Leslieville

The Dish

Restaurants

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Leslieville gets Toronto’s first taste of Detroit-style pizza

(Image: Rebecca Fleming)

(Image: Rebecca Fleming)

No need to cross the border to get your hands on authentic deep-dish pizza from the Rust Belt: Descendant, a new 20-seat spot in Leslieville, cranks out cheese-heavy Detroit pies from brick-lined Montague Hearthbake gas ovens. Like Chicago-style pies, these pizzas are fodder for nutritionists’ nightmares. A thick layer of dough is pressed into a well-oiled square pan before being loaded with toppings and smothered in tomato sauce. The resulting pies taste like they’ve been deep fried. Descendant’s menu includes by-the-book combos (classic cheese with tomato sauce), but there are some experimental ones, too. The Soppressata Marmalade, for example, includes mozzarella with smoked caciocavallo (a stretched-curd cheese), Calabrian chilies, basil, Mike’s Hot Honey and, of course, soppressata.

1168 Queen St. E., 647-347-1168, @DescendantPizza

The Informer

Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $700,000 for a Leslieville loft in a former Coca-Cola plant

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Address: 1159 Dundas St. E., Unit 149
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Agent: Matt Casselman, Re/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $699,900

The place: A two-bedroom hard loft overlooking a quiet Leslieville laneway.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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The Chase: a couple blows past their budget to land a Leslieville fixer-upper

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The buyers: Timothy Bramble, a 31-year-old project manager for the digital ad agency Art and Science, and Megan Cairns, a 30-year-old RN at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The story: After renting a condo in the West Don Lands for six months, Timothy and Megan decided they were ready to commit—to each other (they’re newly engaged) and to a home. They wanted a sizable yard (for Timothy, who loves gardening) and a second floor with at least two bedrooms, for a future child or two. Starting with a budget of $500,000, they focused their search in Corktown and South Riverdale, figuring they’d get more house for their money east of Yonge than west. Several bidding wars later, they realized they’d need to boost their budget to land a home anywhere near their desired location. 

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $700,000 for a two-storey Leslieville loft with impressive skylights

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Address: 201 Carlaw Avenue, Unit 236
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Agent: Christopher Andrew Bibby, Sutton Group Associates Realty Inc.
Price: $699,000

The Place: An two-level unit in Leslieville’s Printing Factory Lofts, with a mix of antique character and modern finishes.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the house that shows what $1 million gets you in Leslieville

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Address: 39 Austin Avenue
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Agent: David Coffey, Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

The Property: A detached family home with an open-concept main floor. The master bedroom claims the entire third level, including a rooftop deck.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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AAA Bar is bringing barbecue to Leslieville

(Image: Rebecca Fleming)

Adelaide East’s Texas-style barbecue joint AAA Bar is opening up a little sister saloon in Leslieville in the space previously occupied by the short-lived Hummingbird Caribbean. Co-owner Racquel Youtzy (who also operates Riverdale’s Mr. Ciao with her partner Tiz Pivetta) says to expect more of the same, just in a much smaller space, and with wine on tap. “It’s more of a family neighbourhood,” says Youtzy. “But we aren’t going to do anything different—we’re always kid-friendly.” The (also adult-friendly) bar will offer the same drink specials as the Adelaide location: a dollar-an-ounce wine, three-dollar tequila shots and five-dollar Triple A draught. Youtzy is hoping to have it open by the end of February.

The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $923,000 semi that hints at a million-dollar future for a Leslieville street

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Address: 82 Ivy Avenue
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Agent: Ralph Fox and Kori Marin, Sage Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

The Property: This three-bedroom semi in Leslieville features an open-concept main floor with a powder room for guests, a kitchen with a marble centre island and custom finishes throughout. The basement has a full kitchen, making it relatively simple to convert into an apartment with a separate entrance.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Bero in Leslieville is maybe, probably closed 
(Image: Renée Suen)

(Image: Renée Suen)

We’ve been keeping a close eye on Bero, the high-concept kitchen on Queen East, which has been giving off a boarded-up, tumbleweed-y kind of vibe for the past several weeks. Last spring, the restaurant lost its original chef, modernist artiste Matt Kantor (known for his very finicky plating practices), and no successor was ever named. Now BlogTO is reporting that the restaurant is closed for good. We weren’t able to reach the restaurant for confirmation, and Bero’s voicemail message states the the closure is “temporary.” We’re not so sure, though: according to at least one source, the business is currently being shopped around (for $49,000, in case anyone’s interested).

The Dish

Restaurants

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Completo brings South American fast food to Leslieville

(Images: Renée Suen)

(Images: Renée Suen)

Completo, the sandwich shop that moved into the old Le Matin bakery space at Queen Street and Coady Avenue, is named after a type of elaborately topped Chilean hot dog (“completo” is Spanish for “the works”). The Leslieville version is more sandwich than dog—it consists of griddled steak, pork or chorizo sausage heaped on a toasted bun with mashed avocado, mayo, tomatoes and homemade hot sauce (there’s also a veggie version with sliced cucumber and sprouts). Completo co-owners Matias Balmaceda and Brett Williams tested out their South American snack-bar concept last summer in a makeshift stall in Kensington Market. Their new, permanent space has counter seating for seven, a sunny front patio and a slightly larger menu. In addition to the namesake sandwich, it includes fully loaded grilled cheeses, Argentinean empanadas, salads, dressed tortilla chips and something called The Box—a take-out container filled to the brim with fresh-cut French fries, fried eggs and various condiments. The entire Completo menu is also served at Hitch, the bar just down the street.

