March 2012

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College Street’s Souz Dal to shack up with Sutra Tiki Bar

After 20 years, College Street cocktail bar Souz Dal will be relocating. But not to worry, it’s just moving down the street. After lease negotiations feel through, owner Sid Dichter decided to merge the bar with his other venue, Sutra Tiki Bar, at 612 College Street.

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First Look: The Big Fish, a sustainable chippy that’s making a splash on Queen West

The smell of The Big Fish hits us before we walk in. It’s one of those vinegary, greasy-good cooking smells, the kind that makes your mouth water. Taking over the old Bon’s Submarine spot, The Big Fish opened last week at Queen and Spadina, adding to the strip’s growing list of fast food hot spots that blow the remaining chain restaurants out of the water.

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Has celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy closed Provenance Regional Cuisine?

It looks like celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy has shuttered his Dundas West grocery store Provenance Regional Cuisine. Known for its locally sourced and sustainable foods, Kennedy took over the tiny shop at Dundas and Palmerston last September from original owner, Alex Johnson.

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Cheap Eat of the Week: creamy chicken liver mousse crostini from Ascari Enoteca 26

Named after Italian racecar legend Alberto Ascari, Ascari Enoteca 26 is a bit of a throwback to the ‘50s. Aiming to provide an experience similar to a classic Italian enoteca, the restaurant creates a space and ambiance that speaks to the enthusiasm that Ascari had for food and wine.

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Rakia Bar is set to open in Red Rocket’s former Queen East digs

Last year, Leslieville fixture Red Rocket Coffee announced it was leaving the area due to rising rent costs. Now, the space at 1402 Queen Street East is papered over with a rather cryptic “coming soon” sign featuring a portrait of Nikola Tesla. What does it mean? That Serbian franchise Rakia Bar is coming to town, of course.

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Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Mention Argentinean wine and people immediately think of Malbec. But the Mendoza Valley also produces some Cabernet Sauvignon at attractive prices. This Cab has an expressive bouquet of blackcurrant and cedar. Medium-bodied with juicy cherry and currant flavours, it’s a wine that punches above its weight in terms of price. Food match: lamb chops or grilled sausages.

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First Look: Actinolite, a new restaurant that’s spreading the Ossington strip’s culinary vibe north of Bloor

As Ossington continues to be a prime culinary destination south of Bloor, its comparatively underwhelming north-of-Bloor side just got a boost with Actinolite. Opened March 28, the new restaurant is the long-awaited project of husband-and-wife duo Claudia Bianchi and Justin Cournoyer.

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Warm weather results in maple syrup shortage; poutine and Timbits now solely responsible for feeding Canadians

Pancakes and waffles at breakfast tables in the province may go dry and lonely this year. According to the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association, the unseasonably warm temperatures over the past few weeks had sap flowing earlier than expected, resulting in output that’s down at least 50 per cent in parts of the province. 

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Queen Margherita is summoning the “God of pizza ovens” for its upcoming west-end location

After catching word that Queen Margherita Pizza is set to open a second location near the Junction this fall, we got in touch with co-owner John Chetti. Apparently, he and his partners have cemented a deal with Stefano Ferrara, who Chetti refers to as the “God of pizza ovens,” to come from Naples and personally build and install a pizza oven at the new location.

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First Look: Tori’s Bakeshop, an all-vegan bakery and café in the Beach

The Beach’s newest bakery, Tori’s Bakeshop, is all vegan, all natural, refined sugar-free, occasionally gluten-free, organic where possible and entirely eco-friendly. Owner Victoria Vaccher, a vegan herself, made sure of that.

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