With TIFF taking over the editorial here for the past couple weeks, we’ve been unable to hit up the latest crop of new restaurants peppering our city with even more divine dishes. So… here’s our rundown of the five new restaurants we’re just dying to try. Have you tasted their chef’s creations? If so… let us know the dill-ee-yo!
House of Moments
This one’s been getting a lot of attention as of late. It opened a few months ago as gallery space only, and now counts an intriguing menu and dining space in its ring. While it’s not the cheapest meal you’ll find, apparently the food is delish squared. We’re looking forward to the lobster butteryaki, the red velvet maki, and the baked oysters with sabayon. The menu, mostly Japanese, has influences from the Mediterranean and South Asia.
Get Bent, y’all! (Sorry, how could I resist?) Keeping an eye on the kitchen is Susur, Chef Extraordinaire. Giving her touch to the restaurant’s design is Brenda Bent. Running the joint are brothers Kai and Levi Bent-Lee. It’s a family affair to be sure, and one that everyone was hyping up even before the doors swung open a couple weeks ago. What’s on the plate? Raw fish, ceviche, crudo, mini tacos, short ribs, and the list goes on. It’s lunch time as I’m writing this… and my grocery store pasta salad does little to sate my Bent-out-of-shape stomach. (Again, couldn’t resist.)
We’re actually headed here this week. David Friedman (owner) and Jaime Duran (general manager) just opened up Red Fish on College West, and their focus is sustainable seafood. Really, everything here is Ocean Wise certified. What this means is you may not get the selection of fins you’re always craving, but the food will be delightful and you can leave having fed both your stomach and your moral barometer.
I don’t believe I’ve ever tried rakia – a liquor derived from distilling fermented fruit – but I’m more than ready to give it a go. Rakia Bar itself is a new spot just on the far side of Leslieville that’s serving up some comfortable cuisine to pair alongside the comforts of its 40+ rakias. (Do you pluralize rakia? Does anyone know?) We’re starting to ponder noshing on duck leg paprikash with Hungarian egg dumplings, or dalmation calamari… or…
More Japanese food! This city’s love affair with Italian dishes seems to be waning (or rather, calming down), and taking the lead is the food from Japan. Hapa Izakaya is a Vancouver transplant, and we’ve heard tips both favourable and nonchalant. Supposedly the food is tasty – standard izakaya fare, sure, but at least Guu has some worthy competition – but the atmosphere is a bit lacking in the fun factor. What we can say is that the aesthetic is very Toronto… and at least you get to sit with just your party and not the whole of a harvest table.
Alright, that’s this week’s rundown. Any spots you’ve tried? Any spots you think we should have on our radar? Let us know and comment below…
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