Hieu Nguyen

The Dish



Introducing: The East Ender, Leslieville’s new spot for “stepped-up” comfort food

Chef and co-owner Greg Argent (still in his civies) readies the bar for a busy Friday night service (Image: Signe Langford)

The landlord of 1212 Queen Street East wasn’t the only one to lose out when the owners of Tomi-Kro packed up and left; the neighbourhood also felt the void. But with the arrival of The East Ender in the space, the healing has begun—after all, what can’t a pork belly slider make right? (That’s the hope, at least.) Chef and co-owner, Greg Argent (Rain, Cru, Forte Bistro), with co-owner Hieu Nguyen (Forte Bistro, Cru) have moved into the 55-seat space, and, says Argent, the team has “done a lot of cleaning, but didn’t change too much.”

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish



Another one bites the dust: Cru is the latest recession casualty

The much-lauded restaurant Cru (we gave it three stars earlier this year) closed its doors on unlucky April 13. Owner Hieu Nguyen is left with his newer venture, Forte, and star chef Greg Argent, but it has been a rough—and expensive—time. Trouble started last September, when the normally lively Kingsway-area restaurant would get busy only on Friday and Saturday. A steady stream of neighbourhood regulars and occasional corporate spillover from the nearby Old Mill Inn weren’t enough to sustain business. By spring, Nguyen had lost too much money to stay afloat. “We had to bite the bullet,” he says.

Read the rest of this entry »