Because Tim Horton's doesn't do dinner (yet), other restaurants still need to exist, and Toronto's had a slew of awesome new ones swing open their doors in the last few months, so we've distilled a list of the town's latest & greatest ribbon cuttings (which doesn't include the newest T-dot locale).
Toronto's summer openings roundup
Name: Origin North in Bayview Village
Opened: August '13
Why You Should Care: A companion to the well established King St E location, Origin North's sleek and modern interior compliments the selection of internationally-inspired dishes, w/ everything from a 1/2lb of snow crab claws, to miso black cod, to Bangkok beef noodles, to a Sparta salad, whose shaved veg & yuzu will certainly not make you feel like you're dining in hell. While it's not cheap, it is delicious, and there's even an entire Mozzarella Bar! Last call for Emmental...
Name: Rock Lobster (Queen West)
Opened: June '13
Why You Should Care: Rock Lobster on Ossington has yet to celebrate its first birthday, but it's done so crazy well already they've expanded to a second spot -- the East Coast-themed, patio-equipped Queen location offers way more space, a larger menu (adding the likes of a fish sandwich labelled the Fillet "Eh" Fish, lobster-stuffed devilled eggs, and bacon-wrapped corn dogs), plus 'tails like their Fruit Loop-flavored alcoholic breakfast beverage.
Name: Amsterdam BrewHouse on the Lake
Opened: June '13
Why You Should Care: 14,000 sqft of BrewHouse big enough for you? No? Then your standards are way too high. With more than 800 seats spread throughout a vast rustic interior and lakeside patio, Amsterdam Brewery's latest is putting out fresh brews like Big Wheel & Boneshaker IPA, as well as experimental numbers like a four month-aged Baltic Porter. Food's all beer-paired (duh), and see the likes of boneless shortribs, French-dip sandos, and duck grilled cheese.
Name: Osteria dei Ganzi
Opened: May '13
Why You Should Care: Set in an elegant East Toronto mansion built in 1891 by famed architect George Horace Gooderham, OdG pairs its lush surrounds with Italian eats ranging from osso buco to homemade gnocchi w/ oyster 'shrooms, and dandelion & anchovy pasta. There are similarly inspired cocktails, w/ the standard Negronis & Sidecars meeting originals like the bourbon and maple syrup Time & Date, which may well make you forget both.
Opened: March '13
Why You Should Care: Vegan and delicious? Yes, the two words can, on occasion, hang out in a sentence together. This medium-sized, Queen Street West hangout is now decked out with wood and industrial lighting, and offers Mediterranean-inspired, allegedly healthy fare like maple scented yam mash, olive oil and yukon gold whip, and rigatoni w/ cashew cream & shiitakes.
Name: Brock Sandwich
Opened: July '13
Why You Should Care: Not a power move in a Lesnar tag team, Brock Sandwich will actually sling you a delicious bread-packed meal for under $10 in a simple Bloordale Villiage space -- the sizeable lunchables include a pulled pork number, a crispy buttermilk fried chicken sammy, and a seared albacore tuna-wich.
Name: Ryus Noodle Bar
Opened: July '13
Why You Should Care: A humble noodle bar offering meat & veggie options, this quiet restaurant with friendly staff will be a popular choice once the chill of fall sets in; the spicy miso tanmen comes recommended by both staff and patrons and's made with either tofu or pork. If noodles aren't your thing, first take a deep long look at your life, then order the AAA roast beef, served with rich truffle oil.
1. Origin North2901 Bayview Ave Ste 300, Toronto
2. Rock Lobster (Queen)538 Queen St. West, Toronto
3. Amsterdam BrewHouse245 Queens Quay W, South Building, Toronto
4. Osteria dei Ganzi504 JARVIS ST. , Toronto
5. Grasslands478 Queen Street W., Toronto
6. Brock Sandwich1260 Bloor St West, Toronto
7. Ryus Noodle Bar33 Baldwin Street, Toronto
This chic bar restaurant is decked in mahogany wood and hanging amber lights and features three different bars. Of course they serve craft cocktails and an endless flow of beer and wine, but oysters and mozzarella, well they deserve their own bars too, right?
This Queens West location of the seafood favorite has twice the space with a huge wooden, maritime-themed patio, nets, and ocean-themed taxidermy. Rock Lobster sizzles up steam pots of the classic crustaceans and creates some pretty flavorful street food items like lobster tacos, corn on the cob dusted with potato chip crumbs, and bacon wrapped corn dogs.
With over 800 seats and waterfront placement, Amsterdam Brewhouse offers plenty of breezy and relaxed socializing opportunities for beer drinkers and their friends alike. Inside, the place is huge -- it's got two floors, and a second-floor open kitchen devoted entirely to food prep -- and all in all houses two separate dining areas, a bar, a running brewery, and a retail store selling exclusive brews. Beer is obviously the great unifier here (though food is also on offer), and the alehouse offers an extensive list of non-pasteurized bottled, draft, and canned beer. There're also cocktails of the classic and frozen variety, and, an extensive wine list, because no lakeside hang is complete without a glass of rosé
Osteria dei Ganzi is a contemporary and sleek restaurant inside the historic mansion and old home of famous architect, George Horace Gooderham. With some heavy Italian influence, Ganzi has an artistic and authentic menu that is designed around the classic Italian motto to live in the moment. The wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas, and craft cocktails are meant to be enjoyed while relaxing on their outdoor patio and admiring the architecture and lush garden.
This American style tapas bar and restaurant serves contemporary vegetarian and vegan snacks and small plates with a mediterranean influence. They use all fresh ingredients to craft their cocktails like the Black Forest Martini, carefully shaken with vodka, ice, raspberries, and drizzled with dark chocolate.
Brock has cheap and unique sandwiches and salads for under 10 bucks. The buttermilk fried chicken is a favorite, but if you're more into the greens, the veggie panini is equally as flavorful, and yes, probably healthier for you, if we're going to split hairs here.
This quaint little ramen spot is simplistic, but welcoming and dead on with flavors. Try their best selling spicy miso tanmen and supplement the pork for tofu if you don't indulge in a carnivorous diet.