Kensington’s speakeasy-style hot spot
Plus Leaside gets a diner and Momofuku does a pop-up
Down a dimly lit hallway past two vintage stores is an unstaffed steel door: welcome to the market’s Cold Tea bar. The 60 Kensington Ave. joint was fully renoed at the end of 2017 and reopened not just with high-concept lighting, but a whole new identity: Asian–South American snack bar. JUANMOTO is the brainchild of fusion-obsessed chef Leemo Han (Hanmoto and more), and his new kitchen’s oysters topped with salsa, tobiko and roe confirm it: the market is now upmarket.
Our fair city has enough tapas bars to populate entire “best of ” lists, and it turns out love of Spanish eats is a cross-country affair. This month, Calgary’s BARCELONA
TAVERN comes to Liberty Village at 109 Atlantic Ave. to dole out its tiny delicioso morsels and signature paellas to hungry condo dwellers.
As Leslievillians mourn the loss of Lil’ Baci, owners Mark Bacci,
Riyaz Somani and Suresh Singh have been busy planning an on-site resto rebirth. FRANKIE’S ITALIAN is their new baby coming soon at 892 Queen St. E. — if babies were handmade-pasta filled and came with a Negroni bar. This new member of their family will be headed by Annabelle chef Brandyn Koester.
Leaside rejoice! GREEN CANOE
(900 Millwood Rd.), a café/resto with a northern Ontario feel, is soon to be serving breakfast, along with dinerish delights like deepfried buttermilk chicken sandwiches, all day long. A general store on-site ups its cottage country cred.
Grant van Gameren is on fire. And now his food’s on fire too. He’s up to restaurant number seven,
QUETZAL (419 College St.), where chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo (both of El Rey) will cook traditional Mexican fare over a 28-foot-long open flame. Hot.
If the prospect of an overcrowded Noodle Bar due to Momofuku’s temporary third-floor closure triggered a panic attack, here’s our prescription: assume a seated position at Saks Food Hall in the Eaton Centre, take one edamame hum- mus and one chicken katsu plate. It’s the MOMOFUKU POP-UP cure.
The latest player on the poke bowl scene, H2 KITCHEN, at 204 Queen St. W., prides itself on being the healthiest of the bunch. It tosses in an apple with every meal and posts its veg delivery and fish prep times in store for all to see.
Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini are keeping tight-lipped about their new Bayview Village eatery. We can only disclose a name ( PARCHEG
GIO), a theme (regional Italian) and an ingredient (dry-aged beef).
Who says wizardry and alcohol don’t mix? Learn a new spell or two at the just announced Harry Potterthemed BUTTERBEER BAR CRAWL in June. Start planning now for the themed bevvies, contests and costumes — you’ll have a (quidditch) ball.
Bloor-Yorkville mainstay SAS
SAFRAZ (100 Cumberland St.) is getting a facelift after 20 years in business. Not to worry, it’s scheduled to reopen later in the month.
Word on the street is that Japanese noodle house HOKKAIDO RAMEN
SANTOUKA has two new locations planned: one in the Annex come spring, and one at 2057 Yonge St. in Davisville village in the fall.
Poke (the aforementioned Hawaiian sensation that hit Toronto like a tropical storm last year) comes to 1252 Yonge St. UMAMI POKE makes traditional bowls and Korean and Middle Eastern versions, too.
TUTTI MATTI, chef Alida Solomon’s delicious pasta palace at 364 Adelaide St. W., is celebrating 15 years of being “Toronto’s Tuscany.”
sad to see you go
King West favourite BLOWFISH swims away after 15 years of serving up sushi and sake to hungry and thirsty landlubbers.
Clockwise from left: Humpback shrimp with ground masa crackers at Quetzal, lobster ravioli at Barcelona Tavern, Alida Solomon in her kitchen at Tutti Matti