93 Harbord’s Isam Kaisi unveils a new, casual eatery at College and Ossington
Dufferin Grove residents have long puzzled over the status of the storefront at 842 College Street, the former home of Portuguese bar Cervejaria. The property, which has been under renovations for a full two years, has shown little outward indication of what form it will eventually take—until earlier this month, when new signage announced the opening of District Oven, a new Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant from 93 Harbord’s Isam Kaisi.
“Community” is the theme of Kaisi’s new venture, which is just a week or two shy of its launch date. Customers will be seated at big communal tables and encouraged to share a mix of dips, kebabs and seafood platters, as well as flatbreads topped with things like halloumi cheese and za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend. Even the restaurant’s name fits the theme: it refers to the big village ovens that once anchored many medieval Mediterranean communities—sort of like the communal pizza oven in nearby Dufferin Grove Park.