After receiving plenty of praise over the past year for their light and breezy Italian eatery, La Palma (on Dundas Street West in Toronto), its co-owners, chef Craig Harding, Alexandra Hutchinson, Jack and Domenic Scarangella and Steve Christian (Mercatto) have just announced a new restaurant and cafe concept, currently in progress inside The Anndore House hotel.
Constantine (the full-service restaurant) is being designed by Studio Munge (Hawksworth Restaurant, Lago by Julien Serrano (Las Vegas), Toronto's Cluny Bistro and more) will boast a 145-seat dining room as well as an open kitchen with bar seats surrounding it. Chef Harding's menu will draw inspiration from Italy as well as the Middle East. Expect wood-fired pizzas--something La Palma is also known for-- and dishes of roasted meats, seafoods and plenty of vegetable-centric dishes that round out the family-style dining that Constantine will aim for.
"Italian food will always be my first love, but I think there is a fascinating story to tell in this kitchen about the history of Mediterranean food," says Craig Harding. "The Roman influence is present in the east and in many ways, the exotic flavours have made their way back to Italy. Once you see the way the food works together, it makes for an incredible menu."
The sister cafe concept, Scarlet Door, is going to be geared towards daytime service, so hotel guests and passersby alike can enjoy coffee, pastries, sandwiches and salads in a spunky space also designed by Studio Munge, inspired from the punk and new wave scenes that were alive and well in this Toronto neighbourhood during the 1970s and '80s. Sounds like a pretty cool aesthetic, if you ask me!
Constantine and Scarlet Door are slated to open in mid-spring of this year.