Open/Closed: week of March 27 – April 2, 2017

Toronto is a lot of things, but it’s never boring. Especially when it comes to food.

This week’s openings include a restaurant within a restaurant, two multihyphenate food shops, more poké, a café featuring Middle Eastern tapas, and a brewery specializing in “hop-forward” brews.

Here’s the very latest:


Abbiocco (588 College St.) just landed in Little Italy, but it’s not Italian, though you will find Classic Spaghetti Bolognese ($22) on the menu. From Berkshire Pork ($29) to Seared Sea Scallops ($32) with puy lentils, sunchokes & black radish in kumquat jus, the focus is on “freshness, flavour and value.” 

However, Frank’s Kitchen is still in operation here, while owners Chef Frank Parhizgar and Shawn Cooper seek out a new space. Frank will be in the kitchen for the next few months and it’s still his menu.

Mealtime just got a lot easier thanks to new Roncey shop Alimentari Toronto (325 Roncesvalles Ave.). From fresh pasta to seasonal sauces, stock your pantry and get dinner on the table in a flash.

The poké trend shows no signs of slowing down in the Six with this new arrival. Lawai'a Poké Bar (700 King St W.) at King and Bathurst promises to give the traditional Hawaiian dish “a fresh twist.” Classic bowls (little $8.95, regular $11.95, Kahuna $14.95) are available in Build-Your-Own and four signature dishes on your choice of white rice, brown rice, or wait for it – zucchini noodle base.

Tuck into Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean breakfast, lunch, and pastries at the new The Poet Specialty Cafe And Tapas Bar (173 King St. E.).

If you are a fan of hoppy brews, you’re in luck. Brand new microbrewery and tasting room Rorschach Brewing Co. (1001 Eastern Ave.) focuses on “hop-forward beers that emphasize hop aroma and flavour over hop bitterness.” Also featured - saison and mixed-fermentation farmhouse style beers that are “dry, effervescent and intriguingly complex.”

UB Social (3015 Dundas St. W.) is set to open on Tuesday. The retail shop, general store and cafe will feature prepared meals as well as The Sun & The Sea Salt Co., Queen Mary Mustards, and Summer Kitchen items.


Sad news for seafood lovers - Bill’s Lobster in Chinatown East (599 Gerrard St. E.) is papered up and the phone number is no longer in service.

Also eastside, Leslieville’s Tomasso’s Trattoria (400 Eastern Ave.) is shuttering tomorrow.


The debate about EpiPens in restaurants continues.

Chabrol (90 Yorkville Ave.) announced their new “Champagne and Caviar” program. In addition to fine bubbly ($90-$400/btl), Imperial Osetra caviar with potato, egg, shallot and chervil ($95/10 gr, $245/28 gr) is now available.


Moss Park Market (Queen near Ontario St.) by Urban Fresh Food Market s now open. The shipping container featuring local, fresh and seasonal fare is open Tuesday to Saturday, 1-6:30pm.

Get your Second Harvest Hero Raffle tickets before tomorrow’s draw. Big prizes to be won including “Create Your Own Vacation.”

Always wanted to cook with a White House Chef? Don’t miss your chance this Saturday in Vaughan.

Nando’s is giving away free chicken on Saturday at select locations. Just bring a non-perishable food item donation for Daily Bread Food Bank.

Tickets for this year’s Toronto Taste go on sale Saturday.

Saturday marks the 25th anniversary for Cabbagetown’s Jet Fuel Coffee shop. Celebrations begin at 8pm.

Top Chef Canada: All-Stars premieres Sunday at 10pm.

On Tuesday from 12-3pm, Ben & Jerry’s is hosting Free Cone Day” at 40 Gould St.

Riverside Wine Fest returns this Tuesday April 4 to Sunday April 9. The celebration of Ontario wine, local food and shops includes six neighbourhood restaurants.

Get your tickets for next weekend’s Coffee & Tea Expo before they sell out.


Hear of a place that’s about to open or just closed? Have an upcoming food or restaurant event? Let me know.

Stephanie Dickison