The big food news this past weekend was that chefs Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth will be taking over the Niagara Street Cafe(169 Niagara Street) as of April 1st, renaming it Edulis. Caballo was the chef at Niagara Street until a few years ago when he and partner Nemeth (she was the chef de cuisine at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar) left Toronto to travel. After working at restaurants around the world, including in Tuscany and California, they’re returning to the city to run their own place.
Ici Bistro (538 Manning Avenue) is closed until March 21st for staff vacations.
Greg Clow got the scoop about Mill Street Brewpub opening a location in Pearson Airport. Basically, there will be no beer brewed onsite, but there will be a 130-seat pub with 10 Mill Street brands on tap. Get the full story at Canadian Beer News.
After opening Le Canard Mort (896 Queen Street East) last fall, the owners of Le Rossignol are combining the two locations to make way for Toucan Taco Bar at the old Rossignol location at 696 Queen Street East. Le Canard will have a special “Le Rossignol” menu, while I’m guessing the Toucan Taco Bar will be serving… tacos.
While I truly have no objection to street food, it’s still almost always my preference to eat while sitting down, with a knife and fork, and preferably a nice glass of beer or wine to go with it. So while I’ve avoided pretty much all of the recent street food events in Toronto because I’m annoyed by the trendiness of the whole thing, the opportunity to enjoy some traditional street food dishes, all while sitting comfortably, was not to be passed up.
Put together by Scott and Rachelle Vivian of Beast Restaurant, last night they gathered a number of chefs for a dinner in which they each created a course based on a street food dish. Yes, there were forks and knives (along with tasty wine pairings from Fielding Estate Winery), but the only china we were given was a side plate. Everything else came in the traditional wrapping/carrier, or else on paper plates, just as you would get the items from a food cart or truck.
Niagara Street Café
169 Niagara Street
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $52
I’ve always heard good things about the Niagara Street Café. It’s original incarnation was run by a mother/daughter team who used free-range and organic ingredients. When it transferred hands in 2004, it continued to gain accolades, particularly at brunch.
Everything about the place seems ideal – nice cozy space that would be filled with sunshine if we weren’t in the middle of a run of grey days, great looking menu with interesting options. But there’s an undercurrent of something that wasn’t quite right, especially in terms of the menu. What looks good on paper doesn’t jibe so well when reality sets in.