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Opinion

Don Appetit! Black Angus 2.0 Launches


Don Douloff, Food WriterBlack Angus, the Etobicoke restaurant that has fed guests splendidly for more than half a century, has relocated, reopened and reinvented itself in a snazzy, 6,000-square-foot street-level space in Bloor Islington Place office tower, in Toronto’s west end.

The move wasn’t far — about a block west of its original location — but the transformation of the ambience and menu is impressive.

This isn’t your father’s Black Angus, but, rather, the new evolution of the restaurant.

Dining area.

The sleekly contemporary space is bright and airy thanks to large picture windows looking onto busy Bloor Street West, and a tastefully executed design punctuated by understated black, greys and earthtones, polished surfaces and gleaming light fixtures.

Curated by executive chef Greg Argent, the eclectic, globally focused menu dishes up the restaurant’s signature steaks, but places strong emphasis on creative seafood, pasta and vegetable options such as a grilled cauliflower main course. Indeed, there are three grills, one each dedicated to beef, fish and vegetables.

Another view of the dining area.

“We want to maintain the identity and reputation of the Black Angus to the people who know and love it, and also build on that, in a much larger space, to attract a new clientele,” said Argent, who brings with him an impressive pedigree earned at top-shelf Toronto kitchens such as Rain, Cru and Forte.

I dropped by for lunch this week, and discovered an eclectic, very reasonably priced menu offering small plates, salads, pastas, panini and burgers priced $8 to $18; mains priced $16 to $24; and steaks starting at $25.

Fire roasted rainbow carrots.

I thoroughly enjoyed the soft, sugar-sweet, fire-roasted rainbow carrots dusted with aromatic herbs, jazzed with honey/black vinegar glaze and partnered with the kitchen’s velvety house-made labneh (think Greek yogurt, but richer, and better).

House-ground Black Angus burger.

Priced at $16, the house-ground Black Angus burger is one of the best burger deals in town. Boasting a finely textured grind and deep, meaty flavour, the thick and juicy patty, tucked into a pillowy bun, goes down like burger heaven. On the side, there’s a mound of crisp fries.

Black Angus offers a variety of group options, including a private room, with full audiovisual capability, that seats up to 40 people.

— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 30 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,500 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.