Nathan Isberg

The Atlantic is now booze-free, too The Atlantic is now booze-free, too

The Atlantic Restaurant’s Nathan Isberg has made an ongoing commitment to do away with everything that makes a restaurant a restaurant. Last year he ditched the concept of a menu entirely, along with the idea of set prices, and now he’s done the unthinkable: he’s no longer selling alcohol at his Dundas West restaurant. “It’s another part of trying to… Read more »

Summerlicious: dignified dining program or “cash-grabby food factory”? Summerlicious: dignified dining program or “cash-grabby food factory”?

The idea of dining out on the cheap is nice, but what is Summerlicious like from the restaurant’s perspective? Sure, bargain meals help bring in business, but there are not-so-great tradeoffs, like stress, boredom and uncertain financial rewards (it costs over $1,150 just to participate). So, is it worth it? We got in touch with… Read more »

Q&A: Nathan Isberg, the Toronto restaurateur who doesn’t really belie... Q&A: Nathan Isberg, the Toronto restaurateur who doesn’t really believe in menus, set prices or restaurants

Around four years ago, Nathan Isberg opened The Atlantic, a stark, uncompromising seafood spot on Dundas West, near Brock Avenue. The cerebral chef has always had a soft spot for experimentation: he likes cooking with crickets (his latest invention: cricket charcuterie) and prefers to serve diners himself, rather than hire a formal waitstaff. Earlier this… Read more »

The Year in Dining: our chief critic dishes on the city’s big food trends The Year in Dining: our chief critic dishes on the city’s big food trends

Modern comforts: Chris Nuttall-Smith takes on Woodlot and Ici Bistro Modern comforts: Chris Nuttall-Smith takes on Woodlot and Ici Bistro

Two neighbourhood restaurants serve up light-handed renditions of our rib-sticking favourites By Chris Nuttall-Smith The comfort food revolution has brought us much to be thankful for, including cheaper, more casual restaurants, and the glories of deep-fried mac-and-cheese, but it hasn’t exactly delivered a surge of culinary innovation. Spurred on by a sputtering economy, the comfort… Read more »

Introducing: Brockton General, Dundas West’s new snack bar Introducing: Brockton General, Dundas West’s new snack bar

Adding to the influx of small, simple restaurants in the city is Dundas West’s week-old, low-key snack bar Brockton General (staff: three, dishwashers: zero). As the chef, Guy Rawlings, explains, opening a room that seats 30 means less bureaucratic finagling. Look at Nathan Isberg’s similar setup a few blocks down at The Atlantic. Friends and… Read more »

Fisherman’s Friends: Chris Nuttall-Smith reviews Maléna and The Atlantic Fisherman’s Friends: Chris Nuttall-Smith reviews Maléna and The Atlantic

The season’s most anticipated openings are two seafood-centric spots By Chris Nuttall-Smith Toronto is a raw bar town. We’re over-served by excellent oyster houses, and we probably consume more sushi per capita than any city east of Vancouver. But cooked fish is a problem here; we’ve never had a standout seafood spot. This spring, Nathan… Read more »

The Dundas West Guide: our 21 favourite places between Ossington and Lansdowne The Dundas West Guide: our 21 favourite places between Ossington and Lansdowne

The strip of Dundas West between Ossington and Lansdowne has not been immune to the wild gentrification going on directly south of it. New restaurants, stores and bars have been cropping up for the past couple of years (Red Canoe, a swank Canadiana shop, opened two weeks ago), but there is a hesitation in the… Read more »

Just Opened: Atlantic, where Nathan Isberg goes from Coca to crickets Just Opened: Atlantic, where Nathan Isberg goes from Coca to crickets

There are two things that chef Nathan Isberg kept in mind when opening his new restaurant: he wanted to do it without investors and stay away from condo-land or whatever is deemed “the next big neighbourhood.” That’s why he snatched up a 33-year-old sports bar at Brock and Dundas West after biking past it last… Read more »

Ex-Coca chef Nathan Isberg to open new restaurant on Dundas West Ex-Coca chef Nathan Isberg to open new restaurant on Dundas West

It’s been a year since Coca closed under shady circumstances, and now its chef, Nathan Isberg, is opening his own place, Atlantic, along the rapidly hipifying stretch of Dundas West near Brock Avenue. Isberg says that the new spot is similar to Coca (the food, he means, not the investors who allegedly screwed over the… Read more »

It’s official: Coca has closed for good It’s official: Coca has closed for good

After a saga of financial woes, the sudden departure of a star chef and an unexpected shutdown in March, the official word on Coca’s fate is finally out: the restaurant will not reopen, and plans of renewal have been shelved. When we last checked in on the Coca fiasco, chef Nathan Isberg (who left the… Read more »

Loss of appetite: It’s a double whammy for restaurants as their Bay Street bac... Loss of appetite: It’s a double whammy for restaurants as their Bay Street backers go broke

There’s no question that investing in a restaurant is a high-risk venture. That said, many of the city’s swankiest downtown dining rooms are partially owned by investment-savvy Bay Streeters—those who should be the first to spot a bum deal. Czehoski, Centro, Six Steps and the aptly named Bottom Line are just a few of the… Read more »

Tip of the Isberg: Coca’s fate is in the hands of its one-time chef Tip of the Isberg: Coca’s fate is in the hands of its one-time chef

When we asked whether Coca’s surprise shutdown signalled closure or reincarnation, we didn’t know that its management was wondering exactly the same thing. The now-shuttered restaurant will either reopen as an entirely new enterprise, or not at all. But there is some good news. If the spot has gone downhill since losing its signature chef,… Read more »

What’s become of Coca? What’s become of Coca?

Last night, we noticed that the windows of the trendy tapas bar Coca had been papered over. Though it was open on Friday, its phone now rings into eternity and its Web site is off-line. But devotees should remain calm. Though we can’t confirm, a tip from former affiliate restaurant Czehoski tells us that Coca… Read more »

Guess who’s coming to dinner: Queen West restaurants are under siege by child ... Guess who’s coming to dinner: Queen West restaurants are under siege by child critics

Continuing its “performance art that doesn’t suck” mandate, activist group Mammalian Diving Reflex is teaming up again with the students at Parkdale Public School. The last time, it was for haircuts; this time, it’s to eat their way down Queen Street in the name of art. For the campaign, appropriately called Parkdale Public School vs…. Read more »