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estaurant News R June 2013 Vol. 28 No. 5

C O V E R A G E

To everything, there is a season

Marco Petrucci (left) and Michael Pataran (right).

Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40010152

By Leslie Wu, editorial director TORONTO—Chef Michael Pataran is very clear that the Cool City Oyster Yard, set to open in early June at 99 Sudbury St. and run as long as weather permits, isn’t a pop-up. “It’s more of a tease,” he told ORN in late May. “It’s like the musical Brigadoon—you go one day and the next time it might be gone.” Pataran, who has been executive chef at The Prince of Wales Hotel’s Escabèche, Taboo Resort and The Windsor Arms Hotel, is teaming up with Marco Petrucci, co-owner/partner of Porzia restaurant and the El Mocambo, which is set for an ambitious relaunch later this year. The 74-seat, outdoor space will include two cocktail/dining bars, and casual seating at newspaper-lined picnic tables with cutaways in the centre

for garbage, wine barrel cocktail lounge tables and ottoman/bench seating. “It’s off the main strip; somewhere where you can come and just disappear,” said Pataran. Evoking a Florida/South Carolina feel, much of the furniture elements were made with recycled skids, such as the backshelving on the bar. Although the 1,300-square-foot restaurant includes an inside section, which will be used only for overflow, the focus will be on the outdoor dining. “It’s a little al fresco, with really fresh, light items without a lot of heavy sauces,” said Pataran. A daily picnic basket and “hillbilly bucket” will be available, as well as an oyster exchange, where domestic and premium oysters will range from $2 to $6 per shuck. Almost 80 per cent of the items will be cool, with an outdoor kitchen and two cooks handling shucked to order

restaurant

oysters, live scallops, ceviches and gaucho-style escabèches. The menu is divided into sections such as “shell game” for the crustaceans, “chop chop” for the ceviches and tatakis at $8 to $15, and “slippery when wet” for noodles, seaweed and rice dishes such as e-fu lobster noodles and Peruvian rice dishes. A “sea plus” section will encompass seafood with items that come from the land, like meat-based selections. The goal, said Pataran, was to keep all menu items under $20. Supplied from local purveyors such as Diana’s Seafood, Daily Seafood, and Rodney’s wholesale division, Pataran is also looking to bring in Bahamian stone crab on Mondays. The restaurant, open Sundays through Fridays, will have theme nights each week, such as a “Piss ’n Spuds” beer and oyster night (the term

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comes from the similarity of oysters and clams to potatoes when dug up from the sand), and a “Paella Sundaze” brunch with six types of sip and shuck caesar and oyster pairings, and later in the day, tequila and paella offerings. Conch salad made to order and giant vases on the bar for fresh crush options are also in the works. The Oyster Yard will also focus on cocktails, including items like smoked clam caesars, Indian Pimms cups and bincho-tan charcoal filtered fish-fin “hire-zake” sake martinis. Pataran, who is a certified sake professional and a member of the Sake Education Council, will focus on a list of 10 domestic and foreign sakes to complement the menu. The wine list, overseen by sommelier John Szabo, will include 20 whites and 15 reds from boutique producers, and there will also be five beers on tap. Although the Cool City Oyster Yard is due to wrap up when winter comes, Pataran and Petrucci are already planning their next opening, revamping the El Mocambo Tavern into a live music and dining venue. The top two floors are set to open by the end of the year, with a “rock and roll” space on the first floor and a “dinner and a show” concept on the second floor, an idea that Pataran wants to revive in Toronto. Although the original space is being shut down and torn apart, Petrucci and Pataran want to preserve a sense of the history of the storied tavern. “We’re going to reach out to the original acts that have performed there over the years,” said Pataran. The pair also has plans for a rooftop smokehouse barbeque beer garden the following summer at the El Mocambo. Cool City Oyster Yard. 99 Sudbury Street. coolcityoyster.com. @CoolCityOyster. El Mocambo. 464 Spadina Ave. elmocambo.com. @ElMocamboTavern.

$ 5 . 9 5

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THE IZAKAYA TREND HITS OAKVILLE

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FAST CASUAL GROWTH SPEEDS UP

TOP

CHAINS REPORT

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50 16 ORN’s 2013 CHAINS REPORT

• pub

Fionn MacCool’s established 1996

“Just another day at the office.”

JOSH PEACE Franchise owner

franchising@primerestaurants.com 1-877-694-8186 ext. 404 primepubs.com Client: Prime Restaurants

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Docket: Development

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Project: RestaurantNews Ontario Edition

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Trim: 10” x 3”

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Build: 100%

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Colors: CMYK

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Revision: 1

RN_JOSH-ONT

Ontario Restaurant News - June 2013  
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