All stories by Renée Suen

Inside Barberian’s subterranean wine vault, the best-stocked cellar in Canada Inside Barberian’s subterranean wine vault, the best-stocked cellar in Canada

One of the city’s oldest white-tablecloth restaurants also houses one of Canada’s largest wine collections underneath what used to be its parking lot. Barberian’s wine list now sits at 4,000 selections, with nearly 40,000 bottles in inventory. (If you ordered a single bottle of every item on the list, it would cost a whopping $3-million.) Owner Arron Barberian… Read more »

Way-out wagyu: Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura’s psychedelic steak from B... Way-out wagyu: Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura’s psychedelic steak from Buca’s one-of-a-kind dinner

Aimed at showcasing Italy’s culinary kicks, “Sotto una buona stella” (or, “under a lucky star”) dinners will see six Michelin-starred Italian chefs flown to Toronto over the next two years for the benefit of George Brown College’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. At the first dinner, held March 6 at Buca Yorkville, Italy’s reigning top… Read more »

Nine would-be food trends, from cold brew coffee to pie-flavoured yogurt, at Can... Nine would-be food trends, from cold brew coffee to pie-flavoured yogurt, at Canada’s biggest restaurant trade show

What was popular in restaurants across the country last year? Craft beer, locally sourced food, and kale (along with its leafy green cousins—we’re looking at you, chard), according to the results of Restaurants Canada’s annual chef survey.  As for what’ll come next, that’s up to the vendors at this week’s Restaurants Canada Show—or so they hope…. Read more »

The Chase empire expands to Yorkville with Kasa Moto The Chase empire expands to Yorkville with Kasa Moto

As if opening four restaurants (The Chase, The Chase Fish & Oyster, Colette Grand Café and Little Fin) in less than two years wasn’t enough, Chase Hospitality Group is adding one more: Kasa Moto, which will serve a menu of contemporary Japanese cuisine overseen by chefs Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga (Kingyo) and Daisuke Izutsu (Don Don Izakaya). The newest addition to the… Read more »

Getting Luckee: Susur Lee decodes his Chinese New Year dim sum platter Getting Luckee: Susur Lee decodes his Chinese New Year dim sum platter

This February 19, restaurants across the city will ring in the Year of the Ram (or Goat or Sheep, if you’d prefer with special dishes that symbolize good fortune, wealth and happiness. Among those restaurants: Susur Lee’s Luckee. We asked Lee to guide us through his special dim sum platter—available from Luckee’s special menu until March 1—and what makes… Read more »

Ossington butcher shop Côte de Boeuf is now also a snack bar, sometimes Ossington butcher shop Côte de Boeuf is now also a snack bar, sometimes

Whether it needed one or not, the Ossington strip has gained yet another epicurean attraction. The peckish and thirsty can now dine (and wine) while shopping for dry-aged steak and heritage chicken at Côte de Boeuf, the neighbourhood’s famously fancy butcher shop. Last month, brothers Chasen Gillies and Teo Paul (of Union) began hosting “Baron Rouge Nights” four nights… Read more »

Whey cool: inside Cheese Boutique’s jam-packed, million-dollar cheese vault Whey cool: inside Cheese Boutique’s jam-packed, million-dollar cheese vault

Cheese Boutique, the 10,000-square-foot gourmet food store on the edge of Etobicoke, is not your standard grocer. Even more impressive than its selection of specialty goods (and that Google Street View has been inside) is its in-store, open-to-the-public cheese vault that stocks $1-million worth of dairy products. Afrim Pristine, co-owner and one of six maîtres fromager in Canada, showed us what’s hiding where.

