Terroni

TIFF 2014

TIFF Guide

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TIFF 2014 Insider’s Guide: Where to Eat, Drink and Party

A highly discerning look at the festival’s hottest hot spots

TIFF 2014: Where to Eat, Drink and Party

The Chase (Image: Dave Gillespie)

Where everything sparkles

The Chase
10 Temperance St., 647-348-7000
The glitzy surf-and-turf room on Temperance Street serves up expense account dining at its finest. Last year, at the after-party for Enemy, Jake Gyllenhaal and Alyssa Miller were holed up in a booth with a view on the fifth-floor terrace, and Isabella Rossellini hung out nearby, laughing with friends, while director Denis Villeneuve schmoozed with Dallas Buyers Club director (and fellow French Canadian) Jean-Marc Vallée.

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The Dish

Trend Watch

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The Top Food Trends and Who Does Them Best: Late-Night Dining

We’re dining around the clock and the options for a midnight feast are suddenly excellent

The Top Food Trends and Who Does Them Best: Late-Night Dining

Drake One Fifty serves lofty comfort food and smart cocktails well past midnight

At some point over the past year, around the time Rob Ford was smoking crack in a drunken stupor, we became a city that eats at all hours. It now takes weeks of planning to get a table at 10 p.m. at the hotter spots. And if you want a meal after midnight, there are finally options other than greasy all-night diners and those Chinatown backrooms where the only thing anyone orders is “cold tea.” After a three-hour Scorsese opus at the Revue, I’ll go to La Cubana, Corrina Mozo’s new restaurant on Roncesvalles, where the cooks make a mean medianoche, the traditional Havana sandwich stacked with roasted pork, ham and gruyère—they also have versions with chorizo, or guava-glazed short rib, or avocado and queso fresco. The kitchen at the County General, the Queen West gastropub, officially closes at 11, but the place is usually full until last call, patrons scarfing down pork buns and devilled eggs while sipping bourbon cocktails. (They’ve expanded to Riverdale and Bloorcourt.) Even the owners of the prim Nota Bene wanted in on the fun, opening Carbon Bar on Queen East. They serve perfectly smoked southern-style barbecue, fried chicken skin, and intricate cocktails with citrus oils and rare tinctures until late-late-late.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Sud Forno, a quaint Italian bakery from the owners of Terroni

Review: Sud Forno

(Image: Terroni/Facebook)

SEE ALL NEW REVIEWS
Sud Forno
716 Queen St. W., 416-504-7667

The new bakery from the owners of Terroni, two storefronts east of the flagship restaurant, is a great stop on the way to work (for freshly fried bomboloni) or on the way home (for panini).

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Restaurants

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Get Outside: The 10 Best New Toronto Patios

Cabana Pool Bar

(Image: Cabana Pool Bar)

Toronto’s balmy summer nights are too precious to waste on mediocre drinks in a dark, dreary room. Lucky for us, over 100 new patios have opened in the last year, many of them in the downtown core. Rollicking barbecue joints have us sipping bourbon and Pabst at packed picnic tables; secluded Financial District terraces are catering to power-lunchers looking for a snatch of midday sky; and a giant new waterfront swimming hole is luring club kids away from the usual King West haunts. Here, our top ten new patios for open-air eating, dating, schmoozing and kicking back in the city this summer.

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People

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The 15 Toronto restaurants recommended in Where Chefs Eat, a new culinary guidebook

Where Chefs Eat is a new 633-page collection of answers to a very simple question: where to go for a good meal? Those answers are from some 400 of the world’s top chefs, including Ferran Adria, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Fergus Henderson and Rene Redzepi, as well as Toronto chefs Michael Steh, formerly of Reds, and Claudio Aprile, chef and owner of Colborne Lane and Origin. The guidebook is edited by Guardian critic Joe Warwick, who also co-founded the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. It’s not only an inventory of the flashy big-name places in a city, but also of regular neighbourhood and cheap eats spots. There’s even a category for places the chefs wish they opened. We flipped through the tome to pull out the 15 restaurants in and around Toronto recommended by the world’s top chefs.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Pizza wars update: Terroni to open a new bakery

