Ever wanted to bite off George Bush's head? Or Saddam Hussein's? How about Michael Jackson, Bubbles the Chimp and baby Blanket? Then head over to Queen of Tarts (283 Roncesvalles, at Westminster, 416-651-3009), the pastry shop where self-described cookie bitch Blair Fukumurabakes gingerbread effigies of politicians and pop culture figures.
Current victims also include a displeased Martha Stewart in an egg-shell-blue cardigan feeding chickens, as well as Donnie and Marie Osmond in matching jumpsuits. In the works: Dame Edna Everage, Hannibal Lecter and the von Trapp family.
Fukumura explains that he's carrying on a centuries-old tradition of lampooning celebrities in gingerbread: "I've got a collection of old German cookie moulds that poke fun at every profession imaginable. Bakers are a very strange lot."
clozbe be closed
This past winter's cold weather has been hell for restaurateurs. The fall patio season was cut short, unusually frigid temperatures keeping most consumers huddled at home. A lot of eateries have consequently gone under.
Kensington Market fave Clozbe be closed. A new eatery with a new kitchen crew and new name -- the Restaurant -- has opened at its premises (69 Nassau, at Augusta, 416-340-1110); it's still owned by I Deal Coffee's Jamie Fournier. Watch for a springtime tapas menu once the patio opens.
Cassis (168 McCaul, at Elm) is deceased. Now shuttered, this cute, under-discovered bistro just never caught on despite its location around the corner from Baldwin Village's busy restaurant row.
And Sucré , the smart café in the fashion district, has shut up shop and morphed into Room 471 (471 Richmond West, at Brant), a swank new ultra-lounge that also includes the short-lived Zinc space. Sucré's closing is especially odd now that chi-chi clones Brassaii, 134, Tutti Matto are opening up in the same nabe.
Kooky Summerhill boîte Nothing in Common has been reborn as the puzzlingly dubbed Avant-Goût (8 Birch, at Yonge, 416-944-3298).
And delightful Leslieville deli Marketta Artuso is history, too.
not dead yet
When we told you in last week's Bar and Pub Guide (soon to be online and searchable) that the Brunswick House's (481 Bloor West, 416-964-2242) legendary den mother, Rockin' Irene, had "rocked on," a number of readers were saddened to hear of her demise. Happily, the septuagenarian cowgirl hasn't gone to the big roundup in the sky; she's moved to Saskatchewan to live with her sister.
Is extraordinarily popular Chippy's (893 Queen West, at Gore Vale, 416-866-7474) about to launch a second expanded diner on Dundas west of Bathurst this summer? And will über-market Pusateri's (1539 Avenue Road, at Lawrence, 416-785-9100) break ground at a prime Yorkville address and pose a threat to Whole Foods?SD