Monday, July 27, 2015

Revival House and The Chapel in Stratford is Open!






Revival House and The Chapel in Stratford is Open!

 (Soft opening for lunch + dinner)

Rob Wigan and Candice Sanderson Wigan of Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub purchased the iconic Church Restaurant. The former Baptist church turned fine dining establishment debuted last week as Revival House. Chefs Kyle Rose and Byron Hallett (late of London’s former Auberge du Petit Prince) are operating the kitchen, emphasizing a Canadian menu featuring whole animal butchery and charcuterie on the daily menu. Rose apprenticed at The Church eight years ago and Hallett is a graduate of the Stratford Chefs School.

Executive Chef Kyle Rose and Chef de Cuisine Byron Hallett have assembled a kitchen team excited about creating and serving food that expresses the depth of Perth County’s food culture* with Stratford’s sense of drama – favourites re-imagined, traditions reinvented, memories reinterpreted.”

Revival House offers event dining. Upstairs in the former Belfry, The Chapel features an 80-seat gastro pub, and a VIP lounge called Confessions. The Revival house features a new patio that backs onto Brunswick Street. 70 Brunswick Street www.revival.house


Call 519-273-3424 for reservations.

Read the menu: www.revival.house/menus
 
The food photos here are from Chef Kyle’s photo blog


 
 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Only on King Becomes TOOK and Kantina will Become Black George


Fine dining isn't dead. Restaurateurs just keep transforming and redefining it:

 


The Only on King / TOOK



Fine dining isn't dead. Restaurateurs just keep transforming and redefining it. Chef/owner Paul Harding of the Only on King recently announced that after a brief closure and minor renovation, The much lauded Only on King, will reopen its doors on Wednesday, August 12th and will operate as TOOK. In the meantime, be sure to drop by and try their Food Day Canada menu that will run until August 1st.
Part of the transformation will include expanding their business hours, offering lunch Tuesday through Friday, and offering take-away options including coffee and pastries. TOOK’s dinner service will commence after 5 pm, with a brand new menu focusing on small tapas style portions, all priced under $20. Harding’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients won't change and they will still be serving some of their classic signature dishes, such as their seasonal vegetable salad. 
TOOK will be open later, expanding their cocktail and beer menu to coincide with their new approach to casual late night dining.


172 King St, London


www.theonlyonking.ca

519- 936-2064


Kantina / Black George




Owner Miljan Karac has also announced that the celebrated Kantina will soon be undergoing some changes at their Talbot Street location. Kantina built its reputation on thoughtful and exciting riffs on an iconic cuisine, informed with modern farm to table ideals. Now after more than  5 years, Kantina will morph into Black George - named after one of the house’s signature Balkan specialities: Black George schnitzel (Karadjordjeva), a delicious rolled fried pork schnitzel with kajmak stuffing.  From previous conversations with Karac, Black George will be more casual, with even less formal service and an accessibly priced menu offering. Stay tuned, Karac is promising to release more details about the opening of Black George shortly. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity to dine at Kantina.

349 Talbot Street, London

519 672 5862

www.kantina.ca



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Where to Eat in London, Ontario for Food Day Canada: Abruzzi



Abruzzi


BY BRYAN LAVERY

Abruzzi is stylish but casual, with an elegant white marble bar just inside the front entrance. There is an elevated communal table in the centre of the dining room that seats eight. The chairs and banquettes are comfortable. The simple, striking décor with bare brick walls and lots of mirrors, the innovative lighting, and the friendly ambience are all central to the Abruzzi experience.
The menu offerings capture the distinguishing essences of the Italian culinary repitoire. They are intuitive, often iconic, prepared with locally-sourced and quality ethnic ingredients, executed with skill and an eye to detail. The kitchen has a long-standing commitment to procuring local and sustainable ingredients.

Chef Lamers has the ability to take the earthy Italian culinary vocabulary and imbue it with both his idiosyncratic style and a culinary dialect that is responsive to the seasons. Lamers’ stresses simplicity and freshness as foundations of the Abruzzi kitchen philosophy. This is the authentic gastronomic spirit that makes cooking and eating absolutely central to family life, whichever part of Italy you are in.

There is plenty of fresh seafood on the menu, a nod to Lamers’ Martime roots and Italy’s incomparable seafood dishes. Chef prepares everything from scratch on the premises — pastas, gelati, salumi (house-cured pancetta and guanciale) and an array of desserts. Lamer’s brother’s butcher shop in Woodstock supplies all the meats, including 28 day dry-aged beef, which are sourced from the region.

