Open/Closed for the week of June 16-22

This week is so ripe with exciting openings, let’s get right to it! After all, you’re going to be making a lot of reservations after this…

Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie

35 Tank House Lane

The Distillery got a new swanky neighbour this week with the arrival of Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie. The grand opening was last night, so you’ll want to make resos ASAP. After all, French fare in a space this stunning? It’s going to be the hit of the summer.

Mata Petisco Bar
1690 Queen St. W.

If you’re already over the Mexican craze, and you’re looking for exciting flavours, Mata Petisco Bar will satiate your every sense. 

Taking over the former Keriwa space (with a gorgeous reno), this just-opened South American restaurant serves up unique, carefully crafted dishes meant for sharing: 

A Tuna & Watermelon Tartar refreshes. So do their Caipirinhas, made from a variety of fruit (try the kiwi)! And the Beef Cheek Poutine made with cassava frites is so enticing, you’ll be tempted to order another. 

A trio of chefs - Felipe Cunha Faccioli, Patrick Fraser and Tulio Lessa – create the food, while GMs Sharath.D and Steve Fernandes run the front-of-house.

It’s a winning combination that will be sure to set off more South American restaurants around the city.

Lucky us.

Mr. Ciao
598 Gerrard St.

Gerrard Chinatown has just a few non-Asian establishments: Andrea’s Gerrard St. Bakery (home of one of the city’s best butter tarts), long-standing French resto Batifole and recent addition, Chino Locos (Asian Mexican burritos). So when the signage for Mr. Ciao went up announcing pizza and pasta, the whole Riverdale/Leslieville community let out a collective sigh of relief.  Thankfully the wait wasn’t long – doors opened Wednesday.

The same team behind Triple A Bar brings classic Italian dishes to the east side (Rigatoni Bolognese and Margherita Pizza), but throws in some fun new twists (Deep Fried Olives, Fried Bruschetta and Peking Duck Pizza).  They are also the first in Toronto to serve "pizza fritta" a traditional Neapolitan-style fried pizza.

The food is fun and affordable (their bolognese is one of the best in the city!) and the vibe is casual and extremely kid-friendly (there is a space at the back for kids to play, complete with blackboard). Oh, and there’s a sweet little patio too.

What’s not to love?

Rasa by the Food Dudes
196 Robert St.

The Food Dudes first restaurant opened for service on Wednesday.  With a menu offering Calamari Bolognese, Chicken Chips and a menu item that comes with “pickled things,” you know you’re in for a treat. And adventure.

Change of Location:
ICI Bistro
18 St. Thomas St.

Chef JP Challet moved his iconic ICI Bistro into the Winsdor Arms Hotel

Change of Name:
1681 Lakeshore Blvd. E.

Trinity Taverna changed its name to Paralia. Here’s why:

“Paralia is more than a great place on the beach. It's the feeling of being transported to another world. To a vibrant seaside village where the white sand meets the turquoise blue waters of the Aegean. Where the ocean is part of everyday life and every night is a celebration. Where the best ingredients from the land and sea meet.”

Kinton Ramen 3
402 Queen St. W.

Kinton Ramen opened yet another location – Kinton 3 – so devotees can get their fill of their hugely popular noodle soup while shopping downtown.

La Libre
14 Dupont St.

Playa Cabana opens La Libre - a Yucatán grill with entirely patio seating - directly behind the restaurant, tonight.

Pop Up:
Sweet Olenka's
1050 Queen St. W.

Looking for a chance to cool down while shopping on Queen West? Sweet Olenka’s is spending the summer months at 1050 Queen West. Specializing in “single batches” with no preservatives, Olenka’s flavours in the past have run from the usual offerings (Pistachio, Rocky Road, Butter Pecan) to sophisticated (Caramel Pear, Apricot Crisp, Cherry Bordeaux) to downright ingenious – and a little crazy, but in a good way (Drunken Kitty, whatever that means, Roasted Marshmallow, Black Licorice, Sangria).

I’m all in for crazy. You?