The Beaches loses Brett's Ice Cream to demolition and new Argentine, Georgian and Hakka restaurants open
More Toronto restaurants are closing temporarily to lessen the burden of the third wave on their staff.
Recently we reported that Manita, SARA and RASA had done so to prioritize the safety of their kitchen and front-of-house staff in view of the rising COVID-19 case numbers. The Skyline restaurant in Parkdale is also on hiatus, with an Instagram bio that says “Closed until patio season.”
But, when will patio season be? CafeTO, the city’s initiative that launched last summer to give restaurants without patio space the ability to stay open without indoor dining, was slated to return this spring. It’s uncertain when exactly it will return, considering the province-wide shutdown is projected to continue until May 20.
Nevertheless, restaurants continue to open and innovative and collaborative concepts keep popping up, available for delivery or pick-up only. Here are the Toronto restaurants that opened and closed between April 20-27.
After four years bringing their signature multi-coloured waffle cones to the Beaches, Brett’s is permanently closed. They announced the closure with a notice on their website that reads, “Our building is being demolished so we are now closed! Thank you for all the love and support.” There were no details about the reason for demolition. The timing couldn’t be worse, with ice cream season just around the corner, but they are planning to reopen in a new location, which they will announce on social media.
This Riverside Korean restaurant has temporarily closed to become something new: a bubble tea spot. The owners shared on Instagram that they are taking a temporary break to give staff time to relax and to prepare for the opening of the new concept. They served all the classics from bibimbap, bulgogi, japchae and Korean fried chicken. The bubble tea concept is slated to launch sometime in May and they’ve already hinted at one of the flavours – like strawberry latte with tapioca pearls – on their new Instagram account.
With a mix of Indian and Hakka cuisines, Mannat is livening up the culinary offerings at College and Ossington. The menu includes Manchurian chicken, chilli paneer, hot and sour soup, sweet corn soup, butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, Goan fish curry and more.
If you’re craving a Montreal-style smoked meat fix, this new pop-up running out of Freeplay Arcade on College has you covered. Just like famed Montreal deli Schwartz’s, they only serve one kind of sandwich: thick layers of roast beef and savoury yellow mustard wedged between two slices of rye bread. They have three different sizes, depending on how deep your craving is.
The Food Dudes just opened the fourth location of their casual, quick and healthy eatery Pantry. North York residents will now be able to order their build-your-own combo meals with items like yuzu ponzu grilled salmon, jerk chicken, chicken shawarma, caprese quinoa, Israeli couscous, truffle mac and cheese and more.
The owners of Argentine restaurant Tanto opened up this new empanadas concept in front of their location on Queen West as a casual and easy takeout option. They’re serving spicy beef, caprese, proveleta and mushroom empanadas and desserts like flan and piña colada tres leches.
Food from the Eastern European country of Georgia is pretty hard to come by in Toronto for those of us not of Georgian heritage, but now Tiflisi has made discovering this cuisine much easier. The family behind the restaurant spent years collecting recipes from regions all across the country. They do khachapuri, one of Georgia’s most popular dishes, seven different ways. The cheese-filled baked bread can come with anything from minced pork to boiled beans. They serve a range of soups, bite-sized appetizers, salads, barbecue platters and more.
A co-working commercial kitchen created in early 2020 to support local food businesses recently launched a pop-up bakery. Mess Hall’s Sweet Saturdays happen every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm – the next one is on May 1. Pre-orders are open now for alfajores, brownie boxes, handmade chocolates and more from eight different vendors.
SARA Restaurant’s collaboration with Chef Jon Klip is still available to order for this weekend. Part of a series SARA is running highlighting different chefs every month, Klip has created a bento box focused on three cooking styles: simmering, grilling and pickling. Grilled quail with dashimaki tomago, unaki kobayaki and Japanese eggplant; daikon simmered in ichiban dashi served with prawns and snap peas and pickled rhubarb in tosazu and shitake mushrooms in red miso are only some of the delicacies Klip has dreamed up.