There is a lot to like on the menu. Signature dishes include an appetizer of perfectly cooked grilled octopus, with roasted grape tomato, olives, arugula, fingerling potatoes and romesco (red bell pepper) sauce; and the creamy, all’onda (wavy), and perfectly al dente wild mushroom and prosciutto risotto with Pecorino cheese and distinctively fragrant truffle oil are magnificent. The taste is both delicate and savoury.

Braised wild boar and goat cheese ravioli are outstanding. I recall having braised rabbit with house-made pillow-shaped gnocchi, arugula and house-made ricotta that had a delicious subtle game flavour. 
   
Previous favourites have included: grilled beef tenderloin, with crispy gnocchi, mushrooms, spinach, green beans, red wine and veal stock reduction is a house favourite. Succulent slices of Everspring Farms duck breast accompanied by oyster mushrooms, Swiss chard, caramelized baby carrots, and house-made butternut squash tortellini with dried cherry jus all combine to create a faultless marriage of flavours. This is a stellar dish and drop-dead delicious when ordered medium-rare. Newer to the menu is duck confit crespelle with Savoy cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, foie gras jus, house-cured duck egg yolk.

The superior wine list has plenty of interesting consignments; it reads like the Magna Carta (in a good way) and like the cuisine, is never static, changing to reflect the seasons. Regional wineries – Lailey, Tawse, Pondview, Burning Kiln – all make their way onto the Abruzzi list from time to time.

Food Day Canada is a chance for all Canadians to join hands in one massive celebration in praise of our farmers and fishers; our chefs and researchers and our home cooks.

FOOD DAY CANADA MENU 
Available from July 20th to August 1st.

Antipasti
Loco Fields Summer Vegetable Salad, herb dressing

or

Your Family's Butcher Shoppe Suckling Pig Terrine, sour dough crostini, organic seedlings, house pickled mustard seeds

 Principale
Pan Seared Weaver Fish Co. Pickerel, Loco Fields new potatoes, Encounter Farms organic carrots, pea puree & snap peas

or

Your Family's Butcher Shoppe Dry Aged Sirloin Steak & Roasted Bone Marrow, sous vide med-rare, Denboer Family Farms celery root puree, Loco Fields beans & dino kale, red wine jus.

or

Loco Fields Organic Grilled Zucchini Ravioli, house-made ricotta, basil pesto, confit cherry tomatoes Gunn’s Hill Handeck Cheese

Dolce
Heeman’s Strawberry Shortcake whipped cream, milk crumble

or

Heeman’s Cherry Pie, organic honey gelato


$40 per person
Menu may change without notice. Price does not include applicable taxes, alcohol or additional menu items. Please contact us in advance to make reservations and ask about select menu

Abruzzi is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below.
Abruzzi est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. 

Abruzzi
119 King Street,
London, Ontario
519 -675 9995

Where to Eat in Ontario for Food Day Canada: The Only on King


By BRYAN LAVERY

We are very fortunate to have many talented farmers, cooks, chefs, restaurateurs and retailers who are not just advocating “eating and drinking local” and “eating seasonal,” they are actively and creatively enhancing and developing new region-specific cuisines. As for their cuisine, it’s made from scratch and it’s innovative. They are implementing time-honoured traditions and trusted techniques yet delivering ingredients in revolutionary new ways. They are among the culinary vanguard, trailblazers of the cutting-edge and emerging culinary regionalism in Ontario. In the next week I will be profiling of few of the best restaurants that personify the farm-to-table experience.

Food Day Canada is the largest national food event in the country – get ready for it on August 1st, 2015. Be sure to tune in for a celebration of all things culinary in Canada. In the meantime, check out The Only on King’s,  exceptional Food Day Canada menu which is running until August 1st.
 




 The Only on King


Possessing a superior grasp on the tenets of terroir and sustainability, chef/owner Paul Harding’s cooking is faultless. The Only on King, with its farm-to-table philosophy and culinary repertoire is a master class in farm-to-table cooking.
In its eight year, The Only on King, with its fully realized farm-to-table philosophy, devoted acknowledgement of the local terroir and support of local farmers and producers, remains the personification and outstanding archetype of the virtuous up-to-the-minute Ontario restaurant.
The restaurant’s kitchen, led by Paul Harding is a self-proclaimed “labour of love.” When Harding is not chained to the stove, he and his culinary team continue to find new ways to integrate the locavore ethic into all aspects of “The Only”.
The daily changing menu is unique by London standards and something that few chefs/restaurateurs would be in a position to execute with the kind of success that Harding has achieved. For the next two weeks, The Only on King, which is at the top tier of London restaurants is featuring an outstanding prix-fixe menu, (showcasing some of their favourite suppliers) priced at $35.00 per person – which incidentally is probably the best deal you are ever going to have in this lifetime.   
 

