Distillery District

The Dish

Openings

Comments

Introducing: Touhenboku, the ramen shop’s new sushi restaurant in the Distillery District

(Image: Jackie Pal)

(Image: Jackie Pal)

Name: Touhenboku
Neighbourhood: Distillery District
Contact Info: 42 Gristmill Ln., 416-368-8686
Previously: Café Uno
Owner: Zuimei Okuyama
Chef: Veteran sushi chef Aki Kitao, who previously worked in upscale sushi restaurants like Toshi Sushi and Ki

The Food: Unlike Touhenboku’s casual ramen shops on Queen West and Yonge Street, the chain’s Distillery location focuses primarily on sushi. Chef Kitao’s menu includes over 21 types of fish, which are sliced, rolled and torched in both traditional and novel ways. A tuna-scallop roll is blasted with a blow torch and topped with house-made sour plum paste and a sweet miso-sesame glaze. For $45, the chef will prepare a 14-piece omakase (i.e. tasting menu) with interesting options like uni (sea urchin),  tarabakani (king crab), and aji (Spanish mackerel) wrapped in Japanese mint.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Street Style

Comments

Street Style: visitors show off chunky knits and statement coats at the Distillery’s Christmas Market

Street Style: visitors bundle up at the Distillery District's Christmas Market

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

The annual Christmas Market in the Distillery District—with its twinkling lights, enormous tree and old-fashioned merry-go-round—is a wonderfully festive place to do some holiday shopping, take in live music, and snack on poutine or gooey grilled cheeses. Unfortunately, an outdoor market in December is going to be cold (no matter how much mulled wine you sip), and that can make looking fashionable a challenge. Amid the sea of black parkas, we spotted a handful of market-goers who managed to look both warm and stylish. Here are their strategies for looking chic in sub-zero temperatures.

The Dish

Restaurants

2 Comments

Touhenboku brings a whole new look (and menu) to the Distillery District

(Image: Caroline Youdan)

(Image: Caroline Youdan)

When Touhenboku Ramen announced that it was setting up shop along the cobblestones in the Distillery District, we assumed that the neighbourhood could look forward to a new destination for, well, ramen. As it turns out, there are very few noodles on the menu at the Japanese chain’s third location, which recently opened for business at 42 Gristmill Lane, in the former Café Uno space. The new restaurant has a more sedate, upscale vibe than Touhenboku’s first two outlets, and it’s got an entirely different focus when it comes to food: sushi. Instead of steaming broths, the menu lists a variety of traditional nigiri and sashimi options, plus some fairly elaborate maki, like a unagi roll with shiso, ube and Japanese mountain potatoes. (There’s also an omakase tasting menu for $45.) It’s an intriguing twist, for sure, and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood—though Touhenboku may want to consider redesigning its mascot, which appears to be wearing a bowl of soup as a hat.

The Dish

Restaurants

1 Comment

Touhenboku Ramen is soon to land in the Distillery

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Touhenboku, the ramen upstart that plunked itself down on Queen West last year, only to expand almost immediately with a second restaurant at Yonge and Eglinton, is getting ready to open location number three. The news comes from Spotlight City’s Suresh Doss, who tweeted about it earlier today (it was later confirmed via Twitter by the Touhenboku crew). Shrewdly avoiding the city’s noodle-clogged core, the chain’s third outlet will be housed in the Distillery District, which—like the dorky kid who comes back from summer break with a whole new swagger—has pretty much completed its transition from cheesy tourist trap to legitimately great hangout. According to Doss, the new spot is likely to open pretty soon—possibly before the Distillery’s Christmas market pops up in a month and a half’s time.

TIFF 2014

3 Comments

TIFF 2014 cheers and jeers: the best and worst of this year’s festival

Because everything related to film culture, even tangentially, can and should be evaluated using a Siskel-and-Ebertian binary system, here are our thumbs up and thumbs down for TIFF 2014.

(Image: Giordano Ciampini)

(Image: Giordano Ciampini)

Thumbs up

Bill Murray. Because he made a confusing joke about bankrolling Ivan Reitman’s restaurant, Montecito. Because he showed up to Bill Murray Day in full pageant regalia. Because he’s Bill Murray.

Midnight Madness. This year’s batch of late-night screenings—including Canadian 70s exploitation send-up The Editor, ‘80s and ‘90s action throwbacks The Guest and Big Game, the incredible It Follows (which manages to make the premise of a sexually transmitted demonic possession not stupid) and People’s Choice winner What We Do In The Shadows—all wowed crowds and critics alike. Some people even liked the new Kevin Smith movie, somehow.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Food Shops

3 Comments

Toronto chocolatier Laura Slack opens shop in the Distillery District

Maisonette

Click to view gallery (Image: Renée Suen)

Toronto chocolatier Laura Slack is known for her beautiful but unconventional creations (her most famous treat is a burnished chocolate skull filled with black garlic–infused caramel). After hawking her goods at fancy shops like McEwan’s and Holt Renfrew, Slack has opened Maisonette, a very charming retail store in the Distillery District. She manages to squeeze a lot of delicious stuff into the 220-square-foot space, including handmade jams from Parkdale confiturer Kitten and the Bear and loose-leaf teas from Canadian company Sloane. The highlight, though, comes in chocolate form: gleaming truffles, artfully wrapped chocolate bars and cellophane baggies stuffed with chocolate-dipped “bacon toffee.” For summertime, there are chocolate ice-cream bars and fruity ice pops, neither of which should be missed.

