The highly anticipated John and Sons Oyster House is now up and running in the prime corner real estate previously occupied by Terroni on Yonge south of St. Clair (in between, it was an Italian place called Divino). The restaurant was opened by the same team that’s behind Rodney’s by Bay—indeed, the downtown sister location has now taken on the John and Sons moniker, launching co-owner John Belknap into the ranks of the city’s oyster tycoons (the “Rodney’s” name was previously used under licence from Rodney’s Oyster House). The 100-seat restaurant’s modern-rustic interior was styled by Belknap’s brother-in-law, Brad Denton, whose previous work includes Le Petit Castor, Czehoski and The Harbord Room. There’s a decided nautical theme, with bare bulbs hanging from thick rope and little model lighthouses in niches behind the oyster bar.
Depending on what’s in season, raw bar manager Mark Moore serves a selection of seven to nine kinds of oysters each night. They are served individually at market prices, ranging from $2.50 to $4.50 each. For the bivalve-averse, co-owner and chef Sonia Potichnyj has created a diverse à la carte menu featuring sustainable fish dishes like a breadless tuna BLT ($24), Louisiana whitetail jumbo shrimp ($18) and seafood ravioli ($24). Non-fish options include beef short-rib poutine ($19) and Korean fried chicken ($21), and for dessert there’s homemade pomegranate- and cherry-jelly-filled doughnuts ($8) and a triplet of s’mores ($8). The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and serves brunch on weekends.