Pop changes chefs
Who needs restaurant critics? Certainly not Joe Hume and Marc DeGagné of Pop Bistro (686 Queen East, at Broadview, 416-461-9663). Two days before their recently launched east-side eatery received a provisionally positive review in NOW two weeks ago (loved the chorizo-and-grape starter, loathed the fish cakes), the pair ditched chef Florindo Caiella .
"We agreed with nearly everything you said," says the incredibly astute Hume, who's installed former Byzantium and Vavoom cook Matthew Moreau in the kitchen.
The menu's Latin accents have been replaced with a card Hume describes as "rural French bistro." But what of the fish cakes, those dreadful fritters we likened to seafood falafel?
"Oh, we still have them," laughs Hume. "Only now they're cooked properly.
If you've passed by low-key lunch spot It's All Good (68 Wales, at Leonard, 416-504-0222), tucked away behind Toronto Western, in the past few weeks, you'd be correct in thinking it's gone. But fear not, foodie fans of its terrific soup 'n' taco combos. Owners Ezan Shanta and Nicole Sach have decided to take the winter off, since most of the market-fresh produce they require is difficult to source at this time of year. Besides, it's just too damn cold. Watch for a relaunch this spring.
East goes west
West-siders fed up with making the trek across town to Little India's Sidhartha (1450 Gerrard East, at Craven, 416-465-4095) for their fill of inexpensive and incendiary grub will be glad to know a second outlet has opened at King and Bathurst (647A King West, at Bathurst, 416-703-6684).
And though the digs are slightly more luxe than those his regulars are used to - the space once housed Giovanna Trattoria and sits directly next door to hipster haunt Tangerine - owner Tipu Chowdhury says his north Indian all-you-can-eat buffet remains exactly the same: $8.99 at lunch and $10.99 dinner, seven days a week.
FYI: The third uptown Sidhartha has severed its ties with the original and now goes by Indian Chef (30 Eglinton East, at Holly, 416-485-5552).