BESTELLEN 972 College, at Rusholme, 647-341-6769, bestellen.ca Rating: NNNN
Richmond Station's Carl Heinrich isn't the only alumnus of Top Chef Canada to recently launch his dream restaurant. Season-one runner-up Rob Rossi's Bestellen (972 College, at Rusholme, 647-341-6769, bestellen.ca; rating: NNNN) opened in the spring, but we only managed to squeeze in brunch last Sunday.
To the not-so-dulcet strain of Public Enemy, we polish off slices of pastry chef Heather Mordue's complimentary banana bread dolloped with crème fraiche and a round of very good Americanos ($2.50) before moving on to the ex-Mercatto chef's Benny ($13), today a veggie combo of sautéed hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and wilted spinach. Sadly, its side of "hometown" fries suggests Rossi grew up in Salt Lake City.
Back on track, a classic take on croque madame - aka a grilled cheese 'n' house-cured ham sandwich dressed with mornay sauce and a pair of runny fried eggs ($12) - comes with de rigueur organic greens in lemony vinaigrette, while jalapeño cornbread muffins accompany old-school fried chicken doused with maple syrup.
You'll need a knife and fork to tackle Rossi's breakfast burger (both $13 with salad/frites), 8 beefy ounces of custom-ground Cumbrae chuck on a house-baked English muffin dressed with crispy fried onions and bacon jam.
Stuffed as taxidermy, we grab a bag of warm cinnamon-dusted donuts ($6) and bid our adieu.