Susur leaves tracks
Susur Lee may have left Toronto for the big time in the Big Apple, but Susur the resto survives. Now rebranded Madeline's (601 King West, at Portland, 416-?603-?2205) and helmed by partner Brenda Bent, the self-?described "opulent yet curiously intimate" room opened its doors quietly last Friday. Long-?time sous Dominic Amaral now heads the kitchen.
His card borders on bargain-?basement compared to the old Susur's, with starters like sautéed rapini with grilled anchovies going for 15 bucks and mains like crisped Cornish hen in Gorgonzola cream sided with sautéed apple for $19.
"Susur is the master of inventive cuisine," says Amaral. "I'm taking what I've learned from him, adding a bit of my own background and the foods I love."
Not to be outdone, Splendido's David Lee launched Nota Bene (180 Queen West, at Simcoe, 416-?977-?6400) next door to the Rex in the new Sun Life tower on Tuesday, and not "within the next couple of weeks" as reported in last Thursday's Globe. Lunch is offered weekdays, while dinner happens Monday through Saturday.
Not content with only three restaurants, Jamie Kennedy has closed the north dining room and event space at his eponymous wine bar (9 Church, at Front, 416-362-5586) and will unveil it as Church Street Café the first week of September. "The concept is a localized variation on Gilead Café," says Kennedy's manager, Dan Donovan.
"There'll be coffee, Jamie's baked goods, sandwiches, composed salads, charcuterie, a few well-chosen wines and a craft beer or two."
Over on the west side, Rocco Agostino of Silver Spoon (390 Roncesvalles, at Howard Park, 416-?516-?8112) is about to launch a second location.
"I guess you could say that I'm going back to my Ferro roots," says Agostino in reference to the popular St. Clair trat that gave him his start. Dubbed Pizzeria Libretto and set to open mid-?August, the new joint is located at 221 Ossington, just a couple of door's north of Tom Thai's Foxley.
Watch for the imminent opening of the fourth Burrito Boyz any day now in the Annex on Bloor close to U of T, and for the sixth outpost of cheap pan-?Asian spot Ginger at Queen and McCaul in the old Gold's Luggage. Club kids take note: both will be open late.