Every month I write this column, and since the pandemic began, every month I hope to have better news. It’s an understatement to say how much COVID has effected the restaurant industry. And while we all wait with bated breath for the daily numbers, we can assume this isn’t going to be a quick fix (hi, March? It’s October calling). So sit tight, hole up a little longer and maybe treat yourself to some takeout…
We’re keeping tabs on the restaurant closures and COVID alerts. Keep tuned to our Twitter to keep up to date as we add red-flag restaurants in the mix. Got a tip? Shoot us a note firstname.lastname@example.org
AsialiciousTO food festival is a new ‘licious themed marketing campaign from the city. With over 200 restaurants united to deliver “Skillful; Exquisite; Exotic; Diverse”, this new marketing campaign aimed at supporting Asian restaurants runs until October 11th.
Thanksgiving is coming, and as you have strict instructions to NOT go to your mother-in-laws, instead opt in for some prime takeout. We’re loving what they’re crafting at Lena, scope out our list of options for a lazy-turkey-day.
Life is breezy down at The Waterfront, with expansive places to soak up the scenery, food and now, art. The Big Social spots AR installs taking over the Harbourfont until October 18th, while The Essentials at The Bentway sees #BigArtTO come to life with mixed media public art initiatives running on 10-15 min loops all around the waterfront from September to November.
Toronto’s Waterfront added a new collection of eateries recently, Chen Chen’s Nashville Chicken with roots in Nashville and recently as a pop-up at STACKT is now part of the LQ Market, formerly Loch and Quay, which will soon reopen as a dynamic food hall.
MARKED restaurant is set to make its mark on the Toronto dining scene. ForthSpace Hospitality Group, the same owners as COC have taken the defunct Zebu spot on John to bring an inspired and exclusive approach to going out, with themed rooms and intimate spaces.
Pronounced am-elle, Amal has opened in the old La Societe spot on Bloor Street. Helmed by Charles Khabouth and Danny Soberano, this modern Lebanese cuisine restaurant’s name translates to hope, a word we all have on the tip of our tongues. Dips, hot and cold mezze, platters and more will pay tribute to the Middle East’s Arak spirit. Cocktails are crafted by my favourite Master Mixologist Nishan Nepulongoda, known for his creations at many ICONINK establishments.
Beauty BBQ, located at Bayview Village, is becoming a pizza joint. Stay tuned for more on this saucy new venture that will no doubt appease the many mall-walkers that traipse through the parking lot to Parcheggio.
Kibo Secret Garden has opened in Yorkville. Part of the Kibo Sushi House family, with almost 23+ locations in Canada, the concept crushed it since January, taking the highest grossing sushi sales on Uber Eats across North America. Whoa! The new omakase experience is an evening of splendor and refinement, it’s our new top spot for sushi, look for a full length feature for our sip+ savour section soon!
And finally something we can all agree upon has moved in at Yonge and Eglinton. Stock TC, the stunning concept that brings butchery from Cumbraes, sweets and treats from Sud Forno and classic rustic Italian eats from Terroni has opened. The full spread service including a wine shop is a perfect addition to the neighbourhood, it’s the unofficial Eataly North.
Hot news again hits Yonge and Eglinton with the word that PAI is set to open later this year. Chef Nuit Regular is blessing this block with her flavour of regional Thai dishes that literally put Thai food in Toronto on the map. The 12,000 sq ft space will feature two storeys and a stage for live music, eventually. Takeout game will be strong too, with a dedicated door just for deliveries. SWOON! We spoke to Chef Nuit Regular before this whole pandemic happened, stay tuned for that interview for #AuburnLaneLadiesFirst soon.
Flock has is under lock at Sheppard Centre. The eatery was just getting going when COVID struck and hasn’t reopened its doors since. The downtown location on Richmond is also still shuttered. Let’s hope we can crank the doors open on these chicken coops soon.
And Chef Susur Lee is hitting pause for the pandemic. The responsible restauranteur noted that since a staff member at Lee has tested positive for COVID-19, they feel takeout and delivery are the only safe options in the current climate, and are opting out of indoor and patio dining until further notice.
The Walton announced on social media that they are closing their darling cozy spot on College Street. Hearts are broken.
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