Open/Closed: Toronto Restaurant News February 7-13, 2019

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February has almost always been a slow month for the industry, with the exception of Valentine’s Day, of course. But despite snow, ice, freezing cold temps, and general winter malaise, 14 new restaurants are here to serve you.

And this week’s list is rather unique. It includes two Fornos (a first), and a few concepts you don’t see often: kosher barbecue, flawed fruit, and this season’s hero dish – baked potatoes. 

Here’s the very latest: 


That was fast. Before anyone had much time to mourn the loss of Bar Begonia, Fet Zun (252 Dupont St.) a Middle Eastern spot by Chef Anthony Rose (Rose and Sons, Big Crow Grill, Fat Pasha, Schmaltz Appetizing, and Madame Boeuf and Flea) has taken its place.  

Coffee, pastries, and contemporary art come together at Forno Cultura’s new home at MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (158 Sterling Rd, 1st Floor).

The menu at Function Bar (2291 Yonge St.) reads like a comic book. For example: Plain Jane, Mr Pong's Awesome Food Truck, Holy Smokes!  and "The Skin is the Best Part!" In addition, emojis are enlisted to describe every dish.

Imperfect Fresh Eats (318 Adelaide St. W.) incorporates slightly flawed produce in its salads, grain and acai bowls, fresh juices, and smoothies.

The eighth location for IQ Food just debuted at Yonge + Sheppard Centre (4841 Yonge St.). FYI: The sleek spot is take-out only.

Dinner and drinks in the Fashion District? Laissez Faire’s (589 King St. W.) got you covered with dishes including Cauliflower Steak ($18), Squid Ink Tagliatelle ($21), and Waygu Beef ($85), alongside cocktails such as Mint Cucumber Collins ($14) and Beetroot Mule ($14).

The Pizza Forno returns. After launching a pizza dispensing machine downtown and Dixie Outlet Mall in just a few months, the latest outpost lands at Penguin Pickup (629 Eastern Ave.) in Leslieville.  

On the menu at Que Toronto (1100 Eglinton Ave. W.). in the Upper Village? Certified Kosher BBQ. “Toronto's hippest smokehouse” also serves up trendy items including a build-your-own-burger, complete with black (activated charcoal) bun and “#ToppingsTilYouPuke.” 

The Shozan Room (164 Ossington Ave.) softly opens this weekend with contemporary, Japanese-inspired fare.

If carbs are your soulmate, Mississauga’s Spuds Factory & Burger Café (6380 Tomken Rd.) is for you.

Sushi Bar (348 Broadview Ave.) has found a new home at Broadview and Gerrard after ten years of being just a few blocks south on Queen East. Doors open Tuesday at noon. 

If upscale dining is of interest, Ten Restaurant (1132 College St.) opens tomorrow, offering “a vegetable-forward, multi-course tasting menu to ten guests seated at the Chef's Counter.”  

Head to The Village at Church and Wellesley for the second location of Torch Pressed Sushi (507 Church St.).

Get your taste of the “first fusion döner kebab in Toronto” at the soft opening of ZIBA Berlin Döner (1608 Queen St. E.) this Friday.


Playa Cabana Cafeteria (974 College St.) has shuttered “due to a recent significant rent increase.”

The King Edward Hotel location of We Brew Café (37 King St. E.) has closed, with another coffee shop is set to take over. We Brew’s two other spots remain open.


It’s not too late to get in on Lunar New Year celebrations. Check out Toronto restaurants with Chinese New Year menus and dishes

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for BreakFEAST for Dinner, an “authentic breakfast & entertainment evening,” in support of Good Shepherd Ministries.

Get your tix now for Ocean Wise #ChowderChowdown happening Wednesday, February 27. You don’t want to miss it. Get a sneak peek at this year’s fab lineup of chefs and chowders now. 


Industry veteran J. Charles Grieco passed away.

Ron Joyce, co-founder of Tim Hortons, died at age 88.

Fresh Restaurants is opening an outpost in Los Angeles.

The owner of this Leslieville restaurant wants to be able to serve booze earlier in the day.

This week #TheSpotlight is on sardines, one of the world’s healthiest foods one of the world’s healthiest foods, that also happens to help keep the winter blues at bay.


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

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