Toronto Cable TV restaurant Show
For those with access to the local cable TV programmes, Rogers (channel 10 for most people here) has revamped its Toronto Dining show to a more useful format. Each show now airs 3 or 4 times daily throughout the week and concentrates on a specific style of cuisine. The current week is 'Italian Part 1' which follows 'Star Chefs' last week and 'Slabs of Meat' the previous week.
Please note these are NOT critical evaluations, usually being little more than a promo by each restaurant. However, it does provide some useful info e.g. the slabs of meat indicated prices; showed whether the meat was grilled or broiled (and for how long), whether it was US or Canadian, and was a convenient overview of the upscale chains in Toronto (Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Michael Stelzner etc).
The Star Chefs issue was enlightening for several reasons - who are the star chefs being a great question. They covered Didier Leroy (of the Fifth) - a reasonable choice (although as Executive Chef he's not always there day-by-day); Jamie Kennedy (of JK ROM) - again can't really argue with that; Rodney Clark (of Rodney's Oysters) - certainly a celebrity, if not a star; Michael Potters (of Accolade) - Accolade is certainly a destination, but Michael Potters has a mixed record and I haven't been there since he arrived. But arguably worth including; Susur Lee (of Susur) - if he hadn't been there, all credibility would have been lost.
And, the other section was on Zinc restaurant, described as the restaurant that's the 'future of dining and doesn't even have a sign outside'. I have to quote here, as otherwise you'll think I'm making this up!
"What we tried to do was think about the future. Our focus here was to take only the good from the past, such as cuisine, ambience service, and bring it to the future with the hope that one day it will be considered the norm and eventually considered old."
"You'll find a lot of very interesting things that you probably won't find (at) many other places. We tend to .game such as bison, squab, as well as lamb, lobster and salmon as our mains. We try to do something non-traditional here as far as giving you something interesting to try. Our main objective is to have people rethink the way they dine. So we decided - go out and get things you really can't get anywhere else."
And, wait for it 'Their patented menu glows in the dark'.
The Chef is Mook Sutton (Who dat? - never heard of him, although he apparently cooked at Sarkis under Greg Couillard). Guess I'm not plugged in to the future, but if I were, I'm sure I'd wonder about a restaurant that was so dark that the menu would have to glow - and would I even be able to see the food.
Zinc has been closed "temporarily" they claim since June. Mook Sutton left in May. The menu does not glow in the dark. It's a TV remote-sized light box you push a button and the menu lights up. The restaurant is not dark, but has a 60s futuristic sci-fi look. The food? Not bad.