Chef Danny Patano took just three weeks to get his new locally-focused restaurant Glas open for business.
When a chef says their new restaurant will open in three months, it usually turns into five, thanks to the usual construction and licensing delays. But chef Danny Patano opened his new restaurant Glas (1118 Queen St. E. at Caroline, #LES) for dinner just three weeks after he took over from shuttered brunch spot Frankly Eatery at the beginning of June.
“We cleaned a lot and did some little things, but we just wanted to open and get the community in here,” Patano says, adding that the restaurant is named after the German term for wine glass. He’s eager to welcome the neighbours after living abroad for the past decade. The George Brown graduate spent the last eight years cooking around Europe in places like a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Italian town of Trento, a packed tourist spot in Rome, an enoteca near the Italian-Austrian border, and as a private chef for families like the Guinness clan. He returned to Toronto to be closer to his mom and start his own restaurant, saying out of all the cities he’s been to, Toronto is the kindest.
And so the menu has that easy-going, support-the-people-around-you feeling that Patano missed about Toronto. The wine list is predominately Ontarian, and the menu is dictated by whatever he gets from purveyors like the nearby Sausage Partners butcher, Hooked fish store, and the Leslieville farmers’ market. So the menu changes constantly—as in almost every day. Recently it included a chilled asparagus soup with mussels ($6), herb-crusted trout tartar with smoked potatoes ($14), pasta fredda (cold pasta salad) with sundried tomatoes and almonds ($8). Prices for the sharing plates will likely top out at $17 when he’s using really fancy ingredients, and protein dishes will be around the $15 mark.
“There will always be at least three vegetarian dishes, because I really want to showcase our produce,” he says. “We had these strawberries that were so aromatic, I didn’t want to do too much to them so I just added some yogurt, thyme and pepper. I also can’t do hot pasta because if I have a pot of boiling water, the whole restaurant would steam up because it’s so small.” Patano’s kitchen is essentially three induction burners and a tiny convection oven, though he’s adding a sous-vide machine too.