The ultra chic Thompson Hotel is seeking to provide Toronto tourists and locals a form of luxury never seen in Toronto. By being the first five-star hotel to open in Toronto since the Hazelton Hotel, and the primary competitor to soon- to- open Ritz-Carelton, Trump International, the new Four Seasons and the Shangri-La the Thompson group knew everything had to be perfect.
One of the key strategies for the Thompson Hotel is to not only have luxurious rooms but a flagship restaurant that adds to the hotel experience. When Thompson Hotel opened up in New York City, they lured Toronto super chef Susur Lee to open up his first NYC restaurant. Coincidentally, the Toronto hotel has nabbed one of New York City’s top Italian chefs, Scott Conant, to open up a location in Toronto.
The opening of Scarpetta comes with a great amount of fan-fare as this is the first time a star chef has opened up a location in the city of Toronto. Over the years, there have been rumours of celebrity chefs looking to open up high-end restaurants in Toronto, but there have always been question marks surrounding the desire of Torontonians to pay top dollar for a meal.
Scarpetta, which is the restaurants third location throughout North America was slated to open in Mid-June and then got delayed to the end of July after several constructional hiccups due to the gas line. After Scott Conant’s open letter to Toronto, came off as being condescending more than “cool”, things weren’t looking good for the New York native. Although Chef Conant may not be that great with words, I had to make sure to check out his new restaurant. Continue reading
I first heard about Ambiyan a year ago, when they first opened, but never got an opportunity to visit. As I found myself craving some good Indian food I decided to give Ambiyan a try and found myself actually going back a few days later. Ambiyan has a prime location in the heart of Main Street Unionville, and with the help of the owners of the Amaya Group they launched a much needed upscale Indian restaurant in the Markham-Unionville area.
Ambiyan does an excellent job of balancing the menu with traditional Indian dishes and exploring the fusion realm of Indo-Mediterranean cuisine. Continue reading
After the successful launch of Tim Hortons into Manhattan this past July, when they simultaneously opened 9 locations, there comes another Canadian success story with the opening of T-Poutine. Thierry Pepin, a native of Quebec has an impressive resume which includes being an actor and a successful model that has graced the pages of GQ and Esquire. Pepin who now lives in New York City has opened T-Poutine in order to bring a bit of Quebec culture to NYC. With hopes of capturing the late-night munching crowd Pepin has a diverse menu that goes beyond just the traditional poutine. Some of the more interesting dishes includes the “Morning Glory”, which consists of applewood smoked bacon topped with Sunnyside Up egg and a homemade gravy and the “Pot Pie” that combines chicken and peas.
An article appearing in The Telegraph has sparked the interest of the boys at Slice a few days after my original post regarding the issue. The debate is an interesting one as the pizzerias throughout Naples aren’t even entirely sure about what is considered an authentic Neapolitan pizza as some believe that the size regulations are irrelevant, while some feel that bufala mozzarela isn’t the best cheese to use, which has sparked a debate over the legitimacy of the VPN. Will people flock to only VPN approved pizzerias from now on? Most likely not and going to an unapproved pizzeria will most definitely not spoil your experience, so the EU ruling essentially has protected a single perspective on what is considered to be an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Below is a video that foolishpoolish linked in the comments section of the Slice article, which discusses at greater lengths the debate about authentic Neapolitan pizza.
Pizza has evolved and transformed globally as each country and culture has their own take on what a pizza should be. The Margherita pizza is one of the most traditional and basic pizzas on the planet, but the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (The True Neapolitan Pizza Association) with the backing of the European Union have claimed that the Pizza Napolitana will be granted the Traditional Specialty Guarantee that is guided by the regulations laid out by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. This ruling which was made yesterday essentially disallows any pizzeria in Europe to claim to sell authentic Neapolitan pizza without adhering to strict preparation guidelines and undergoing inspections. The guidelines outlined by the AVPN are:
The long tradition of standing in long lines at the CNE to get a chance to try the infamous Tiny Tom Donuts can be foregone with a visit to their first storefront, which is located in their hometown of Markham. Since its inception in 1959 the famous donuts have found themselves being a marquee vendor at the CNE, but for many the once a year treat was not enough and on November 9, 2009 they opened up their first retail outlet in Markham at the corner of Woodbine and Denison. Taking a page out of Cadbury’s recent promotion of their easter eggs, the boys at Tiny Tom Donuts are hoping people will turn their once a year treats into a more frequent habit.