Happy Chinese New Year! I’ve got the best places to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as well as some exciting openings and news (you're not going to believe who's finally opened their doors and what famous restaurant is reopening).
Check it out!
Backwoods Smokehouse & Whisky Bar
50C Clinton St.
Chef Richard Zephyrine quietly opened on the weekend in the old Acadia spot in Little Italy. The menu has a little bit of everything: smoked sous vide braised short rib, Baja style fish taco, jerk spiced smoked chicken, grilled cheeseburger and a lot of whisky.
The perfect thing to get us through the rest of winter.
505 College St.
I posted earlier this week about Bar Raval finally opening. It is sure to be one of the biggest openings of the year, brought to us by Grant van Gameren of Bar Isabel, along with Mike Webster and Robin Goodfellow. The Spanish eatery is open all day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ll have a closer look soon. Watch our Instagram and Twitter for more.
D & Y Sushi
2861 Dundas St. W.
Sushi for the Junction!
Let’s Be Frank
460 Spadina Ave.
What evolved from a tent at festivals to a food truck, then a pop up, is now finally, after 5 years, a hot dog bar at College and Spadina. There are your usual hot dogs, corn dogs, and poutine with hot dog gravy. Then there are the more extreme varieties, including the Tijuana Danger Dog (bacon wrapped, then deep-fried, topped with aged cheddar & salsa verde from El Trompo), The Mac Daddy (grilled frank topped with creamy mac and cheese, bacon bits and Dine Alone Foods Southern Blues BBQ sauce), and The Katsu Dog (panko crusted, deep-fried, with wasabi mayo, katsu sauce and green onions).
Odin Café + Bar
514 King St. E.
This new Corktown spot offers house espresso roasted by Pilot Coffee Roasters, Love Bot cookies, and other items such as local tees and toques for sale. They are working on Nordic smorrrebrod items for the soon-to-come food menu (perfect options for breakfast, lunch or dinner) and boozy beverages.
The Happy Hooker on Dundas West is no longer. And just when there is a seafood resurgence going on in the city.
Chef Mark McEwan has been nominated for a SHORTY award. The awards are given out for social media skills.
TOCA in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is now offering a pre-theatre menu: any two courses for $28 and three for $35. Dining early suddenly has such appeal.
Chris Taylor, a longtime general manager of Grace O’Malley’s, passed away. Our thoughts go out to his friends, family and colleagues. Details on the funeral and wake can be found on their Facebook page.
Tomorrow, head to Chefs for Change Midwinter Feasts. Propeller Coffee Co. hosts 4 nights of fascinating chef dinners, including Parts & Labour, The Drake, The Harbord Room and many more. You don't want to miss this (p.s. We'll be live tweeting from the event next on Februrary 27th, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to watch all the exciting action!).
Keep Saturday morning and afternoon free for this year’s Yum Cha Dim Sum Fest by Spotlight City Events! Devour fried and steamed dumplings, buns, and other assorted sweet and savory small plates done by some of the most exciting restaurants and chefs in the city, including: Momofuku Noodle Bar, County Cocktail, East Thirty Six, 416 Snack Bar, Loka Snacks, Rolling Pin TO, Thoroughbred, Babi & Co., FeasTO, Buster Rhino’s BBQ Toronto (their first event ahead of the grand opening), Big E’s Grinds, and Come and Get It. Local craft beers and Dillon’s Distillers will be providing boozy concoctions. Tickets are $10 for general admission. We’ll be there covering the event. See you at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas St.E.) 11am – 4 pm!
Tuesday, a collab dinner is happening between Indie Alehouse Kitchen and Anthony Walsh. A 3-course family style East Indian-insired meal will be prepared by Indie Alehouse's Chef Todd Clarmo and O&B's Corporate Executive Head Chef Anthony. Each course will be served with one or two unique beer pairings. Tickets are $70. The event is from 6pm–9pm.
We find out what Entourage and Reign actor Jonathan Keltz likes to eat and cook after a long day on set.