Leslieville

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

Deathwatch

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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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The Informer

Events

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of November 22–24

Grasslands-Veggielicious

For Veggielicious, Grasslands is serving a $30 prix-fixe that includes a soup or kale caesar salad, a chef’s special pasta and a wine pairing (Image: Veggielicious)

In this edition of The Weekender, a consumer show aimed at dudes, a block party in Leslieville and three more things to do in Toronto this weekend.

CONSUMER SHOW

Gentlemen’s Expo
The inaugural expo celebrates the modern man’s interests (which organizers define as style, food, booze, sports, cars, tech and pop culture). The festivities include poker tournaments, complimentary straight shaves, cigar appreciation lessons, whiskey talks and even candid sex tips. Nov. 22–Nov. 24. $30 for a day pass, $60 for a weekend pass. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., gentlemensexpo.com

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The Informer

People

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How National Ballet dancer Heather Ogden would spend a perfect Saturday in Leslieville

My Perfect Saturday: Heather Ogden

(Illustration by Adam Cruft)

“I’m not one for sleeping in, but I do like lounging in bed. My husband, Guillaume, is a coffee addict. That’s the first thing on his brain in the morning. He usually pops out to Mercury Espresso Bar (915 Queen St. E., 647-435-4779) to get a macchiato for himself and a London Fog for me. Then we’ll get up and go for brunch at Lady Marmalade (898 Queen St. E., 647-351-7645), although we usually spend a lot of time waiting in line because it’s so popular. We’ll both order the huevos migas—a Mexican dream breakfast with scrambled eggs, beans, rice, salsa, cheese and tortilla chips. We love walking around our neighbourhood and browsing the furniture stores. Our favourite is Hardware Interiors (760 Queen St. E., 416-462-3099). On days off, I still do strength training at Fortis Fitness (276 Carlaw Ave., 416-465-4777), which is about a one-minute run from our house. In the afternoon, we’ll have our friends and my cousins over for a barbecue. We get spicy sausage and chicken burgers from Rowe Farms (912 Queen St. E., 416-461-4383) and Manchego and apple wood–smoked cheddar from Leslieville Cheese Market (891 Queen St. E., 416-465-7143). We live right across from Jimmie Simpson Park (870 Queen St. E., no phone), so everyone can spill out into the green space. It’s like having a really big front yard.”

The Goods

Stores

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The Hells Angels—yes, those Hells Angels—are selling yoga pants in their new Leslieville shop

The fall fashions at the new Hells Angels store on Carlaw Avenue (Image: via Jeff McArthur)

Leslieville’s trendy restaurants and yuppie-friendly shops have a new neighbour: the Hells Angels. The notorious biker gang has recently set up a store selling coffee cups, T-shirts and other merch emblazoned with skulls, flames and slogans like “When in doubt, knock’em out!” (Not for sale: anything that actually reads “Hells Angels,” as only club members are allowed to wear those words.) The motorcycle club, which has dabbled in retail before, moved into the storefront at Carlaw and Eastern Avenue several months ago, but were only recently pegged by the city’s media, who suspect that the store might really be a new clubhouse. To be sure, it lacks a few characteristics—like an official name or friendly customer service—common to the gentrifying neighbourhood’s other boutiques. It does, however, sell women’s yoga pants. [CBC]

The Goods

Shopping

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Leslieville gets a monthly outdoor flea market

Good news for vintage hounds living east of the DVP: Leslieville is getting its own open-air flea market starting this weekend. The east end’s answer to the Junction Flea runs on the third Sunday of every month until October in the space behind the Duke at Queen at Leslie. The vendor line-up for the inaugural market emphasizes vintage home goods and clothing, crafts and art, including terrariums from Crown Flora Studio, jewellery and pottery from Scandimania, quilts and baby wear from Broody Hen Designs and vintage finds from Bragg and Bee. 

Queen St. E. and Leslie St., leslievilleflea.blogspot.ca. June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15 and October 20,  10 a.m.—3 p.m.

The Dish

Restaurants

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A new Spanish restaurant from Matt Kantor is opening in Leslieville

Matt-Kantor

(Image: Renée Suen)

 

Matt Kantor is finally making the transition from popular pop-up cook to full-fledged restaurant chef. Over the last two years, Kantor created a string of successful dinner series and one-off events, including the Secret Pickle Supper Club, Hidden Kitchen and his epic three-night, 22-course homage to renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià. Now, he’s teaming up with the owners of The Commissary to create a new Spanish restaurant named Bero, which will replace the laid-back east-end eatery at 889 Queen East. The space is scheduled to open in early July after undergoing minor renovations.

The Dish

Restaurants

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Tabülè opens a new eatery in Riverside

Falafel

(Image: Facebook)

Tabülè, a favourite Midtown lunch destination, is the latest addition to the growing east-end restaurant scene. The new location is serving the same elevated Middle Eastern cuisine, including falafel balls, tabbouleh salad and lamb and beef skewers with assorted vegetables, as the original Yonge Street spot. The space is currently open for dinner. Lunch service starts this weekend.

Tabülè, 810 Queen St. E., 416-465-2500, tabule.ca, Facebook, @TabuleToronto

The Dish

Restaurants

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A new chef collective hosts a dinner party to up the east end’s cred

Chefs Dan Pantano (Glas), John Sinopoli (Table 17 and Ascari Enoteca), Sean Simons (Goods and Provisions and The Comrade), Afrim Pristine (Cheese Boutique) and Deron Engbergs (The Curzon) created the East End Dinner Club in part to push back against the perception promulgated by Globe and Mail food critic Chris Nuttall-Smith that east-end restaurants are trapped in an early oughties time warp of tacky décor and bad food. At the Dinner Club’s first event last night, the “East Side Till We Die Dinner” hosted at Skin and Bones, the group served a $100 six-course meal with each chef cooking a dish and tweeting #eastsidetillwedie all the while.

 

The Dish

Deathwatch

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Sausage Partners is being replaced by a third Olliffe location

For over a month, Leslieville meat shop Sausage Partners has been suspiciously “closed for renovations.” Now Rosedale butcher Olliffe has announced that they’ve acquired the Queen East storefront, where they’ll run a retail store and a wholesale meat plant to supply restaurants and other food shops (Kyle and Lorraine Deming, the husband-and-wife owners of Sausage Partners, are not involved). The Queen East location, which is opening Tuesday, will be the chain’s third—in 2011, they took over Sausage King in St. Lawrence Market.

The Informer

Real Estate

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Sold: a brand new three-bedroom home in Leslieville for $881,000

With all the talk of condo bubbles, over-the-top bidding wars and failed flips, wading into Toronto’s housing market requires equal parts bravery and real estate savvy. To help with the latter, we decided to dish when the properties we profile in our House of the Week, Condo of the Week and Cottage of the Week features are sold. Here, all the details from the latest sale.

• The place: A newly built Leslieville house with a modern look and an open-plan layout inspired by upscale condos.

• The agents: Ali Fadhil, Century 21 Innovative Realty

• Listed price: $889,000

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