First Look: Pusateri’s opens food hall downtown and reopens their Avenue Rd. location
The ribbon-cutting at the downtown Saks Food Hall by Pusateri's
Image: Amanda Nunes
After months of preparation, the Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s is finally open. Judging by the crowd on opening morning, Torontonians have been eagerly awaiting this day. The 25,000-square-foot space is expansive. The inspiration behind the project was to merge a global high-end luxury market, Saks Fifth Avenue, with the local, Pusateri's brand.
Hot on the heels of this location is the re-opened Pusateri’s that was gutted by a fire last summer.
The new 15,000+ sq. ft. Avenue Rd. flagship location has been redesigned and will have a full-service Italian restaurant on the second floor. It will also have a live cooking area with gourmet street foods, and a Greenhouse Juice Co, location.
Frank Luchetta, president and CEO of Pusateri's, assures the community that, “it will be worth the wait, and they can expect an even better space with many new experiences along with classic product offerings.”
Pusateri’s worked closely with the design team GH+A from Montreal, and it shows. Lighting, wall treatments and store fixtures were deliberately selected to portray a global high-end vibe. The overall look is distinctive and elegant, with curved shelving units and grey and white tiles.
Shoppers will have a bit of everything right at their fingertips, with a few surprises. In addition to the fresh veggies, pantry staples, a salad bar and takeaway food options, there are some truly specialized counters here.
The Vegetable Butcher will chop and dice your veggies and fruits for you (IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
Take the Vegetable Butcher, for instance. What’s a vegetable butcher, you ask? When you’re done shopping for the perfect fruit or veggies, this counter will chop and dice your purchase for free, and offer recipe suggestions to boot.
Or the Chopped Bar. This salad bar offers up fresh greens and a multitude of salad toppings. The salad is chopped up hundreds of times with double knives, so finely that it could be eaten with a spoon.
Kevin Durkee, (formerly the man behind Cheesewerks), is a cheese expert at the Fromagerie. Here, one can find cheese from around the world, along with local varieties. In particular, the counter specialises in cheeses that have won awards.
Tempura Shrimp with noodles from the Sushi Bar ($13)(IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
Office workers looking for a lunch will be spoiled with the sheer amount of choices here. BENE is the Roman-style pizzeria featuring a thicker crust made from Le 5 Stagioni flour (that comes from a 150-year-old Italian mill) topped with sauces made from certified DOP San Marzano Tomatoes, and Canadian Fior Di Latte cheese.
The Rosticceria will serve up rotisserie dishes included freshly carved meats. There’s also a selection of hot entrees and sandwiches available for purchase. For a change of pace, you can sit down at the Sushi Bar and enjoy some sushi, a bowl of Tempura Shrimp Udon ($13) or pork Gyoza ($8).
Selection of gourmet dates from the Dait Bar(IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
David H. Chow’s chocolates are on display in a room devoted to sweet and savory delights. Here, shoppers can find high-end olive oils, balsamic vinegar and chocolates from around the world. Around the corner is Daits, the first date bar in Canada. Dates are imported from Saudi Arabia and are served chocolate style with different toppings. Here, peanut butter and chocolate dates are a thing.
Gourmet chocolates by David H. Chow(IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
For customers with dietary restrictions, Sorelle & Co. will be a breath of fresh air. This bakery specialises in desserts, bread and cookies that are made with no dairy or eggs.
For a quick snack, Pusateri’s Café offers fresh coffee, Sloane tea and pastries including scones from Baker and Scone.
(IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
This space will features different local bakeries. Right now the pop up bakery on display is Elle Dee cakes and cupcakes(IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
Scones from Baker and Scone (IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
Fresh seafood counter (IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
The Pasticceria has an assortment of cakes, cookies and pastries (IMAGE: AMANDA NUNES)
Saks Food Hall by Pusateri's at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, 176 Yonge Street, Mon to Fri 7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Sat 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Pusateri's Fine Foods, 1539 Avenue Rd., Mon to Wed 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Thu to Fri 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sat to Sun 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.