Join in the Chant – Checking out Chantecler

“Fuck, that’s amazing!” Jacob Wharton-Shukster laughs out loud at my exclamation upon my first mouthful of Chantecler’s polenta and calls over Chef Jonathan Poon and repeats what I’ve said. Poon smiles widely, but shyly, and doesn’t miss a beat as he continues to plate dishes at Chantecler’s pass on a busy Wednesday night, their third […]

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The Grove is Gonna Be Groovy

Do not adjust your screens. I know I already wrote a preview of The Grove back in November when I attended a pop-up dinner in conjunction with First Drop Canada. At that point, owners Fritz Wahl, Richard Reyes and Chef Ben Heaton were expecting their Dundas Street restaurant to be ready to go before Christmas. […]

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Ursa is Major

I want to get myself a top hat and cane and stand outside the newly-opened Ursa (924 Queen Street West) and yell at passersby to lure them in, much like a sideshow hawker, except that Ursa is neither a circus or a freak show. You will, however, not believe your eyes, as plate after plate […]

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Smörgåsbord – Bannock

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the media preview event at Oliver & Bonacini’s Bannock at the Hudson’s Bay flagship store (401 By Street) at Yonge and Queen, but those events, while fun and full of free samples, are never really reflective of what the restaurant is like during regular service. Of […]

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Smörgåsbord – Keriwa Cafe

We talk a lot about seasonal, local food, but the ultimate in this type of cuisine has to be the food of the First Nations people, who predate the rest of us by thousands of years. European settlers relied on help from First Nations communities when they arrived in Canada, but a lot of what […]

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Smörgåsbord – The Bohemian Gastropub

The word “bohemian” and Queen West have gone hand in hand for decades. From the original Bohemian Embassy in the 1960s (an artsy coffeehouse that was a launchpad for artists such as Margaret Atwood, Gordon Lightfoot and Lorne Michaels) to the various groups of artists, musicians, goths, punks and others who have frequented Queen West […]

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Smörgåsbord – Acadia

The story of the Acadians was part of the history of the place where I grew up. French settlers on the Bay of Fundy shore of Nova Scotia were expelled from the province in the mid 1700s when they refused to sign an oath of allegiance to Britain. The French settlers ended up scattered all […]

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School’s In For Summer at the Drake Hotel

Okay, so let’s be honest, it’s like no school cafeteria you’ve ever been in before; the tables are made from old bowling alley floors, the wall are covered in kitsch, and the juice boxes are spiked. But if you’re going to convert your hotel restaurant dining room into an ongoing art project, one in which […]

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Quince’s Indonesian Rijsttafel

Quick – tell me your favourite Indonesian restaurant in Toronto. Can’t do it? That’s because they don’t exist. Seriously, Google “Indonesian restaurant Toronto” and you get hits for a Thai restaurant, a Malaysian restaurant and a Vietnamese restaurant. And while those 3 cuisines are similar in many ways to Indonesian food, there’s a different interplay […]

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SalivATE – April 2011

Okay, so I’m a little bit late with this one, but we surely ate some good grub in April. Check it… Cardinal Rule (5 Roncesvalles Avenue) is a cool new diner on Roncesvalles just north of Queen, where comfort food really does get a fun twist. Above, meat muffins are wee meatloaves in a phyllo […]

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SalivATE – March 2011

This month’s food porn starts with a meal at Jam Cafe (195 Carlton Street). Never heard of it? It’s a charming neighbourhood bistro just west of Cabbagetown that we happened across about a month ago when we were looking for somewhere to eat before a concert at the Phoenix. Besides the fact that the space […]

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