The openings in Toronto continue to blanket the city. So much so, this week I bring you a staggering 13, including the one at Pearson. At only two weeks before Christmas, this is completely unprecedented. And so very exciting.
Introducing the city’s latest offerings:
668 King St. W.
Blowfish gets a bar-centric extension with drinks from house mixologist Nishan Nepulangoda and new savoury snacks. I’ll have a closer look for you tonight. It opens to the public on Monday.
25 Alexander St.
Steakhouses don't open often, so it's always cause for excitement. Add to that, the fact that this is a rebirth of the former Carmen’s on Alexander, and now you’ve got reason to get out the streamers and confetti.
I’ll have an inside look soon.
45 Front St. E.
This swanky spot on Front in the former home of Nicholas Hoare Books (RIP, I still miss you) comes complete with a Prohibition-style whiskey tunnel, a drinks historian and a fabulous menu inspired by the '20s by Chef Brent Richardson (formerly of Glas and La Carnita).
Char No. 5 Whisky Bar - The Delta
75 Lower Simcoe St.
Whisky ambassador Dave Mitton wrote on Twitter about his excitement about the opening of Toronto’s first whisky bar. Ditto, Dave.
Stay tuned for more.
EDO at Bayview Village
2901 Bayview Ave.
If you haven't tried EDO on Eglinton West, you should. The fresh, never frozen sushi and Japanese dishes can now be had at the brand new location at Bayview Village.
Shopping and sushi? Well come on now, that just makes sense.
68 Sudbury St.
Levetto is serving up fresh pastas, Roman-style pizzas in fast-casual fashion, under the watchful eye of Chef Shahir Massoud, a NYC French Culinary Institute grad, who has worked at Lupa, one of many of Mario Batali’s places.
Keep an eye on our Instagram and Twitter for a quick inside look later tonight.
Maki My Way
293 King St. W.
Newly opened on Restaurant Row on King (just a few doors down from the Second Cup mentioned below), this sushi restaurant is all about “customizing your experience.”
I'll have more about what that means shortly.
167 Bathurst St.
Expanding from their Village By the Grange location, the new Mean Bao at Queen and Bathurst offers addictive Pork and Shrimp Dumplings and “Sloppy Joes,” perfect munchies for waiting for the 501 streetcar or after a few drinks nearby.
289 King St. W.
Normally the opening of a chain coffee shop wouldn't warrant a mention here, but the newly renovated location at King and John has new machines, wireless device charging stations and a whole new modern look and feel.
Stori Aperitivo Bar
95 King St. E.
This slip of a place known formerly as Troika, is open for dinner but becomes a stop for late night drinks, especially vodka.
42 Gristmill Lane
Known for their ramen and odd mascot (Tomo, a wood log, topped with a bowl of ramen), Touhenboku ventures further afield with mostly sushi options.
Sushi in the Distillery? Finally, said all of the hungry condo owners in the 'hood.
38 Wellington St. E.
The former Swish by Han (across the park from CC Lounge) is now home to pizza, a “mob-style booth” and occasionally, singing waiters.
This I’ve got to see.
You our readers, have voted for your favourite spots in Toronto. Check out the 2014 Best Of Winners!
Caplansky's SnackBar officially opened yesterday at YYZ Terminal 1. It’s been a big week for Zane - "Let's Eat! with Zane Caplansky” premiered on Saturday on Newstalk 1010, the same station where you can hear Dine.TO’s Restaurant Critic Alan Vernon.
Chef Jesse Vallins of The Saint just got certified as a sommelier through both CAPS and CMS. He is reportedly one of two or three Canadians who have completed both sommelier and cicerone certification, and perhaps even the only chef who’s done it. Congrats Chef!
Mexico’s Chef Xavier Perez Stone visited Toronto on Monday to showcase his award-winning skills (he won the Iron Chef International competition last summer) via a stunning 8-course menu of Basque cuisine with a Mexican twist.
Hosted by Grand Velas Resorts (Chef Stone helms the resort’s award winning Cocina de Autor, the first restaurant at a luxury All-Inclusive resort to receive the prestigious Five Diamonds recognition by the AAA), the stunning dinner featured Foie Gras wrapped in Lettuce & Cotton Candy (check out our Instagram and Twitter for the pic), venison and catch of the day served with “marbles” of sauce kept whole, to allow to burst in your mouth. Hopefully this is not Chef’s last trip to Toronto.
Tonight from 6pm till midnight, enjoy the 12 Bars of Christmas - ride the craft beer bus route with 12 stops and 6 breweries, all raising money for The Stop Food Community Center.
This Sunday (as well as next Sunday), head to The Stop’s Holiday Farmers’ Market held at Steam Whistle Brewing. The pop-up style market will be host to many vendors including Joyfully Organic with their veg, Tsewang Dolma serving Momos (Tibetan dumplings) and Ayse and Jens of Marvelous Edibles with their certified organic Berkshire Pork, Beef, sausages, and German Christmas baking.
Food lovers can head the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery and #localTOmrkt at 335 Yonge St. for goodies and treats.
Articles of the week:
Our holiday survival kit gives you entertaining guidance, making it a breeze to cook and host your guests this month.
While a lot of pizza places continue to open, there is just one making authentic Roman pizza. Check out this week’s article about world-champion pizza maker Alfiero Falasca.
If you have restaurant fatigue already from all of your holiday events, we’ve got some fun suggestions to bring the excitement back to dining out.
And learn all about bubbly in this month's drinks column.