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The Dish

Restaurants

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Chef’s Choice: Gihen Zitouni of TOCA picks her favourite restaurants

Chef's Choice: Gihen Zitouni of TOCA picks her favourite restaurants

Who better to guide a fantasy food tour than a chef? We asked some of the city’s top culinary talents to walk us through their ideal day in Toronto restaurant meals.

Gihen Zitouni
Toca

BREAKFAST
“I’m amazed by the daily menu from Morning Glory in Corktown. I usually go for the zucchini and cheddar omelette with multi-grain bread.” 457 King St. E., 416-703-4728.

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The Dish

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Victory at Maple Leaf Gardens, and Beyond

loblaws-top-lasagna

 

Champions have returned to Church and Carlton, once again. In the kitchens of Loblaw’s Maple Leaf Garden’s banner store, executive chef Mark Russell has created restaurant–quality take-home dishes that are garnering international accolades. This spring, after the International Taste & Quality Institute judging panel of chefs, sommeliers and culinary experts awarded the company a Superior Taste Award.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: The Forth brings King West style to the souvlaki strip

(Image: Jackie Pal)

(Image: Jackie Pal)

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The Forth 2 star
629 Danforth Ave., 416-465-2629
The Forth 2 star
629 Danforth Ave., 416-465-2629

Former Brassaii chef Chris Kalisperas has opened a sexy supper club on the souvlaki strip, in a cavernous warehouse space with a smiling hostess gatekeeping the ground floor. The tight, ambitious Canadian menu has that King West feel, too: there’s cured steelhead trout cubes, citrus and roe strung like jewels on the plate; crispy dry-aged duck zinged with Quebec haksap berries and sweet heirloom carrots; and roasted octopus on a grits-like bed of smooth popcorn purée. Even meat and potatoes get a smart spin: a 60 day–aged Ontario strip loin is nearly overshadowed by a quirky croquette of soft shin meat wrapped in potato shreds.

The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: The Good Son has some impressive plates (and cheaper pizza than Terroni)

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

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The Good Son 1 star½
1096 Queen St. W., 416-551-0589
The Good Son 1 star½
1096 Queen St. W., 416-551-0589

The old Nyood space on Queen has been stripped naked and given the twee trappings of west-side dining: Edison bulbs, tea-towel napkins, even a precious general-store façade selling the house olive oil. The menu, from Top Chef Canada alum Vittorio Colacitti, has a few bumps, like a cumin-heavy eggplant dip that’s as lumpy as Pablum. But he shines at the kinds of refined dishes he made at Didier and Lucien.

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The Informer

People

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The List: Ziya Tong, host of Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet, tells us the 10 things she can’t live without

The List: Ten things Ziya Tong can’t live without

1 | My focusing bell
I keep it at the top of my stairwell. Every morning, I ring it and think of a word, like laughter, courage or radiance, to meditate on throughout the day. The ritual helps me pay attention to little things I might otherwise overlook.

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The Dish

Drinks

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Six ways with smoothies, from the Big Carrot’s blending expert

Sarah Dobec, the liquid breakfast queen at the Big Carrot’s juice bar, whizzes up delectable recipes you’d never guess were good for you

Six ways with smoothies, from the Big Carrot's Sarah Dobec

1 | Key Lime Pie (pictured)
Blend ½ an avocado, ¼-cup full-fat coconut milk, 6 ice cubes, 2 tbsp lime juice, zest of ½ a lime, 1 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp vanilla whey protein.

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The Dish

Sponsored Content

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Bring your appetite. Not your wallet.

PayPal’s mobile app is the easiest way to pay for your patio night out.

Torontonians know how to make the most of summer. As soon as the temperature rises above freezing, we’re out on restaurant patios, sipping drinks until the last ray of sunlight dims. Every minute of outdoor enjoyment is precious in this city–far too precious to spend waiting for the bill after a meal.

And that’s why PayPal’s mobile app is as essential to the season as a good pair of sunglasses or a bottle of SPF 30.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Pain Perdu nails the bistro basics

Introducing: Pain Perdu, a traditional French bistro in Lawrence Park
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Pain Perdu 2 star
3185 Yonge St., 416-488-0081
Pain Perdu 2 star
3185 Yonge St., 416-488-0081

At his new north-end restaurant, a ­spin­off of the beloved Pain Perdu bakery, chef Evaristo De Andrade sticks to tradition and nails the bistro basics: moderately priced, simple French food in a warm setting. Buttery squid ink risotto is served with smoky grilled rings of tender calamari. Savoury French onion soup has deep layers of flavour, even if the onions could use a touch more caramelization.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Ambitious menu but spotty execution at Farmer’s Daughter on Dupont

