Toronto’s never-ending wave of new restaurants that run the gamut from ultra-casual to gourmet fine dining with a comfort twist seems to be signalling a renaissance for our city’s food scene. Chefs no longer bound to carrying out creative vision for the deep-pocketed are opting for smaller-than-your-condo-sized restos where the food is the star and the buzz is enough to build a steady clientele. Our favourite openings over the last month? Read on to find out…
This new addition to the Queen East/Leslieville area is a prideful endeavour for owner Danny Patano. He’s cultivated a small but powerful menu of share plates and gourmet mains, which will ever-rotate with the freshest available produce, meats, and seafood. The wine list is equally limited in number, though the offerings will quench anyone’s palate and the prices can’t be beat. (Really, $40 is the most expensive!) Find it at 1118 Queen Street East.
This new Dundas West restaurant continues the trend of farmhouse chic with industrial accents that seems to be imbuing the city’s scene with a sense of uber hipness. The food here, however, is Iberian styled. (Think French techniques to create whimsical Spanish and Portugese dishes.) You’ll see Quinta Restaurant at 1282 Dundas West.
From the team behind another one of our long-standing favourites – the Queen and Beaver on Elm Street – The Oxley takes up residence in Yorkville, just across the street from the Hazelton Hotel/One Restaurant. The front patio is people-watching perfection, and the back is garden bliss. The food? Gourmet British pub fare like baked oysters, Scotch eggs, and steak with HP Sauce. The drinks? Magnificent cocktails and properly-stocked bar. (Try the Dark and Stormy.)
Molecular gastronomy Chef Claudio Aprile’s second Origin location opened up just a couple weeks back in Liberty Village, bringing the trademark Asian-meets-all-other-cuisines tapas stylings and haute cocktails to the King West neighbourhood. You’ll notice the same industrial meets modern design, just with a little trigger-happiness tossed in (Origin Liberty’s locale is in an old gun factory), and a new tostada bar on the menu to shoot…er…boot.
The pop-up taqueiria that could, La Carnita finally has a permanent home on College Street. Bringing a frenetic dining experience to Little Italy, La Carnita’s famed tacos are here in full-form, with a killer cocktail list to boot. Good luck getting a seat…the wait times may have decreased since opening but you’re looking at a bit of a stand-around if you go during rush hours. (PS The art is still around. Wait til you get the bill…)