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Jul 16, 2010 08:47 AM

Oliver & Bonacini @ Bell Lightbox

Oliver & Bonacini have posted pics of their new space in the Bell Lightbox (King/John), future home of the Toronto International Film Festival group.

Some all-day breakfast menu items in development:

They say:

We're opening two unique concept restaurants in this incredible building - a casual café with grab & go and takeout on the ground floor, and a more upscale, fine-dining concept on the 2nd floor that also includes an expansive 8,000-square-foot bar and lounge. There will also be a stunning event space designed by Anacleto Design on the 6th floor, which we will be servicing.

Oliver & Bonacini
2901 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M2K 1E6, CA

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  1. The ground floor cafe space to be named O&B Canteen and the second floor fine dining restaurant to be called Luma. Both are scheduled to open in late August, before the start of TIFF.

    O&B Canteen will offer "breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night dining seven days a week."

    Luma, a "8,000-square-foot restaurant and bar lounge that seats about 230, with an additional 50 on the terrace" will serve lunch and dinner.

    There will also be a 6th floor event space called Malaparte.

    4 Replies
      1. re: jlunar

        Really excited about more upscale late-night options. My other half bartends so after hours options are much appreciated. We were super excited by news of The Counter in the Thompson, but reviews here, and friends that have been have all been negative so have not been. Bring on the Canteen!

        1. re: abigllama

          I'm still hoping The Counter will find its legs. The one time I went around midnight-ish, I thought was a good meal for the hour. However, reports since then haven't been quite as good. Haven't been back yet, but I still plan to. Crossing. Fingers.

          1. re: jlunar

            According to its website, Canteen closes at 11 pm.

    1. Pics from breakfast today at Canteen. They're open tomorrow (Sat) for Dinner. Sunday for Lunch/Dinner, and starting monday, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

      Breakfast buttie ($4-$6)

      fruit salad, peach juice

      Board menus

      more food


      9 Replies
      1. re: Suresh

        Thanks Suresh... So, it looks like an "order at the counter, wait for order" sit down type of place... Is it or am I misreading the pics?

        1. re: Suresh

          Man, that sammy looks good. Space reminds me of Danny Meyer's cafeteria at MOMA. Looking forward to checking it out.

          Gotta ask my usual was the coffee????

          1. re: peppermint pate

            Place looks very much like dean and deluca in nyc.
            Coffee was great, the fresh local fruit juices were fantastic.
            It's a sit down place with plenty of seating high low, etc.
            There is a take out area at the end which will feature the menu, eco containers, etc. The sandwich is honestly the best I have had, and am craving it already just a few hours later.

            they're even serving a new bubbly from Cavesprings, made for O&B, titled Sparkle and Buzz. good prices on drinks, menu, etc.

            1. re: Suresh

              Thanks Suresh - yeah, I can see the D&D resemblance, let's hope the food is better (I've never been much of a fan). Look forward to checking this place out - always up for new and tasty weekday brekkie options!

              I have to believe they have free wireless - did you happen to notice?

              1. re: peppermint pate

                There is a free signal, but not sure it is O&B. If they were planning to have free access, I'm guessing it will probably in the next few days.

                1. re: Suresh

                  Stopped in for a quick lunch today - the place is already packed, can't even imagne what it'll be like during TIFF. The space is great - light, airy, modern. I like the large food boards. Service was super friendly. I did a combo of the artichoke and chickpea salad with some grilled chicken breast - flavour was pretty good, though the salad should have been room temperature so as to not contrast too much with the freshly grilled breast. It was also a bit on the salty side and I'm a salt lover. I also picked up a small loaf of their chocolate cherry bread which looks quite tasty. Espresso was a bit thin but flavourful.

                  I find the menu a bit limited and the prices on the steep side (my salad combo was $16) but overall, I liked it and would go back. It'll be a great option for weekday brekkies too (they open at 7 during the week and 8 on weekends, I believe).

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Their "pretzel" loaf is quite addictive, I've been going in daily to get my fix. Yum!

          2. re: Suresh

            I was there last night (on the way to seeing a movie at the Scotiabank).

            View from inside

            View from outside looking in

            Menus are available on the Oliver & Bonacini website:

            1. re: canmark

              Brioche french toast & pulled pork eggs benny. I wonder how these compare to Hoof Cafe...I want to check this place out


          3. I picked up lunch from here yesterday and I had a curried shrimp sandwich which was really nice. Tried some of the baked goods and it was all pretty good, nothing I would rush back for, but I liked the chocolate croissant - it has chocolate mixed into the dough and Soma chocolate for the filling.

            I hope that they make the pricing a bit more clear though, I was at the take-out counter and it was a bit confusing trying to figure out how much the items are since only some of them were labeled with the price. And while I thought I saw the option for a salad/soup + sandwich combo on the dine-in menu, they don't have combos for the take-out counter.

            1 Reply
            1. Had a chance to check out Canteen yesterday for a late lunch. Thai slaw, mac n' cheese, and gnocchi were consumed.

              The slaw was $6 and really should be one of those salads used to garnish a plate. There was a good crunch to the slaw but it was missing some thai basics such as some heat and not even a trace of a peanut. Overall a pass.

              The gnocchi was not like a gnocchi I've eaten before. While it wasn't bad, I nor my DC found it all that appealing. The lamb sauce was ok but lacking in the basics like salt. The gnocchi were large and more like a stuff pasta than a traditional gnocchi I'm used to. Overall a pass.

              The mac 'n cheese was by far the highlight of the meal. They use dried pasta in the dishes but it is a good quality garganelli. The side is generous in size and flavour with a nice creamy cheese sauce (not too overpowering for those who don't love strong cheeses) with chewy bits of smokes ham, topped with dusting of crunchy bread crumbs. Really a tasty comfort food dish which is pretty darn good value for money.

              Overall our experience was 6.5 out of 10 but worth the trip for the mac 'n cheese alone.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JennaBean

                We stopped in here last night before seeing a film at the Lightbox. It was snowing in April so a perfect night for some comforto food. Started with an organic leaf salad that was decent but not very memorable. Then got the mac n cheese and it was fantastic.

                I cautiously ordered this after a bad experience with the mac & cheese at the O&B up at Blue Mountain. It was ruined by an overpowering goat cheese. (Thankfully the dreaded goat cheese trend seems to be fading off!). This was perfect, the smoked bacon was perfect and it was just awesome. The cheese sauce was a great blend and perfect cheese balance that left me wanting to lick the bowl clean after.

                My SO got the mushroom pasta and it was really good too. But the Mac & Cheese was probably the best I've had in the city. No room for desserts but looking forward to return. The couple next to use split a pizza and it looked really great.