TORONTO — Charles Khabouth and Danny Soberano have opened Amal, a modern Lebanese cuisine restaurant located at 131 Bloor Street West in Toronto. Meaning hope, Amal pays homage to the culture, food and people of Lebanon, and will open to the public on August 18.
With Beirut-born executive chef Rony Ghaleb at the helm, Amal offers cuisine influenced by the different civilizations that held power in the region. The menu includes elevated Lebanese dips, cold and hot mezze, skewers, platters, carne and the customary plat du jour, along with a selection of the Middle East’s Arak spirit.
Ghaleb, who moved to Toronto from Beirut in late 2019, has served in some of Lebanon’s most esteemed hospitality venues, including the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut.
“As a Lebanese-Canadian, I take great pride in offering an authentic dining experience at Amal,” says Charles Khabouth, CEO, INK Entertainment. “My wish is that we tribute the people of Lebanon in a positive way and continue to bring awareness to the amazing yet challenged country, especially during this time of need. The Lebanese are such passionate and hospitable people, with deep love for family and celebrating life together. We plan to honour this way of living with Amal in Toronto, and soon with our second location in Coconut Grove, Miami.”
A year ago, Khabouth and INK executives travelled to Lebanon to immerse themselves in Lebanese culture. Everything from the restaurant decor and dishware have been handpicked and imported from Lebanon, and the brand itself was imagined by a Middle-Eastern design firm.
Amal is INK’s latest creation with the award-winning design firm, Studio Munge. With modernized hand-crafted details, Amal’s interior is 5,230-sq.-ft. of all-white space with colourful bursts of pastel blues, mint greens and burned oranges reminiscent of the Mediterranean eastern shores. From the hand-painted ceiling tapestry and murals to the beautifully detailed furnishings, everything in the venue inspires escapism. Exhibiting modernized traditional design details, Amal can host 155 guests inside and 62 guests outside overlooking the shopping strip along Bloor Street.
At time of open, Amal’s capacity will be reduced to align with the guidelines set out by local health officials. Faced with a challenging few months amid the pandemic, INK Entertainment has successfully opened two other new venues (Cabana Waterfront Patio and CityView Drive-In) and is proud to have re-employed more than 800 staff that were subject to temporary layoffs as a result of the mandated lockdown.