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May 27, 2007 10:31 AM

Restaurant Makeover on Queen East!

Saw Restaurant Makeover setting up just east of Broadview yesterday morning. Apparently they are doing over Essence, which has been for sale for a while now. Rumour has it that the original owner Patrick is back. You may recall is was Riverside then. It was a great space,but I don't remember the food being very good. It almost seemed more of a hobby than an actual working restaurant, I know we always wondered how they stayed afloat!! It will be interesting to see what happens now. I can't believe how fast that strip is changing but with the price the houses are selling for along there I shouldn't be surprised.

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  1. Riverside always did seem like a hobby, but the food was delicious when his partner was doing the cooking. Some of her food was insanely rich, but it tasted good. She apparently left when their relationship broke up and is now cooking at a much touted place in Yorkville.

    Riverside went downhill when she left and just coasted for a long time until it disappeared. Essence was one of those places that looked fine and had a perfectly plausible menu, but somehow didn't lure me in.

    4 Replies
    1. re: embee

      Signe (Riverside's original chef) was working at a restaurant/lounge in Yorkville, but she left there sometime last year.

      She wrote a little behind-the-scenes article about some of her experiences at the Yorkville spot that you can read here:

      Man, I miss her mussels from the Riverside so much... sigh.

      1. re: gregclow

        Thanks for the link. I just read the piece. I think that I know which place that was.

      2. re: embee

        So word on the street was wrong once again, Patrick is not reopening this place. Haven't heard who is yet, but I think I was told it's going to be an Italian Trattoria. Of course, by the time it actually opens we probably will have heard countless stories of what it will be! I'll have to count on my network on Saulter to keep me informed. It's such a great space, here's hopinng it will be a success!!!

        1. re: Leslieville

          Yay! The neighbourhood could use a great Italian restaurant!
          I ate at Riverside once. I liked the food, but the atmosphere was very cold, very art gallery.

      3. Aha, just got news from a reliable source that the old Riverside / Essence is Rod Bower's, of Rosebud, new restaurant.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Mila

          ... and it will be called The Citizen.

            1. re: Edith S

              LOL. Wasn't my source but could have been my source's source.