The Only on King's Food Day Canada Menu
Tuesday July 14th- Saturday August 1st

 House made Arva Flour Mill bread and breadsticks

First course:
Encounter Farm’s grilled zucchini soup, crostini, melted Lankaaster cheese
Or
Organic chicken and bacon rillettes, Soiled Reputation salad, Beau’s beer mustard, toasts
Or
Empire Valley Tomato salad, Shepherd’s Dairy ricotta, gremolata, croutons

 
Second course:
Everspring Farm’s duck duo: breast and leg, wilted greens, potato gratin, Blenheim cherry sauce
Or
Weaver Fish Co. pickerel, snow peas, chilis, soft boiled egg, citrus wasabi mayo
Or
 F.G.O. grilled blade steak, Loco Fields vegetables and new potatoes, Salsa Verde
Or
Arva flour tarte flambé, Garlic Box confit garlic and pickled scapes, mozzarella, peppers, chili marinated olives
                            
Third course:
Patrick’s Beans mocha semifreddo, TKO cookies, Annie’s dark chocolate butter crunch toffee peanut crunch
Or
Heeman’s strawberry shortcake
Or
Ontario Artisan cheese plate, toasts, preserved fruit
 $35 per person

Canadian wine selections available upon request

The Only on King is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
The Only on King est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez The Only on King directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
The Only on King
172 King Street
London, Ontario
519 936 2064
 


 
 










Monday, July 13, 2015

The Red Rabbit Restaurant in Stratford Officially Opens, and Linleys Food Shop is the New Home of Stratford Chefs Aaron and Bronwyn Linley



 Chef Sean Collins of The Red Rabbit




First, in other news...


Down the Street

Down the Street re-opened to rave reviews last week under new ownership with partners Jacqueline Hayton and Cassandre Frost along with Alondra Gálvez as the new manager. We are looking forward to Chef Lee Avigdor’s new globally-inspired menus.
We have had great meals at Bijou and Mercer Hall this summer. Chef Ryan O’Donnell is at Mercer Hall and Chef Max Holbrook is at Bijou this season, they are both at the top of their game.

The Revival House is getting closer to opening. Chefs Kyle Rose (late of London’s former Auberge du Petit Prince) and Byron Hallett will operate the kitchen, emphasizing local, seasonal ingredients on the daily menu. www.revival.house
Restaurant Manager Joel Kechnie tells me The Prune will open for lunch in July. (Lunch will be served Thursday, Friday and Saturday closer to the end of July) 151 Albert Street www.theprune.com


The Red Rabbit Restaurant Officially Opens






Chef Tim Larsen, Jessie Larsen and Chef Sean Collins left Mercer Hall to build a new community-shared restaurant on Wellington Street, called the The Red Rabbit. Collins is the leading the kitchen at the worker-owned venture. That team is comprised of sous chef Jon Naiman and a core group of other kitchen and front-of-house staff. The restaurant has a thoughtful focus on local ingredients from area farmers, local producers, local brewers and distillers.
Starting Tuesday, July 14th at 5pm, they will be open 7 days a week! Pre theatre menu will be offered from 5-7pm. Featuring a 2 or 3 course dinner for $43 and $49 respectively, then à la carte from 7-close. Lunches start on Thursday, July 16th. There will be beer on tap from Stratford’s Black Swan Brewery, and spirits from the city’s new Junction 56 Distillery.  www.redrabbitresto.com






Linleys Food Shop is the new home of Stratford chefs Aaron and Bronwyn Linley.