It’s no secret that Toronto’s Neapolitan-style pizza wars have been raging these past few months (and years). Terroni has remained conspicuously silent while Queen Margherita Pizza and Pizzeria Libretto announced multiple new locations and a raft of smaller thin-crust joints opened, but now it’s finally firing back. It’s not opening a new restaurant, however; it’s opening Il Forno del Sud, a bakery adjacent to its original Queen West location. Details are scarce (management declined to comment when we called), but The Grid recently posted the shaky 22-second video embedded above, which shows off the first run of panettone, a Milanese sweet bread. Expect Il Forno to open next spring.

The Dish

Restaurants

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Pizzeria Libretto is rumoured to be opening three new locations

Pizzeria-Libretto-Toronto-new-locations

Outside Pizzeria Libretto’s Danforth location (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Pizzeria Libretto owner Max Rimaldi recently took to Twitter to stake an even larger claim to Toronto’s ever-growing Neapolitan-style pizza market. Though he came off cagey when we pressed him for details, he did confirm he has plans for three new locations: one in midtown, one in the financial core and another in the west end. (Rimaldi wouldn’t commit to when the new joints were scheduled to open, citing ongoing negotiations.)  Queen Margherita Pizza announced in September that it’s opening two new locations of its own, which would give the Libretto rival an edge in terms of sheer quantity of pie shops (three to two!). Rimaldi’s three theoretical joints, plus his existing locations on Ossington and the Danforth, however, put him back on top. Of course, Libretto’s other main competitor, Toronto institution Terroni, is the current bricks-and-mortar champ with three actual restaurants—but no word yet of plans for expansion.

The Dish

Restaurants

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The latest entrant in the upscale pizza wars: Pizza Pizza?

(Image: Pizza Pizza)

Trends probably shouldn’t cycle this quickly. Only four years after Pizzeria Libretto first opened its doors, setting off a thin-crust craze, Toronto is now awash in Neapolitan-style pizza, with opening after opening after opening (yes, Terroni was there first, and of course there were isolated other places serving the stuff around town). But now things are getting absurd: in a press release, Pizza Pizza just announced it’s launching its own line of thin-crust pizzas. The chain appears to be attempting to punch above its weight, promising them to be “as artisanal and gourmet as what you would find in a high-end dine-in pizza restaurant.” Twelve varieties of pizza have been rolled out, including a conventional Primavera and the somewhat out-there Sweet Chilli Thai, using ingredients that actually sound pretty good: cipolline onions, smoked provolone and roma tomatoes, to name a few. We keenly await the judgement of this city’s pizza-philes.

The Dish

Random Stuff

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The New York Times shows Toronto ever more love 

The New York Times seems to have a bit of an infatuation with Toronto of late, and we have to say, we’re liking it. The most recent article provides travellers with an itinerary of restaurants, shops and landmarks to swing by during a brief 36-hour stay in the city (not unlike the concept of Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover, filmed in town recently). The article suggests stops in Kensington Market (Urban Herbivore, Sublime Cafe, Thirsty and Miserable and Embassy Bar), on Ossington (I Miss You, Bellwoods Brewery), Queen Street West (Ursa, Terroni and Trinity Bellwoods Park) and Dundas West (The Black Hoof and Hoof Raw Bar), among others. West-enders planning an upcoming staycation should check this out. Read the entire article [New York Times] »

The Dish

Restaurants

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These are the top 10 most-Yelped restaurants in Toronto

The Stockyards ranked number two in the list of Toronto’s most-Yelped restaurants (Image: Evan Goldenberg)

