Nineteen new restaurants, bars and food stores that opened this spring
The kitchen at Yorkville’s sleek new Indian restaurant uses exclusively house-blended spices in its sumptuous creations, such as a bhatti masala loaded with chili, fenugreek and coriander over a juicy, seared whole lobster. Much of the cooking and baking is done in clay tandoor ovens, which quickly cook everything from marinated sesame shrimp to chili and garlic naans. 138 Avenue Road, adrakyorkville.ca, @adrakyorkville.
Chinatown’s new spot for banh mi, vermicelli and Vietnamese iced coffee is run by the Dinh family: Lily and her sons Steven and Ryan. Ask what’s in a dish and more often than not, you’ll get a classic family business response: “Mom’s secret recipe.” Lower level of 81 Huron Street, banhhaus.life, @banhhaus.life.
For those looking to escape to Barcelona even for one night, Ted Corrado’s new King West tapas bar is not your ticket. This is Toronto tapas: dishes rooted in Spanish tradition but reworked with Ontario ingredients and a predilection for flavors from around the world. 75 Portland St., 416-479-9779, barchicatoronto.com, @barchicatoronto.
Kensington’s favorite modern Filipino brunch spot has found a new home in Parkdale, sharing its space with Sari Not Sari, a nightclub that doubles as a social hub for the Filipino community. Head there Saturday or Sunday morning for chef Robbie Hojilla’s satisfying silog, plates full of spaghetti and tamarind caesars. 1566 Queen Street West, @bbs.bbs.bbs.bbs.bbs.
Since its opening in 2010, Beast has been synonymous with three things: brunch, carnivorism from nose to tail and a philosophy of more is more. Last summer, rather than continuing to ride the lockdown rollercoaster, owner Scott Vivian decided it was time to finally revamp the restaurant. After a 10-month renovation, Beast is back, but this time it’s a pizzeria. 96 Tecumseth St., 647-352-6000, thebeastrestaurant.com, @beast_pizza_to.
Best half bar
North of Brooklyn, East Brooklyn’s new pizzeria and craft beer bar serves up its familiar favorites, like popular kale and twice-smoked bacon, along with locally-made beer and wine. A notable addition to the range: chicken wings. 663 Greenwood Avenue, nordofbrooklyn.com,
The chic new restaurant at 1 Hotel Toronto is run by Olivier Le Calvez, a half-Mexican, half-French chef who has spent much of his life bouncing between Paris and Mexico City. It is not surprising that the kitchen prepares a cuisine without borders. 550 Wellington Street West, 416-601-3593, thecasamadera.com, @thecasamadera.
J’s Steak Frites
Husband and wife team Jad Sfeir and Tara Tang have brought a popular Parisian staple to Queen West: a restaurant that serves just one main course. This principal? Steak, of course, served with unlimited fries, salad and homemade bread. After dinner, waiters unfurl a cart filled with a selection of desserts, all fresh daily by Tang, a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef. 1198 Queen Street West, jssteakfrites.square.site, @jssteakfrites.
Toronto’s first outpost for Montreal’s sister salad sensation with a cult following is a destination for trimmed greens and grains. Stacked in colorful, mismatched bowls, the cheerful mixes are as strong a pro-salad argument as ever. 52 Ossington Avenue, mandys.ca, @mandysalads.
Gimbap without pain
Ann Kim, co-owner of Wallace-Emerson Donna’s restaurant, recently took over the kitchen of Grape Crush, a wine bar and bottle shop in Dundas and Ossington. This is where she makes gimbap, sushi-like Korean rolls, and other snacks, including dumplings. 1166 Dundas St. W. (inside Grape Crush), nopaingimbap.com, @nopain.gimbap.
Oroshi Fish Co.
The town’s super sleek new fish counter and sushi shop is tucked away in an alley at the west end. The space was designed primarily as a fish commissary, with a sushi bar as a small addition. But then the take-out business took off, thanks to fresh produce and the culinary team’s emphasis on dry aging. The result is some of the butteriest, freshest and tastiest sushi this side of the Pacific. 962 College St. (walk down Bill Cameron Lane and look for the blue door), oroshifishco.com, @oroshi_fishco.
In his new restaurant with a Korean tasting menu, former Actinolite Kwangtaek Lee applies all the principles he learned in famous contemporary Canadian cuisine to his culinary heritage by reinventing classic Korean flavor profiles, turning condiments into events main points and spicing it all up with a dose of reflection. modern technique. 276 Havelock Street, @oroterestaurant.
Ration Food Lab
The Beverley Hotel’s new contemporary Canadian tasting menu restaurant is also zero waste. Much of what Chef Jef Edwards incorporates into the menu has been foraged with expert help; the other products come from local agricultural partners. The rest of Ration’s Pantry is created in the basement lab, where there is a vertical farm for microgreens. 335 Queen Street West, rationbeverley.com, @ration.beverley.
At this fun French restaurant in Queen West, Chantecler alum Milo Beaubien-Wright strikes a balance between accessibility and innovation with fresh, creative plates that showcase elements of classic French cuisine translated for a palate. modern. These are high-end, inventive dishes that, despite the squeezed pears and kohlrabi chips, don’t despise anyone. 1166 Queen Street West, @recipeonqueen.
You can now find Tex-Mex at Hotel X. Food Dude Adrian Niman’s new restaurant serves what he calls “fine North American cuisine, with an emphasis on Mexican flavors.” Some dishes, like chicken wings in agave barbecue sauce, are more American comfort food with a Mexican twist. Others, like a dried citrus hamachi tostada, are more traditional plates south of the border. Also: fajitas. 111, boul. des Princes, 2nd floor, rosescocina.ca, @roses.cocina.
Slowhand Pizza Co.
This eastern pizzeria started out as a pandemic pop-up, but the pies proved too popular and so the new brick-and-mortar location on Pape was born. Slowhand draws inspiration from Detroit’s deep-dish tradition and Sicily’s focaccia-like crusts, but ultimately lands in its own category. 99 Pope Avenue, slowhandpizza.ambassador.ai, @slowhandpizza.
This new food hall in the annex aims to bring the ambiance of an outdoor night market indoors. It’s 4,000 square feet of food and drink, and every stall is an Asian-owned or run business. There are seven street vendors, a full-service bar with cocktails on tap, a bodega, and speakeasy serving soju, baiju, and sake as well as snacks. 384 Bloor Street West, 647-979-0384, superfresh.at, @superfresh.to.
When Bernhardt’s temporarily pivoted to takeout during the pandemic, its rotisserie chicken menu shifted to sandwiches and salads. The new offerings were so popular that Bernhardt’s owners decided to make them a permanent home across the street. 209 Dovercourt Road, vildastoronto.com, @vildastoronto.
When the pig came home
A self-proclaimed “Toronto-style deli,” this Junction favorite’s new location draws queues of enthusiasts, all there for Ryan Gatner’s Montreal smoked meat, 1 p.m. roast porchetta or jerk chicken. Almost everything on the menu is made from grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat sourced from local farmers, then brined, seasoned, or smoked on site. 384 Keele Street, whenthepigcame.ca, @when_the_pig_came_home.