Open/Closed: week of December 6-12, 2018

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I told you this week was going to be bonkers. There’s an unbelievable 22 new destinations to try this weekend.

Bonus: the list’s really varied, so you can satisfy each and every last craving.

Joy to the world.

Here’s the very latest:

OPEN

The Junction continues to expand its offerings with Blua (395 Keele St.), a Balkan cocktail and tapas bar. 

Byblos Uptown (2537 Yonge St.) launches today. The third location of the successful brand by ICONINK is helmed by Executive Chef Ben Heaton (Patria, Estia, Weslodge, La Societe, Sofia, KOST). Familiar plates of Turkish manti dumplings, housemade labneh and wood-fired pides mingle with new arrivals including: m’taabal, ras el hanout black cod, and ora king salmon.

You’ve got 5,300 square feet of Studio Munge-kissed space to linger over lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends at Cantina Mercatto (20 Wellington St. E.).

Casa La Palma (849 Dundas St. W.) - Casa, for short - launched last night. The 1,400 square foot lounge and private event space located above La Palma is wine-focused, with snacks, an array of fresh seafood, and sharable plates also on hand.

Chau’s (848 King St. W.) first joint brunch service with Wallace Espresso (they share the space) took place last weekend. Brunch bao and other a.m.- centric dishes will be available every other weekend. Next one’s happening on the 16th.

The Dog and Tiger Public House (537 College St.) just opened in Little Italy. Their signature dish? 40 ounces of pork knuckle. Run, don’t walk.

Goa Kitchen at Bayview Village (2901 Bayview Ave.) by Hemant Bhagwani (Kolkata Club) gets under way Saturday.

Between the torched sushi, oshizushi, bowls, maki and incredible prices, Juzz Sushi (912 Queen St. E.) is sure to be a top contender in Leslieville. Doors opened Tuesday.

Pape Village has a new destination for fish and chips and char-broiled burgers. Say hello to King’s Drive-In (919 Pape Ave.).

KoHa Pacific Kitchen added a third outlet for their poke, baos and Korean bowls in the Food Court at Square One (100 City Centre Dr.) in Mississauga. The first two are in the Financial District:199 Bay St. and 200 Wellington St. W. 

The St. Regis Hotel (325 Bay St.) launched last week with glam Astor’s Lounge. Starting tonight, head up to the 31st floor for Louix Louis, a new resto dripping in riches. Stay tuned.

You’ve got until Saturday to pop bottles at Moët Hennessy Canada’s Luxury Discovery Suite – “the first dedicated luxury champagnes, wines and spirits shopping pop-up experience of its kind” – at Summerhill LCBO (10 Scrivener Sq.). 

Last night, I got a sneak peek of Neruda Restaurant (1681 Lake Shore Blvd. E.). The upscale eatery in The Beach, boasting the “world’s largest open fire grill,” opens Wednesday. 

Head to Greektown for Misakka (eggplants in tomato sauce), Koshari (layers of rice, lentils, pasta, bold tomato sauce, caramelized onions) and Ful (house fava beans seasoned with fresh lemons, limes, olive oil, and aromatic spices, with fresh vegetables, and tahini) at Papyrus Egyptian (337 Danforth Ave.). Note: Hours are limited during the soft opening, so call first.

Riverdale just got a kitchy arcade for adults and kids alike. Pixels and Pints (791 Broadview Ave.) offers vintage games (Galaga, Millipede/Centipede, Mortal Kombat) alongside pub fare (wings, burgers, fries, and onion rings).

Praise Patisserie makes its debut today inside BMV Books (244 Queen St. W.) Books, coffee and French pastries? What more could you need?

Traditional British pub Queen Anne (287 Richmond St. W.) looks exactly like the previous tenant, The Anne Boleyn. The menu is slightly different, though not much.

South Street Burger has arrived in the Entertainment District (20 John St.), with wine and beer in tow. Glug, glug.

The 5700 Inc. is at it again. The folks behind vegan eateries Doomie’s, Mythology, Vegandale Brewery, etc. (and most recently “Italian-Inspired” vegan popup Stella), bring you the latest Vegandale concept: V-Eats (1263 Queen St. W.) launching tomorrow. You’ve got until February 28, 2019 to try what they’re calling “the best southern comfort food out of Dallas, Texas.”

There’s room for 180 guests at the new Wvrst location in the York Street Promanade at Union Station.

Dig into donburi (Japanese rice bowls), oshizushi, and other Japanese fare at You Don Ya (108 Dundas St. W.).

EVENTS

Evergreen Winter Village is happening Monday through to December 26.

NEWS

Congratulations Chef Patrick Kriss and the team at Alo, and Chef Jason Bangerter and the team at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa for landing on the prestigious La Liste 2019.

Cheers! The Beer Store, LCBO and other alcohol retailers are now open later.

Toronto Ice cream chain Sweet Jesus has been sold to International Franchising Inc., who happen to be the the parent company of other cold treats: Yogen Früz, Pinkberry, and Yogurty’s.

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