OSSINGTON GETS A FACELIFT
Omaw returns to the strip with a new chef and a cool American menu
In Montreal, restaurateur and chef Antonio Park is quite the big name. So leave it up to him to collab with Drake, Toronto’s biggest name, for PICK 6IX, T.O.’s buzziest new resto. Although Drake isn’t a co-owner of the 33 Yonge St. space, he’s graced the splashy sports bar aplenty. (Did we mention there’s a private loo for celebs?) Park’s menu includes sushi, fancy hot dogs, Kobe steak.… The place to be seen. Talented chef Ryan Campbell gets schooled at Buca Yorkville. Leaves. Opens IL COVO, an ode to snack-size Italian fare (cicchetti) at 585 College St. Imagine: linguine tossed with clams, calamari, scallops and mussels. Or: fried bread with shrimp, scallop and smoked lemon mayo? Everyone swoons. The end. There has been plenty of gab about the now-open VIT BÉO, sitting pretty at 858 Bloor St. W. Coming from the people behind Civil Liberties (a.k.a. the “pineapple bar”), look for tasty Vietnamese fare like ban xeo, a rice crepe with pork belly and prawn and pok pok chicken wings with caramel fish sauce.
PARIS PARIS is the latest oh-sohip spot from Jonathan Poon and partner in resto crime Jesse Fader. ( You know the Js from Superpoint and that Bar Fancy chicken.) It’s a wine bar, of course, and it’s at 1161 Dundas St. W. Look for Krysta Oben, one half of Grape Witches, behind the bar where she’s pouring casual vino as well as some chi-chi stuff for a certain kind of eve. Chef Nicholas Morra (Chantecler, La Banane) is in the kitchen. C’est bon.
In more northern news for chocoholics, CHOCOLATS FAVORIS has just opened its indulgent doors to a new Vaughan location. Found at 1410 Major Mackenzie Dr., the space is dishing out stuff like hand-dipped ice cream cones, and, for Easter keeners, chocolates that you can actually paint. Let your inner artist out, out, out! Holt Renfrew, destination for all things d’luxe, has gone and closed all of its branded cafés. But who better to replace them than
COLETTE GRAND CAFÉ? Now, Yorkdale mall, up at 3401 Dufferin St., has swung open those doors on its French-ish joiner, with a menu that skips from beef tartare to salad niçoise to a fancy Dungeness crab omelette. Remember OMAW? Matt Blondin’s resto at 88 Ossington Ave. has been given a wee facelift. There’s a new chef and partner, David Schwartz, who joins Adrian Niman and Brent McClenahan in their resto group. Omaw’s American menu now has stuff like trout crudo with cucumber buttermilk. In other news, the busy group is also bringing BLONDIES PIZZA to two hush-hush spots in town. They promise delivery-style ’za.
ZA PIZZA BISTRO, hailing from Winnipeg, of all places, is set to open at Rutherford Marketplace at 9370 Bathurst St., Unit 9300 this month. It promises, wait for it, an unlimited number of toppings. Get that gut ready. There’s been a real glut of Asian food chains arriving in the GTA as of late. Hong Kong’s SMILE
DESSERTS is yet another eatery surfing that wave. This super-popular dessert chain has endless shops around the globe, but the 3262 Midland Ave. locale will be our first. Imagine eating a walnut and black sesame yin yang–shaped dessert or a clear, spherical one called Adam and Eva’s Fruit? These are wonderful mysteries to solve. Monsieur Charles Khabouth is back at it again (well, he’s never not at it, really). SOFIA, opening at 99 Yorkville Ave., is his latest resto from the man behind Byblos, Estia, La Société and more. We’re promised authentic Italian fare from up-and-coming exec chef Christine Mast. Think: antipasti, carne, pesce and, yes, pasta. Modern Afghan cuisine is what
NAAN & KABOB is all about. The mini chain may already be familiar to those from Scarborough, Markham and Mississauga, but it’s now got a downtown space at 921 Yonge St. The official opening date for the fast-cas spot is March 21. Look for flatbread, mantu and lotsa kebabs.
Clockwise from left: Il Covo’s gussied-up fried bread, trout crudo at the new Omaw and a waffle at Chocolats Favoris