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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Lucky Dip – Monday, March 12th, 2012

In Toronto:

Food truck advocates all thought that parking the trucks (with permission) in a privately-owned parking lot was completely legal. Turns out there’s a weirdly obscure by-law on the books at city hall and the food truck Food Cabbie has been warned to move from their spot in a lot on Mutual Street. Oddly, someone at city hall issues the truck a permit in the first place. There’s already lots of fuss about this one, with petitions circulating. Full details, plus threats to leave Toronto by petulant and histrionic food-truck lovers, at BlogTO.

Chef Howard Dubrovsky, owner of L.A.B. Restaurant (651 College Street) announced this weekend via Twitter that yesterday (Sunday, March 11th) would be their last day of business. A closing party will take place at the restaurant on Thursday evening.

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Tastefully Tasty

Greg said it best on Twitter: “sweet merciful crap, there’s more food inside!”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste fund raiser upped its game substantially this year, doubling the number of chefs involved (from 30 to 60) and taking over part of the Royal Ontario Museum and Queen’s Park (the street, not the park itself). With tickets going for $250 (half of which garnered a receipt for tax purposes), it wasn’t an event for everybody – a fact that won Toronto Taste the teeniest bit of flack over on Torontoist, where they pointed out the irony of having a fancy food event in order to help raise funds to feed the hungry. Especially one where some people would take a bite of something and then pitch it. Yikes! (Next year I’m going with a doggy bag to bring people’s half-eaten leftovers home to my dogs! Can I get away with that at the swankest food event of the year?)

But the fact is that every $250 ticket will buy 250 meals, and Second Harvest delivers over 15,000 meals every day (that’s 6 million pounds of food each year!), mostly from donated perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants and cafeterias.

And while the following photos are most definitely food porn, we’d like to encourage you to consider the bigger picture. Second Harvest will happily accept your donations – in any amount – even though the big event is over. The Toronto Taste online auction, which runs until June 23rd, includes cool items at every price point. As well, please consider supporting the participating restaurants if you possibly can – they all worked incredibly hard and donated their time and food to the cause.

We’d also like to offer hearty congratulations for a job well done to everyone at Second Harvest – and that amazing army of volunteers. You guys rock.

Shown above: Ontario perch with chorizo, pickled heirloom tomatoes and fava bean puree from Chef Andrea Nicholson of Great Cooks on 8.

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