restaurant openings toronto

The 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings for spring 2015

Spring is in the air, and along with sunshine and warmer temperatures, the season is set to see an influx of new restaurants bloom in Toronto. This year's crop looks more promising than ever, with diverse new dining options on their way that include everything from casual ice cream parlours and 24-hour BBQ joints, to modern takes on Chinese and upscale Italian eats.

Here are my picks for the 10 most anticipated Toronto restaurant openings for spring 2015.

Via Vai
Located at the base of the Burano condo at 45 Grosvenor St., this new wine bar and wood oven pizzeria from the folks behind Osteria dei Ganzi and Chef Joe Friday is set to open in the coming weeks. Expect dishes like mezze luna stuffed with nutmeg parsnip purĂŠe, and carbonara with pecorino and guanciale.

The One Eighty
The Panorama Lounge in the Manulife Centre is set to reopen in the next few weeks after a complete revamp. Named in reference to it spectacular 180-degree-view of the city, the luxe 51st floor restaurant intends to offer a unique dining experience complete with servers who tour tables between courses to offer gastronomic items and specialty cocktails from stylish bar-carts.

Opening at 241 Spadina Ave., this collaborative effort between Eric Chong (winner of MasterChef Canada season one), and mentor Alvin Leung (MasterChef Canada judge) will open the first week of April. Expect a modern Chinese menu that is "tribute to Canadian and Asian cuisine" featuring dishes like General Sanders' Chicken, Lobster Chow Mein, and 76HR Peking Duck with steamed buns.

Kasa Moto
The massive multi storey, contemporary Japanese restaurant from the Chase Hospitality Group is set to open at 115 Yorkville Ave. where Remy's used to be. The new upscale restaurant will have a 150-seat dining room on the main floor, while the second floor will be occupied by Bar Moto, capped by a sprawling rooftop terrace. The menu from Chefs Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga (Yasu, Sushi Kaji) and Daisuke Izutsu (Don Don Izakaya, Kaiseki Sakura) will feature contemporary Japanese cuisine.

Old School
Dundas West is turning into a hotspot for late night eats. This new 24-hour BBQ joint will join Junked Food Co., Hanmoto, and The Lakeview in offering a meaty menu into the wee hours of the morning. Expect the patio-equipped place to also offer smoked meats by the pound for take-away when it opens in the very near future at 800 Dundas St. West where Hudson Kitchen used to be.

Scoop Shop
This purveyor of ice cream sandwiches has been selling to the farmers' market circuit since 2013, but now a forthcoming ice cream parlour is due to open at the end of April. Signature offerings include ice cream sandwiches of course, but better still, expect ice pops, sundaes, Baked Alaska, profiteroles with ice cream and warm fudge sauce and even deep-fried ice cream.

Cocina Economica
The newest (and sixth) addition to the Playa Cabana family of restaurants looks poised to open at 114 Berkeley St. anytime now. The two storey eatery on the east side is inspired by authentic homestyle Mexican cooking and boasts seating for 100 guests, plus two patios.

Bean & Baker Malt Shop
This retro malt shop is slated to open this spring at 326 Harbord St., the address formerly occupied by the Bickford Flexitarian (and before that Linuxcaffe). The shop to be stocked with old school soda fountains, ice cream, baked goods and confections.

Maple Leaf Tavern
The historic 100-year old landmark on Gerrard is undergoing a detailed restoration and is slated for an early June opening. Chef Eric Wood (ex-Beverley Hotel, Hawthorne Food & Drink) is heading up the kitchen. The concept will be centred around a wood fire grill and will serve up a seasonally changing, meat-centric menu including dry aged steaks. Oh and there's going to be a patio!

This one is big news; Barque Smokehouse is opening a spin-off at 286 Roncesvalles Ave. towards the end of the season. Details are scarce, but word on the street is that the new place will be a butcher shop by day and bar by night.

Know of a new restaurant opening in Toronto this spring? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of Barque Smokehouse

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