March 2013

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Weekly Restaurant Recap: Gourmet Gringos, White Squirrel, L’Ouvrier, Reds Wine Tavern, Grasslands

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: an upcoming restaurant from a popular food truck, street-style Thai food for Scarborough, Fressen is reborn and more.

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Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. is set to reopen soon under new ownership

Just under a year after the award-winning Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. — a favourite among Toronto chefs — shuttered its doors, new owners are planning to reopen it.

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First Draught: Alexander Keith’s Cascade Ale, a large-scale brewer’s foray into craft beer territory

For my first post of 2013, I questioned where craft beer starts and ends. In that case, I wrote about Granville Island’s Lion’s Winter Ale, a long-established craft brewery that was acquired by a much larger competitor (Molson Coors). The other route for macrobreweries that want to compete in the growing craft segment is to design flavourful beers from the ground up.

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First Look: The Rude Boy, a new burger joint on Roncy

Named after the Clash rockumentary, The Rude Boy is the latest eatery to open on the Roncy strip. Taking over the former Greek Spot space, the low-key joint is the work of a quartet of friends: chef Liam Kelly, Faiez Bapoo, Paul Simmons and Alex Sengupta. The group decided to open up a proper burger joint after noticing that it was the one thing missing in the ’hood.

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Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Farmhouse Tavern

Farmhouse Tavern harkens back to a time of pastoral pleasures... The farms, the fields, the sweet smell of clover... No matter that most of us never lived that life or that the restaurant’s mission, to use only that which is produced in Ontario, is cute but silly. One, because the environmental benefits of eating local are often exaggerated. Two, because in winter it so narrows the palette.

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Drink This: The Yukon’s Luis Flores

The western end of Parkdale isn’t exactly bar-hopping territory. And at The Yukon, that’s how they like it. With nightly deals like buck-a-shuck oysters or half-priced vino, there’s good reason the locals have made it their local. Bar manager Katy McLean’s cocktail menu is yet another reason why folks keep returning.

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Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the pulled unpork from Hogtown Vegan

At the Hogtown Vegan, the eats are decidedly un-vegan — in sentiment at least. With items like the Reuben, “wings” and a Philly “cheese steak” sandwich filling up the menu, this interpretation of vegan breaks all the so-called rules, with hearty, comforting options drawing in folks who can’t stand the idea of a kale salad (or have simply had their fill of the stuff).

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Reds Wine Tavern and chef Ryan Gallagher part ways

When the financial district’s Reds Bistro relaunched as Reds Wine Tavern in October, there was a bit of buzz surrounding the fact that Top Chef Canada alum Ryan Gallagher would be heading up the kitchen. But already the restaurant is looking for a new head chef.

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First Look: Bar Isabel, the highly anticipated new restaurant from chef Grant van Gameren

It’s been over a year and a half since the big story dropped that chef Grant van Gameren had left The Black Hoof. After developing a relationship with restaurateur Max Rimaldi (Enoteca Sociale, Pizzeria Libretto), van Gameren began to oversee the kitchen at Enoteca Sociale, and then he took time off to travel Europe.

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Cheap Eat of the Week: udon noodles from Guu SakaBar

With the awesome news that Guu now serves lunch (Monday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m.), you can satiate your need for izakaya fare and a pint of Sapporo midday — without the lineups usually reserved for dinnertime. 

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