Planta Unveils a Sampling of Menu Creations for Media Preview

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By Rosanna Caira

TORONTO — In what could be billed as one of the fastest restaurant transformations in recent memory, the Chase Hospitality Group unveiled the menu of its newest restaurant, Planta, last night to a group of curious media. While the all plant-based restaurant, located in a space that formerly housed Pangaea restaurant at Bay and Bloor, is not scheduled to open for another two weeks, the team at Chase Hospitality   was eager to showcase the plant-based offerings developed and created by noted chef David Lee, who has partnered with Steve Salm and the CHG group to create one of the most inventive new restaurants.

“This is the most ballsy thing I’ve ever done,” quipped Salm in introducing the restaurant concept that highlights only plant-based dishes, adding it’s becoming more challenging for restaurateurs to truly be innovative. “Our new partnership with David Lee validates this style and shows how beneficial and valuable a restaurant like this can be for the city and for the environment,” said Salm, adding he expects to see more restaurateurs follow suit now that the trend is becoming more socially accepted. For Lee, who owns Nota Bene, one of the city’s top dining destinations, the opportunity to showcase plant-based dining was too good to pass up. “We’re very excited as a company to be putting plant-based dining on the map for Toronto.”

Among the varied assortment of snacks and dishes sampled at the media dinner were bruschetta with white bean miso and charred peppers; tortilla chips with queso dip (without the cheese) featuring black beans and cashew cream; cauliflower couscous with lentils, parsley, currants and split-pea fritters; Caesar salad with portobello mushroom bacon; and carrot hot dogs, mimicking the taste and texture of hot dogs. Salm says he expects average price per customer to be in the $44 range for dinner.

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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