Inside Copetin, Claudio Aprile’s overhauled Origin

MasterChef Canada judge's latest features four (!) restaurant concepts in one


Copetin is the newest incarnation of Origin King East, once the flagship of a local family of restaurants helmed by MasterChef Canada judge Claudio Aprile. The other Origins – in Liberty Village and Bayview Village – had long since shuttered, but the original still drew a devoted crowd at dinner and weekend brunch.

So what prompted the overhaul? “I got bored,” the chef confesses. “It’s like, why would you wear the same shirt every day?”

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Natalia Manzocco

“Origin did incredibly well – to completely self-promote here,” he continues. “I think we did something unique with Origin. It was something that kind of danced to the beat of its own drum. It wasn’t a financial move at all. But I knew the space had to be updated. I thought, well, we can update it and have it be Origin 2.0, or we can really go on a different journey and do something completely new.”

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Natalia Manzocco

Origin might return eventually in some form, he says – but in the meantime, King East is being treated to a freshly revamped space with a rock ‘n’ roll edge. (Dig those LP covers lining the private dining room!)

Despite the facelift, the original Origin shines through in the restaurant’s unique structure. “Having the bar and the kitchen in the middle of the dining room – I think it just worked,” Aprile says. “It was a really interesting design that you don’t really see anywhere. I decided to keep that, cuz it was part of the DNA of the space, and the flow works really well. I tried different configurations, but I kept returning to the kitchen as the nucleus of the restaurant.”

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Natalia Manzocco

As for the food? Aprile’s created not one, not two, but four separate menus: An a la carte dinner card for the eastern dining room, a menu of casual salads and sandwiches for the patio, a slate of bar snacks for the western “lounge” half of the resto, and an anything-goes tasting menu for those who elect to sit at the kitchen rail. “I wanted to do something that would be challenging for myself, and for the team,” he says.

But, perhaps in an effort to stave off boredom, Aprile expects all of those menus will morph: “The only constant will be change.”

Below, a closer look at some of Copetin’s debut dishes.

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Natalia Manzocco

From the “lounge” menu: Burrata with tomato on pesto-grilled bread ($15).

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Natalia Manzocco

PEI oysters on the half-shell with calamansi ($4 each).

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Natalia Manzocco

Beet and goat cheese tostadas with mole ($9).

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Natalia Manzocco

From the dinner menu: Beets with stracciatella cheese, sumac, salsa verde and almond milk poured tableside ($15).

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Natalia Manzocco

Beef tartare in a beef fat vinaigrette with candy cane beets and a dehydrated egg yolk cracker ($17).

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Natalia Manzocco

Charcoal-grilled octopus tentacle with green curry, grapefruit, jicama, and compressed cucumber ($17).

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Natalia Manzocco

Sea bream with chorizo, asparagus, olive and clams ($35).

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Natalia Manzocco

Tea-smoked squab leg with farro, shiitakes, plums and sunflower seeds ($39).

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Natalia Manzocco

The Sour Saint cocktail with Botanist gin, Aperol, strawberry-Thai basil syrup, lemon and egg whites ($13).

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Natalia Manzocco

The Pollenator, featuring chamomile-infused Bombay Sapphire gin, yuzu juice, maple syrup and peach bitters ($16).

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Natalia Manzocco

Caramelized tres leches cake with cajeta, charred banana and mole gelato ($13).

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Natalia Manzocco

The “citrus moon” dessert ($21), featuring a dome of white chocolate enveloping citrus cake, before a tableside smash…

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Natalia Manzocco

…and after.

107 King East, at Church, 416-603-8009, copetin.ca.

nataliam@nowtoronto.com | @nataliamanzocco

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