Happy New Year and welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful holiday, with lots of memorable food.
While we were gone, Sotto Sotto and Spuntini Ristorante & Bar were tragically decimated by fire, and if you can believe it, restaurants continued to open with a flurry over the break and as of just two days ago (Psst, a number of them are Italian).
Also, a few bars opened, making it just that much easier to go get a drink no matter where you happen to be. That oughtta make this month a little more bearable.
Here are the latest spots to add to your list:
322 Bathurst St.
Whether you need a coffee and snack or are looking for a insanely low-priced drink in the evening hours, Bathurst Local has got you covered, day and night.
Copacabana by Sea
230 Adelaide St. W.
Eulalie’s Corner Store
1438 Gerrard St. E.
Little India got a cool little bar this holiday, and it just happens to have a fun menu that includes Fried Chicken and Potato Waffles ($14), Rabbit Pie ($15), Fish & Chips ($15) and Tandoori Ratatouille ($11). I’ll have a closer look for you soon!
Francobollo Posto Italiano
1959 Avenue Rd.
Francobollo Posto Italiano (from the same creators of Terra, Rusty's at Blue and Sarpa) brings fine Italian fare to Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson. The menu focuses on classic Italian dishes.
2766 Dundas St. W.
This new seafood spot in the Junction is part fish store, lunch counter and wholesale seller.
Il Ponte Cucina Italiana
625 Queen St. E.
This Italian bistro just opened two days ago in Leslieville right at Queen and River, giving a host of new condo owners and restaurant-goers in the neighbourhood something a little more upscale than the fast food and pub fare nearby. Woo woo!
Lambretta Pizzeria & Wine Bar
89 Roncesvalles Ave.
Lambretta Pizzeria & Wine Bar brings a little slice of Rome to Queen and Roncey. Laid back dishes include pizzas, pastas, frittis (fried snacks), salumi and cheese platters, salads and desserts.
1321 Dundas St. W.
This new bar specializes in vegetarian and vegan fare.
Enjoy a variety of beers, ciders and wines while snacking on comfort foods such as Beer Battered Potato Dumplings, Ploughman's Lunch and Lentil & Ale Pie, all completely meat-free.
Queen West Warehouse
232 Queen St. W.
Over the Christmas break is not the typical time to open for a “premium dive bar,” but then again, perhaps it is the perfect time for such a place. The same team behind El Furniture Warehouse in the Annex brings cheap drinks, cheap food and undoubtedly, wild antics to downtown.
100 Bloor St. W. (park side)
This new glossy red and white pizzeria also serves sandwiches and espresso-based coffees. Perfect for the Yorkville set or those wishing to grab a quick bite at the office or in between boutique shopping.
540 College St.
Village Juicery’s cold-pressed juices take less than a day to make and have a shelf life of three to four days. In addition to their lineup of seven cold-pressed juices, the company will also be introducing handmade nut milks, raw and vegan smoothies and other fibre-rich locally produced meals and snacks.
Your new year’s resolution of getting healthier just got a little easier.
South St. Burger opened it’s 30th location at Avenue Road and Lawrence.
And the third location of Delica Kitchen found a home on Queen West near Trinity Bellwoods.
Wayla Bar in Leslieville now has a great sandwich counter that is open for lunch and includes homemade soups and insanely- addictive housemade empanadas.
A sweet voicemail message at Chez Laurent confirms their closure after 27 years. Owner/Chef Louise Ferrari is retiring. We wish them the very best.
And House of Moments on Carlaw closed on December 28.
Schnitzel Queen has to relocate due to eviction after 27 years. They’ll be at 211 Queen East, just a few doors from the original location, soon. Stay tuned.
We’re getting ready for Winterlicious! I’ll have more news and details coming your way in the next few weeks.
If you resolved to eat better this year, you’re going to need this week’s Best Of Healthy Eating.
And this month’s drinks column brings us Hair of the Dog creations that oughtta help get you through this month filled with harsh weather.
But put that cigarette away. As of January 1st, you can’t smoke on restaurant and bar patios.
This week, Industry Night, our new series on cool folks with cool jobs in the restaurant industry premiered. First up, the amazingly talented Brilynn Ferguson. We’re going to be at her launch at 86’d at The Drake on Monday. See you there?
We take an inside look at Wahlburgers, where famous brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul reveal their love of Toronto is as strong our our own.
If you’re looking for highly recommended spots around town, check out our Alan Vernon’s Top 10 Dishes and Top 10 Restaurants of the year.
And hey, stop lining up for brunch and go to these places instead.