All stories relating to Keriwa

The Dish

Deathwatch

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Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe closes Keriwa; announces a posh members-only wine club

Keriwa

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

After two years and a few conceptual hiccups, it was three feet of sewage backup that dealt the fatal blow to Keriwa, one of the city’s few Native Canadian restaurants (and number four on Toronto Life’s Best New Restaurants list in 2012). The Parkdale eatery suffered extensive damage in July’s flood and, despite keeping diners’ hopes buoyed through the summer with the occasional “reopening soon” tweet, opted recently to remain closed for good. Luckily, owner and chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe has another project keeping him occupied. He’s working with a handful of silent partners to launch Wine Academy, a private wine cellar and members-only social club opening at Bay and Richmond next spring. Catering exclusively to Toronto oenophiles, the 7,000-square-foot space will include temperature-controlled wine cellars where members can store their bottles, as well as cushy boardrooms and lounges designed for tastings, seminars and low-key swilling sessions. Robe, of course, is overseeing the food, but fans of Keriwa’s bannock burgers and bison pemmican won’t find them here—the menu will likely stick to cheese and charcuterie.

The Dish

Features

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Heritage Minute: how Toronto became the centre of a new Canadian food revolution

Heritage Minute: How Toronto became the centre of a new Canadian food revolution

A decade ago, nobody went out for Canadian food. It was the simple stuff we cooked at home: peameal bacon, neon Kraft Dinner, Sunday roast beef dinners, pancakes drenched in maple syrup. When we went to a restaurant, it was for duck confit, sashimi or some other exotic dish we lacked the expertise to concoct ourselves.

Then in 2000, a restaurant called Patriot opened in Yorkville. The young chef, David Chrystian, had the radical notion that Canadian ingredients and recipes were worthy of fine dining. Eating there was our duty as Canadians, like seeing every Atom Egoyan movie. Chrystian served things like venison with fiddleheads and juniper berries, but the city’s locavore movement was only nascent, and the place closed by 2003. If Patriot opened today, it would be a hit.

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The Dish

Recipes

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Recipe: bison pemmican from Keriwa chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2012: Bison Pemmican
Toronto Life Recipes | Entrees
BISON PEMMICAN
By Aaron Joseph Bear Robe
Keriwa

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Friday Night Bites: tables for two at Keriwa, JaBistro and Weslodge

FRIDAY NIGHT BITESIt’s 4 p.m. on Friday, and you don’t have a dinner reservation. Still, there’s no need to fret (or waste your night waiting for a table). We just called some of the city’s hottest restaurants and found three that can squeeze in two for dinner tonight. Now it’s up to you to get dialing and snag a table before they’re all gone. Today: Keriwa, JaBistro and Weslodge.

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Restaurants

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Flavour of the Year: Five twisted takes on steak tartare

The steak house app has gotten freaky lately, with everything from raw beef heart to pine bark and elderberry mustard. Here, the top five.

Flavour Craze: Twisted Tartares

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The Dish

Food Events

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Gallery: 30 top Toronto chefs at FoodShare’s annual Recipe for Change fundraiser

Recipe for Change

The north building at St. Lawrence Market was filled to near-bursting on Thursday as food-loving philanthropists gathered to support FoodShare, a non-profit organization that endeavours bring healthy eating to all Torontonians. Recipe for Change, now in its fourth year, has become one of the city’s pre-eminent foodie fundraisers, with 400 patrons paying $125 to nibble on plates that tended to follow FoodShare’s devoutly seasonal philosophy (root vegetables were everywhere). Among the big name chefs supplying those plates were Aaron Joseph Bear Robe of Keriwa Cafe, Brad Long of Café BeLong, Pizzeria Libretto’Rocco Agostino and Momofuku Toronto’s Sam Gelman and Hans Vogels. Between the ticket sales and the silent auction, FoodShare raised $42,000 to support its food literacy initiatives—educating Toronto students about not just nutrition but the entire food system, from seedlings to table to compost and back again.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Glas is launching a vegetarian tasting menu

Local beets with black olives, pea shoots and horseradish foam (Image: Courtesy Glas)

Leslieville’s Glas Wine Bar is getting in on the tasting menu trend that’s been sweeping Toronto restaurants. Yours Truly led the charge with their Carte Blanche menu last year, followed by Keriwa (which later reversed course), Actinolite, Buca, Farmhouse Tavern and Chantecler, whose menu launches this weekend (stay tuned for more on that).

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Restaurants

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Year in Review: 2012’s biggest food trends, from the shadow return of fusion to the reign of ramen

Taste moves in waves: one year tall food is on every menu in town, and the next year, it’s a half-forgotten embarrassment. Sometimes, though, those embarrassments come back in a new guise. This year saw the quiet return of certain tendencies that we thought were long-buried, like fusion cuisine and wine bars, as well as the full-blown emergence of others that were bubbling away just below the surface, like tacos and, of course, ramen. Below, a roundup of what was hot in 2012.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Keriwa reverts to à-la-carte service

Aaron Joseph Bear Robe at Keriwa (Image: Gizelle Lau)

In October, Aaron Joseph Bear Robe announced that Keriwa Cafe, his critically lauded Parkdale restaurant, would be moving to a tasting menu–only format, in part so that he could spend more time with his growing family. After a few weeks of operating in that mode, however, the restaurant has gone back to à-la-carte service. At Keriwa 3.0, the dishes and the atmosphere are now more casual than they used to be, although the flavours are more or less the same: for example, he’s added a bison burger to the menu (albeit one that’s served on red fife bannock with Saskatoon berry chutney and garlic scape aïoli). Bear Robe says a lot of people expressed interest in the tasting menu, but the interest wasn’t necessarily reflected in the bookings. The change also took place shortly before Keriwa 1.0 was named one of Canada’s best new restaurants by EnRoute magazine, and Bear Robe tells us some diners were flummoxed by the disconnect between what they expected and what was actually offered. As for the promise of spending more time with his children, he admits, “That hasn’t actually happened yet.”

