Food Spy: Rock Lobster Food Co.’s second location opens
Pop-up lobster roll man-turned-restauranteur Matt Pettit (pictured above) opened his second Rock Lobster Food Co. location today (538 Queen St. W., at Bathurst), bringing his loud brand of east coast Canadiana to the space formerly occupied by the Shanghai Cowgirl diner. There are some differences between Pettit’s new spot and the Ossington outpost: This location is open every day and it’s much more spacious, with 70 seats inside and another 80 on the back patio. There’s also a little retail counter at the front, manned by an actual fishmonger, for people to buy lobster tails, fish, crabs, mussels, and jars of McLure’s Pickles, as well as Pettit’s new line of seafood sauce, chowder, and relish.
Shop Talk: The evolution from NY Fries to South St. Burger Co.
Just as restaurants in the city are scaling down by serving lower-priced sharing plates to appeal to the growing number of self-professed food enthusiasts, fast-food shops have gone the opposite route to appeal to the same group. Recently, The Grid sat down with South St. Burger Co. founder Jay Gould and VP operations Thomas McNaughtan to talk about the company’s expansion, and to sample its new line of “Signature Burgers” (pictured top).
Food Spy: Mark Cutrara now executive chef at Hawthorne Food and Drink
The Audit: Marky and Sparky’s brings barbecue to the Junction
Name: Marky and Sparky’s Smokehouse.
Owner: Frank DiGenova, Mirella DiGenova, and Marcus De Simone.
Neighbourhood: The Junction.
Signature: Brisket, pulled pork, wings, ribs.
Mains: $7–$20 (though $60 platters are available).
Open for: Tues–Sat noon–8 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.
Hoarding Alert: Father’s Day Gifts
Although we’ve officially entered the season of tequila, Father’s Day offers up a perfect excuse to revisit the whisky category. Why? Because somewhere way back when someone decided to spread a rumour that men liked brown liquor and women didn’t.
That said, there’s no need to buck tradition this weekend when selecting an appropriate bottle, especially since we are witness to what appears to be a last chance to pick up Highland Park 15-year-old single malt (it’s soon to be discontinued). A light, citrus-y, and smooth whisky, this bottle represents a bit of a departure from Highland Park’s 12- and 18-year-olds and, as such, would be a really good pick for the whisky specialist that already has everything.
Food Spy: It’s Fish FRYday at Scadding Court
Something is a little bit fishy at Market 707 today. The indoor swimming pool at Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas St. W., at Bathurst) has been stocked with rainbow trout, and starting at 5 p.m., you can try your luck at catching one. Fishin’ admission is only $2 and includes all of the necessary equipment, right down to the bait. Bring your catch home as is, or for an extra $0.75 have someone do the dirty work (clean and gut it) for you. Can’t wait to get home? You can also get your catch grilled on the centre’s barbecue.
Food Spy: Claudio Aprile’s Origin North opens
Few new restaurants in Toronto can boast having 350 seats, 12,000 square feet of space, two floors, patio, ample free parking, nearby subway access, and a downstairs prep kitchen the size of most downtown restaurants. Welcome to North York, home of chef Claudio Aprile’s third outpost of Origin.
Food Spy: Poutine 13 ways
Yesterday, Pizza Hut announced the release of its new patriotic ‘cheesy beef poutine’ pie. Not that we want to stop you from trying it, but maybe check out this round-up of some of the more interesting (and edible) poutine creations that can be found in Toronto before you decide to indulge.
Food Spy: Steve Gonzalez’s Valdez opens
It’s a restaurant that’s been more than two years in the making, but last Friday, Valdez (606 King St. W., at Portland), the new spot by former Origin chef and season one Top Chef Canada contestant Steve Gonzalez, finally opened. Named after his late uncle Henry Valdez (“He’s the guy who told me not to change for anyone,” Gonzalez says), the restaurant plays on the chef’s Colombian and Latin American roots, as well as his penchant for all things casual, colourful, bold, and downright dirty (street food-wise, anyway).