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Origin North

Posted by Libby Roach / Reviewed on June 27, 2013 / review policy

Origin North TorontoOrigin North officially opened last night and promises to be what Claudio Aprile hopes will be the next jewel in his burgeoning chain of restaurants. This location, at Bayview and Sheppard in the Bayview Village Shopping Centre, has some notable differences. With seating for 140 on the patio, 190 inside, and an option on the yet to be finished second floor event space, Aprile's newest location is his largest by far.

Origin North TorontoCarving out the parking lot, and completely gutting the run down Sierra Grill, which closed in 2011 shortly after a nasty Hepatitis A outbreak, Bayview Village was looking to anchor a more downtown tenant, a restaurant with some swagger that would bring new blood to the aging clientele that haunts the mall.

Origin North TorontoThe restaurant is a lone fixture in the car park, but with careful shrubbery and landscaping, it transcends its humble context with its absolutely killer patio. With the liquor licence now in full affect, we toasted with some cocktails to get things started. Mojitos for $9 seem pretty standard for upscale spots such as this, but the signature Maple Sour ($9), which blends Bulleit Bourbon, maple, lemon and bitters, was all-world.

Origin North TorontoAprile skillfully pulls several flavours from his favourite cuisines; everything here is meant to be shared, meant to discuss and meant to devour. Hand rolls ($9 each) came in three versions, beef, tuna or mushroom. We dabbled in surf and turf territory with tuna and beef, both of which come gloriously presented with a side of miso mayo. The overstuffed hand rolls were chock full of the usual business, rice, aforementioned protein, and slivers of apple, topped with earthy bits of greenery and a smattering of amaranth, which also makes a beautiful garnish.

Origin North TorontoThe Origin Burger ($17) comes well dressed with arugula, smoked mayo and guacamole and is cooked to a juicy medium rare. While sharing this plate does get a bit awkward, fresh cutlery and side plates are refreshed each course by our skilled server, so no stray amaranth grains make an appearance here.

Spicy Spanish Fries ($12) seem like a good pairing with the burger, but next time I'll go vanilla and get the regular ones ($4) as the salty olives, meaty chorizo, spicy mayo and manchego cheese overwhelmed the main. These fries would be a good meal replacement option, solo with a cold beer to showcase all that's going on in the dish.

Origin North TorontoFor a savoury dessert we noshed on the Bufala with Pear ($17) from the mozzarella bar. Ample portions of dense Buffalo mozzarella were perched on top of poached pears and lightly grilled baguette. A drizzle of rosemary oil and honey makes it sing. The toasted pine nuts brought a crunchy contrast to the plate.

Origin North TorontoWith Bridlepath types too lazy to go downtown and the Condo dwellers living in the Village surrounding Origin North, it's obvious that the population can sustain such a grand venture. Origin may not just be a name, but a beautiful new beginning.



TJ / June 27, 2013 at 11:35 am
I live across the street and will be trying this place soon! It took them forever to build the restaurant. The reviewer is correct in that the prices for the food/drinks is standard for more upscale spots like this. The patio is a fantastic idea except you are very close to a very congested and noisy Sheppard Ave. The air is definitely not fresh and it is not quiet here so don't expect that.
Steven Shneer / May 15, 2014 at 09:26 am
We ate at Origin North last night and the service was horrible. We ordered Caesar Salads, 4 burgers, one pasta and one steak. It was well over two hours to get our food and even then none of it was served at the same time!!!! The waiter kept advising 2 more minutes and then avoided us altogether, leaving it to the manager to explain. My steak arrived long after everyone had eaten. Thankfully this was compped. They spent a ton of money in this restaurant, one would expect the service to be impeccable. More time an effort needs to go into staff training. We will not be there again.
Elman replying to a comment from TJ / July 9, 2014 at 08:00 pm
Hey Terri
How you doing?
Chris / October 4, 2014 at 12:53 am
I was there tonight. I have to say, the atmosphere and the ambience is, and always was, one of the best in North York. The service was good too. But, the new menu they have started this September is really disappointing. They are all about over-priced small plates(not even plates) now. I tried 4 different items on the menu, they were all way below my expectation. Even the Spanish fries was burned. Will never go back and do not recommend it to anyone who is looking to get what he pays for.
Environment 10/10
Service 8/10
Food 3/10
Karen / January 18, 2015 at 12:07 am
Overall, it was a decent lunch. It was nothing fancy or over the top but a great place to enjoy a casual lunch on a weekday with a friend.

Read the rest of my review at:

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