Opening a restaurant for the first time is stressful enough, but it's even more so when your business partner walks week two. Ask Orlando (just Orlando), the tattooed owner of Ra Ra Raw (319 Augusta, at College, 416-961-2727) who opened his all-organic, all-raw resto less than a month ago up the street from The Restaurant only to have the rug pulled out from under him. His lengthy lineup - raw veggie lasagna ($16.95), spaghetti marinara ($13.95) made with zucchini pasta - is far too ambitious to pull off solo, so we'll reserve judgment until he's up and running, though the Literary Device sniffed, "Fifty-dollar salad," when asked to describe her less than satisfactory brunch a few Sundays back.
Jennifer Italiano , too, knows what happens when you put too much on your plate. Because her all-raw card is so labour-intensive, her new menu at the soon-come Live 2 - located a mere three doors west of her celebrated veggie cantina - will be a mix of the raw and the cooked.
Sprouts juiced up
Jumping on the bandwagon, Super Sprouts (720 Bathurst, at Lennox, 416-977-7796) has just inaugurated a juice bar cum raw resto in its subterranean store. It's called Remedy and it's headed by a chef from Livia (see review, page 40).
Niagara falls off
Reversing the trend, Rob Kent of Niagara Street Café (169 Niagara, at Wellington West, 416-703-4222) wants his clientele to know that the west-end spot is not organic. Not that it ever was, but when he and partner Anton Potvin took over the joint some months back, they found it was nearly impossible to get regular supplies of quality organic products at prices that wouldn't drive their customers away, a situation sadly echoed by most of the restaurateurs NOW contacted for this feature.