Blue Plate, Toronto

At Blue Plate, simple but supreme-quality food is prepared in a hardwood-fueled hearth. Located in Roncesvalles, the restaurant’s aim is to offer simple, good food, without the ditz and glamour that you’ve come to expect at other new Toronto restaurant. What that means is, as owner Melissa Fox-Revett puts it “essentially a sexed-up diner”. The restaurant, which takes over the old Boho space, certainly simple and clean, with paper tablecloths, a twenty-foot stainless steel bar, open-kitchen concept, and enough chrome to light the place with a single flame. Blue Plate has a capacity for forty-eight inside, with twenty-five on the back patio.

Keeping in time with the diner feel, Blue Plate offers primarily a wide selection of artisanal Ontario beers, but don’t worry, for those with a more continental palette, Stella Artois is also on the list. Prices are more than fair for both beers and the liquor list, which almost a bit too extensive for a souped-up diner. And it’s here where Blue Plate finds itself in an odd spot. Born of meticulously sourced ingredients, dishes like phyllo-wrapped baked camembert and bacon-wrapped bison meat loaf studded with cherries are simple but never boring, and often astonishing.

Offering food that’s readily accessible, that everyone can understand is ideal for a diner. Serve up something simple and something good. However, one would be hard pressed to find a diner not only with champagne cocktails on the menu, but with such down-home fare. Not that there’s anything wrong with serving such dishes, but under a simple name like Blue Plate and marketing that’s pushing for that diner feel, certain customers mind find themselves confused, if not alienated. I mean, seriously, no matter how souped-up your eighteen-wheeler is, I doubt you’d enjoy duck confit hash for brunch. But hey, try for yourself when Blue Plate unveils its approach to the masses Thursday.

92 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON
Opens Thursday night.
Cuisine – Diner Fare
Area – Roncesvalles
Price – $$ (Affordable)

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