Chefs Aaron and Bronwyn Linley sold Bijou earlier this year, after 14 years. They were very ready for a change, and handed over the reins to new owners, Mark and Linda Simone in March. The Linley’s had been operating the kitchen and restaurant in The Bruce Hotel for two years and decided to move on when their contract expired at the end of March.
On Thursday July 23rd, they will be opening a chef-driven takeout food shop for busy people. Linleys Food Shop will feature catering, lunch to go, and meals to take home. The shop will be located at 51 York St.... the former home of the Clay Café.  Follow Linleys Food Shop on twitter at @linleysfoodshop

I have only ever had superlatives to say about the Linleys. This is what I wrote about their restaurant Bijou in 2011, “Bijou Restaurant is a culinary tourist’s dream… The food at Bijou is dazzling, never predictable, and the menus are always changing to highlight seasonal ingredients and the best local food procurement available. The restaurant provides an unparalleled ‘local’ taste experience.”
Last year while they were operating the Bruce I wrote, “Chef Linley describes his cuisine as nouveau Ontario, using French technique and ethnic influences applied to the good things of this province.” Read the full story here: http://ethicalgourmet.blogspot.ca/2014/07/nouveau-ontario-at-restaurant-at.html

Following on the heels of last fall’s opening of Black Swan Brewing, comes Stratford’s own micro-distillery, Junction 56 Distillery. Owner Michael Heisz began his first batch in April, and is starting with vodkas, then vapour-infused gins, and then whiskeys.” We are expecting that the facility and retail outlet will be open to public shortly. www.junction56.ca





At Chocolate Barr’s, Derek Barr is making his own gelato and sorbetto in-house this year for the summer months.  Some of the gelato flavours are traditional, such as vanilla, dark chocolate mintie and pistachio. But he is creating some unusual ones like the Embro Barn Burner — with toasted marshmallow, burnt caramel and Laphroaig Scotch, as well as a Mocha Espresso.  For the sorbetto, Derek has done Lemon, Mango and Ontario Strawberry. Barr’s has also started to produce local fruit jellies, with the Ontario Strawberry jellies available now until sold out.  Expect a northern Ontario Blueberry Jellie soon! www.chocolatebarrs.com

Stratford Summer Music’s 15th season

Stratford Summer Music’s 15th season presents food and music pairings ranging from refined to rambunctious: Saturdays and Sundays (July 26 – August 30) The Prune presents solo Tafelmusik violinists over brunch in the back garden room. Revival House, formerly The Church, presents the annual cabaret series, with renowned opera singer Rebecca Caine (July 25), the one and only Carole Pope (Aug 8), a Newfoundland Jazz Ceilidh (Aug 22), and former Nylon, Micah Barnes & friends (Aug 29). Revival House also presents a “guerrilla-style” opera and culinary performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in English, featuring five young Canadian singers directed by Peter Tiefenbach. Aug 14 and 15 at 6:30 pm, August 16 at noon. www.stratfordsummermusic.ca

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Stratford Chefs School Announces Gabrielle Hamilton as 2015 -16 Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence


 




I am a dedicated reader of New York chef,  writer and storyteller Gabrielle Hamilton. I was pleased to hear that The Stratford Chefs School recently announced that Hamilton will be the 2015 -16 Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence at the school.

The Gastronomic Writer in Residence program is one-of-a-kind and unique to chef training in Canada. Launched in 2007, the program is sustained by the family of the Joseph Hoare, former food editor at Toronto Life magazine, and a group of other donors. The school's previous eight writers in residence have had wide-ranging experiences in gastronomy, but have been mostly celebrated authors or columnists.

Chef-owner of the lauded 30-seat Prune restaurant in Manhattan's East Village, Gabrielle Hamilton was named Best Chef NYC by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, after two earlier nominations for the honour.

Hamilton famously authored the edgy 2011 memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, which candidly chronicles her apprenticeship as a cook and her unflinching journey through disparate kitchens to becoming a chef and restauranteur. In addition to having a compelling story to relate, Hamilton is a gifted and accomplished writer—she earned her MFA in fiction writing from the University of Michigan, and her writing has appeared in prominent publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit and Saveur.

Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef  is among my favourite contemporary culinary memoirs. The book is by turns cynical, astute, hilarious, poignant and down-to-earth. Her culinary essays have also been anthologized in six volumes of Holly Hughes’s Best Food Writing.

In November of 2014, Hamilton released her first cookbook, filled with recipes from her restaurant. The book was hailed as an “instant classic” and a “masterpiece”.

As a writer in residence at the Stratford Chefs School, she will give instruction to both first and second-year students that can range from business writing to social media and recipe writing. While at the school from January 11-23, 2016, Hamilton will also work alongside students in preparing three Stratford Chefs School dinners, bringing a little of her Prune to Stratford's Prune Restaurant, the school's venue partner.

