As if opening four restaurants (The Chase, The Chase Fish & Oyster, Colette Grand Café and Little Fin) in less than two years wasn’t enough, Chase Hospitality Group is adding one more: Kasa Moto, which will serve a menu of contemporary Japanese cuisine overseen by chefs Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga (Kingyo) and Daisuke Izutsu (Don Don Izakaya). The newest addition to the growing Chase family is slated to open this spring at the corner of Yorkville and Hazelton, where Remy’s used to be. Sticking with the “business downstairs, party up top” trend, the second floor will be home to Bar Moto, which will act as both an event space and private dining area, and there’s also a rooftop terrace—home to something called Montage for a very brief time—that’s sure to be a hit come summer.
Less than two months after a Christmas Day fire destroyed Sotto Sotto, a longtime favourite dining spot of Yorkville’s elite, the landmark Italian restaurant is reopening just a couple doors north of its previous address. (Or, as loyal customer Drake might say, it started two doors over, now it’s here.) The new address is 120 Avenue Road, a space previously occupied by Dyne. Spokesperson Laura Fracassi says a grand opening is forthcoming, but the restaurant will have a soft reopening on February 19, which is today. “It’s still the same Sotto Sotto, but it’s bigger,” says Fracassi. Regulars can expect the same menu and even familiar servers—the restaurant has re-hired staff that had to be let go after the blaze. Until renovations are complete, Sotto Sotto will only be open for dinner service, Thursdays to Sundays. As of an hour ago, reservations were still available for tonight, but they are, unsurprisingly, flooding in.
To his wife and girlfriends and business partners, Albert Allan Rosenberg was a billionaire, a Swiss baron, a merchant banker with holdings around the world, the most charming guy in the room. The incredible story of how he fooled them all
Looking back, it does seem unlikely that a Swiss billionaire baron would be seeking love on the Internet, but when Antoinette met Albert Rosenberg on eHarmony in February 2012, she just figured she got lucky. Along with the European title, he was also charming, successful, dashing and, yes, mega-rich, hard at work on his latest venture, a Canadian merchant bank called Marwa Holdings. He was educated at Harvard, fluent in French and German, a world traveller. Rosenberg had a thriving medical software business back in Zurich and a sizable trust in the multimillions. He was heir to the Ovaltine fortune, a direct descendent of Albert Wander, who invented the popular Swiss malt drink back in 1904. This was how he supported his lavish lifestyle. Or so he said.
The Place: A 1,248 square foot penthouse in one of Yorkville’s smaller condo buildings. There are two bedrooms, a balcony, two parking spaces and an open-concept living and dining area.
Anyone who’s been grieving the loss of Yorkville’s longstanding rooftop bar can breathe a sigh of relief: the patio formerly known as Remys Yorkville is finally reopening, albeit in modified form. Now called Montage, the building at 115 Yorkville Avenue has been turned into a fancy restaurant and lounge with designated members-only areas, access to which can apparently be purchased for a hefty annual fee. The restaurant won’t be open until later this year, but the revamped rooftop area—complete with private cabanas and bottle service—officially “premiered” last weekend, just in time for the end of TIFF and the beginning of autumn. As for the overall vibe, the Montage website offers this: “Fly to the moon and play among the stars up on this vast rooftop space limited only by our Yorkville neighbours and your imagination. Sit, stir or be stirred; the choice is yours.” So, there you have it. Judging by some other aspects of the website, guests can also expect lots of quasi-Roman symbology and sexy ladies smoking cigars.
Montage, 115 Yorkville Ave., 416-968-9429, montageyorkville.com
The Place: An unfurnished, three-bedroom unit for rent in Yorkville’s No. 10 Bellair Residences. In 2012, we featured a lower penthouse in the building.
Of all neighbourhoods in Toronto, one would think Yorkville would have the means to keep a few sidewalk trees fed and happy, but evidently not. A few days ago, the Star’s Jack Lakey pointed out the obvious: “Half the trees on the north side [of Bloor] have withered,” he wrote, “while about a third of the trees on the south side have given up the fight.” Lakey spoke to Toronto urban forestry manager Dean Hart, who theorized that the die-off was caused by this year’s unusually harsh winter, and particularly all the salt that was scattered on Yorkville’s sidewalks to combat the freeze.
That can’t be the whole story, though, because the poor condition of Yorkville’s foliage also attracted some notice back in 2012, when the Globe reported that many of the strip’s London plane trees, installed as part of a lengthy sidewalk-improvement project that was completed in 2011, were already totally bare of leaves and tangled up with stray plastic bags. The tree problems are especially perplexing because the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area invested in some fancy technology specifically to prevent this outcome. The tree planters between Bay and Church streets are outfitted with Silva Cells, special subterranean soil containers designed to give tree roots plenty of room to spread. But trees can’t live on money alone, we guess.
Agent: Jonathan Ferrier, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Brokerage
The Place: A brand-new backsplit filled with modern touches (zinc cladding, a home-automation system and a Scavolini kitchen, to name just a few), located steps from the Mink Mile.
In the annals of Toronto NIMBYism, this one is destined to become a classic. In a clever inversion of the usual script (wherein pitchfork-waving townsfolk complain about a developer’s plan to tear down an old building), some Yorkville residents are objecting to a businessman’s bid to move a heritage building into their community.
The Good Press claims to make “Toronto’s freshest cold-pressed juices”—a fairly grandiose claim, given the number of cold-press specialists currently making similar promises around the city. (For the uninitiated, most modern-day juicers believe that “cold-pressing” fruits and vegetables—i.e. grinding them into a messy pulp and then squeezing the juice out by applying huge amounts of pressure—preserves more nutrients than giving them a whir in a traditional juicer.) Owners Leila and Andrew Ois have a history on Toronto’s health-food scene: they’ve been hocking tempeh steaks and nutritional juices at Dufferin Grove’s Sunshine Wholesome Market since 2007. Befitting the chi chi address, their new shop has a more upmarket, boutique-y feel, but the menu of made-to-order smoothies and vegetable elixirs will be familiar to Sunshine fans. Also available: veggie wraps, slightly scary-sounding “live energy shots” made with things like ginseng and turmeric, and five different bowls layered with fruit, granola and açai, the superfood of the moment.