When Chef Matt Blondin announced via Twitter that Acadia (50C Clinton Street) would be offering a $39, 7-course tasting menu, I’m pretty sure everybody’s first thought was, “How the hell is he going to pull that off??” But it turns out that Blondin is a pretty ingenious guy. Not only did he put together 7 courses for $39, they were actually really good and some, like the catfish breaded with pumpernickel with goat’s curd, pickled egg white and yolk and onion tops (above) has recently been added to the restaurant’s regular menu. Follow along for the rest of what Blondin cooked up…
The Grove (1214 Dundas Street West) is now open. Chef Ben Heaton is offering a menu of contemporary (and very pretty) English cuisine.
BBQ joint Stack will open on March 27th at 3265 Yonge Street.
Did anyone actually think that The Saint (227 Ossington Avenue) would ever really open? Three years after local magazines and websites were writing previews about the decor and the menu (jumped the gun a little there, huh, folks?) it appears that the place will indeed open on April 9th.
Church Street icon Reither’s Fine Food International (530 Church Street) has closed its doors – owner Peter Reither has retired.
Do not adjust your screens. I know I already wrote a preview of The Grove back in November when I attended a pop-up dinner in conjunction with First Drop Canada. At that point, owners Fritz Wahl, Richard Reyes and Chef Ben Heaton were expecting their Dundas Street restaurant to be ready to go before Christmas. As is the case in the restaurant industry, there were a few delays, and when I attended the real sneak preview pop-up dinner last Friday (also hosted by First Drop Canada, and with proceeds going to Greenest City), they were still awaiting their liquor license.
The good news is that everything else is done and that they’ll be holding their grand opening party this Saturday, March 10th from 6pm onwards. The other good news is that, unlike the previous dinner where Heaton was cooking in a makeshift kitchen in a woodshop, this time he was getting a chance to try out his own custom-built space.
A couple of weeks back, I got an email inviting Greg and I to a pop-up dinner called The Loving Plateful. This was the real deal, taking part in a wood shop at Dufferin and Dupont, and organized by First Drop Canada, a group run by Adam Pesce of Reunion Island Coffee, that works to improve the lives of coffee farmers and their families. The $100 donation for the dinner went to Greenest City and Food4Farmers.
What intrigued me about this particular dinner, though, was that the food would be prepared by Chef Ben Heaton (formerly of Globe), as a preview to his soon-to-open Dundas West restaurant The Grove. A sneak peek at what Heaton would be offering his customers come (hopefully) mid-December would be quite a coupe.
Although I try to eat a mostly seasonal diet, I’ve got to admit that in the dark months of January and February, I start craving fruit. Not just apples and pears, but bright juicy summer fruits like berries. At least once every winter I break down and come home from the grocery store with a bag of cherries, just because I really, really need them, even if they’re nowhere as good as the local cherries we get in the summertime.
Given that this week is the first National Eat Red Week (February 4th – February 10th), I don’t feel so bad about indulging in some cherries. Particularly since local tart cherries are available both dried and in juice concentrate form year round – Ontario is the sole producing province of commercially-grown tart cherries, most of which are the Montmorency variety, and over the past five years, the average annual crop has been an average of 10 million pounds.
Normally, the north building of St. Lawrence Market is the focus of local food only on Saturday mornings as farmers and food producers fill tables with all things edible and Torontonians descend upon the place in search of tasty treats. This past Tuesday evening, the market building was a bastion of local food again as a number of chefs and wineries offered samples of their wares as part of An Evening of Local Cuisine, one of the many events put on by The Green Carpet Series.
Attendees had the opportunity to wander the space sampling food from local restaurants that had been paired with wines from Ontario wineries. Participating chefs and restaurants included Chef Ben Heaton from Globe Bistro, Chef Marc Breton from the Gladstone Hotel, Chef Nathan Isberg from Coca, and Chef Anthony Rose from the Drake Hotel. Participating wineries were Henry of Pelham, Frogpond Farm, Flatrock Cellars and Vineland Estates Winery.