Maisonette, 12 Tank House Ln., maisonettedistillery.ca, @maisonettegifts

See more photos »

The Goods

Stores

Comments

Store Guide: a high-end accessories boutique in the Distillery from Kristen Stewart’s stylist

Store Guide: Celebrity stylist Annie Jagger brings her favourite jewellery and accessories to the Distillery District

Click to view gallery (Image: Kayla Rocca)

Name: Gilding the Lily
Sells: Fine jewellery, accessories, gifts
Contact Info: 47 Tank House Ln., 416-360-5459, gildingthelily.la
Store Hours: Tu-Sa 11-7, Su-M 11-6

Gilding the Lily is a new boutique in the Distillery District from Annie Jagger, an LA-based celebrity stylist who boasts some pretty high-profile clients (Kristen Stewart, Bradley Cooper and January Jones, to name a few). The shop, which has a luxurious California-casual aesthetic, packs enough stacked rings, statement necklaces and ear cuffs to decorate Rihanna, most of which are sourced from Jagger’s favourite West Coast designers. There are jewelled cocktail rings from Arik Kasten, fringed leather bucket bags from Simone Camille, funky sunglasses from Anna-Karin Karlsson and covetable made-to-order finger bracelets from Jacquie Aiche.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of November 29-December 1

Weekender-Nov-29

In this edition of The Weekender, a Canadian horror film festival, Christmas-themed family events and three other things to do this weekend.

HOLIDAY FUN

Toronto Christmas Market (FREE!)
The annual European-themed fair celebrates everything to do with Christmas, from Polish folk dancing to German carolling to Santa Claus. Fairgoers can browse the wares of several vendors, including Parisian chocolates, Dutch trinkets and various yuletide ornaments. Nov. 29–Dec. 15. Admission is free. Distillery District, 55 Mill St., torontochristmasmarket.com

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Weddings

1 Comment

Real Weddings 2013: an intimate wedding in a Distillery District art gallery

Real Weddings 2013: Ashley and Anthony
Location: Arta Gallery in the Distillery District | Guests: 102 | Date: September 22, 2012

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

2 Comments

Introducing: El Catrin, the Distillery District’s new Mexican restaurant

Introducing: El Catrin

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

Name: El Catrin Destileria
Neighbourhood: Distillery District
Contact info: 18 Tank House Ln., 416-203-2121, elcatrin.ca, @elcatrinca
Owners: John Berman, Mathew Rosenblatt and partners
Chef: Olivier Le Calvez, who moved to Toronto from Mexico City a month ago

The Place: The former Boiler House space has been given a mod-goth makeover with heavy black chandelier-style light fixtures, wall-mounted glow-in-the-dark skulls and a kaleidoscopic floor-to-ceiling mural by Mexican street artist Oscar Flores. Tables on the 190-seat enclosed patio are arranged around a fire pit.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Stores

Comments

Shop Talk: new stores and shopping websites from June 2013

Sock boutique Floorplay opened on Queen West (Image: Kayla Rocca)

The city’s newest stores include: a shop devoted entirely to socks, two online vintage boutiques and new locations from Kate Spade and the Drake General Store. Below, the full list, divided into west, central, east and online, plus the latest gossip on upcoming openings.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Stores

Comments

John Fluevog Shoes opens a new store in the Distillery District

(Image: John Fluevog Shoes)

Vancouver-based John Fluevog Shoes opened a second Toronto location in the Distillery District on Saturday, giving another boost to the area’s appeal as an upmarket shopping destination. (Since December, Gotstyle and eco-friendly children’s clothier Mini Mioche have each opened newer, bigger locations in the district.) Fluevog, who has earned global success with his colourful, distinctive designs, celebrated the new store by releasing two limited-edition designs, one for men and one for women, available only at the Distillery location. If you want to snag a pair, you had better hurry—there are only a few left.

John Fluevog Shoes, 4 Trinity Street, fluevog.com, 416-583-1970 

The Goods

Stores

Comments

Shop Talk: new stores and shopping websites from April 2013

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

Opened


AllSaints
The English label brings its sombre clothing and accessories for men and women to a 6,000-square-foot space in Yorkdale Mall. The brand also launched a new Canadian online store. Learn more »

Yorkdale Mall, 3401 Dufferin St., 416-789-3261, ca.allsaints.com

Read the rest of this entry »

The Goods

Weddings

12 Comments

Wedding Guide: 34 of Toronto’s best wedding venues

Wedding Guide: Venues

(Image: Fairmont Royal York Hotel)


Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St. W. (at McCaul St.), 416-979-6634
For a truly magnificent celebration, Frank Gehry’s transformed AGO offers an awe-inspiring event space. On the third floor of the south tower, the 7,200-square-foot Baillie Court affords panoramic city views on one end and overlooks the gallery’s iconic spiral staircase on the other. Designed in modern glass and Douglas fir, the room can be divided as needed and seats up to 300. Executive chef Anne Yarymowich works with couples on customized menus, and a small army of professional event staff ensures the experience is as effortless as it is unique. Baillie Court rental includes a one-year membership to the AGO for the newlyweds. The Walker Court is available to rent outside of gallery hours in conjunction with a reception in Baillie Court.


Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Business

Comments

Great Offices: Sid Lee’s lofty space inside a Distillery District landmark

Great Office Spaces: Sid Lee

What: Sid Lee, a multidisciplinary creative shop that specializes in architecture, design, advertising and marketing
Where: The 150-year-old Stone Distillery building in the Distillery District
How Big: 10,400 square feet over two floors for a staff of 43

Read the rest of this entry »