Food Net­work’s David Rocco adds star power to Ital­ian hot spot Oretta

Richmond Hill Post - - CONTENTS -

Brothers’ food tends away from com­posed, full-meals-on-a-plate in favour of meat and a veg­etable com­ple­ment on a plate with sides or­dered separately. Even though the menu changes con­stantly (some­thing will ro­tate on the daily), they print a menu to help put guests at ease.

“Crit­i­cal thought plays a huge role,” White says of how Ni­co­lau de­signs dishes. Carpac­cio, in some form or an­other, will al­most al­ways earn a spot on the menu, be­ing one of Ni­co­lau and White’s favourite ways to start a meal. The sim­ple-sound­ing com­bi­na­tion of mack­erel, mint and pick­led egg­plant has been a main­stay for their first three months of busi­ness.

To em­pha­size the es­sen­tial com­bi­na­tion with food, they put “wine” in the name of the restau­rant. The wine list comes cour­tesy of som­me­lier Courtney Steb­bings, who comes to Brothers af­ter stints at Lyle’s and the fa­mous River Café in Lon­don, Eng­land. So­cial me­dia pop­u­lar­ity has stretched the ca­pac­ity of the 30-seat room, but White stresses how im­por­tant lo­cal reg­u­lars are to the busi­ness and, al­though they do take reser­va­tions, they try to hold back a few seats for walk-ins (Brothers Food & Wine, 1240 Bay St., 416-804-6066). — David Ort

ITAL­IAN AND THEN SOME

Af­ter months of wait­ing and many teaser pho­tos on Instagram, Oretta has fi­nally opened its doors. The noted trio be­hind the restau­rant is Food Net­work celebrity chef David Rocco, restau­ra­teur Sal­va­tore Mele (Capoc­ac­cia Trat­to­ria) and ex­ec­u­tive chef Chris­tian Fon­tolan.

The multi-func­tional restau­rant has a quick-ser­vice counter and café, in ad­di­tion to the main din­ing room, which has been built around a cen­tre­piece bar. Com­mute De­sign (By­b­los, Lit­tle Sis­ter) is re­spon­si­ble for the in­te­rior de­sign, which fea­tures pops of teal and pas­tel pink along with plenty of brass ac­cents in a very tall and stately room. The up­stairs will serve as a pri­vate events space, com­plete with a kitchen stu­dio where David Rocco may be spot­ted from time to time.

Chef Fon­tolan leads the main kitchen. The menu is di­vided into shar­ing plates, apps, pizza, pasta and mains. The frito misto ($14) fea­tures smelts, cala­mari and scal­lops lightly coated in a gluten-free bat­ter. Bur­rata ($14) is served atop a mix­ture of pick­led banana pep­pers, agrodolce car­rots, pis­ta­chios and herbs.

Pizza is done Ro­man style; the Parmi­giana ($18) is topped with cherry tomato, fior di latte, egg­plant, sausage, Parm and basil. Pas­tas are made in-house and stretch from tra­di­tional ravi­oli to a pur­ple pasta, coloured with the aid of red cab­bage. As for dessert, the daily pas­try se­lec­tion pro­vides cus­tomers with a taste of ev­ery­thing ($16) (Oretta, 633 King St. W., 416-944-1932). — Yvonne Tsui

GEMMA BIER TRINKEN

From the own­ers of Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket’s Otto’s Ber­lin Döner comes Otto’s Bier­halle, a ca­sual Ger­man eatery in the for­mer Bris­tol space on Queen West.

“There’s a drink­a­bil­ity and pu­rity to Ger­man beer,” says Kon­rad Droeske, one of the five own­ers be­hind Otto’s Bier­halle.

Bar man­ager Adrian Murfin is largely re­spon­si­ble for the beer list at Otto’s Bier­halle. Lagers and wheat beers — two of the most well-known fam­i­lies of Ger­man beer — are well rep­re­sented on the list. There are cur­rently 24 beers on tap, in­clud­ing a bal­anced mix of Ger­man and lo­cal op­tions: of these, 18 are per­ma­nent and six will ro­tate. They are priced by the 11-, 14- or 20-ounce glass. There are an ad­di­tional 65 op­tions avail­able by the can or bot­tle, and that list will steadily grow.

Otto’s menu is meant for shar­ing. Tra­di­tional mains in­clude schwein­shaxe ($24), and the chou­croute Al­sace ($45) is a plat­ter laden with weis­s­wurst, roast pork belly, house pick­les, braised fen­nel and potato salad (Otto’s Bier­halle, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-9015472). — Yvonne Tsui

Clock­wise from left: Oretta’s bur­rata, its stately room, the chou­croute Al­sace plat­ter at Otto’s Bier­halle

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