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Comfort Food

Now Open: Two New Restaurants for Casual Cuisine

Photo by Mike Linton, Centric Productions

Photo by Mike Linton, Centric Productions

Popular board game cafe Across the Board outgrew its small space on Albert St and has moved into a bright location on the corner of Main St and Bannatyne Ave. The spacious new room, boasting high ceilings and picture windows, sees its game selection upped to more than 1000 offerings, and an expanded menu of snacks, appies, and entrées for hungry players to eat between turns. 211 Bannatyne Ave, 204‑691‑3422, acrosstheboardcafe.com

Tastes of the Mediterranean are the specialty at Agora Fine Foods. The spot, named after the ancient Greek market and gathering place, has plenty of reason to gather, from the shelves stocked with local and imported specialty foods to the sleek Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar that serves up Spanish, Greek, and Italian dishes in a smartly designed space. 1765 Kenaston Blvd, 204‑285‑4068, agorafinefoods.ca

Embrace Fall With Comfort Food

AS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS STAY WARM WITH THESE FALL FAVOURITES

Funghi 2

Get your fill of delicious carbs with the fungi pasta at Ardo. Photo by Adam Mazerall.

Say hello to fall with these hearty comfort foods.

  1. You won’t go hungry with the toothsome Arcadian Court chicken pot pie, which is served with mashed potatoes and scratch gravy at Bannock.
  2. Head to Harlem Underground for the savoury-sweet combination that is fried chicken and waffles, a beloved Southern dish.
  3. With handmade gnocchi, local mushrooms, heirloom carrots, and creamy stracchino cheese topped off with shaved black truffle, the funghi pasta at Ardo is a decadent answer to any carb craving.

Hot Dining: Cucina Changes

Popular Osborne Village watering hole Billabong Bar & Bistro has undergone a face lift and regime change. At the newly minted Billabong Gastropub, Top Chef Canada season one contestant Darryl Crumb (pictured) puts his spin on casual cuisine. Aussie-themed alligator and kangaroo offings have been replaced by breaded oyster po’boys and hearty beet borscht with double smoked bacon.  121-D Osborne St, 204-452-1019.

Top Spots for 14 Wintry Canadian Comfort Food Favourites

Photo by madlyinlovewithlife.

By Meghan Wilson-Smith

Winter is upon us, and in Canada that means prime time for pints and poutine. Indulge through to spring with these delicious Canadian comfort foods, concocted at some of Canada’s top restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall. (more…)

November Editor’s Picks: Dining

Harbour Sixty1. In a historic building just north of the waterfront, Harbour Sixty has long been known for its opulent decor, high quality of service and, of course, culinary excellence. But the elite steakhouse isn’t resting on its laurels. To mark its 10th anniversary, the restaurant boasts a dramatically updated interior. Among the many design features: high, brocade-swathed chairs, suede wallpaper and mother of pearl in the bar area, plus graphic valances and contemporary art by Joshua Jensen-Nagle in the dining space; the two distinct rooms encircle a marble- and agate-lined gallery kitchen that serves up the finest USDA Prime and authentic Kobe beef, fresh seafood and sumptuous desserts. Or, descend to the formal, lower-level dining room, where dark woods and leather foster a clubhouse atmosphere and selections from the superior wine cellar are showcased in sleek glass cabinets.

Union<br>photo by Robert J. Brodey2. At long last, Torontonians and visitors can see for themselves the state of Union, one of the newest restaurants to open on the increasingly hip Ossington Street strip. Thanks to a Toronto Life–backed blog—on which chef Teo Paul documented the many months of successes and setbacks between concept and first service—the farm-to-fork eatery had one of the more hotly anticipated openings in recent memory. It’s quickly become a fixture in an emerging neighbourhood, where dedicated locavores can nosh on fare that uniformly utilizes Ontario-fresh ingredients including grain-fed elk, artisan cheeses and seasonal organic vegetables straight from farmers’ fields.

Grace restaurant

Grace restaurant

3. As the cold weather begins to bite, warm your belly with timely takes on comfort-food classics at these welcoming restaurants.

>> The swank dining room of the Drake Hotel belies its carte of toothsome classics like mac ‘n’ cheese ($19) and a po’ boy sandwich with fried cod ($15). Or, try one of executive chef Anthony Rose’s daily blue-plate specials.

>> Modern farmhouse fare dominates the menu at Grace, where dishes such as lamb pot pie ($20) draw inspiration from traditional family dinners. Milk and cookies ($7) bring your meal to a simple yet memorable conclusion.

>> Though its hipster quotient can be intimidating, the food at OddFellows is anything but. The meaty combo of Jack Daniels–braised pork belly and spiced short rib ($16) is enough to make a slow-food lover swoon.