Just Opened: The owner of Globe Bistro brings Kevin McKenna’s fresh and local dining to Rosedale with Earth

Just Opened: The owner of Globe Bistro brings Kevin McKenna’s fresh and local dining to Rosedale with Earth

(Photo by Signe Langford)

Word on the street is that the space at 1055 Yonge is cursed. It’s had a long history of failed restaurants—Tabla, Plakutta, Rosewood Grill, Roxborough’s, Cucina, Arlecchino, Emerald Thai, L’Actuel, Trata, Rosedale Oyster—places that came and went, sometimes before the ink had dried on the lease. Misty-eyed locals still reminisce about Cibo, the last decent thing to happen to this space, and it closed in 1992. Now, Ed Ho, owner of Globe Bistro on the Danforth (and former Bay Streeter, who, like a certain Alaskan, went rogue), has moved in with his latest restaurant, Earth. And Ed Ho doesn’t scare easily.

We’re basing this not just on the fact that Ho signed a lease for a spot with a dubious history, but that he gambled on a high-end dining room, in an expensive part of town, in the middle of an economic downturn. “[Marc] Thuet was here looking at this space; so were the guys from The Fifth, and Chris McDonald of Cava,” says Ho. “They didn’t want it. I got it.”

Heady stuff: Kevin McKenna in his meat locker (Photo by Signe Langford)

Ho, who is confident that the economy will steadily improve, actually lucked out on this space, netting beautiful kitchen equipment, including a gorgeous wood-burning pizza oven big enough for chef Kevin McKenna (Fat Duck, Eigensinn Farm) to roast whole Tamworth suckling pigs into golden crackling. McKenna, who divides his time and talent between Globe and Earth, has created a moderately priced, local and sustainable menu. “Ed told me the people in this neighbourhood won’t spend much at dinner, but they will dine out up to three nights a week, and if they like a place, they’ll go to the same place three nights in a row,” says McKenna. In a clever response, the chef sells his primo cuts of meat (Wellington County rib-eye, Haldimand County rack of lamb, etc.) by the ounce, cut to order.

The plan appears to be working. On a busy Friday night, the minimalist beige-on-black room fills with customers who run the gamut from stylish kids with their parents’ credit cards to gracefully greying retirees in casual attire. There are even a few rowdy types at the bar, enjoying the solid Canadian wine list. When you look around, it’s hard to believe this space was ever considered cursed.

Earth, 1055 Yonge St. (at Roxborough St.), 416-551-9890 , globeearth.ca.