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From fine dining at King and Portland to ice cream topped with shredded cheese, this week's openings offer something for everyone
Mississauga burger joint Rosie’s makes a move downtown.
Toronto restaurants are opening at an exciting rate right now. Many new spots that have long been in the works and run by industry heavyweights, like the new Aloette or the Rabbit Hole – which both opened last week – feel like signs of more to come. This week, we’ve got Vela on the list, a new restaurant led by Amanda Bradley from Alo and George and Robin Goodfellow from Bar Raval.
Then of course there are all the new upstarts that don’t have major backing but do have community ties, eye-catching menu items, cool concepts or all of the above. As the landscape begins to level out after months of uncertainty I expect we’ll continue to see more exciting new projects from the restaurant and bar scenes.
Read on to discover which new spots just hit the city and which local favourites will be sorely missed. Here’s what opened and closed between June 29-July 6.
The Harry Potter-themed bar near Dundas and Dufferin opened in 2015 and was a spot to grab “potions and elixirs.” Potterheads could pretend they took a quick trip to Hogsmeade and anyone else who wandered in would be greeted with glowing and sparkling cocktails served in coupe glasses. Although the bar hasn’t posted on Instagram since February 8, they building was recently listed for sale.
The sister spot to French bistro Pompette (just down the road in Little Italy) is more focused on hand-crafted European cocktails and small bites. They’ve teased one such cocktail on Instagram, the Bijou, made with gin, Calvados, chartreuse verte, Carpano Classico and liquorice bitters.
607 College, instagram.com/barpompette_to
This pub and kitchen near the University of Toronto campus has reopened with a brand new menu. The most intriguing new items are the personal pizzas made with pre-fermented Polish-style dough. They’re doing them nine ways, from a classic margherita to one with crispy hot chicken, pickles, slaw, hot sauce and garlic ranch.
720 Spadina, instagram.com/eastbrunswickto
After being closed for six months, this former speakeasy has reopened under Nest Nightclub on College. Grab an elderflower margarita or a negroni blanco and get your nibble on, as part of the reopening they partnered with Classico Macha on a menu that focuses on Mexican street food.
423 College, instagram.com/hushhushbar
It may seem like there’s a new ice cream parlour on this list every week and that’s because there is – but this new shop serves the cold stuff the Ecuadorian way – they top it with shredded cheese. Not something we’ve seen anyone else doing lately.
437 Yonge, jopscreamery.ca
Known around town as Drake’s go-to patty spot, Patty Stop recently opened a second location in East York. Read more here.
2636 St. Clair East, instagram.com/pattystopinc
From the team behind the Shameful Tiki Room comes another bar/restaurant with an island feel. Port Light’s backyard patio is a lush oasis and they’ve got a list of cocktails made with rare rums to keep the dream alive.
946 Bloor West, portlightonbloor.com
After almost a year of being open, this Mississauga-based burger joint has decided to make the move downtown with their second location. The new spot near Queen and Spadina takes over the former home of B. Good. Rosie’s keeps it simple: they serve smash burgers, fries and milkshakes.
573 Queen West, rosiesburgers.ca
The County General has reemerged in North York after closing the Queen West location last November. They’ve made the move to a bigger space to pivot from a hipster fave to an all-out sports bar. They’re still serving a fun and tantalizing menu with coconut shrimp, cinnamon and maple pig ears, fried chicken and more.
3550 Victoria Park, countygeneral.ca
Vela is all about fine dining and impeccable service. Inside of a historic building at King and Portland, the interior is artfully designed as an homage to a modern hotel lobby bar (hopefully we can dine indoors soon to fully enjoy it). The cuisine is straightforward and American – think cornish hen, dry-aged ribeye, wedge salads and a raw bar.
90 Portland, velatoronto.com