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First Look

First Look: Hanmoto an izakaya-style bar from the co-owner of Oddseoul

Leemo Han, co-owner of Oddseoul and the now-closed Swish by Han, has opened Hanmoto just off Dundas West as his playful ode to izakayas.
February 17, 2015

First Look: b.good brings their burgers, salads and quinoa-and-kale bowls to Canada

New England burger chain opened their first Canadian location across from St. Lawrence Market. Their menu features burgers, salads, and quinoa and kale bowls.
February 13, 2015

First Look: Drupati’s the popular GTA roti shop opens its first midtown Toronto location

Drupati Ramlakhan's chain of roti shops has been open for 20 years in the GTA, but has just opened their first location in Toronto.
January 23, 2015

First Look: First Toronto location for Levetto, a casual Italian restaurant group

Executive chef Shahir Massoud is one of the partners in the Levetto restaurant group. They have opened the first Toronto location for their casual Italian restaurant concept.
January 22, 2015

First Look: Citta CityPlace is the first of several casual Italian restaurants by Khabouth and Harji

Citta CityPlace is the first of many planned casual Italian joints for Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji. This one has Ben Heaton (formerly of The Grove) as head chef.
January 13, 2015

First Look: Borealia revives antique Canadian recipes on Ossington

With their new restaurant, Borealia, Chef Wayne Morris and Evelyn Wu are introducing Ossignton to historical Canadian recipes from as early as the 1600s.
December 23, 2014

First Look: Blowfish on King West spawns a cocktail bar called BarFish

Blowfish has added a cocktail bar, named BarFish, onto their King West location. Nishan Nepulangoda will lead the drinks program and G Q Pan has designed a snack menu for it.
December 16, 2014

First Look: the whisky tasting tunnel equipped CC Lounge is Toronto's newest cocktail bar

CC Lounge and Supper Club with its whisky tasting tunnel will be Toronto's newest cocktail bar when it opens in the Berczy Park section of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.
December 11, 2014

First Look: Parlor Foods opens on King West in Paese’s old digs

Parlor Foods, owned by Brett Howson and Jason D'Anna has opened in the former Paese space on King St. W. Mark Cutrara is managing the front of house.
December 05, 2014

First Look: NAO brings a modern take on the classic steakhouse to Yorkville

This time, Charles Khabouth’s and Hanif Harji’s focus is on looking at tradition through a modern lens – hence the name NAO, an acronym for “new and old.”
November 14, 2014

First Look: Pai, a Northern Thai restaurant in the entertainment district

It was spring of last year when word got out that chef Nuit Regular and her husband Jeff — the couple behind some of the best Thai restaurants in the city — would be opening a new downtown restaurant in the site of a former Golden Griddle. Now, nearly a year and a half later, the new place is finally open.
July 22, 2014

First Look: The Ossington Stop

The restaurant-dense neighbourhood at Ossington and Dundas West is already well-supplied with seafood restaurants, some of Toronto’s best pizza, and at least one high-end burger joint. William Tavares (Fishbar, Salt Wine Bar) thinks that there is an untapped market in the area for value-priced comfort food and no-frills drinks.
July 17, 2014

First Look: Mata Petisco Bar serves up South American soul food

It took five humans to launch Mata, which opened in June. After working together in the hospitality industry (Fishbar, Salt Wine Bar, Little Baci, Note Bene, India Ale House), Steve Fernandes, Sharath Dwarkanathan and chefs Felipe Faccioli, Patrick Fraser, and Tulio Lessa decided to “stop working for others and join forces.”
July 14, 2014

First Look: The Distillery District’s new French bistro Cluny

With four successful restaurants under their belts, owners Matthew Rosenblatt and John Berman (El Catrin, The Boiler House, Pure Spirits, and Archeo) decided to open a fifth, the newest addition to the Distillery District, Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie.
June 26, 2014

First Look: Shibui brings Japanese robata grilling style to Toronto

Japanese restaurants seem to come to Toronto in waves. Izakayas followed sushi restaurants, and we've quadrupled the number of good ramen joints in the past two years. Is robata next?
June 23, 2014

First Look: Rasa, a new Harbord Village restaurant from the Food Dudes

These days, Food Dudes Inc. is a booming business. The company caters around 1,000 events per year from its massive kitchen in Toronto’s east end, resulting in millions of dollars of revenue per year. So it may seem strange that the owners have spent the last eight months and nearly half a million dollars setting up a 50-seat restaurant near Harbord and Spadina.
June 20, 2014

First Look: The Good Son, a new Queen West restaurant from chef Vittorio Colacitti

Chef Vittorio Colacitti has an unusually varied resume. He’s done fine dining (at George, Lucien and Didier); he’s done corporate gigs (he was a chef with Loblaws); he’s done pizza (at Pizzeria Via Mercanti and in Italy) and he’s done television (he was on season four of Top Chef Canada). Now he’s doing his own thing with The Good Son.
June 12, 2014

First Look: Touhenboku Ramen expands to Yonge and Eglinton

Residents of North Toronto no longer have to head south of Bloor for a decent bowl of ramen. On May 29, Touhenboku Ramen opened its second location on Yonge Street at Erskine, just north of Eglinton.
June 05, 2014

First Look: The Forth, a new east-end restaurant from former Brassaii chef Chris Kalisperas

Toronto’s east side has pretty much always lagged behind the west in terms of culinary development, but a tide of new and upcoming restaurants is slowly balancing the scales. The latest newcomer is The Forth, and it’s no small contribution.
May 29, 2014

First Look: I Went to Philly, a new cheese steak destination on Eglinton West

Around two years ago, Julie and Jack Stevenson opened I Went to Philly — their first restaurant — near Yonge and College, serving some of the most authentic Philly cheese steak sandwiches in the city. Apparently Toronto liked it, because earlier this month, the husband-and-wife team expanded their operation to midtown.
May 21, 2014