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First Look

First Look: Team that includes celebrity chef David Rocco opens Oretta on King West

After months of waiting and many teaser photos on Instagram, Oretta has finally opened its doors at 633 King St. W. The power trio behind the restaurant includes Food Network celebrity chef David Rocco, restaurateur Salvatore Mele (who also owns Capocaccia Trattoria in Summerhill) and executive chef Christian Fontolan.
January 16, 2017

First Look: Robbie Hojilla lands at Lake Inez, a restaurant by the team behind The Wren

Lake Inez has a rotating, all-Ontario craft beer list, that flows from their 24 draught lines that run through the mosaic’s façade. The pan-Asian flavours are reflective of both Chef Hojilla's Filipino background and influences from cuisines he loves like Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean, which are complemented by the use of seasonal North American ingredients to bring his personal touch to the table.
January 05, 2017

First Look: Otto's Bierhalle opens as the second venture from the team behind Kensington's döner spot

From the owners of Otto’s Berlin Döner comes Otto’s Bierhalle, which is a casual, German restaurant in the former Bristol space on Queen West.
January 02, 2017

Top ten food and restaurant stories of 2016

For diners, Toronto is one of the best cities in the world. We are a diverse, multicultural lot and our restaurant industry has grown to the point where top talent no longer flees state-side when they hit it big.
January 02, 2017

First Look: Pho Vistro aims to shift the pho focus from hearty to healthy

A trio of intellectual, first-time restaurateurs have come together to launch Pho Vistro, a new Vietnamese restaurant on Queen West, and they have focused on a “clean eating” concept.
December 29, 2016

First Look: Cadillac Jenkins is a new Caribbean snack bar on Queen West

Tyrone Gale is the owner of Cadillac Jenkins, Queen West’s newest Caribbean snack bar.
December 13, 2016

First Look: Baro picks up where Valdez left off

Almost six months to the day since Valdez closed its doors, chef Steve Gonzalez and the team are back. They've moved just a hop, skip and jump from the former digs on King West and opened Baro (or Valdez 2.0) in a 15,000 square-foot space spread over four floors.
December 09, 2016

First Look: Doma takes over longstanding restaurant address on Clinton

Kim hopes to recreate Korean flavours using local ingredients at his new restaurant, Doma, on Clinton.
December 05, 2016

First Look: Pai Market makes Nuit Regular’s Northern Thai food an option for lunch

Now, some of their favourite flavours are available from a daily lunch counter in a newly expanded section of their Duncan Street restaurant, which is also available for private rental in the evening.
November 29, 2016

First Look: Superpoint is pizza, eclectic eats and wine by Jonathan Poon and Jesse Fader

Superpoint is Jesse Fader and Jonathan Poon’s new wine bar on Ossington. that focuses on pizza, casual Italian fare and a wine program which will please wine geeks.
November 22, 2016

First Look: Food writer Amy Rosen's first restaurant, Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns

Amy Rosen is a James Beard nominated, award-winning freelance journalist and former food editor at Chatelaine and House & Home magazines. She’s also a cookbook author. her first Toronto Cooks was published in 2014 and her next one, Toronto Eats is slated for a fall release in 2017. With the opening of Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns she added restaurateur to the list of titles.
November 22, 2016

First Look: Pusateri’s opens food hall downtown and reopens their Avenue Rd. location

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.
November 18, 2016

First Look: With an eclectic list of influences, Pokito riffs on the poke concept

Toronto’s poke craze is in full swing, with over half a dozen shops specializing in the Hawaiian style seafood bowls surfacing in the past several months. Pokito on Queen West has joined the mix, but with a spin meant to differentiate their product from the crowd.
November 15, 2016

First Look: Ji opens on St. Clair as a casual cousin for Pukka

St. Clair’s first Indian gastropub, Ji, has opened in the space that was Concession Road until earlier this year. Co-owners Harsh Chawla and Derek Valleau look to Ji — the name is an Indian suffix denoting respect similar to Japan’s –san — as a continuation of Pukka, which means authentic or true.
November 08, 2016

First Look: Jackpot Chicken Rice continues Craig Wong’s chicken connection

Patois was known for its juicy jerk chicken and his newest restaurant, Jackpot Chicken Rice, is an homage to the iconic Hainanese chicken; a dish that was imported to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore by Chinese immigrants.
November 07, 2016

First Look: When the Pig Came Home is a new Junction butcher shop

Kimberly Hannam and Ryan Getner started selling their peameal bacon sandwiches at farmer’s markets across Toronto over 4 years ago – Sorauren, Downsview, Annex and Leslieville, to name a few – but now the pork has come to rest, quite literally, at their first permanent location in the Junction, aptly named, When The Pig Came Home.
October 19, 2016

First Look: Toronto gets an outpost of STK chain

STK Toronto is the first Canadian outpost of the swanky NYC-based micro chain operated by The ONE Group.
October 18, 2016

First Look: Masseria is King West’s new source for pizza and casual Italian fare

Masseria, the name of King West’s new quick service pizzeria, is a southern Italian word that refers to a communal dining hall where workers and their families gather to break bread. The menu offers pizzas, salads and sandwiches and is meant to be fast, modern and casual, a sort of elevated pizza eating experience akin to that of Pizzeria Libretto or Queen Margherita Pizza.
October 11, 2016

First Look: Planta by chef David Lee and the Chase Hospitality Group is a new take on vegetarian food

Restaurateur and CEO of the Chase Hospitality Group, Steven Salm, has heard your pleas with the group’s newest addition, Planta, with chef David Lee at the helm. It has found a new home in the former spot that was Pangaea at Bay and Cumberland.
October 04, 2016

First Look: The Food Dudes open Pantry in Doria's former Summerhill home

Food Dudes partners Adam Minster, Adrian Niman, Brent McClenahan and Matt Blondin have completed their renovation of the former Doria space in Rosedale and reopened it as Pantry by the Food Dudes.
September 28, 2016