Four Toronto Food Hot Spots That Are Making Waves In 2018
Most restaurants strive to offer some sort of unique angle, and CGH’s Planta and Palm Lane will both appeal to those looking to reduce their dead animal intake.
Planta (located in both Toronto and Miami) aims at creating delicious dishes using sustainable ingredients. Opened to fill “a void in the market of upscale, full service, plant-based dining options,” Planta’s vision “is to celebrate innovative cuisine in a beautiful environment without the use of any animal products.”
Palm Lane, located in Toronto’s new Yorkville Village is dedicated to whole-meal salads, and grain and legumes based bowls. Diners can choose from one of Chef Tyler Shedden’s many composed salads and bowls, or opt to custom build their own, with up to 80 ingredients to choose from.
Considering more and more people (young people in particular) are opting for a vegetarian — or all out vegan diet — Planta and Palm Lane off some upscale meat-free dining experiences.
While on the subject of restaurants, the evolution of the pub into the gastropub reaches its pinnacle with what might be dubbed the gastrobrewpub: establishments that micro-brew on premise and whose emphasis on crafting top-quality suds is matched equally by their focus on creative cuisine that rises high above “pub grub.”
Goose Island Brewery started out as a single brewpub in Chicago which, after being purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev, expanded into global markets, including Toronto. Officially opened in July, 2017, the Goose Island Brewhouse continues to expand its food and drink capacity. Head Brewer Bernard Priest-Blais and Assistant Brewer Marc Mammoliti have crafted over 35 original brews, including their experimental, cask-aged variants. Representing a collaborative effort between Priest-Blais, Mammoliti, and Chef Shawn Jackson, the seasonal menu features fresh and local ingredients designed to pair with locally made brews and Goose Island’s established line of quality beers. Diners not only have the experience of dining in a working brewery housed in a historic ex-steel working facility, they also have the opportunity to interact with Priest-Blais and Mammoliti.
A similar gourmet food and beer pairing adventure awaits those venturing into King Taps, another Toronto operation that’s elevating the gastropub concept. With over 50 brews on taps — including original collaborations with local breweries — and a menu that stretches form gourmet pizzas, salads and bowls, to steaks, burgers, chicken, fish, and unique small bites (crispy sushi, anyone?), patrons can enjoy a relaxed brew and bite in one of the city’s most bustling beats.
Finally, if you want to pair fine dining with shopping for (or just looking at) luxury home furnishings (it’s not as incongruent as it sounds at first), be sure to visit Restoration Hardware’s RH Toronto, The Gallery at Yorkdale, the grand opening of which saw close to 2,000 influencers and celebs — including Ben Mulroney and supermodel Coco Rocha (and the odd mere peon like moi) — join RH Chairman & CEO Gary Friedman in the unveiling of this impressive structure.
Once your eyes have been filled taking in the luxurious surroundings, fill your stomach at either the RH Courtyard Café or the RH Barista Bar. The former features a beautifully-terraced façade of Venetian plaster and a lush interior courtyard flanked by dramatic open-air loggias, where guests can sit beneath heritage olive trees and a 140-foot wide skylight and enjoy a seasonal, ingredient-driven menu accompanied by a curated selection of artisanal wines and craft beers.
The RH Barista Bar, located beneath the soaring ceiling, acts as the structure’s dramatic focal point defined by a Tuscan colonnade and facet-edged limestone slabs. Let the skilled baristas (who really do approach coffee as an art) craft you the perfect cup, while you enjoy one (or two) of the fresh house-made doughnuts (five flavours) and pastries.