St. Clair seafood restaurant Catch gets a new menu and a new head chef

St. Clair seafood restaurant Catch gets a new menu and a new head chef

(Image: Meaghan Binstock)

“Less is more” seems to be the collective motto among Toronto restaurateurs: less formal, less fussy and less expensive. It’s the formula recently applied by Little Italy’s Acadia—once one of the city’s most ambitious kitchens, now a retro Italian sandwich shop and cocktail barand, more recently, by seafood restaurant Catch.

The St. Clair dining room, which just reopened after a month-long closure, has revamped its menu and brought on a new head chef—Jazz Bistro’s Matthew Cowan, who used to be the exec chef at Simple Bistro. Former chef Charlotte Langley parted ways with the restaurant just after the New Year.

“We decided to take things in a different direction,” explained owner Frank Pronesti, who also owns nearby restaurant The Rushton. In this case, that means louder music, lower prices and a wider selection of dishes. “One of the things we were finding is that not everyone wants to eat seafood,” Pronesti said. “Also, some people were saying they loved the food, but thought the portions were too small for the price.”

The revamped menu still includes plenty of seafood, including whole-fish platters and a new raw bar, but it also lists non-pescatarian pastas, salads and four different steak dishes. The decor has also seen small cosmetic changes, like new chalkboard menus (and “no wineglasses on tables,” Pronesti stresses). So far, the make-under may be working: the restaurant’s Valentine’s Day dinner has been fully booked for days.