October 2013

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First Draught: a boozy lager for the dark days of fall

The weather is finally starting to cooperate with the schedule of beers that I had planned to write about, because there would have been no way to handle a dark, rich and slightly sweet monster like the Grande Cuvée Doppelbock on one of those sunny and hot days we had earlier this autumn.

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Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Valdez

How is it that the hottest table in town has slightly dumb service? Is there any sense to every course being delivered by a different person (some of whom make up what’s on the plate)? Or maybe this is something we should appreciate because the chef/owner of Valdez, Steve Gonzalez, gets that the only way to ensure good cooking is to do it yourself rather than swanning around the front of the house.

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Chef Tip: it’s time to get into brining

Poultry and pork are easy to overcook, which can lead to dry, flavourless meals. But chef David Neinstein of Barque Smokehouse has a tip for keeping these meats juicy and flavourful.

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Drink This: La Cubana’s Periodista

Thanks to La Cubana, Cuban food is suddenly on the map in Toronto. (It’s about time the city stepped back from tacos.) The relaxed Roncy eatery, which is but a stone’s throw from the Revue Cinema, features a menu of easy-to-share grub including cod croquetas, yucca frita and a roster of sandwiches.

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First Look: Hapa Izakaya at The Ritz-Carlton

As part of the Japanese restaurant takeover that’s been hitting Toronto, Hapa Izakaya has been enjoying brisk business on College Street since last September (though that location has been temporarily shut down due to Toronto’s recent storm troubles).

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Obikà Mozzarella Bar closes its Toronto location

After a much-anticipated opening in Toronto a few years ago, Obikà Mozzarella Bar at Brookfield Place appears to have closed. The restaurant, known for its menu of Italian cheeses and other fare, expanded to Toronto after becoming a hit in cities such as Rome, Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles.

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Toronto’s Best Sandwiches: the veggie-and-brie-stuffed bagel from Nu Bügel

Nu Bügel has yet to turn one, but it hit the ground running from the start. The Kensington Market bagelry, if you will, turns out rounds that hit closer to Montreal than New York on the map. A honey-water boil followed by a wood-fired baking ensures that the dense rounds are slightly sweet.

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The decades-old Cookbook Store makes way for yet another condo development

The building that houses the legendary Cookbook Store at the corner of Yonge and Yorkville has been sold to condo developers, Quill & Quire reports. But longtime store manager Alison Fryer tells us that this is not the end of the road for the store, which has been around for over 30 years.

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Cheap Eat of the Week: the peanut butter cookies from Me & Mine

Getting a table at a brunch restaurant in Toronto can often feel like you’re among feral hyenas fighting over a piece of antelope. So the peaceful, under-the-radar (for now) Me & Mine is a welcome treat.

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Weekly Restaurant Recap: Sizzler Kabab, Pukka, Hi-Lo Bar, Senator Restaurant, Keriwa Cafe

Weekly Restaurant Recap rounds up the week’s Toronto restaurant news. In this edition: a wine-focused Indian restaurant on St. Clair, a new bar from the Table 17 team, the closure of a much-loved Parkdale restaurant and more.

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