Completo, 5 Coady Ave., 416-901-9233, facebook.com, @CompletoClub

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Braised, a new Leslieville bistro from the owner of Lolita’s Lust

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Click to view gallery (Image: Caroline Aksich)

Name: Braised
Neighbourhood: Leslieville
Contact Info: 896 Queen St. E., 416-519-6280, braised.ca
Previously: Bistro 896, which lasted less than a year in the space
Owner: Sam Scanga, who also owns the Danforth stalwart Lolita’s Lust
Chef: Candace Chase (Trinity Taverna)

The Food: As the name implies, most of the food served at Braised undergoes some form of braising (i.e. searing, followed by simmering in liquid) before being plated. The menu veers toward traditional Euro fare (bruschetta, calamari, braised lamb shoulder), but chef Chase flexes her creative muscles with some less conventional dishes, like braised pork-cheek croquettes with cranberry coulis and tartar sauce.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Leslieville is losing its cutest date spot

(Image: Swirl Wine Bar/Facebook)

(Image: Swirl Wine Bar/Facebook)

Swirl Wine Bar, the only place in Toronto to sip wine while snacking on Alice in Wonderland jars of paté and pickled eggs, is closing. Owners Sean Baillie and Janean Currie announced the news on the bar’s website earlier this week, leaving customers with this characteristically whimsical nugget of wisdom: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.” Swirl’s reality comes to a close at the end of the month. In the meantime, anyone looking to outfit their apartment with tinkly chandeliers and rickety Singer sewing tables should head to Swirl’s Facebook page, where the bar’s furnishings are being listed for sale. Swirl fans have until June 27 to sneak in one last girls’ night or board-gaming session. [Via The Grid]

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Rock Lobster Leslieville, which has a kids’ menu and three (three!) patios

Introducing: Rock Lobster Leslieville

Click to view gallery

Name: Rock Lobster Food Co. (Leslieville)
Contact Info: 1192 Queen St. E., 416-533-1800, @rocklobsterfood, rocklobsterfood.com
Owners: Matt Dean Pettit and Mike Homewood, who also own nearby Boots ‘n’ Bourbon, along with partners Darryl Fine and Alan Thomson
Chefs: Executive chef Matt Dean Pettit and corporate chef de cuisine Deron Engbers

The Food: Fans of the Ossington and Queen West locations will recognize the lobster boils, lobster rolls and elaborately garnished lobster-tail Caesars. Everything else is new, including lobster bruschetta, a fried-clam roll with Sriracha mayo and a few vegetarian dishes. There are also kids’ options, like mac ‘n’ cheese topped with crumbled Goldfish.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: The County Cocktail, the Queen West diner’s new Riverdale café and snack bar

Introducing: County Cocktail

Name: The County Cocktail and Snack Bar
Contact Info: 798 Queen St. E., 416-781-4743, thecountygeneral.ca/cocktail, @countycocktail
Neighbourhood: South Riverdale
Owner: County General owner and former Splendido partner Carlo Catallo
Chef: The County General’s Danai Hongwanishkul, formerly the sous-chef at Canoe

The Place: The County General’s new east-end spin-off is a café, snack shop and cocktail bar in one. (It opens its doors at 7 a.m. on weekdays, in time for morning commuters to get their caffeine fix, and stays open until 11 p.m.—or later on weekends.) The space is bigger and sleeker than the original, but it conveys the same country-style spirit with bright red bar stools and discrete touches of gingham.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condo of the Week: $770,000 for a light-flooded two bedroom in Leslieville’s converted gum factory

Address: 245 Carlaw Avenue, Unit 210A
Neighbourhood: South Riverdale
Agent: Benjamin Ferguson  and Matthew Casselman, Re/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $769,900

The Place: A two-bedroom unit on the second floor of the historic Wrigley Lofts, a former gum factory turned live-work space in Leslieville. 

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Sale of the Week: the $1-million, three-bedroom home that shows that Leslieville is holding steady

Sale of the Week: the $1-million, three-bedroom home that shows that Leslieville is holding steady

That's 100 per cent of the asking price

Address: 208 Pape Ave.
Neighbourhood: South Riverdale (Leslieville)
Agent: Melanie and Lindsay Wright, The Wright Sisters Team

The Property: The brick façade of this detached home is unassuming, but the newly renovated interior is filled with high-end details such as eucalyptus cabinetry, a skylight, oak flooring and pot lights. What used to be the garage is now a 450-square-foot, air-conditioned studio, and the basement would make an ideal man-cave with its integrated home theatre system.

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