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Oct 22, 2008 09:58 AM

coca split from czehoski?

so i admit i am a sucker for a little gossip here and there, and after a really lovely meal prepared by nathan iseberg and checking up on some history... i noticed that the winds of change may have switched things up a little on Queen W.

the new (and in severely need of help) website for coca says:
"our domain hosting is temporarily dirupted since the big break up, but if you need info or have comments, please email Nathan Isberg " and specifically a gmail address is provided rather than the former @czehoski ending....

anyone know the deal?

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  1. I can add a bit. Was at Czehoski a couple of weeks ago and noticed Nathan wasn't there. The menu had really been dumbed down as well - sort of burgers+. And there was live music - not seen there for several years. After a serviceable but unexciting meal, I asked about Nathan and was told he was now gone, and the 'original' partner, Dave Mitton had come back from The Harbord Room and had taken charge of the kitchen (they didn't suggest he was cooking). I checked Chefdb, but there were no changes registered. My only action was to remove Czehoski from my profile favourites. I also noticed that Anton Potvin was listed as sommelier at Harbord Room - and I suspect he consults on the wines rather than being active - too busy running Niagara Street Cafe. But I've also bumped into Anton at Coca on a Monday, when Niagara Street Cafe is closed.
    I was also told that Nathan was still involved with Coca and was also doing catering. So I (attempted to) drop by Coca on Monday (one of my sort-of-regulars on a Monday when many places are closed) only to find it closed. Didn't check whether it was just shut on a Monday now because parking there is difficult - just went elsewhere.
    And I'm also now confused about the Harbord room too. But I have a particular 'hate' for places that don't post a menu - which is why I've never bothered with trying Harbord Room (so far). If there's no menu, I usually wait for a positive recommendation from someone I know - which hasn't yet happened.
    Can anybody else add anything?

    9 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      I was at Czehoski last night and met up with Nathan Isberg and he said its still cool..he is just under a little heat right now and is lying low till the pressure is off...It should be business as usual in a couple of weeks.

      1. re: Fat Swine

        fat swine, out of curiousity, what time did you meet up with nathan last night?

        estufarian, i'm not surprised that czehoski has gone that way. considering the crowds filling up the space regularly in the evenings.. they wouldn't have appreciated what nathan was putting out and his talent would be going to waste, burgers are much more appropriate. thankfully he's willing to still put out some of the great food he was doing up at czehoski in lieu of the spanish menu if you ask.

        1. re: Fat Swine

          Read in the new issue of CityBites that Nathan is doing catering for the Berkeley Church....

        2. re: Fat Swine

          Curiouser and curiouser!
          I tried to go on a Tuesday a few weeks back and the restaurant was closed! But the bar was open, so I'm guessing it was a'bar' meeting (rather than dining).
          Yes, I got the impression that it was a different direction, rather than a falling-out.

          1. re: estufarian

            A good source just informed me that Czehoski has been sold.

            IMHO it's not a great loss as the food, service, et al were highly overrated to begin with. Just another meat market on Queen West pardon the pun...

        3. re: estufarian

          estufarian - what do you mean about Harbord Room not posting a menu? All of their menus - dinner, dessert, late night, brunch, drinks, etc. - are posted on their website:

          As for a recommendation, my wife and I went for brunch a couple of weeks ago, and we really enjoyed it:

          1. re: gregclow

            There's nothing posted at the restaurant. Most web menus (not necessarily Harbord Room) are way out of date - lost count of how many 'spring menus' I've seen and out-of-date winelists, so I don't bother checking any more. But I will scan one at the restaurant if I'm passing by - and I was along Harbord earlier this month (when they were closed - otherwise I would have walked in).
            However, I did try to click through - and couldn't enter the site (I've switched off Flash in my browser because it sometimes freezes the browser and crashes my machine).

            1. re: estufarian

              The menu at the restaurant is posted in the front window on the right. Has been for awhile. Easy to overlook though.

              1. re: estufarian

                This is kind of a non-issue. If they're open, go in and ask what the menu is like. If they aren't open, call them when they are open and ask about their menu. Sure, it's nice to have a menu posted outside the restaurant, but is it really that difficult to ask a pretty simple question?

                Even if they do have a menu posted, there's no connection between a posted menu that appeals to you and the food actually being decent.

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            1. Not sure how this fits into everything but Le Petit Castor has recently opened where Thai Magic used to be on Yonge. Somebody told me that one of the partners is from Czehoski but I don't have any more info than that.

              1. Big news there for sure. Nathan has left both spots and taken over The Berkeley Church. Was always the coolest venue with some amazing events. Now I can't wait to eat there too.

                1. The original comment has been removed