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Ritz-Carlton announces its locally focused anchor restaurant

Puttin' up the Ritz: Toca and the hotel to which it's attached will open in January

Since news broke that the opening of the Ritz-Carlton had to be pushed back to January due to flooding, the chain has been looking to share a little good news. Well, this week, they got it. The Simcoe Street hotel announced the details of its signature restaurant this week. (Hey, at least now they have an extra month to get the place ready.)

The place will be named Toca, and it will be headed up by chef Tom Brodi, who has been Canoe’s chef de cuisine since 2004. Before that, he worked at North 44° and New York’s Gramercy Tavern (Food TV addicts will know that it’s the place co-founded by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio).

Like most new restaurants, Toca has latched onto the fresh-and-local trend (when does this cease becoming a trend and start becoming a law?). According to a press release from the Ritz, the menu is “Canadian” with a focus on “homegrown, naturally raised and fresh-caught ingredients.” A little vague, perhaps, but at least we know Scott Conant’s thunder won’t be stolen.

There’s also a description of the space:

TOCA’s contemporary design, natural materials and warm earthen tones will complement the open-concept kitchen, which features a walk-through pastry corridor, glass cheese cave and glazed-brick interior.

The chef’s table will be “interactive,” and the wine list will be “extensive,” with an emphasis on Canadian bottles. And if you’re wondering what’s with the name, it, too, puts the emphasis on local: To (Toronto) + ca (Canada).

We’re guessing To (Toronto) + on (Ontario) would have hit the wrong note.

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  • Beverly

    TOCA…sounds like a foot fungus.

  • Dan

    Don’t they think it could flood again?

  • Don Mitchell

    Well Beverly, something tells me you won’t be dining there!!
    What an odd comment…reminds me of my beloved Grandmother telling me…”if you don’t have anything nice to say…..” Thanks for spreading a little sunshine into my day, Bev. I bet you’re just a barrel of laughs……..

  • mattagascar

    Don, “if you don’t have anything other than sarcastic remarks to offer…” you can fill in the rest.

  • chefandthecity

    i could rip the tension in here with a paring knife…. Dining at Toca should be interesting.. open kitchen with over $70 million in investments .. since the ritz has made toronto their new headquarters, lets hope Toca can live up to its high expectations.. i’ve never heard of Tom Brodi in all my years of cooking though.. though Canoe is a fantastic restaurant!!! Which up til now I thought was run by Anthony Walsh, Corporate Chef of Oliver & Bonachini


  • Kriss

    I think it sounds amazing and can’t wait to try it out… I am not a fan of Toronto but will take the journey to check it out!

  • Gabriela

    Ah, DuBarry Was a Lady yet another Broadway muaiscl bought for the movies & shredded.According to Imdb, only TWO Cole Porter tunes remained in the score when the film was made: Katie Went to Haiti and Friendship , neither of which even comes close to torchy . (Please , can anyone imagine Zero Mostel ( even as a kid) performing in a torchy number???)Still, it’s not a bad picture it’s just NOT a Cole Porter muaiscl.