Never a scene to rest on its laurels, Toronto’s restaurant market has bred some new beauties totally worth your time and hard-earned cash in the past few weeks. Here are a few notable newbies alongside the impending establishments causing our radars to blip uncontrollably…
We’ve seen fine dining restaurants on the Danforth make valiant efforts yet enter the Toronto restaurant wasteland because, sadly, fine dining restaurants just typically don’t do well on the Danforth. We have high hopes for The Forth, though. It’s Chris Kalisperas’ new joint (he used to helm the kitchen at Brasaii) and the food on offer is certainly cause for salivation: foie gras torchon with salted granola, marshmallow, and strawberry; steak tartare made from house-cut tenderloin with potato crisps and deviled egg; and whole roasted chicken for two with carrots and buttermilk fingerling potatoes.
While the Spanish tapas trend had plateaued for a slight time, Barsa Taberna is staking a claim as the coolest of the new wave. Housed in a heritage building across the street from the St. Lawrence Market (and with a stunning tiered patio we can’t wait to spend an afternoon on with some sangria and shareable bites), Barsa Taberna is an homage to Barcelona’s footloose and fancy-free lifestyle and dining scene but made for a Toronto market. (Stay tuned for our full review.)
Our new obsession has just opened upstairs to El Caballito. Los Colibris follows a similar pursuit to sister restaurants Estiatorio Volos and Little Anthony’s, namely taking a comforting cuisine most often associated with casually cool vibes and giving it the posh treatment. Executive Chef Elia Herrara’s menu of traditional family recipes is a tour de force of authenticity mixed with contemporary techniques. We can’t wait for the El Cabillito-adjoining patio to open up in the coming weeks.
More Mediterranean eats are sliding down the pass at the newly opened Bywoods, brought to us by the fella behind popular all-day breakfast joint Boom. Chef Craig Dehne’s menu is small but thoughtful: lemon and garlic roasted chicken with heirloom carrots, mini white potatoes, arugula, and jus; pan seared scallops with grilled chorizo, avocado mash, mixed greens, and black olives; and a baby gem caesar with chicken, double smoked bacon, anchovy, parmesan and croutons in a creamy caper dressing is just a sampling of what’s available at your table.
The Good Press
Not really a “restaurant” per se, The Good Press is one in a new surge of juice bars focused on helping us live healthier (albeit, pricier) lives. With kitschy names for their signature bevvies, The Good Press has a unique personality we can’t help but adore. The Acai Bowls provide heavier sustenance here if you need to relish in that ‘chewing sensation’ we’re all so damned accustomed to. We’re hoping that The Good Press 2.0 is in the works, where we’ll simply be able to ingest their awesomely nutritive juices via I.V.
The next few months will certainly do little to hinder the bolstering of the Toronto restaurant scene. The Chase has two off-shoot restaurants in the works, Colette Grand Café and Bakery at the Thompson Hotel and a new next-door neighbour dubbed Little Fin. Thoroughbred’s proficiency with foie gras will be eschewed for a healthier menu once its permanent home on Richmond Street West opens up, likely around mid-July. We’re unnecessarily excited for Top Chef Canada contestant Vittorio Colacitti’s The Good Son which is taking over the ol’ Nyood Space and opens soon. We’ve seen Pai posting friends and family preview pics on Instagram, meaning we can likely look forward to its opening in the coming days. One of our fave Southern bars, Triple A, has a sister restaurant called Mr. Ciao opening up at Gerrard and Broadview in a couple weeks’ time. Mata is a new South American restaurant set to storm into in Parkdale, taking over the space that housed the now-defunct Keriwa Cafe. And El Furniture Warehouse is opening up in the Bloor/Bathurst area in early July.
What new Toronto restaurants are you totally obsessed with right now? Comment below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe!