Bob Antoniou fell in love with Vienna and Bavaria when he traveled there a few years ago and didn't want to just keep memories of the city in his heart, so he brought the essence of the city to Toronto.
The owner of Amadeus ( Map ) on Richmond Street West got to open the doors of his 10,000 square-foot Bavarian-Viennese monument three weeks ago, sharing his knowledge of the cultures and food. Also the owner of Little Anthony's and Mediterra in Toronto, Antoniou went to hotel school in the Austrian city. He also worked many years in Germany and Switzerland and moved to Toronto.
"This is his dream restaurant with so many different concepts under each room," explains Robert Pawley, Amadeus director of operations.
The massive space is separated by a Bavarian bierstube dining area accommodating over 200, for the lunch rush. The clientele is a lot of Bay Street business people. In the evening, the mix changes into people looking for traditional Bavarian, German and European food.
Special are the long communal tables and benches, inviting that special camaraderie Bavaria is known for: where strangers can start a casual conversation and share some informal moments in friendship.
A Viennese cafe is semi-hidden from the restaurant section at the very end of the Stube but easily accessible from business buildings and office towers at the Richmond Street Oxford Property Building. It seats 30 and usually caters more to the breakfast and lunch crowds with its takeout and goulash soups. Another Viennese fine dining room is scheduled to open this week with room for 76.
Signature dishes on the menu include Brotzeitbretl' - a Bavarian platter of assorted cold cuts and cheeses, Leberkase - a delicate oven-baked Pork Loaf, and Schweinshaxn' - marinated Hock of pork, slowly roasted until crisp, prepared by Austrian-bred chef Rudi Kitzberger. Entrees range from $9 to $22. An evening out in Vienna Toronto-style will cost you $18 to $25.
Amadeus stocks mainly German and Austrian wines on its list with bottle prices ranging from $36 to $300. They also offer six reds and six whites by the glass at $8 to $12.
The owner is hoping that Amadeus will be highly-anticipated among the Ontarian German-speaking community with over 2.5 million people as well as the 130,000 German-speaking tourists a year who are sure to want to visit a place that reminds them of home. Seems to be working as Pawley says business is double each week. No plans for another location.
There is already great anticipation for the future events being planned. The restaurant will be hosting a true Oktoberfest, an Austrian Wine Tasting, a typical Beer Festival, all designed to provide an experience that will long be remembered.
"We want to make this one the success it should well be," he says.
Amadeus. 111 Richmond St. W., Toronto. (416)366-3500.