Vv Magazine’s Libby Roach fills us in on the best new Toronto restaurants, those opening in November 2015 and the buzziest in-the-works hot spots.
November is upon us; ushering in cold weather temps and a flurry of events (I did not say snow, nope not even). Kicking things off with The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (from November 6-15) where you can get up close and personal with all those delicious animals at the petting zoo, but also some fun foodie demos and cooking throw downs celeb chefs like Chef Ted Reader. Samples and drinks galore await you at the Gourmet Food and Wine Show (November 19-22) so load up and then amble over to one of the most festively beautiful Christmas Market’s in North America, the Distillery Christmas Market kicks off November 20. If eating and shopping are your idea of a good time, then look no further than the artisan soaked One of a Kind Show (November 26-December 6) where gourmet eats go hand in hand with curious and unique gifts.
October was a pretty busy month on the restaurant scene. An artful Japanese invasion Miku took place by way of opening up at the foot of Bay to resoundingly positive reviews.
If NoBlo is where you call home then the newest spot from Chef Jackie Lin should satisfy your sushi cravings-his new restaurant Shoushin opened on Yonge near Lawrence.
The West Coast chain finally opened officially on the 27th, much to the delight of Bay street lunch-ers looking for the latest it spot to have an upscale salad or sandwich, or more accurately, liquid lunch with the odd looky-loo. I hear the waitstaff are not on the menu though.
October saw a tiny implosion on the internet by way of Fring’s , which is now officially open and taking reservations (sad that the Hotline Bling isn’t the preferred method of securing a table though). While Drake usually has the golden touch, we’ll see if his comfort food menu strikes a chord with his loyal 6er’s.
The Commodore has been open about a month now, giving Parkdale a new place to perch for seasonally inspired cocktails and a stellar seafood menu to match.
Bobbie Sue’s Mac n’ Cheese
Ossington Village residents have been lapping up Bobbie Sue’s Mac n’ Cheese, a tiny postage stamp takeout joint just off the main strip. Owners are the same as Poutini’s, so expect to leave stuffed and satisfied.
DuWest wasn’t left out of the spotlight either, with Chef Michael Hunter’s Antler now open, taking over This End Up’s lease and injecting his personality on a largely Canadian inspired menu, featuring foraged finds as well as farmed game meats.
College Street became even more covetable with The Walton opening. Serving libations at night, and delicate pastries and coffees in the morning, this chameleon café morphs over the course of the day to serve you exactly what you want when you want it.
PO Box 1192
A quickie makeover was all that was required for PO Box 1192 after they took over where Rock Lobster left off on Queen East. Libations and comfort food finds like Thai Nachos are on the menu, all to the tune of your fave hip hop tunes, hopefully mainly from the east coast (east side for life!).
If chips and chocolates just won’t cut it this Halloween, then Pappabubble is here to the rescue! Hand crafted candies come adorably decorated and packaged; find them on Yonge Street, just north of Lawrence.
Assembly lines are usually not the forefront of a good restaurant, but pizza chain Blaze Pizza, part owned by LeBron James, has opened near Ryerson, making the fear of the freshman 15 an even more real threat.
Liberty Entertainment Group continues aggressive growth with the Cibo chain after opening their newest wine bar in Yorkville, coming off the heels of converting the old Vita Sociale just months earlier.
Montreal based Café Neve has opened at Shops at Don Mills, expanding into Ontario this cutesy café is known for their killer cookies and on point coffees.
Maple Leaf Tavern
The buzz this season will surround Maple Leaf Tavern, who after months of renovations hiring servers and kitchen staff. Chef Eric Wood’s latest spot will surely put a pin in the whole ‘east vs west’ debate.
A collaboration between la belle province Chef Joseph Awad and ex Buca Chef Danny Hassell brings PARCAE to life, a beefy speakeasy on Adelaide West promising sustainable nose-to-tail meats in a party like atmosphere. Does that mean maybe we’ll see a 3am last call in the works?
Crowd funded darling Loka is aiming for a November opening, but don’t expect a major media push for their inaugural night- first dibs is wisely going to their loyal kickstart-ers who will see Chef Dave Mottershall unleash his Canadian inspired menu at 620 Queen West on November 10. Official opening to the public will be November 18.
The Shameful Tiki Room & The Shore Leave
Two new Tiki bars opening in Toronto this month. Danforth will be home to The Shore Leave, with boozy cocktails just north of the Beach. West coast import The Shameful Tiki Room has a launch date set for November 19th, opening on Queen West in the heart of Parkdale.
Unlike any other venue in Canada, Candyland brings dinner theatre back. Meant to channel the fifties Copacabana days when a night out meant more than just going out drinking, Candyland will offer guests performances from a variety of walks of life: from cross dressing performances to circus performers and erotic oddities to avant-garde acrobats, Olympic-medalist ring dancers, a blues band and an assortment of turn-of-the-century performance art. Combined with dinner and cocktails, this new King West entertainment venue plans to spark all guests’ imagination. Opening this weekend, Candyland will be opened Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Anthony Rose, known for his domination on Dupont, continues to spread himself down the street with Bar Begonia, set to open this December. Ex-Crush Wine Bar Chef Trista Sheen will oversee the kitchen, while Oliver Stern, formerly of Toronto Temperance Society will GM.
Jolly JO has announced an opening date, his latest resto is set to open this December at Yorkdale. Jamie Oliver was in town recently on a book tour and stopped by BT to make the announcement.
In the News
The original chicken wing king Louis Nemes is moving his beloved Bistro, the first of the St. Louis Wing chain further up Avenue to the home of the recently shuttered Rossini Restaurant that has occupied that address for the past four decades.
After a decade on Queen West, well known comfort food hot spot Czehoski shuttered their doors in October after not making rent. Owner John Schertzer’s legal woes may have contributed to their financial crisis.
Conversely, Victor Barry over at Splendido is shuttering his doors as of New Year’s Eve to focus more on family.
Did we miss any new Toronto restaurants? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.