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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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