September 2012


Chef & Me: autumn romance in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Autumn has always been a favourite season of mine. A time of apple crisp and pea coats with collars turned up, the months preceding the first day of snow are ones that I like to relish at a lazy pace, often from the comfort of my living room window watching the leaves fall. For Chef though — and consequently for me it seems — September and October constitute harvest season, i.e. massive work months.

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First Look: Gangster Burger, a new indie hamburger joint on Queen West

What do you get when two guys from the tattoo industry with a can-do attitude — but zero experience in the food industry — decide to open a burger joint pretty much on a lark? You get Gangster Burger, a takeout spot that opened up two weeks ago at Queen and Portland. Among its first customers was rap star Drake.

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Tony Aspler’s Weekly Wine Pick: a crisp Aligoté that’s a nice change of pace from Chardonnay

If you’re looking for a change from Chardonnay, try another Burgundian grape variety called Aligoté. Only this Aligoté is grown in our backyard — at Château des Charmes in Niagara. Its 2010 Aligoté is a pale lemon colour with an earthy, apple and peach bouquet and a citrus note. The wine is medium-bodied, crisply dry, full on the palate and mouth-filling.

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First Look: Dr. Augusta’s Samitorium, Kensington Market’s new gourmet sandwich shop

After meeting some six years ago as cooks at Canoe, Chris Bobbitt and Vlad Vujovic often spoke about opening up their own sandwich shop. “We came up with the idea over many tasting menus and plenty of beers,” laughs Bobbitt. Now, six years later, Dr. Augusta’s Samitorium is just what they’d envisioned. Taking over a corner lot at the edge of Kensington Market, the black-and-white tiled space offers up a tight, sandwich-laden menu.

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First Draught: a German wheat beer from the world’s oldest brewery

The best way to win bar bets with non-Germans this week is probably by making a wager as to which month most of Oktoberfest takes place. The two-week Bavarian beer-fest has already started, having opened on Saturday to take advantage of sunnier days and milder nights. So, to celebrate Oktoberfest, we’re taking a look at the Kristall Weissbier from Weihenstephan, which bills itself as the world’s oldest brewery.

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Chef Matthew Sullivan is heading up the menu at Skin and Bones, an upcoming Leslieville restaurant

Since leaving his gig as executive chef at Maléna and L'Unità, chef Matthew Sullivan has been focusing his energy on Boxed, his pop-up concept. But we’ve now found out that he’s been appointed as chef at an upcoming Leslieville restaurant called Skin and Bones. Details are scarce, but we do know that it’s going to be a large, wine-focused restaurant set inside of a historic warehouse.

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Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Bent

A family business is a very complicated creature. The older generation desperately wants the younger generation to succeed. The younger generation desperately wants the older generation out of their face, but they know (some days) that they need them. The older generation wants to trust the younger to do well and do right, but trust isn’t usually an entrepreneur’s strong suit … so they meddle. And if they’re Susur Lee, they meddle deliciously.

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First Look: the Hula Girl espresso truck, Toronto’s new mobile coffee bar

While other food trucks compete for the food market, Elias Vastis and his Hula Girl truck are concentrating on dessert and beverages — especially the ones that involve coffee.

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Drink This: Campagnolo’s Viuda Blanca

Occupying an unassuming corner lot on Dundas West, Campagnolo is one of the neighbourhood’s go-to joints for Italian fare. Outfitted with wooden accents, terra cotta tiles and a chandelier or two, the restaurant fills tables with folks eager to gobble down goods from the ever-changing menu.

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The Hogtown Cure is opening this fall as a locavore-friendly deli and café in Little Portugal

West-enders are about to get a new purveyor of locally-sourced deli meat, produce and grab-and-go grub. Chris Schroer and Steve Ireson, along with another business partner, have just signed a lease at 1484 Dundas West and hope to open The Hogtown Cure as a deli and café by mid-November.

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