The Dish

Restaurants

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Parkdale strip hit with Ossington-style restaurant ban (but Grand Electric’s expansion is safe)

(Image: Marc Falardeau)

Last week, city councillor Gord Perks quietly pushed through a moratorium (like the one on Ossington in 2009) on new restaurants and bars opening on the Parkdale strip (Queen Street West between Dufferin and Roncesvalles, to be exact)—but fear not Grand Electric fans, the second-floor expansion we told you about recently will survive the ban. When we spoke to him, Perks expressed his concerns about the growing imbalance of businesses in “Partydale,” with too many new restaurants and bars (like Wrongbar, Keriwa, Chantecler, The Yukon and more) and not nearly enough amenities like hardware and corner stores. Existing operations, like Grand Electric, can still apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for additional or expanded liquor licenses as per usual, but no new “restaurant, take-out restaurant, patio, bake-shop, place of amusement, place of assembly or club” will be permitted. The moratorium is in effect for a year, while city staff work on a study of how best to manage the changes happening in Parkdale. In any case, Toronto’s taco-hungry hordes should have somewhere to tromp upstairs and warm up this winter.

The Dish

Restaurants

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Edulis tops En Route’s Toronto-laden list of Canada’s best new restaurants

In her introduction to En Route’s latest ranking of the country’s 10 best new restaurants, Sarah Musgrave declares 2012 “the year of Toronto”—and given the frenetic pace of openings in this city, we’re inclined to agree. Musgrave backs up her bold claim by naming six Toronto restaurants to the list, up from just two last year, reserving the top spot for Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth’Edulis, which moved into the former Niagara Street Café space this year. Musgrave fell in love with the restaurant’s quaint, comfortable atmosphere and, like our reviewer, felt that Caballo’s rustic yet adventurous cuisine skirted some of the pieties of the farm-to-table trend.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Gallery: Susur Lee, Michael Stadtländer and other notable Toronto chefs prepare soups of all kinds at Soupstock 2012

Soupstock 2012

(Image: Renée Suen)

An estimated 40,000 soup-seeking revellers and 200 chefs traveled to Woodbine Park last weekend to attend Soupstock 2012, the one-day culinary protest festival designed to raise awareness for the fight against the proposed mega-quarry in the Township of Melancthon. Building on the momentum generated from last year’s Foodstock, the Canadian Chef’s Congress and the David Suzuki Foundation convened the weekend’s festivities. Regardless of political affiliation, the sheer magnitude of the event was impressive: it’s a rare occasion that offers that many big-name city chefs (and, for that matter, that much soup).

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for October 22 to 28

Cask Days takes place at the Evergreen Brick Works this weekend, complete with a Halloween costume judging contest (Image: Connie Tsang)

Monday October 22

  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700. Find out more »
  • 86’D with Ivy Knight: This week, celebrate with the chefs from Soupstock, and enjoy a tasty night of pairing Acadian Sturgeon caviar with Stillwater vodka. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo Italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • Veggin’ Comfortably Workshop: Marni Wasserman demonstrates how easy it can be to switch over to a more veg-friendly lifestyle. Menu includes butternut squash, lentil and coconut soup, arame soba noodle salad, marinated kaleslaw salad and black bean burgers. Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. Find out more »
  • Sustainable Living and Ethical Eating—Cooking With a Conscience: Learn simple tips for a greener, guilt-free kitchen. The menu includes leek and golden beet barley risotto with spicy kale chips and whole roasted organic chicken infused. Dish Cooking Studio, 390 Dupont St., 416-920-5559. Find out more »
  • Luscious Greens and Grains: Chef and cookbook author Nettie Cronish prepares tasty and nutritious leafy green and grain dishes. Menu includes pot barley split pea soup with Shiitake mushrooms, spinach and dill and hot and sour buckwheat noodle salad. Kingsway LCBO, 2946 Bloor St. W., 416-239-3065. Find out more »

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Keriwa Cafe moves to an all-tasting-menu concept

Aaron Joseph Bear Robe at Keriwa’s pass (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Last year, we named Keriwa Cafe, the new Parkdale spot from chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robeto our list of the 10 best new restaurants in Toronto. Yesterday, Bear Robe posted a letter on the restaurant’s web site announcing that this Saturday, October 6, will be Keriwa’s final à la carte service. No, it’s not closing down—instead, it’ll be serving tasting menus, which will change monthly, on select evenings only (The Grid is reporting that these will take place every Saturday and cost $300, all in). On other nights, the space will be used as an event venue, in a move that echoes Guy Rawlings’s recent announcement that he’s opening an event space and “food lab.” Those hoping to taste Bear Robe’s celebrated homage to Aboriginal cuisine at a lower price point should hoof it to OpenTable before it’s too late. [Keriwa]

The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2012: Toronto’s top tacos, brunch, pampering service, pickling classes and more

Best of the City, Best of the City 2012

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