Husband-and-wife duo Alex Austriaco and Verity Crewe-Nelson of popular catering company Cinq and coffee shop The James Café, have launched a pretty family restaurant in the east end filled with thoughtful plates and warm hospitality.
Provisions & Tipples
Chef Austriaco – formerly a private chef and executive chef at Windsor Arms Hotel - shops the St. Lawrence Market daily for ingredients. Everything is brought in fresh (the small freezer downstairs is strictly for ice) and made from scratch, with dishes often kept to just five ingredients.
The focused dinner menu features homemade breads ($10) and vegan selection ($12) alongside comfort food classics: Corn Flake Fried Chicken ($18), Mac & Gratin ($13), and Burger ($17). On warmer days, tuck into lighter fare such as Arugula Salad ($9) and Tequila & Lime Shrimp ($15) with grilled avocado and pico de gallo. And save room for pie.
Weekend brunch includes an array of appealing items - Shrimp Club ($16), Shakshuka ($14), and Fried Rice Breakfast Bowl ($13-$15) - with options for the kiddos, too: Tot Poutine ($9) and Baby Pancakes ($9).
A small selection of global wine (gls $7-$20, btl $35-$140) are also available as pairings and flights. Also on hand - beer, cocktails, and mocktails made with elderflower.
You’ve never had scallops like this before. Two juicy, sweet mollusks are halved, then stuffed with black forest ham, gruyere, tabbouleh, and pommery mustard. Think: decadent mini sandwiches - to be eaten with knife and fork, naturally.
Grilled Octopus ($24)
Octopus - a nod to Greektown just west of here – is poached, seared in butter, and finished on the grill. The toothsome cephalopod, hit with sautéed capers, lemon, and red wine vinegar, nestles in with fingerling potatoes, finished with a piquant pico de gallo.
Asian Noodles ($19)
This ode to Austriaco’s Filipino mother is a delectable mashup of East and West flavours. Thick slices of tender pork tenderloin crusted with bold tex mex spices sit atop glass noodles tossed with a colourful assortment of peppers, sugar snap peas, coriander, sweet chili, and garnished with baby daisies.
Braised Short Rib ($33)
Bone-in short rib braised in tomato, red wine, onions and offcuts delivers deep, rich flavour and soft texture. Served with parsnip mash and grilled asparagus, it’s comfort food that was made for still-not-hot days like these.
Aviator is striking in its minimalist design.
Working with designer Alex Arnott (Rooster Coffee on King East), the former flower shop was under construction for a year and a half. From flooring and plumbing to the addition of walls and windows, the space got a total overhaul. During renovations, a previous exterior wall was revealed - an original Coca-Cola sign from the 1920’s painted on the now-exposed brick behind the bar - so more green was pulled into the palette.
Uncluttered walls and surfaces, sleek lighting, muted tones, and curvature of the furniture (banquette, bar, and chairs) result in a room with a refined, feminine feel.
Despite the polished aesthetic, the owners want it to be “a nice casual place.” From chevron hardwood floors to custom banquettes swathed in leather, furniture and fixtures are high quality but not too precious that kids can’t crawl over everything. Having children of their own, the owners wanted it to be comfy for all.
The aviator concept comes from the east end couple’s love of “adventure, travel, storytelling, and nostalgia.” You’ll find illustrations of aviator warriors such as Amelia Earhart done by Arnott, and local art by staff, with a few other plane décor touches throughout. However, the theme is barely discernible - clean lines, smooth surfaces, and soft lighting are what stand out.
One of the best features: paned windows at the back of the dining room, giving you a glimpse of the action in the spotless kitchen. Dinner and a show.
At the pass
Chef Alex Austriaco
Chef Alex Austriaco & Verity Crewe-Nelson
Drop a pin
1458 Danforth Ave.
Come on in
Tues to Thurs 5pm - 10pm
Fri 5pm- 12am
Sat 10am - 2pm, 5pm -12am
Sun 10am - 2pm
Please be seated
The restaurant accommodates 40 guests from dinner and brunch on weekends.