Open Season


TORONTO — It has often been said that there’s two seasons in the Great White North — winter, and patio season. Well, if you are a Toronto restaurateur, there’s clearly three, because summer always means new restaurant openings in Hogtown.

In the past week alone, three buzz-worthy restaurants have opened on the west side of town — Beast, Parts and Labour and Enoteca Sociale. Each concept is quite different, highlighting the diversity and depth of young, creative talent in the city.

At Beast, on Tecumseth St., chef Scott Vivian and his pastry chef wife, Rachelle, have moved into the old digs that Jason Inniss, Sarah Lyons and Bertrand Alépée left when they closed their much-beloved restaurant Amuse Bouche in May, following a healthy run. The Vivians open their new restaurant after parting ways with their former partners at The Wine Bar, Ted and Mary Koutsogiannopoulos. “I’m not going to do a specific concept, but just have good, local food in a good neighbourhood,” Scott told Toronto Life.

Further west in Parkdale, another restaurant has opened its doors, though Parts and Labour is a lot more than that. Part restaurant, part gallery space, part nightclub, Parts and Labour is two floors of food and fun. It’s the love child of Richard Lambert and Jesse Girard — who co-own the Queen West hotspot The Social — and Oddfellows restaurant owners Brian Richer and Kei Ng (who also own the Castor design house). Chef Matt Matheson has fashioned a meat-heavy menu with unapologetic dishes like fried pig face and horse tenderloin, and he also grows his own vegetables on a rooftop garden.

Not to be outdone, Max Rimaldi and Rocco D’Augostino, the owners of popular Pizza Libretto on Ossington Ave., have opened a new wine bar, called Enoteca Sociale, on Dundas St. W., with partner, Daniel Clarke. The menu is heavy with rustic Roman influences and loads of Italian wines, but — surprise, surprise — there’s no pizza on the menu. There are, however, authentic Italian dishes such as house-made pappardelle with braised rabbit and braised oxtail with polenta.

All three openings are great news for Toronto’s thriving restaurant scene — all diners need to do now is get a reservation.


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