anticipated eatery comes tricked out with an open kitchen, eye-catching murals and a soon-to-open rooftop patio to boot.

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First Look: Pisco, a new Peruvian restaurant near Yonge and Lawrence

Alessandro and Giancarlo Colombaro grew up with their Peruvian mother’s cooking. And they’ve also spent their lives working in restaurants — their father, Nick Colombaro, is a veteran Toronto restaurateur. So it’s fitting that the two brothers have teamed up to open Pisco, a new Peruvian restaurant at Yonge and Lawrence.

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Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the beef brisket from Marky & Sparky’s Smokehouse

Baby Point once showed few signs of culinary enthusiasm. But now, with Queen Margherita Pizza and Marky & Sparky’s Smokehouse having both recently set up camp, the ’hood is getting a bit of a facelift.

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First Look: The Clubhouse Sandwich Shop, casual new spot at College and Spadina

The Clubhouse Sandwich Shop, recently opened by first-time business owner Doan Nguyen, joins Fancy Franks and The Grilled Cheese to offer the area another option for quick lunches and low-key dinners.

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