Cucina (11 Duncan, at Pearl, 416-599-1200), the popular pasta, pizza 'n' panini parlour that rose from the ashes of Bruyea Brothers on College, has just opened a second outlet in the Theatre District.
The new Italian kitchen has taken over the first floor of the four-storey brownstone that once housed the dreadfully dated Filet of Sole and Whistling Oyster.
A Euro-style dining room and private lounge are in the works upstairs. Its reasonably priced lineup, sure to catch the Bay Street business lunch bunch as well as the pre-theatre dinner mob and late-night club kids, makes Cucina look like an instant hit.
A couple of blocks west, Autogrill has closed its downtown outpost. Situated in the old YYZ space on Adelaide West at Charlotte, the north Toronto trat (still operating after 12 years at 495 Eglinton West, at Tarlton, 416-489-0961) threw in the towel after failing to pull in the same condo 'n' clubland crowd that Cucina hopes to attract.
Over by the Flatiron Building, YYZ and Mercer Street Grill's Simon Bower returns to the resto scene in culinary cahoots with ex-Habitat chef Scot Woods . Situated in the former Pravda -- anyone remember Graf Bobby? -- at 36 Wellington East, their still-to-be-named bistro should be opening soon. A sign in the window is already advertising for staff. Pravda , the Russki-themed vodka bar, relaunches later this summer four doors down (44 Wellington East, at Church, 416-863-5244).