We already reported that Anton Potvin, until recently owner of the Niagara Street Café, had found buyers for his much-loved locale. Now we can tell you who they are: husband-and-wife chefs Tobey Nemeth and Michael Caballo, who flew into Toronto last week to sign the paperwork and flew out again the next day. “We have to go to Vancouver to pick up our stuff, but we’ll be back in a week and we’re really excited to be back in Toronto,” Nemeth told us. “We tried Vancouver, but we didn’t love it. I think Toronto has the most exciting dining scene in Canada and this is where we want to be for the rest of our lives.”
The couple married in 2008 then spent the next four years on the road, cooking in postcard-worthy locales—Chianti, Haida Gwaii in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Panama’s Pearl Islands—and Vancouver, and are now eager to strike out on their own. For Caballo it’s even more of a homecoming: he headed up the kitchen at Niagara Street Café from 2005 to 2008. The couple plans to open the doors as soon as possible. “We’re only making a few small cosmetic changes,” says Nemeth. “We always thought the size and set-up were perfect for us, and we love the intimacy of the space.”
The name will change to Edulis, one half of the Latin botanical name for porcini mushroom. “Michael is a self-described ‘mushroom nerd’ and is a passionate forager of wild foods,” said Nemeth, who was Jamie Kennedy’s chef de cuisine at his Wine Bar and is well versed in his school of local and sustainable cooking. “There will be a strong presence of wild foods on our menu, particularly wild mushrooms.” Nemeth also had fond words for Potvin. “We both have a real connection to the place and to Anton, whom we adore. He has been incredibly supportive and welcoming to us throughout this. We are very grateful to him and we hope he is happy to know how much love we will put into the place.”
When Edulis launches in April or May, the couple expects to be open five nights a week for dinner, and for Sunday lunch. For now, Niagara Street Café will remain open until the end of the month with Steve Gonzalez heading up the kitchen.