SalivAte – June 2010

People always assume because we write about food that we’ve been to every restaurant in the city (all 5000 or so of them), and they’re always disappointed that we haven’t been. Meanwhile, readers tell us that they’d like more photo-essays.

So to satisfy your food porn cravings and what might be an inappropriate desire to live vicariously through us, we’ve started eating out more just for the sake of eating out; to expand our palates, to learn more about our city’s great restaurants, and to give you all something to drool over. Note that these are not reviews – just photos of pretty and tasty food, and that while all the restaurants and chefs knew who we were, all have been paid for out of our own pockets.

Above, from L.A.B. (651 College Street), are chicken pogos; breaded chicken legs that have been Frenched to reveal the bone which doubles as the stick. The creamy puddles are the blue cheese dressing and the red discs are a jelled hot sauce. A shredded celery salad takes the place of the traditional celery sticks that accompany chicken wings.

We visited LAB with a vegetarian friend who was quite delighted to have another slightly upscale place to go for dinner. We tried a number of things on the menu which is about 50/50 vegetarian to carnivore. We all dug the fun tongue-in-cheek sense of humour that chefs Dubrovsky and Scott demonstrate in their menu.

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Sunday Brunch – School Bakery and Café

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School Bakery and Café
75 Fraser Street
416-588-0005
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $40

A good tip for restaurant reviewers who don’t want to get “made” is generally to try to sneak in under the radar when visiting a restaurant and not make yourself too obvious. But just as the husband and I were both keeners back in our regular school days, we are keeners when it comes to running this site, and in checking out new places. Which is how we managed to be the very first customers through the door at School Bakery and Café when they opened last Sunday for brunch. And not only did we arrive to an empty restaurant, but Chef Brad Moore was there to shake our hands and the staff gave us a round of applause. Talk about being the teacher’s pets.

Moore and partner Sean D’Andrade have taken the old Warehouse Grill location on Fraser Avenue and transformed it into a really fun space full of thoughtful touches that could have verged on being twee, but mostly elicit exclamations of “Oh, cool!” Every detail has been thought out; a wall of clocks are all set to 3:30pm; menus arrive on lined paper attached to a clipboard; apples grace every table and are replaced with apple-shaped candles in the evening; salt and pepper shakers are shaped like blocks; chairs and banquettes are covered in a silk-screened fabric that looks like writing and diagrams on a blackboard; and stools along the counter are straight out of science lab.

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