La Bruschetta for less
La Bruschetta (1317 St. Clair West, at St. Clarens, 416-656-8622) celebrates its 25th anniversary next Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, by rolling back its food prices to what they were when the Italian trat first opened its doors in 1980.
A favourite of visiting A-listers who love its away-from-the-spotlight vibe - Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen declared La Bruschetta their favourite restaurant in the world in the pages of Gourmet - and locals looking for Old World comfort food, the joint will offer Caesar salad for $3.50, fettucini Alfredo for $4.50 and veal parmigiana for $8.50.
"We'll be featuring three reasonably priced wines that we served back in the day as well," says consummate host and second-generation owner Silvia Piantoni , who adds that if the response demands it, the family will offer the meal deal through the following weekend. Reservations essential, of course.
Hello Toast is toast. The quirky, pioneering Leslieville luncheonette - re-branded Toast on Queen (993 Queen East, at Pape, 416-469-8222) - is now under the proprietorship of Hello's former co-owner Tony Barnaby , who also currently handles kitchen duties, and new partner Linda Milne . Devotees will be relieved to learn that Hello's kitschy decor and insanely popular weekend brunches remain unchanged. But will Barnaby's move to the kitchen be permanent? "It will if they like me," the chef laughs.
Mussels will be missed
Another east-side eatery has closed. Though lower Riverdale's Riverside Café served some of the best mussels in town, its microscopic kitchen meant that frites were out of the question, and after an uneven seven-year run, owner Patrick Guinane has called it quits.
Over in the Market, Vicky Poulakakis has sold her popular Bellevue Diner (61 Bellevue, at Nassau, 416-597-6912). New owner/chef Edin Manuel promises to continue her dinner and brunch menus of mid-range Mediterranea and has introduced weekday lunch as well.
Mere weeks after its launch and a trashing in these pages, Odeon - the unfortunate Greek taverna that replaced Dinah Koo's pan-Asian Tiger Lily - has morphed into India Palace (257 Queen West, at Duncan, 416-593-7272), a smart move considering its principals are South Asian. However, opening a fourth Indo buffet on a block already crowded with Babur, Little India and Trimurti might not be such a good idea either. What next, Hungarian?
The second outlet of Burrito Boyz (218 Adelaide West, at Simcoe, 647-439-4065) has finally opened in the core. For now, only lunch and dinner are being served, but by month's end the Boyz will boogie till 4:30 am Fridays and Saturdays.