Inside the bustling St. Lawrence Market, Domenic’s Fish Market sprawls beneath a giant sign, its rows of fresh mussels, shrimp, and halibut tantalizing all who’ve frequented the spot since 1967. From behind clean, well-lit counters, the well-dressed staff offers up a wealth of items plucked from the sea, including live lobsters, Arctic char, whitefish, and their signature vodka-smoked salmon. They also arm customers with recipes and cooking advice, such as tips for serving a perfectly cooked filet of fish or perfectly balanced 6-foot tower of lobster.
Frank Naworynski had a passion for food. He also had a passion for customer service, a trait that he made abundantly clear as the owner of Kipling Tire in Etobicoke. But when Frank opened his automobile-service shop in 1982, he probably had no idea that, someday, it would become a meeting place for both of his passions.
After Frank passed away, his sons, Jason and Justin, lifted inspiration from their dad’s list of favourite things and opened a restaurant connected to a car shop. Before, Kipling Tire featured a large room for customers to wait while their cars were getting repaired or psychoanalyzed. In June 2012, Jason and Justin transformed that space into a sleek, warmly decorated dining area, complete with chocolate-covered walls and tables. There, the Naworynski brothers honour their late father with artfully plated dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all while carrying on Frank’s knack for unabashed customer service.
Casa Mendoza's chefs plate a multiterrestrial menu of succulent steaks, fresh seafood, and packed pasta plates. Warm up palates with an order of the marinated-and-battered calamari, which gracefully swan dives into homemade Cajun mayonnaise ($9.95). A redolent cape of fresh garlic, herbs, and chimichuri sauce swathes the 10-ounce new york strip loin ($27.95), which busies forks and knives and instills jealousy in spoons. A heaping surf 'n' turf platter combines a fillet of beef tenderloin with sumptious broiled rock-lobster tail ($44.95), and the homemade gnocchi doubles as plush pillows for fresh lobster meat and rests under a hand-crocheted blanket of Dungeness-crab cream sauce ($21.95).
At Kingsway Fish & Chips, clients net fresh fish and homemade desserts prepared by four generations of family members from an eclectic menu. Fresh Alaskan halibut, hand-filleted in-house and bathed in a light English-style batter, joins forces with freshly chipped Ontario potatoes to fulfill a family recipe ($11.39; $10.39 with haddock). Six ounces of grilled rainbow trout lounges alongside a bed of rice or fries ($14.49), and seafood chowder and lobster bisque ($4.49–$5.49) keep stomachs as warm as Moby Dick's sauna. For dessert, butter tarts ($2.49) and old-fashioned rice pudding ($3.99) sweeten palates, and domestic and imported beer and wine keep diners hydrated between bites and comparisons of squid-calling technique. Large parties gather amid colourful booths, high-backed chairs, and walls sconces in the restaurant’s recently renovated, 110-seat space.
In Kothur Indian Cuisine’s neat and unpretentious dining room, where simply framed artwork dots the walls, the focus remains on rich, fragrant Indian dishes. From the kitchen, ceramic and copper dishes emerge, piled high with chicken, fish, and shrimp cooked in the traditional tandoori oven, as well as South Indian–style dosas, or rice-batter crepes. The extensive menu features a wide range of meat and vegetarian entrees, from classic chicken tikka masala to mutter paneer made with fresh Indian cheese.