What we know about Alo, Patrick Kriss's upcoming tasting menu restaurant
Ex-Splendido chef Patrick Kriss is returning to the Toronto dining scene with plans to open Alo, a new restaurant focused on a tasting menu.
After a brief hiatus, Ex-Splendido chef Patrick Kriss is returning to the Toronto dining scene with plans to open Alo, a new restaurant focused on a tasting menu.
“It’s really how I like to dine when I go out. It allows me to tell the story better when it comes to the eating experience, course by course,” Kriss said in his new 3rd floor space at Spadina and Queen.
The area has quickly become a hotbed for food (Burger’s Priest, Fresh Off The Boat, Pnl Burger, Rose City Kitchen and Saffron Spice Kitchen all opened under two years ago).
But Kriss’s plans will buck the snack bar craze. “There will be snacks on the menu at the bar, “, he explains “but the main dining room will focus entirely on regularly changing tasting menus”. Toronto restaurants have paid more attention to tasting-style dining over the last year. People’s Eatery upstairs, Dandylion, Buca Yorkville to name a few.
Kriss has a notable culinary record. He took over Acadia restaurant after Matt Blondin left (now Backwoods smokehouse & whisky bar) three years ago, prior to that he manned the stoves at Splendido, Luma and Auberge du Pommier. Kriss also worked in New York at Daniel Boulud’s eponymous Daniel restaurant.
What we know so far about Alo
Kriss was actively looking for a space for two years when he found the 3rd floor location at 163 Spadina. It’s got history, in the 1970s it was home to the infamous private after-hours club called The Elephant Walk. More recently, it was occupied by an art agency. Kriss took over the lease last fall and hired Commute to lead the redesign.
Guests will be greeted by a hostess on the main floor before climbing or taking the elevator to the 3rd floor restaurant. Once at the top, they’ll enter two areas, “We’ll have a bar with a cocktail program, and a bar snack menu” Kriss said, while pointing to an area with a U-shaped bar being built, and room for about 30 seats.
The main dining floor, overlooking the Spadina/Queen intersection, will focus entirely on a tasting menu. Kriss will be going back to his roots, the cuisine will draw from French influences and cooking, and will change regularly. “We’re looking at five to eight courses right now, a set price with some minor addons here and there.” Kriss indicates that menus will range from 6 to 8 courses and he aims to price them under $90.
Joining Kriss will be G.M. Amanda Bradley (George Restaurant) who will oversee the wine program. The room will have 30 seats, an open kitchen and a small set of chef’s rail seats for those that want the intimate experience.
Construction is currently underway and Kris expects the restaurant to open late spring. Reservations will be accepted for the tasting menu in the dining room while Kriss expects things at the bar to be a bit more casual.
Alo Restaurant, 163 Spadina Ave.