Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on Toronto’s best new restaurants, those opening in February 2016 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
February is off to a great start- with spring like weather, countless cultural festivities on deck and a generous 29 days to do it all, Toronto has hit its stride early on this year. While the metrics behind the much maligned Winterlicious have been bandied about, there’s no way to ignore this promotional juggernaut, whether you’re a prix-fixer or gourmand glutton looking to avoid the congestion, the promo ends February 11th- no matter which side you sit on.
FNL ROM is back on celebrating Black History Month with a nod to reggae icon Bob Marley. Earlybird tickets are gone, but guests are welcome to buy tickets at the door, starting at 7pm, so make sure to head over early!
Superbowl parties are on deck just about everywhere this coming Superbowl Sunday, with Real Sports banking on a full house of football gawkers with floor to ceiling tv’s flanking their bar. One thing we can all get excited about is the NBA All-Star Game, hosted for the first time in the 6ix, with the red hot Raptors looking solid in the standings. Celebrate by stalking Drake at his new(ish) Susur helmed resto and try and finagle a table at Fring’s.
Susur’s other hot spot, nearby Luckee will be as red hot as the Raps, with a 6 or 8 course prix-fixe menu to fete Chinese New Year. While February 8 is the big date, the year of the monkey celebrations will continue until February 21st.
NightWOK, another bash to fete the New Year is on deck at Nest at College and Bathurst on February 5th. Expect a party like atmosphere coupled with top notch eats and on point drinks to toast the lunar New Year.
Red isn’t just the colour of luck, but also love, whether you like it or not. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and many TO restaurants are going all out to snag your reservation. MoRoCo Chocolat in Yorkville has a tasty prix-fixe Valentine’s Day dinner, a stellar spot for your sweetheart with a sweet tooth. Edgier bets like Fonda Lola will see that sweet tooth reimagined, with their four course Mexican Fiesta menu brought to life with a phallic penis shaped churro and a shot of tequila to chase it all down.
Check out our Top 25 Restaurants Picks for Valentine’s Day 2016 in Toronto for more great spots to take your bae on cupid’s birthday.
In the News…
The Cantina by Campbell’s Soup
Rock Lobster Chef Matt Dean Pettit has collaborated with Campbell’s Soup to bring you Cantina, a soup pop-up on Queen West. Expect free soup, garnishes and flavour enhancers and of course an onslaught of corporate signage.
Entice Culinary Lounge
A little pinch west on Queen is the new home of Entice Culinary Lounge, helmed by Chef Ryan Wilson (ex-FRANK at the AGO). Expect big things from this new hotspot, with trendy cocktails, boozy brunches and private dining rooms ushering in a new era for West Queen West.
Marben, on Wellington just got a new tenant with The Cloak opening. With the same owners as their upstairs tenant, you can expect a lovingly crafted and curated libations menu- open evenings only.
If margaritas are more your speed then Cafeteria will be the ticket. Dave Sidhu’s new place just opened, the seventh of his Playa Cabana family, this time on College, taking over the Black Skirt space.
The beer hall that never was will now soon live up to its intentions, after Molson-owned Creemore is partnering with Icon Legacy Hospitality to bring in Batch, a beer hall brewery and restaurant that saw the likes of Denison’s, Duggan’s, and then finally The Beer Academy tank after various attempts on striking it big on Victoria Street.
Two Headed Dog Pub
Another top notch spot for grabbing a pint is the new Two Headed Dog Pub opening near Gerrard and Coxwell.
Hearts were broken when Dundas West’s The Grove shuttered their doors last year, but new life has been breathed into the gorgeous space, with Campagnolo’s Craig Harding overseeing ex-Splendido Chef Jeff Lapointe in the kitchen. The menu is designed around a pescatarian influence, with Italian flavours.
The Food Dudes will offer Rosedale another place to grab and go, or linger and lunch, when they open their latest offering Pantry, set to open this spring.
Also reopening is the new Piano Piano, the replacement for long loved Splendido on Harbord. The encore restaurant by Victor Barry has a colourful exterior courtesy of a large mural framing the space, so you can expect a complete departure on the interior too.
Belfast Love Public House
Belfast Love Public House is taking over the just recently vacated Zoe’s on King West. Owned by The Donnelly Group, who owns a slew of bars in BC, this new bar will nestle in with other aging pubs like The Foggy Dew, Firkin on King and Flynn’s of Temple.
Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Café
Everyone’s favourite Uncle is ballooning on Bay, with the announcement recently that Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Café will be opening in March. The new spot will serve up their queue-worthy desserts and surprisingly, have actual seating for you to enjoy said desserts.
Keep it here for more food news coming in March.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurants? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.