Openings and Happenings
There’s no stopping Matty Matheson. The celebrity chef and actor extraordinaire recently opened Rizzo’s House of Parm in his hometown of Fort Erie, Ont., featuring a menu of old-school Italian plates in a charming family-friendly space. True to its name, the restaurant is serving up a trio of parm dishes, including chicken, eggplant and veal as well as classic pasta dishes and traditional sides.
Chef Brandon Olsen — founder of Restaurant Le Melon, La Banane, Brando’sFried Chicken and a chef in many of the city’s top kitchens, such as Bar Isabel and the Black Hoof — has opened a new fried chicken joint, Grateful Chicken, inside Chef ’s Hall. Along with familiar favourites such as buckets, sandwiches and sides,
Olsen has kicked up traditional fried chicken fare a notch by offering buckets and
champagne to go.
Jean Darlene Piano Bar is a new speakeasy spot that melds the chicness of a piano bar and camaraderie of an open mic. You can swing by for drinks and stay for the regularly scheduled live performances that range from pianists, drag shows, live samba and themed singalongs. If you have a flair for the dramatic, there’s tons of opportunity to hop on stage and show off your own singing and performing chops, too. And who knows, maybe the owners will like you enough to invite you downstairs, where they have a full-fledged recording studio. Take a date or bring a group of live music aficionados to the 1203 Dundas Street West spot, located in the laneway behind the building.
Michelin-starred chef Patrick Kriss is at it again with the opening of Evangeline, an intimate rooftop bar at Ace Hotel Toronto. Sitting 14 storeys high, the 80-seat lounge features a menu inspired by cocktail parties with a focus on small plates such as charcuterie boards, shrimp cocktail, and freshly shucked oysters.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting the Rasa chopped, executive chef Adrian Niman’s addictive take on the traditional chopped salad, which many Torontonians consider to be the best in the city, here’s another opportunity to do so. Niman, founder of the Food Dudes, along with partners Adam Minster, Derrek Wasser and Lindsay Klein, have opened Chop Hop in Commerce Court, serving up delicious salads, a selection of artfully crafted soups and energy balls.
Three years after Parkdale eatery Chantecler was destroyed by a three-alarm fire, the much beloved French restaurant is set to make a long-awaited comeback at Bloor and Dovercourt in January.
Sorrel restaurant is opening a sister space next door. The owners recently leased the space and are working on renovations with a plan to officially open by March 2023. While the new restaurant’s menu is still being finalized, the plan is to offer up a variety of small plates. The seating capacity has room for just 28 patrons, so the spot will most likely be an intimate, cozy space perfect for small group outings or a romantic date night.
Sad to See You Go
After more than 40 years in business, Corso Italia deli and grocery store Centro Trattoria & Formaggi shut its doors on December 3. The family-run institution was known as having one of the best hot tables in the city, and the store was even featured in the 1980s Oscar-nominated film Moonstruck, starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.
The Hot List
Direct from Montreal, Antonio Park’s unique spin on Japanese fusion has arrived in Yorkville.
Authentic Northern Italian cuisine is on the menu at Rob Rossi’s Michelin-starred gem.
Reservations at this sophisticated Patrick Kriss spot are booked two months in advance.
This upscale pie tavern is ushering in a new era of family-style pizza parlours.
$680 per person isn’t enough to deter sushi enthusiasts from dining at this Yorkville hot spot.
The relatively simple menu at this Lansdowne and Wallace eatery packs a lot of heart and soul.
King West’s hip French neo-bistro is offering a limited-edition five- course truffle tasting menu until Dec. 31.
Just one bite of the orange chicken at Mimi’s sister restaurant and you’ll see why it’s worth the hype.