Chef change at Le Select
Since it abandoned its long-time Queen West storefront for far swankier digs opposite the Globe and Mail's loading dock, Le Select (432 Wellington West, at Spadina, 416-596-6405) has never been hotter. Regulars have come to love the new spot's period Parisian decor and curbside garden, but the reaction to new chef Jean-Pierre Challet's (ex- Windsor Arms, Bouchon and the revolving door that is The Fifth) substantially pricier card has been mixed at best. Now Challet has been succeeded by new sous Albert Ponzo but remains on a consulting basis, a move co-owner Frederic Geisweiller says was on the books since day one.
Fish flies into Sparrow's nest
Le Select kitchen alum Allison Roberts has replaced chef Michael Brennan at west-side watering hole the Sparrow (92 Ossington, at Humbert, 416-537-0134). Roberts has transformed the self-taught vegetarian chef's card into a more conventional Continental menu that features the familiar likes of salade nioise with seared tuna and pickerel en papillote. Co-owner Pol Cristo-Williams says former business partner Brennan, who had previously never cooked meat before taking on the Sparrow gig, "plans to travel."