Yes folks, August was another big month in the Toronto food scene, with no shortage of awesome new restaurants opening up their doors (and patios) to the public. From grandiose two-story eateries, to modern worldly cuisine, to graceful corner cafes, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite new restaurants opened in August 2014.
Kicking off our list for August ’14 is Montecito: the lavish love child of celebrity chef Johnathan Waxman and Hollywood director Ivan Reitman. To no one’s surprise, since it opened last month it’s received nothing but rave reviews for its stellar New York-style menu, elegant 2-story dining room and bar, Adelaide street-facing patio, and its all around upscale-yet-affordable dining experience. Located smack in the heart of the Entertainment District at 299 Adelaide Street West, this one is a must-try.
Incubating slowly but surely over the past few years, DaiLo (Cantonese for “big brother”) finally opened last month to showcase chef Nick Liu’s sweet and spicy brand of “New Asian Cuisine” – a playful mash up of both Eastern and Western flavours that is kicking serious ass right now in the west end. Dishes like the Big Mac Bao and drinks like the Tom Yum Booze are a great starting point for anyone looking to kick-off their education in this glorious brand of east/west fusion.
Speaking of mashups, Thoroughbred Food and Drink gets in on the action at their Richmond and John location, combining a curious-yet-compelling hybrid of modern snack bar and Canadian dining room. The much anticipated Thoroughbred opened its doors last week and is split into two stories, and two menus – one for each floor. The first floor offers modern snack-bar items and experimental cocktails, while the second floor plays host to a more traditional Canadian dining room vibe (minus the CBC re-runs humming softly in the background).
Mamakas is a charming Greek taverna that finally opened last month on Ossington, after more than two long years of preparation. The menu is focused on simple and traditional home-style dishes to be shared with guests around the table. Inside and out, the key at Mamakas is authenticity: from the meze grilled meats, to the white-washed stucco decor, to the beers hailing from Athens and Santorini, this restaurant is perfect for anyone looking for a true-to-form Greek dining experience in the city.
Finally, some more love for the west end on this list! Ironically, the early 20th century, Prohibition-themed Linwood Essentials should make friends quite easily as the new kid in the Bellwoods neighborhood, with all of the 1920s-trousers-wearing, top-hat-loving hipsters of Queen West nearby. Replacing the former A-OK Foods, Linwood Essentials serves up Spanish tapas-style cuisine and sports an impressive drinks menu as well, carefully curated by owner and former bartender Jake Valianes.
Kadbanu opened its doors last month as the extension of its 10-year-old sister restaurant Banu on Queen West. So far so good – the sisters have been getting along swimmingly since Banu opened up on Dundas and Markham last month. More of a cafe than a restaurant, really, Kadbanu focuses on hearty Persian fare that’s quick, filling, and traditional. Also, with a patio that doubles its capacity during the summer, you might want to get over there soon – after all, the Winter is coming…!
You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging just like that, did you?! We’ve got 3 more anticipated gems for you to keep your eyes on this Fall. Check ’em out:
BareBurger: With humble beginning in NYC as a wee lil’ burger joint, BareBurger is all grown up now with over 19 U.S. outlets, and is expected to touch down near Bay and Dundas sometime this November. BareBurger’s MO is simple: to create healthy, damn delicious burgers, and so far they’ve been doing just that. The menu is a hearty mix of sandwiches, salads, and build-your-own burgers, giving customers the choice between beef, elk, lamb, bison, quinoa, mushroom, and wild boar patties. Oh, and we almost forgot: everything on the menu is 100% organic and GMO free (that being said, we don’t make any promises about fat content).
Sukothai: Good news West-enders! The husband and wife dream-team behind Toronto’s favourite Thai restaurants, Sukothai, Sabai Sabai and Pai, are Jeff and Nuit Regular and they don’t like to sit still . This time around they’re looking Westward to open a second location for Sukothai at 1442 Dundas Street West. If Sukothai is nearly as popular as its siblings, the West end just hit the Thai jackpot.
County Paradise: It’s still not entirely clear when this County General cousin will leave the family nest and branch out on its own, but later this year it’s expected that County Paradise will open up across from its namesake, the former Paradise Cinema. With the success of County Cocktail earlier this year in Riverside – another County offshoot – it seems to us that the County General family will be gettin’ along just fine. Keep your eyes peeled for the latest County cousin later this year, opening near Bloor and Dovercourt.
Bar Buca Yorkville
The long awaited Bar Buca is rumoured to be opening its doors at 55 Scollard Street, in the Four Seasons Residence, any minute now. As usual Chef Rob Gentile’s Instagram feed is keeping us guessing – and hungry. So until the doors open, we just hang out at Bar Buca on Portland and King.
What’s your top pick from August 2014? Got any to add to the list? Tweet us @ViewtheVibe or let us know in the comments below!