13 new restaurants and bars to check out this fall
Where to eat veggie burgers, manakeesh and côte de boeuf right now
163 Spadina Ave., 1st floor, 416-260-3444, aloetterestaurant.com
Alo’s more casual (but still really good-looking) sister restaurant two storeys below at Queen and Spadina serves elevated diner classics, including a Beaufort cheese-topped burger and an apple pie sundae. The best part: you don’t need a reservation to get a table.
930 Queen St. W., no phone, amaalways.com
This Trinity Bellwoods spot serves a menu of Argentine staples, including ceviche, empanadas and choripan. Most of the cocktails here go unnamed as they’re often one-off custom concoctions created on the fly.
60 Sudbury St., 416-586-1188, bacchanal.ca
Filling the space briefly occupied by Recess, an all-day-breakfast diner, is this fancy French bistro from Alo, Le Sélect and Campagnolo alumni. The single-page menu offers traditional bistro classics (pâté, steak frites, côte de boeuf) but there’s also a raw bar and a carte blanche menu.
552 College St., no phone, bangarangbar.com
From the folks behind Little Italy’s lawn-games spot, Track and Field, comes Bangarang, another adult play place that’s also a cocktail bar. Here, guests can play corn hole (a.k.a. beanbag toss) and various tabletop games, including sjoelen (Dutch shuffleboard) and billard Japonais (a traditional French game).
229 Ossington Ave., 647-350-9229, barsybanne.com
Ossington’s new Mediterranean tapas bar from Howard Dubrovsky (L.A.B., Fonda Lola) serves a menu of sharing dishes divided into three categories: dips (hummus with sumac and za’atar), hot (fried chicken with orange-blossom honey) and cold (whitefish crudo). The restaurant’s signature cocktails were designed by the Drake’s Sandy de Almeida.
1 Austin Terrace, 416-353-4647, bluebloodsteakhouse.com
Toronto now has a swanky steakhouse in a castle. The super-luxe restaurant inside Casa Loma serves all the carnivore classics, with a section dedicated to fine beef cuts from around the world. There’s even a wagyu filet tasting. It’s like a wine flight…but with meat. (The steakhouse also recently hosted Drake for his 31st birthday.)
210 Lakeshore Rd. E., Oakville, 905-844-1286, hexagonrestaurant.com
Chef Sean MacDonald (the national winner of the 2016 San Pellegrino Young Chef competition) helms the kitchen at this new French restaurant in the heart of downtown Oakville. The short à la carte lunch menu includes bistro classics like steak frites and French onion soup. For dinner, guests can choose between a four-course tasting menu and a nine-course carte blanche.
1276 Dundas St. W., 647-291-6097, @mahjongbar
Hidden behind a storefront painted millenial pink, Dundas West’s newest speakeasy serves signature cocktails featuring Asian ingredients. The menu of Chinese small plates (wontons, noodles, eggplant and crispy pork) was developed by Tricia Soo of Ossington’s Malaysian restaurant, Soos.
Northern Maverick Brewing
115 Bathurst St., 416-540-4030, northernmaverick.ca
King West’s massive new brewery pours pints alongside chef Mark Cutrara’s (Cowbell, Bar Hop Brewco) menu that includes charcuterie boards, smoked trout, grilled octopus and steak. There’s also an oyster bar and weekend brunch.
Yorkville Village, 55 Avenue Rd., 647-349-1085, palmlane.ca
Aiming to prove that you really can win friends with salad, the Chase Hospitality Group has opened this fast-casual salad counter in Yorkville Village, serving healthful salads, grain bowls and smoothies.
4 Temperance St., 647-348-7000, plantarestaurants.com
The Chase Hospitality Group has two new spots in this restaurant roundup. Their new patty-based spin-off of Yorkville’s Planta serves a short menu of plant-based comfort food favourites: onion rings, fries, shakes and, of course, burgers.
1029 Gerrard St. E., no phone, @poor_romeo_bar
From the people behind Pinkertons, Leslieville’s late-night small-plates spot, comes neighbouring Poor Romeo, an all-American affair specializing in smashed burgers, craft beer and rock-and-roll.
676 Queen St. W., 647-350-7737, soufis.ca
The Al Soufi family, along with a staff of Syrian newcomers, send out traditional Syrian dishes from their Queen West kitchen, including sweet knafeh cheese pastries and manakeesh.