Lucky Dip – Monday, March 5th, 2012

In Toronto:

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.

Dark Horse Espresso Bar has taken over the old Smokeless Joe’s location at 125 John Street and opens today.

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.

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Lucky Dip – Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Dear fellow women… don’t. Just don’t. Seriously, remember how our mothers and grandmothers fought for all that good stuff like equal rights? That included not having to drink shitty pink beer in a box designed to look like a purse because marketing people don’t think we’re bright enough to make choices beyond that which appeals to our “girly” side. Be better than pink beer ladies. Please. [Eater]

I discovered Benjamin Bridge Winery on a trip to Halifax a few years ago, and am so happy to see them getting the recognition they deserve. One of Canada’s best wines, indeed. [Globe and Mail]

Why buying fruit is a lot like gambling. [Bon Appetit]

Dear David Chang, it’s called “overexposure”, and you’re perilously close to the edge. [Grub Street New York]

Aw, nuts. There’s a big recall on walnuts. [Toronto Star]

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The Gung Ho Food Race

At this moment, I am sitting on six… no, eight different bits of Toronto restaurant news/gossip that I cannot share. I can’t share them for a number of reasons, either because I’ve specifically been asked not to until the restaurant is ready to formally announce their news, or because what I know is unconfirmed gossip and I’m still working on fleshing out the story.

It is my job to find out (factual) restaurant news. And I love my job; I love the excitement that chefs and customers have when a new place opens, I love watching the buzz spread, I love seeing the reviews roll in. What I don’t love – and this is why I’m sitting on all of these secrets – is when we all jump the gun, or get way too excited about a potential new restaurant or project before it’s even opened.

Case in point: the David Chang thing. I’m as enthusiastic as anyone for a David Chang restaurant; he’s considered one of the best chefs in the world. But didn’t we all look pathetically desperate a couple of months back when gossip spread and then the news was confirmed that Chang would be opening restaurants here… in late 2012? Standing back and watching the frenzy from a safe distance, anybody would think that Torontonians had never eaten anything fancier than Kraft Dinner and bagged salad, so desperate were we for Chang’s noodles and pork buns. Could we even be trusted in a fine dining restaurant? Were we familiar with those crazy things they call “utensils”?

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