The Local Company: is the Danforth still seeking its sexy hero?
Late last year, there was buzz that the Danforth was primping for some big nights out. The opening of The Local Company, near Logan, was supposed to bring an upscale, King West sexiness to the Greektown strip. We checked on the area’s progress and discovered that the nightlife effect was there on weekends, but the mid-week vibe is not so hot.
On a recent Wednesday evening, a couple of east-enders found themselves at Local, outnumbered by staff eight to four. While our informant diners were waiting for their food, they were treated to loud discussions among the servers about the restaurant they’d be eating at once Local closed (some place in Little Italy) and the parties they had attended that weekend. Fair enough. This is the side effect of hiring the necessary cool staff. But the diners also found the food disappointing—particularly some slightly unnerving dips that “all tasted exactly the same, but were different colours. It was kind of freaky.”
Such Toronto retail success stories as Type and Body Blue have crossed over the DVP divide and now have prominent locations in both east- and west-end shopping strips. But is the same true of food, or do Toronto neighbourhoods have distinct, intransigent dining character? Is King Westness transportable? Should it be?
Fortunately, the Danforth’s hopes don’t rest on Local’s success. When they’re on their game, places like Globe Bistro can attract diners from across the city. And it’s good that more than one trendy place is now available to Greektown diners, because for a spot that specializes in bottle service, Local didn’t do so well on the booze test, either. To finish the meal, one of our diners requested a single malt. Follow-up question from the waiter: “Is that a shiraz?”
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Editor’s Note: This Daily Dish post is not a review, simply a short report on one experience at this establishment. Toronto Life’s starred reviews can be found in their entirety in our Restaurant Guide.