Restaurant openings along Market Street have been rapid fire recently, but it wasn't until yesterday that the long-term restoration project — dubbed Tastes of Market Street — was formally unveiled. Former mayor of Toronto David Crombie, and Woodcliffe Landmark Properties CEO Eve Lewis were on-hand to present the new development, which is centered around a restored row of buildings adjacent to the St. Lawrence Market. Yesterday also marked the naming of a pedestrian-friendly walkway, which allows for patio spaces for each restaurant, after late developer Paul Oberman, who first envisioned the project.
Tastes of Market Street was a significant undertaking that involved the retrofitting of three buildings with ground-level restaurant spaces. Taken together, the seven eateries will form a new foodie destination in the heart of the old city, and there’s already been a bevy of openings in anticipation of yesterday’s official launch.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
Market Street Catch
This casual seafood spot is the brainchild of Buster’s Sea Cove owner Tom Antonarakis. It has all the expected maritime trappings, from chower to seafood tacos.
Barsa bills itself as a global spin on Spanish-style tapas. Chef Michael Smith developed his culinary palette during travels abroad, and the interior is meant to evoke Barcelona itself. The restaurant boasts a large menu with offerings such as grilled octopus and cava mussels fideua.
Evolution Food Co.
Ian Paech worked as a pastry and dessert chef for Ossington’s Pizzeria Libretto, but his new project is a healthy-can-taste-good initiative. The restaurant’s name is born out of their goal of offering an ‘evolved’ way of eating that starts with breakfast items, cold-pressed juices, smoothies and hotboxes based around lean meats, fruits and veggies and house-made dressings.
Executive chef Vik Mohan wants his restaurant to be a family destination that brings a new angle to traditional Indian cuisine. The menu offers standards such as butter chicken and tikka masala, but the hope is that the bistro will define itself through dishes such as vegetable korma and tandoori lobster.
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters
A favourite coffee franchise, with a beautiful and successful operation just to the east in the Distillery District, continues to grow with this, its eighth location. Expect the same airy, classical Parisian look that has made the chain a favourite for coffee-loving folk across the city.
Olive and Olives
Market Street marks the second Toronto outpost for Olive and Olives, a Montreal chain that sources olive oils from all over Europe. This location will also offer a diverse assortment of vinegars, tapenades and, of course, olives.
Pastizza expects to be open this summer. The Italian eatery comes from Splendido's Paolo Paolini and it’s a large 5,000-square-foot space. Expect Italian staples such as thin-crust pizza and a homemade 12-layer lasagna, as well as a huge wine list from co-owner Tom George. Pastizza will be housed in the newly constructed building at the south end of the development.