Lucky Dip – Monday, March 26th, 2012

In Toronto:

Leaside gets a new French bistro in the form of L’Avenue (1568 Bayview Avenue), run by Otto Zapotocky, formerly of Nota Bene and Malena/L’Unita.

Are you tired of the foot-dragging from city council regarding food trucks in the city? Think your councillor should prioritize your right to stand in line for tacos over subways, pending strikes and library closures? Then send them some whiny spam encouragement. The Toronto Street Food Project shows you how.

Swallow has revealed that Matt DeMille will be leaving Enoteca Sociale (1288 Dundas Street West) at the end of April. No word yet on who will replace him.

Queen Margherita Pizza has more expansion plans. NOW reports that they’ll be opening a location in the Junction by early autumn.

How’s this for under the radar – The Beaver alumni open a restaurant called Camp in the Junction at 244 Jane Street. They’re serving breakfast/brunch/lunch.

The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West) has revived their annual sugar shack with a maple-infused menu of snacks and cocktails.

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Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Taster Too?

As the food charity season winds down, we finish off with the biggest of the lot. Last night, Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste took over the lobby of the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as much of the street along Queen’s Park as 2000 guests descended upon 60 chefs and restaurants, and over 30 beverage purveyors for a night of eating in support of one of Toronto’s most beloved food charities.

There is no possible way the average person can sample every item, and even though Greg and I tried to share things, we still couldn’t get to even half of the things on offer. But here’s an idea of what we came across.

Above: steamed pork buns from All The Best Fine Foods and 100km Foods

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Recipe For Change Recap

Foodshare‘s fabulous Recipe For Change event migrated to the North St. Lawrence Market this year, allowing for more space, which in turn allowed for more chefs and more guests. I love that organizers make a point of not overselling the event, so it’s never packed; line-ups at food stations are short or non-existent and there is no sense of frenzy involved.

Recipe For Change is FoodShare’s annual fundraiser in which they raise monies directed toward their Field to Table Schools program which teaches school children about where their food comes from. Everyone I talked to on Thursday night considered the event a great success; hats off to Adrienne De Francesco and everyone at FoodShare for a fantastic time.

Below, check out some of the offerings from participating chefs. We didn’t try everything (and I somehow missed most of the desserts, which has got to be a first), but everything we did have was wonderful.

Above: Chickpea polenta topped with ratatouille and fresh mozzarella from Chef Marc Breton of the Gladstone Hotel.

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They’ve Got Sausages at Marben and They’re Happy to See You

It seems as if every chef worth their weight in pork belly has been playing around with sausage-making lately. And with sausage and hot dog restaurants showing up as the next big trend, we’re all going to be eating many more of the things in the near future. So why not pit local chefs against each other to see who truly makes the best wurst.

Ryan Donovan and the gang at Marben (488 Wellington Street West) have decided to do just that. Throughout the spring and summer, select Wednesdays (2 each month) will see Sausage League take over the restaurant. While Marben’s regular menu will still be on offer, guests will have the option of ordering the sausage special for $25. What they’ll get is two dishes – one prepared by each chef – and they’ll get to choose their favourite. The chef who gets the most votes each night will move on to the next round of competition.

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