A fourth Kenzo Ramen has just opened.
Hot on the heels of its increasingly popular Sunday jazz brunch, the NOW Lounge (189 Church, at Shuter, 416-364-1301, nowlounge.com) introduces a country and western version starting Saturday (April 14). Weep into your hair-of-the-dog beer, Caribbean-style plates of huevos rancheros and vegan key lime pie to the musical stylings of Big Tobacco and the Pickers.
Not content with the upcoming launch of a second Queen Margherita Pizza in the Junction and the fledgling FBI chain, John Chetti and crew have quietly taken over the management of the beleaguered Bowery and rebooted it as Osteria 55 (55 Colborne, at Church, 416-901-2332). Say goodbye to ex-Vertical and Ballroom toque Tawfik Shehata's "punk-meets-farm" carte and hello to former Atlas One chef Anthony Figliano's southern Italian pastas - "with an edgy twist," no less. But no pizza.
After a lengthy fermentation period, former Amsterdam hop-heads Mike Clark and Luke Pestl have finally lifted the lid on Bellwoods Brewery (124 Ossington, at Argyle, 416-535-4586, bellwoodsbrewery.com). As well as Belgian-style suds, look for a beer-friendly snack menu of pork rinds, charcuterie and such from ex-Brockton General Guy Rawlings in the one-time body shop.
Woods 'n' plenty
Last seen at Lucien on Wellington East, Scot Woods has just resurfaced as consulting chef at Melissa Patterson's newly minted Café Plenty (250 Dundas West, at Simcoe, 416-585-7842, cafeplenty.com). Located directly across from 52 Division, the brightly lit coffee and lunch spot specializes in health-conscious sandwiches, salads and sweets.
Pop-up taqueria La Carnita hosts a graffiti fest at the Brick Works (550 Bayview, south of Pottery Rd, 416-596-1495, lacarnita.com) Friday (April 13) from 7 pm till 2 am. Participating taco chefs include the ubiquitous Guy Rawlings, the Beast's Scott Vivian, Steve Gonzales (ex-Origin and Niagara Street Café) and Bertrand Alépée (ex-Amuse-Bouche). Admission's free, but the tacos'll cost ya.
Up on Yonge just north of Sheppard, Daniel Park and company have just opened a fourth Kenzo Ramen (4860 Yonge, at Elmhurst, 647-345-1871, kenzoramen.ca) in the old Tuyen space. Watch for a fifth in Mississauga later this year.
Il Fornello has shuttered its lakefront location in Queens Quay Terminal. Reason? Busy in summer, dead in winter. Expect the long-running pasta parlour and pizzeria to expand into the Ajax and Barrie markets in the very near future.
Got some insider dish to share? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org