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Eat & Drink

This Week in Food: AAA Bar, Ja Bistro, Nu Bugel, Pop-Up Makoto, St. Lawrence Mmm Market Night

Posted by Liora Ipsum / October 5, 2012

toronto food newsThis Week in Food rounds up the week's food news, restaurants openings and closings, chef movements and upcoming food events in Toronto. Find us here every Friday morning.


  • AAA Bar is now open at 138 Adelaide Street East offering Texas inspired BBQ in casual setting.
  • Ja Bistro plans to serve up modern Japanese cuisine when it opens this month at 222 Richmond Street West.
  • Nu B├╝gel is bringing Montreal-styled bagels to Kensington Market when it opens later this month at 240 Augusta Avenue. The owner is the same people from Kalendar restaurant on College St.
  • The Cupcakery at 1034 St. Clair Avenue West has closed and is now sporting a 'for lease' sign in their window.


  • Alexander Keith throws himself a 217-year birthday party tonight (Friday, October 5th) at the Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue) from 8 to 12 pm. Tickets are $10.
  • The Depanneur and Peter Minaki of Kalofagas Greek Food and Beyond, serve up an Authentic Greek Moussaka at tonight's (Friday, October 5th) drop-in-dinner starting at 6pm.
  • Local Kitchen and Wine Bar (1710 Queen Street West), hosts an Italian-styled Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, October 7th for $40 per person.
  • Engage with Scandinavian culinary star, Magnus Nilsson at George Ignatieff Theatre, (15 Devonshire Place) on Thursday October 11th at 7 pm. Tickets are $60, available at The Cookbook Store and include Nilsson's newest book, Faviken.
  • Get the early bird special, by buying tickets now to next weekend's Garlic Festival taking place from Saturday, October, 13th to Sunday the 14th at the Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue).
  • Reserve now for Pop-Up Makoto at Bent (777 Dundas West) featuring an 8-course menu from the Bal Harbour chef, Makoto Okuwa. Available from Sunday, October 16th to Tuesday, October 18th
  • Tickets available now for St. Lawrence Mmm Market Night happening on Thursday November 8th, from 7 to 10pm. Tickets are $50 for this "all-you-can-eat epic food event" with 50% of each ticket sale going to Food Share.
  • Tickets go on sale today for the October edition of the Toronto Underground Market, happening Saturday, October 20th from 6 to 11pm.


  • Keriwa Cafe (1690 Queen Street West) has announced it is forgoing a la carte dinner service in favour of culinary events and tasting menus served selectively throughout the month. The last dinner service takes place this Saturday, October 6th.
  • Parkdale taqueria Grand Electric (1330 Queen Street West) is expanding to the second floor of its always busy Queen West outpost.
  • As of October 10th, every Wednesday will be date night at Red Fish (890 College Street) with the introduction of a $60 per couple, shared prix fixe (limited to couples who have made a reservation).
  • McDonald's Canada will seemingly answer any customer questions like "Does Canada use 'pink slime'?" and "Is there anti-vomit [in the food]?" in their new online campaign.
  • Vice continues to showcase Toronto's dining scene on the latest episode of Munchies, this time following Guu Izakaya executive chef, Masaru Ogasawara on a booze-fueled night out.

Photo from our review of Keriwa Cafe



MrsPotato / October 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

Tavolino - King St W
Chris / October 5, 2012 at 11:00 am
I read about the new Keriwa business model on Toronto Life - seems weird, since I thought the chef was all about introducing aboriginal food to Toronto. Sorry but a $300 tasting menu once a week won't exactly be bringing the masses to try it out - especially in Parkdale where I doubt that price point will sit well. Heck that would be a tough sell in the Core or even Yorkville, but at least it would be less of an outlier on price.

I wish him luck but it won't surprise me to read that the restaurant is out of business in 6 months.

Liz / October 5, 2012 at 11:34 am
Grand Electric's liquor license has NOT been approved yet for the upstairs space. Why are these things announced like a done deal?
nah / October 5, 2012 at 02:18 pm
Grand Electric's Parkdale location is not an 'outpost'. It's the only fucking Grand Electric there is. This has to make the list of most commonly misused terms by "foodies" and every time I see it I get a little angrier
Eliva / October 10, 2012 at 01:32 pm
Get the days right please, the Bent dates are indeed the 16th (Tuesday) the 17th (Wednesday)to the 18th (a Thursday) and Friday the 19th is a walk in with no reservations accepted but Makoto's menu available along side that of Chef Brian's. Most days are almost booked out already and it looks to be a tight squeeze in such a small venue to see the spectacle, but likely well worth it!!
wmccullo / November 10, 2012 at 08:57 pm
JaBistro - Reservation Disaster!

We were excited to try the new restaurant at 222 Richmond St W, Toronto, recently opened by James HyunSoo Kim, the owner of the Guu chain of restaurants (Vancouver and Toronto). We went to the website and made a reservation for 6:30 pm online, receiving an email indicating that our reservation for 6:30 pm was confirmed.

When we arrived at 6:30 pm, we were greeted by staff who were surprised by our appearance and had to open up a laptop near the the entrance to look for our online reservation. Shortly afterwards, the hostess said she would be right back, upon which she came back with a manager who told us that there were many reservations between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm, and, despite the emailed confirmation we received, we should have called before coming to confirm our reservation. He told us that they were full between 6:30 pm and 7;30 pm, and he reluctantly suggested that we might sit at the bar, but he clearly wasn't encouraging us to stay. In effect, he was blaming us for not calling ahead to confirm our reservation (which had already been confirmed by them to us in writing via email).

We left the restaurant, clearly not feeling welcome. We looked again at the emailed confirmation, which made no mention of us having to call and confirm the reservation -- the email itself said, "your reservation for 6:30 pm is confirmed..."

These folks need to fix their online reservation process. As well, they need to consider having a manager on staff who has some table manners to make people feel welcome, rather than encouraging people to leave..... We know that the Guu chain has been successful, but surely it has been successful because it welcomes people to come and try their food rather than send them away.

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