Introducing: Hanmoto, a Little Portugal izakaya from OddSeoul’s co-owner Introducing: Hanmoto, a Little Portugal izakaya from OddSeoul’s co-owner

Name: Hanmoto Contact Info: 2 Lakeview Ave., @HANMOTO_ Neighbourhood: Little Portugal Owner and Executive Chef: Leemo Han (OddSeoul) Chef: Joe Kim (Electric Mud BBQ, Origin Liberty, Momofuku Toronto) Bartender: Ihn Huh (Swish by Han) The Food: A short menu divided into raw and hot items that, in izakaya fashion, are meant to accompany booze. Expect to find Japanese riffs on… Read more »

Introducing: Furlough, a new Trinity Bellwoods bistro and cocktail lounge from t... Introducing: Furlough, a new Trinity Bellwoods bistro and cocktail lounge from the owners of BarChef

Name: Furlough Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods Contact Info: 924 Queen St. W., 647-348-2525, furloughtoronto.com, @FurloughToronto Previously: Ursa Owners: Brent VanderVeen (sommelier, previously of Rain and Kultura) and Frankie Solarik (bartender), both of BarChef Chef: Justin Newrick (La Société, Windsor Arms Hotel) The Food: Small and large plates, including a platter of East Coast oysters; a pillowy pain au… Read more »

Introducing: Porter House, a new vegan pub on Dundas West Introducing: Porter House, a new vegan pub on Dundas West

Name: Porter House Neighbourhood: Little Portugal Contact Info: 1321 Dundas St. W., 647-346-3000, porterhouse.com, @porterhouse_to Previously: Brockton General Co-owners and co-chefs: Ross Corder (Hot Beans, formerly of Hogtown Vegan) and Rick Hardisty (Fresh, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Woodlot) The Food: The cheekily named Porter House is Corder and Hardisty’s answer to the lack of vegan pub options in Toronto…. Read more »

Introducing: CC Lounge, a new Prohibition-themed bar near St. Lawrence Market Introducing: CC Lounge, a new Prohibition-themed bar near St. Lawrence Market

Name: CC Lounge Neighbourhood: St. Lawrence Contact Info: 45 Front St. E., 416-362-4777, cconfront.com Owner: The St. Lawrence Bunch, a business partnership fronted by Costa Kosilos Head Chef: Brent Richardson, formerly of Glas Wine Bar, La Carnita and Beerbistro The Food: The menu is heavy on share-friendly versions of old favourites, like mac n’ cheese… Read more »

Introducing: Duggan’s Brewery’s second coming, in Parkdale Introducing: Duggan’s Brewery’s second coming, in Parkdale

Name: Duggan’s Brewery Parkdale Neighbourhood: Parkdale Contact Info: 1346 Queen St. W., 416-588-1086, duggansbreweryparkdale.com Owner and Brewmaster: Michael Duggan Consulting Chef: Rene Chauvin, culinary instructor at George Brown College and former National Golf Club of Canada executive chef, with sous chef Eric Snidal The Food: This successor to Duggan’s Brewery’s previous incarnation on Victoria Street… Read more »

Blowfish on King unveils BarFish, a next-door cocktail bar and lounge Blowfish on King unveils BarFish, a next-door cocktail bar and lounge

BarFish is a new cocktail lounge that’s joined at the hip with Blowfish, the schmoozy Japanese restaurant on King West. Housed in a modern new addition to the historic Bank of Montreal building at King and Bathurst, the narrow room has an onyx-topped bar, velvet banquettes and a DJ booth for nightly spinning sessions. Bartender… Read more »

Introducing: Dandylion, a modern bistro on Queen West from former Centro chef Ja... Introducing: Dandylion, a modern bistro on Queen West from former Centro chef Jay Carter

Name: Dandylion Contact Info: 1198 Queen St. W., 647-464-9100, restaurantdandylion.com Neighbourhood: West Queen West Chef/Owner: Jay Carter, who worked for 10 years under Susur Lee (first at Susur, then Lee) before becoming executive chef at Centro The Menu: “I want people to feel nourished and revived,” says chef Carter of his debut menu. His dishes are… Read more »

Introducing: Wahlburgers, the new Toronto outpost of Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlb... Introducing: Wahlburgers, the new Toronto outpost of Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg’s Boston burger shop

Name: Wahlburgers Contact Info: 46 Blue Jays Way, 416-489-8922, wahlburgers.ca, @WahlburgersCA Neighbourhood: Entertainment District Owners: The Wahlberg brothers (Mark, Donnie and Paul), Starwood Group president Bruce Greenbeerg, Metropolitan Hotels president Henry Wu and Difference Capital executive chairman Michael Wekerle. Chefs: Executive chef Paul Wahlberg and head chef Vincent Leung, who’s also the chef de cuisine… Read more »