Since 2004, Yelp, that great leveller of food criticism, has been empowering ordinary diners and frustrating professional critics and restaurateurs in equal measure. Earlier this week, they announced the results of a little data mining, which revealed that Vancouver was the city with the most Yelp check-ins (Toronto ranked second) and that Guu, on Church Street, was the most photographed spot in Toronto (Vancouverites, those outdoorsy types, preferred to shoot their oh-so-lovely Stanley Park). They also revealed that Ossington’s Pizzeria Libretto, with its ever-long lineups, is the most Yelped (i.e. most-reviewed) spot in town (it currently has 207 reviews and a four-star rating). We thought we’d ask what the next nine most Yelped places were, and the good people there were happy to oblige. Below, the full list of restaurants and bars, with more than a few surprises:

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The Informer

People

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SPOTTED: Jake Gyllenhaal at Terroni (again!)

Jake Gyllenhaal at Terroni (Image: Instagram)

We’re starting to think Jake Gyllenhaal really, really loves his Italian food, and it’s becoming quite clear that his favourite restaurant in Toronto is Terroni. He was there last night, on June 23, on a date with K’naan earlier this month and there have also been other reports that he’s been there during his month-long stay in the city while filming An Enemy. Molto bene!

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Ursa, a new Queen West restaurant serving modern Canadian cuisine (that’s secretly good for you too)

Inside the sleek space that used to house Bar One (Image: Meaghan Binstock)

Back in July, the owners of Trinity-Bellwoods staple Bar One announced they were shutting its doors after an 11-year run. Six months and one gut job later, the dramatically transformed space, complete with sleek burned wood panelling and constellations of bare hanging bulbs, has reopened as Ursa, with brothers and first-time owners Jacob and Lucas Sharkey-Pearce at the helm. Jacob, the executive chef, is no stranger to the industry, with a pedigree that includes Thuet Bistro, Centro and the Windsor Arms Hotel. And while Cosimo Mammoliti of Terroni fame is the restaurant’s third (and mostly silent) partner, the menu is almost the exact opposite of that chain’s carb-heavy Southern Italian comfort food (the brothers started off as teenage employees at the Queen Street location).

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: The Combine Eatery, the new place for fish tacos on the Danforth

Outside the new southwestern restaurant (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

The Combine Eatery, a new southwestern comfort food spot started by siblings Albert and Amy Chan, stands out from the slew of Greek eateries along the Danforth strip. Amy’s background in fashion frequently led her to San Diego, where she quickly took to gobbling up fish tacos during her downtime, which was the starting point for the restaurant.

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The Informer

People

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The List: 10 things restaurateur and Top Chef Canada judge Shereen Arazm can’t live without

The List: ShereenArazm

The List: ShereenArazmMy ciccio fix
Terroni founder Cosimo Mammoliti invented the ciccio, the world’s best sandwich: prosciutto, bocconcini and arugula folded into pizza crust. When I opened my own Terroni in L.A., I made sure it was on the menu.

The List: ShereenArazmMy shades
My eyes are sensitive to light, so I keep sunglasses everywhere. My favourites are polarized Ray-Bans with tortoiseshell frames. I think I had the same ones in the ’80s.

The List: ShereenArazmMy ultimate comfort food
There’s nothing like my mom’s chocolate cake anywhere. She makes it for me every year on my birthday.

My dad’s rug
When he was 14, my dad left Iran to go to school in Europe. He rolled up this small rug and carried it on top of his backpack to bring a piece of home with him. Then he brought it to Canada and I brought it to the U.S. Right now it’s at the door to my daughter’s bedroom.

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The Dish

People

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Q&A with Hemant Bhagwani: the Amaya co-owner on building his Indian restaurant empire

Although the recession is officially over, its effects—shuttered doors and restaurants offering humbler, more comfort-driven cuisine—can still be seen on Toronto’s culinary landscape. So we were a bit surprised when we heard the news that the Amaya Group is set to open yet another outpost next month, this time on Ossington. With even further expansion ahead, we asked Amaya co-owner Hemant Bhagwani about the secrets to his success and the future of the empire.

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