Toronto Food News

This Week in Food: Niagara Street Cafe to be reborn as Edulis, Drake opens cocktail nook, Toucan Taco Bar comes to the east side, upcoming events, and other news

This 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.

Openings and closings

  • After a break of a few years travelling and cooking around the globe, chefs Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth will be returning to Toronto and taking over the Niagara Street Cafe (169 Niagara Street). Caballo (who was the chef at Niagara Street until 2008) and Nemeth (formerly of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar) will take over the space as of April 1 and rename it Edulis. For the rest of March, Steve Gonzalez (Origin, Top Chef Canada) will remain in place, cooking up his trademark Latin cuisine.
  • The owners of French bistro Le Rossignol are combining it with their other restaurant, Le Canard Mort (896 Queen Street East). In the old Rossignol location (696 Queen Street East), they've opened Toucan Taco Bar, bringing the taco trend to the east end.
  • The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West) has opened what they're calling a cocktail bar, but which is more of nook in the main dining area. It'll be tended Thursday to Saturday, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., but the cocktails will be available at all times.
  • Ici Bistro (538 Manning Avenue) is closed until March 21st for staff vacations.
  • And Dark Horse Espresso Bar has opened a fourth location. Check out our full profile of the space here.

Upcoming events

  • Tickets go on sale today for Songkran at Khao San Road (326 Adelaide Street West). This annual dinner takes place on April 12 (more dates may be added) and celebrates the Thai New Year's Water Festival (plan on getting wet - they hand out water guns to all customers) and includes a 6-course dinner. Tickets are $45 plus tax and tip and are only available at the restaurant in person - no phone calls or online reservations will be offered.
  • Toronto brewsters (female brewers) have created a variety of one-off casks and kegs for Beer 4 Boobs an event to help raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They'll take over Bar Volo (587 Yonge Street) on Sunday, March 25th from 2 - 8pm. Tickets are $25 and are expected to sell out.
  • Chef Anthony Walsh and Canoe (66 Wellington Street West) team up with Montreal's Chef Martin Picard for the Canoe Shack-Up to launch the Au Pied du Cochon Sugar Shack cookbook on March 17th. Tickets are $185, all inclusive, and that will get you 5 courses with wine pairings.
  • In addition to the launch of the cocktail nook, the Drake will host the world's weirdest dinner on March 26th. TV personality Bob Blumer hosts a dinner featuring some elements of the world's weirdest restaurants, to help launch his new TV series about the same. A preview of the menu indicates hot pots served in mini toilet bowls. Tickets are $38.
  • Paese Ristorante (333 King Street West) is hosting Battaglia Cocktalia, a series of cocktail competitions featuring a specific spirit each week. The first instalment takes place on Tuesday, March 13 at 8pm and features Jameson Irish Whisky.

Chefs

  • Chef Anthony Rose announced earlier this week that he'll be leaving The Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West) at the end of the month to open a place of his own. Darren Glew, who has been at The Drake for the past five years, will take over the kitchen.

Other News

  • Simple Bistro (619 Mount Pleasant Road) had rolled out a new spring menu. Chef Matthew Cowan is offering up lots of tasty local fare such as rainbow trout, Grey County rabbit with prunes, venison tartare and mushroom crepe. And brunch offers something called "The Cure" which looks like the ultimate fry-up with eggs, bacon, sausage and duck confit hash.
  • Emma's Country Kitchen (1108 St. Clair Avenue West) is not open yet, but hopes to be serving salads, sandwiches, soups, brunch and pastries to the folks of Corso Italia within the next couple of months.

Sheryl Kirby is a food writer and editor. Her musings about the Toronto food and restaurant scene can be found on her website SherylKirby.com


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