 


Monday, July 6, 2015

Where to Dine in Stratford Now: Summer 2015


Stratford`s Changing Gastro Scene: Where to Dine Now






By BRYAN LAVERY


    Stratford is known internationally for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, which runs from April to October. The Festival’s primary mandate is to present repertory productions of William Shakespeare’s plays, but it also produces a diverse variety of theatre, from classic Greek tragedies to more contemporary works. The Festival and the renowned Stratford Chefs School have contributed to the formation of a distinctively vibrant dining culture and restaurant community.

                One of the standout features of Stratford's successful gastro scene is its relaxed but, intellectually driven approach to cuisine. Restaurant enthusiasts have long disputed whether Rundles, The Prune, Bijou, Mercer Hall and more recently The Bruce, with their pre-theatre prix fixe menus, are the cutting edge dining experience in Stratford. Incidentally, Stratford’s prix fixe menus are an arrangement that is meant to expedite the challenges of pre-theatre dining where theatre-goers arrive and depart simultaneously. These fine dining establishments mostly justify their price with quality, innovative cuisine, and dazzling, intelligent service.

The Church, (now Revival House), was also in its heyday a benchmark for fine dining. There are of course, many other notable contenders with fresh and original dining concepts, including Monforte on Wellington, Pazzo, Canadiana Grub, Sirkel Foods, and soon, the highly anticipated Red Rabbit.



Stratford is also flush with culinary ‘hubs’ where chefs, farmers, artists, locals and visitors come together, such as Your Local Market Co-op, the Local Community Food Centre, Stratford Farmers’ Market at the Agri-plex on Saturdays and the Slow Food Market on Sundays. Anne Campion’s Revel Caffé on Market Place is also a great local hub, or a place to grab and go with Chef Jordan Lassaline’s delicious baking. The coffee beans are from Las Chicas del Café and come exclusively from a farm in the Nicaraguan rainforest.


WHERE TO DINE IN STRATFORD NOW 



Bijou
For many years Bijou has been at the top of its game for inspired, locally-sourced cuisine in Stratford. The restaurant has built a reputation for providing a good “local” taste experience. Mark and Linda Simone purchased the bistro in March and added a new entrance off Wellington Street, and a new bar in the front area. The blackboard pre theatre dinner menu is prix fixe, offering two courses for $48.00, and three courses for $54.00. Chef Max Holbrook has added a globally-inspired tapas bar menu of small plates that is available after 7:30 p.m. Bijou is expected to operate for 10 months of the year. 105 Erie Street, Stratford (2nd entrance off Wellington Street) www.bijourestaurant.com


The Dining Room at The Bruce



The Bruce
The dining rooms are white linen, chic and understated, with comfortable square-backed upholstered chairs and settees. This is the top of high-end dining indeed, the menus are loaded with the ingredients which that term evokes. New chef at The Bruce Hotel is Arron Carley, who was former sous chef at Oliver & Bonacini’s Canoe in Toronto. He describes the vision for the new menus: “Looking into our past and understanding our roots as well as looking forward into the undiscovered wilderness of our nation we will forge New Canadian Cuisine.” At the time of this writing the dinner menu is prix fixe, offering two Beginnings and Dessert for $58.00, one Beginning and Middle for $58.00, or a Beginning, Middle and Dessert for $68.00. There is also a five-course tasting menu available after 7:30 pm for $90.00 per person and only available to an entire table. Breakfast and lunch are à la carte and The Lounge offers a separate menu. There is a stunning courtyard for al fresco dining. 89 Parkview Drive www.thebruce.ca



Down the Street Bar and Restaurant
Down the Street reopens (July 7th) under new ownership with partners Jacqueline Hayton and Cassandre Frost along with Alondra Gálvez as the new manager. This iconic bar/restaurant is Stratford’s late-night hot spot with high-energy bistro dining that offers both pre-and post-show dining. The open kitchen features menus from Chef Lee Avigdor’s and sous chef Greg Him, which showcase locally and seasonally inspired menus. Bar chef Ulises Sanchez features an exciting list of craft cocktails, micro-brews and wines by the glass. 30 Ontario Street, www.downthestreet.ca

Mercer Hall Inn

Mercer Hall
Bill and Shelley Windsor, who also own The Prune, purchased Mercer Hall in May. Executive Chef Ryan O’Donnell was planning to be involved with The Prune as well as Mercer Hall. He realized this was too much of a stretch and details were subsequently worked out that have placed him at Mercer Hall. We love the rusticity and innovation of O’Donnell’s cooking. The theatrical plating of both the vegetable charcuterie plate with carrot terrine, parsnip chips, smoked beet mousse, grilled ramps and pickled mushrooms, as well as the cold smoked salmon board with Monforte cream cheese, dill, salmon roe and crackers are inspirational. The Monforte Halloumi salad with grilled romaine is a stand-out. The craft cocktails are excellent and the service is spot on.  108 Ontario Street, www.mercerhall.ca

