How many hot turkey sandwiches, their rubbery white bread hulls swimming in brown gravy, have dropped anchor in the eighth-floor gastronomic retreat of the Hudson Bay company since hungry department store shoppers first began seeking retail refuge there? The Arcadian Court has undergone many incarnations since the days when the Robert Simpson Company first opened its doors in 1929, and a piece of contemporary advertising expounded on the place’s “brillliant modern originality.” And it’s about to sustain another, with the Hudson Bay Company’s recent announcement that it will partner with global foodservice firm Compass Group and upscale Toronto restaurateur...more
With a novel eatery about to ooze into the downtown core, Toronto is poised to get a whole lot cheesier. Obika bases its entire existence on a ball of springy cheese from Italy, and if a mozzarella bar sounds like a funky idea, be patient. Sushi bars—a restaurant dedicated to a single dish?! Surely not—were once exotic oddities, too.
Buffalo mozzarella—or Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP if you’re a stickler for technicalities—is mozzarella cheese made from the milk of water buffalo, as opposed to the pedestrian cow. The buffalo juice is said to be richer than Bessy’s milk, and to contain abundant protein, fat and minerals courtesy of the lumbering beast’s efficient digestive system....more
Chipotle-infused jerky, truffle-flavoured popcorn and hot chocolate on a stick lead the charge of innovative foodstuffs poised for glory to follow their triumphant unveiling at a semi-annual upmarket edibles show designed to stimulate the tastebuds of hungry-for-novelty foodies everywhere. The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade is a not-for-profit association that infuses the late January deep freeze with an glut of gastronomic excitement in the form of the Winter Fancy Food Show, held last month in San Francisco.
Open only to the specialty food trade, this annual spectacle whets the appetite of the grocers, restaurateurs and specialty product purveyors who frequent it in pursuit of the next big thing courtesy...more
The all-powerful institution that is the Canadian Automobile Association-American Automobile Association combo has once again cast its grace on an esteemed collection of foodservice and hospitality providers with the release of its annual diamond list—and perpetuated its snub of the Toronto restaurant scene in the process.
The pinnacle of the inventory are those foodservice establishments in North America and the Caribbean the automobile folks deem worthy of a five-diamond rating. Scour this revised list as you may, you will find no evidence of any of our city’s fine-food peddlers thereon.
All told, a half dozen Canadian restaurants get the five-diamond nod, more than 10% of the 55 doled out for North America...more
Chinese New Year bounds onto the scene February 3, bringing with it an almost-imperative to sample the cuisine from the Far East. Fortunately enough, it’s a brand of fare with which Toronto enjoys a splendid reputation, and the ushering-in of the Year of the Rabbit provides an ideal opportunity to venture out of the hole for a nibble.
A Taste of the World is a provider of educational tours through Toronto’s various multicultural neighbourhoods that has presided, in the last several years, over a raft of gastronomy-inspired events for ringing in another turn round the Chinese calendar. Hosted by company founder and devoted foodie Shirley Lum, this year’s assortment includes Chinatown Tours that explore the culture and personal development to which 2011 is allegedly devoted, on January 29 and 30, and February 12, 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Among other Asian-infused ports of call, the tour will stop in at a bakery, a supermarket and a tea shop....more
E11even, a handsome fine eatery at Maple Leaf Square on 15 York St., whose crusty bread is buttered copiously by diners flying to and from the facing Air Canada Centre, has entered another level of the digital dining age with a recent enhancement to its technological oeuvre.
The restaurant’s extensive wine cellar—600 labels strong—is newly accessible to its clientele via the addition of some 40 tableside iPads. These little marvels make the wine drinker’s task easier thanks to the ability they lend customers to search their vino choices by region, vintage, producer or price.
The Toronto restaurant, which favours North American classics like crab cakes and jumbo shrimp cocktail, along with such comfort-food staples as mac and cheese and milk and cookies...more
The day is dawning when Canoe Restaurant, which pulled in its oars for the month of January to perform renovations, will be afloat once more. And, to hear the plans for Oliver & Bonacini’s flagship vessel, the renewed accommodations will be more seaworthy than ever.
Designer Lindsey Anacleto, a managing partner of the eponymous firm that has overseen the design and development of such high-profile clients as The Body Shop Canada, is looking to refresh the space, for which the proprietors have just renewed their 15-year lease.
Upgrades to the million-dollar revamp include the addition of polished concrete floors, a full paint job, a soapstone bar, banquettes, walnut tabletops, unique metal wall installations and rustic chandeliers....more
2010 was the year when a sandwich turned inside out and the world declared the lard-laden innovation a miracle.
KFC’s Double Down, with its fried-chicken “bread” embracing a bacon-and-cheese filling, slid greasily onto the scene on the strength of its novelty, a virtue folks in the foodservice business have long acknowledged as potentially critical to the future success of a product.
Smash a burger between a grilled cheese sandwich, deep-fry an old standby in chicken fat, introduce bacon to almost anything (including bacon itself), slather meat in tomato sauce and call it “Italian,” wrap some foodstuff up in a holiday (Shamrock Shake, anyone?) add a splashy advertising campaign to the advancement and call it good.
Sustainability is the catchword of the times, and it’s important for people to fling it about wildly, as if they actually know what it means. Cowbell, a Queen West-West French bistro with profoundly globally conscientious leanings, genuinely does—and has just been officially recognized for same.
Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF), an independent certification program that rates restaurants and foodservice facilities for their adherence to strict environmental criteria, has granted Cowbell the distinction of becoming Toronto’s first-ever eco-friendly restaurant....more