Farmer's Daughter

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

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Farmer’s Daughter 1 star½
1588 Dupont St., 416-546-0626
Farmer’s Daughter 1 star½
1588 Dupont St., 416-546-0626

Darcy MacDonell, the owner of the queue-drawing Farmhouse Tavern, has opened a low-budget room across the street to catch the overflow. The menu, created by Léonie Lilla, who previously worked at Daisho, delivers artfully composed ­seafood dishes that often sound more interesting than they taste.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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What $1 million will get you in Toronto today

Want one of these ho-hum houses? You’ll need seven figures and a stiff drink

In mid-April, for the first time ever, the average selling price for a detached home in Toronto nudged, just briefly, over the million-dollar mark—a surge of 19 per cent over last year. You might argue that the number is an arbitrary data point on a line graph sloping skyward. It’s not. To hopeful house hunters, seven figures is a ­chasmic mental leap and a devastating reminder of the near impossibility of owning four unshared walls in this city. Just a few years ago, the mid- to low-$800s were territory for the excessively affluent or certifiable; today that’s considered a steal. The $900s, given a long amortization and a diet of rice and lemon water, have become tolerable, too. Welcome to the millies, the new new stratum of absurdity.

The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Peoples Eatery (mostly) lives up to the buzz

Review: People's Eatery

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

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Peoples Eatery 1 star½
307 Spadina Ave., 416-792-1784
Peoples Eatery 1 star½
307 Spadina Ave., 416-792-1784

The owners of 416 Snack Bar have replicated the bourbon-jacked buzz that made their first place so fun. Peoples fills up in the after-work hours with Bay Street freshmen and chic young women flaunting bandeau bras, sleeve tattoos and status handbags. The dishes, made by the wandering former Top Chef contestant Dustin Gallagher, are divided between Chinese-American snacks and Jewish deli staples to represent the neighborhood’s dual heritage.

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The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: Campagnolo chef Craig Harding’s incomparable spaghetti all’amatriciana

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe: Spaghetti All'Amatrciana
Toronto Life Recipes | Entrees
SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA
By Craig Harding
Campagnolo
SPAGHETTI ALL’AMATRICIANA
By Craig Harding
Campagnolo

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The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: Bar Isabel chef Grant van Gameren’s grilled steak with shishito peppers

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe: Steak with Shishito Peppers
Toronto Life Recipes | Entrees
STEAK WITH SHISHITO PEPPERS
By Grant van Gameren
Bar Isabel
STEAK WITH SHISHITO PEPPERS
By Grant van Gameren
Bar Isabel

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The Dish

Drinks

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Top Five: Toronto’s best rum cocktails

Five innovative takes on the classic pirate’s grog

Top Five: Toronto's best rum cocktails
1. Dr. Painkiller (pictured above)

At the County General, bartender Jeff Carroll creates a tart, fruity punch with cucumber-infused white rum, house-made grenadine, cranberry bitters and lime juice. He tops it off with a splash of ginger beer. $12. 936 Queen St. W., 416-531-4447.

2. Fresco

Our favourite cocktail at Rhum Corner, the new Haitian café from Black Hoof owner Jen Agg, is a spicymix of Havana rum, pomegranate syrup and falernum—a traditional Caribbean clove-lime-ginger syrup—poured over crushed ice in a chilled copper mini-mug. $10. 926 Dundas St. W., 647-346-9356.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Win a VIP getaway to the Taste of Toronto food festival

Renee-Suen---Toronto-Life----Taste-of-TO---YOURSTRULY-(3)

The lineup of dishes from Ossington restaurant Yours Truly, one of the 16 restaurants coming to Taste of Toronto (Image: Renée Suen)

In just two weeks, Toronto’s top culinary talents will head to Fort York for Taste of Toronto, the local offshoot of the international Taste Festivals empire. (Toronto Life is a local media partner.) The fair runs from July 24 to 27, and the lineup of food, which we previewed, looks enticing. Before the festivities get underway, though, the organizers have a bunch of stuff to give away. There are 13 prizes to be won, including general-entry tickets, VIP passes and—for one extremely lucky Dish reader—a fancy grand-prize package, which includes an overnight stay at the luxurious Shangri-La hotel, a gourmet breakfast for two at fine-dining restaurant Bosk and a pair of VIP passes to one of six Taste of Toronto sessions, where the winner (and a friend) will be able to sip sparkling beverages behind velvet ropes (well, we’re not 100-per-cent sure about the ropes) instead of milling about with the plebes. Entering is easy: just fill out the form below anytime between now (that is, Wednesday, July 9) and next Tuesday, July 15 at 5 p.m. For those who aren’t lucky enough to win a freebie, tickets can be purchased here.

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