T.O.’s club king pairs art and haute cuisine

Plus Yonge and Eg gets a motorcycle-themed bar and Grant van Gameren goes vegan


Rosalinda's Jicama salad by AJ Fernando

big opens
At club king Charles Khabouth’s SOFIA (99 Yorkville Ave.), everything is luxe to the max: the dining room is decked out in snowy white accents and rich red velvet; chef Christine Mast’s Italian classics are plated with artistry and care, and there is one seriously chi-chi cocktail menu from Nishan Nepulangoda (of the former Blowfish). 

If Grant van Gameren builds it, they will come. He now joins forces with restaurateurs Jamie Cook (Pizzeria Libretto) and Max Rimaldi (Tennessee Tavern) to present ROSALINDA, (133 Richmond St. W.), an exciting new vegan Mexican concept, which aims to win over carnivores and herbivores alike. 

Sip cocktails like your favourite tragic literary millionaire at the GATSBY (18 St. Thomas St.) in the Windsor Arms Hotel. Oozing with charm, this place is perfect for a dalliance with a disillusioned heiress or a night out with friends. There’s a prix fixe menu, fancy bar snacks and a 10,000-bottle wine cellar (no one goes thirsty here). Plus there’s a house pianist to tickle the ivorys. 

foodie finds
Nights out at Yonge & Eg just got a lot more lively with the addition of FOUR BARREL HOLLY’S (150 Eglinton Ave. E.) With 36 beers on tap and an ex-Montrealer for a chef, you can expect some excellent authentic poutine to pair with your craft brew of choice. 

New Kensington breakfast sandwich spot Eggs Before All Else or EGG BAE (189 Augusta Ave.) is obsessed with the breakfast standby. Locally sourced, free-run eggs are served atop fresh-baked buns and paired with house-made hash browns.

Get your engines revved up at motorcycle-themed STRAY (532 College St.), a new bar in Little Italy that not only serves up cocktails and tasty snacks, but also aims to be a hub for Toronto’s hog-lovers.

Japanese pancakes are officially a “thing” in T.O. FUWA FUWA’s (408 Bloor St. W.) jiggly version is fluffy, light, sweet and totally addictive.  

coming soon
The team at Alo has already mastered fine dining and upscale diner fare (see cover story). Now we eagerly anticipate ALO BAR. (162 Cumberland St.). It opens this summer, taking over the space that formerly housed Crème Brasserie. 

After a year’s hiatus, the popular summer market at Union Station returns come July 1. UNION SUMMER promises food vendors, daily live music and more. Fingers crossed for the return of Death in Venice’s gelato and Momofuku’s tasty noodles. 

The Food Dudes themselves are opening up a new fine dining  concept at King and Portland. Coming this August, SARA, (98 Portland St.) will serve up Japanese-inspired dishes. In other Food Dudes news, two BLONDIE’S PIZZA locations are in the works for the Financial District and Leslieville. 

Board game nerds, this place is for you. STORM CROW MANOR (580 Church St.) is set to open in the (probably — OK, definitely —haunted) Victorian mansion in the village. There will be secret doors, mad scientist cocktail bars and all sorts of geeky surprises.

sad to see you go
HAWKER BAR on Ossington is no more. We raise a Kaffir Coco to six years of hip drinks and tasty southeast Asian cuisine. 

Drake and Susur Lee’s King West resto FRING’S is closing. After only a few short years, it’s on to bigger and better things for the 6god and celebrity chef. 

Sadly, we also saw NOORDEN FOOD BAR close its doors last month. With good Dutch and Indonesian food relatively rare in T.O., it will be missed.

After an impressive 18 years, Parkdale’s CADILLAC LOUNGE has been sold. All is not lost, however — the new management will keep it as a live music venue.

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