Lucky Dip – Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

In Toronto:

Campagnolo (832 Dundas Street West)  has finally gotten approval for a sidewalk patio.

The empty restaurant space next to The Horseshoe (372 Queen Street West; formerly Gorilla Monsoon) is sporting signage of the A&W variety. Post-concert root beers for all!

It’s Wednesday, which means kids eat free tonight at The Sister (1554 Queen Street West).

Leslieville gets a new cafe called The Commissary (889 Queen Street East).

Is the raw food movement taking over Toronto? It could be – Rawlicious just opened another new location, this time in Markham (116 Main St. North, Markham).

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Lucky Dip – Friday, March 16th, 2012

In Toronto:

After 20 years in business, Alice Fazooli’s has closed their downtown location on Adelaide Street West. Locations in Mississauga, Oakville, Vaughan and Richmond Hill continue to operate.

Pizza e Pazzi has had a soft opening at their second St. Clair location at 671 St. Clair Avenue West. Official grand opening takes place on March 29th.

Sandwich and cocktail shop This End Up (1454 Dundas Street West) is planning on opening their doors to the public as of noon today, but as of late last night, the DineSafe inspector hadn’t shown up. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details on when they’ll be ready to go.

The Hot ‘n’ Dog (216 Close Avenue) is doing so well that they’ve now added hamburgers, pizza and ice cream to their menu. All available with any of the 80+ toppings.

Roncesvalles is getting meatballs. Chef Rod Bowers’ Hey Meatball will be opening a location at 91 Roncesvalles Avenue in May.

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Lucky Dip – Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

In Toronto:

Chefs on the move: Dustin Gallagher is leaving Grace (503 College Street) to travel, and will be replaced by Kevin Castonguay, formerly of Woodlot. Sous chef Misha Nestreneko takes over the stoves at Marben (488 Wellington Street West) now that Carl Heinrich has left to open his own place.

William Serre from Acadia Restaurant (50C Clinton Street) and Andrew Wilson, Chef de Cuisine at Colborne Lane (45 Colborne Street) took top honours last night at the Nella Cucina Discovered Culinary Competition.

I keep hearing  the voice of Tichina Arnold from the TV show Everybody Hates Chris, but L’Unita Enoteca (134 Avenue Road) can now boast “my restaurant has 7 desserts!” Mike Angeloni (who has previously done pastry for Spendido and the Hoof restaurants) has created a dessert menu of Italian favourites; doughnuts, cannoli, biscotti… yum.

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Lucky Dip – Monday, February 20th, 2012

Welcome to the revamped Lucky Dip column in which I will be bringing you a daily selection (Monday to Friday) of local food news, upcoming events and links to local and international food news stories. Quantity of content will vary by day (thus the “Lucky Dip” name – you get what I scoop up), but I’ll try to ensure a little bit of everything.

If you enjoy the Lucky Dip posts, please help spread the word by sharing the link via Facebook, Twitter, etc. And if you have info on local restaurant news or events, I’d be very appreciative if you’d send it my way by visiting my Contact Page. Cheers!

In Toronto:

Caplansky’s Delicatessen (356 College Street) is closed this week from February 20th – 24th for renovations.

The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) has hired Chef Michael Smith (no, not that Michael Smith) as their new Executive Chef. Smith has previously worked at C5, and is in the process of revamping the various menus at the hotel.

Coming soon – This End Up, a new restaurant at 1454 Dundas Street West that will be serving sandwiches and cocktails. What? You need more than that?? Watch for their opening in March.

Both chef Carl Heinrich and butcher Ryan Donovan have announced they’ll be leaving Marben (488 Wellington Street West) (wait, who’s left to run the place?) to open their own restaurant somewhere in the west end. Heinrich is set to take part in the upcoming season of Top Chef Canada.

The Construction Site has opened a second location in Sherway Gardens where they’re spreading the grilled cheese love.

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Smörgåsbord – Wvrst, Stockyards, Pizza e Pazzi, Marben

Smörgåsbord part 2 continues with the many meals of May.

We popped by Wvrst (609 King Street West) a day or so after they opened to grab a photo for my Toronto.com piece and found it to be a great place. The many sausages come either on a bun or as currywurst, where the sausage is sliced and served with rye bread and a tomato curry sauce. The above was a Kranjska sausage and was way delicious. Beside it, the Italian sausage with sauerkraut.

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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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