Monforte on Wellington

 Monforte on Wellington
The two year-old establishment is a casual, seasonally–inspired osteria featuring a simple menu larded with artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, pastas, salads and other in-house specialties. Chefs Loreena Miller and Sarah Sinasac have developed a synergy between the terroir and the diner no doubt inspired by Monforte Dairy founder and cheesemaker Ruth Klahsen, whose passion for all things sustainable, local and hand-crafted seems to feed her creative soul and entrepreneurial enthusiasm. The osteria is BYOW with a corkage fee, or, if you order a glass of VQA wine they might bring you a full bottle and charge you for what you imbibe. The kitchen is open to the dining room and there is a passageway beside the kitchen that leads to a charming courtyard for al fresco dining. 80 Wellington Street https://www.facebook.com/MonforteOnWellington



Pazzo Taverna and Pizzeria 
Taverna at Pazzo’s street-level ristorante proffers rustic Italian-inspired cuisine in a contemporary setting. Chef Yva Santini’s menu offerings feature local ingredients, and products working in conjunction with regional producers to add seasonality to the dining experience. Will Gaynor is still the Pizzeria head chef. Steve Doyle, formerly of The Bruce and Bijou, has joined Pazzo as the Taverna manager and is heading up some changes to the cocktail and wine programs. Pazzo continues to host the Taverna Revue concert series in the Taverna and continues to serve the best thin crust pizza in the area. 70 Ontario Street www.pazzo.ca


The Prune
The Prune, a long-time Stratford favourite, changed hands in 2011 with Bill and Shelley Windsor taking ownership. Bryan Steele remains Executive Chef at The Prune, and the season is off to a busy start. The menu is prix fixe, offering two courses for $49.00, three courses for $59.00, or four courses for $69.00. Some items like the Church Hill Farm lamb two ways with ramps, roasted cauliflower and mint salt have a $10 supplement. Anticipating a strong season, Restaurant Manager Joel Kechnie tells us The Prune will open for lunch in July. (Lunch will be served Thursday, Friday and Saturday closer to the end of July) 151 Albert Street www.theprune.com


The Red Rabbit
Chef Tim Larsen, Jessie Larsen and Chef Sean Collins left Mercer Hall earlier in the year to build a new community-shared restaurant on Wellington Street called the The Red Rabbit. Collins and Sous chef Jon Naiman will be leading the kitchen at the worker-owned venture. That team is also comprised of a core group of other kitchen and front-of-house professionals. The restaurant’s focus is on local ingredients from area farmers, local producers, local brewers and distillers. There will be beer on tap from Stratford’s Black Swan Brewery, and spirits from the city’s new Junction 56 Distillery. After several delays, the projected opening date is late June 2015. 64 Wellington Street, www.redrabbitresto.com



Revival House and The Chapel
Rob Wigan and Candice Sanderson Wigan of Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub purchased the iconic Church Restaurant. The former Baptist church turned fine dining establishment debuts this summer as Revival House. Chefs Kyle Rose and Byron Hallett (late of London’s former Auberge du Petit Prince) will operate the kitchen, emphasizing a Canadian menu featuring whole animal butchery and charcuterie on the daily menu. Rose apprenticed at The Church eight years ago and Hallett is a graduate of the Stratford Chefs School. Revival House offers event dining. Upstairs in the former Belfry, The Chapel features an 80-seat gastro pub, and a VIP lounge called Confessions. The Revival house features a new patio that backs onto Brunswick Street. 70 Brunswick Street www.revival.house



Rundles
Neil Baxter has been Chef de Cuisine at Rundles since 1981, and has completed stages in France at such renowned Michelin three-star restaurants as Jamin, Tour D’Argent, Taillevent and Troisgros. Baxter has also completed stages in Noma, in Copenhagen; and Frantzén in Stockholm. Rundles has eliminated the Sophisto-Bistro and is continuing with the pre-theatre and late dinner service which they built their reputation for excellence and innovation. The table d'hôte menu features a selection from the appetizer section, a main dish, dessert, and coffee or tea for $99.50 per person. Wine, taxes and service are extra. 9 Cobourg Street www.rundlesrestaurant.com