Maléna and L’Unità restaurants are bringing up-and-coming culinary stars to the ‘Ave & Dav’ neighbourhood. Matthew Sullivan has been appointed Executive Chef at both restaurants and is accompanied by new Chefs de Cuisine: Alex Bruveris at Maléna and Mike Angeloni at L’Unità. Owner David Minicucci worked with Chef Sullivan to create the team behind the ‘new’ Maléna–he elaborates: “This crew is dedicated to their craft and involved in Toronto’s culinary scene. The energy from this team is pretty exciting and our patrons are going to appreciate a new level of creativity. At the same time, we’re re-shaping the Maléna experience–making it more convivial, and still delivering the high level of service that we’ve been known for.”
‘New’ Maléna, New Faces
The ‘New’ Maléna follows the restaurant’s original Ionian coastal theme but broadens the spotlight from principally seafood to principally fresh, local, high quality ingredients. With an added dose of robust farmhouse flavouring, the new menu puts the ingredients front and centre.
Chef Matthew Sullivan finds inspiration in the ingredients, their sourcing and the local purveyors who provide the building blocks of his technical, albeit unassuming style. Having spent time at the Terroni family of restaurants, Chef Sullivan embraces Southern Italian cooking ideals and parlays lessons learned from ‘nonna’s kitchen’ at Maléna. Mediterranean influence, beautiful pasta from scratch, and pulling complex flavours from the simplest of ingredients are Maléna mainstays. Sullivan’s respect for food professionalism stems from a stage in London at The Fat Duck, while his imaginative style took flight running Boxed, a well-received Toronto pop-up effort this summer.
Since taking over as Executive Chef at Maléna in September, Sullivan has maintained a mutable menu–tweaking existing favourites according to season or creative impulse, and developing an in-house bread and charcuterie program. Add new Chef de Cuisine Alex Bruveris to the mix, and you get a similar thirst for creative, composed food, and the same all-in-the-details mindset. Bruveris credits his time under Chef Anthony Walsh for transforming his outlook on food and was eager to be part of the Maléna team. Bruveris is spurred by creative autonomy and encouragement under Chef Sullivan, a strong team, and a mandate to develop dishes that celebrate what Canada has to offer.
Maléna continues to offer daily specials and a half price wine night on Tuesday evenings. Next for Maléna: seasonal dinners (details below) and a Guest Chef Dinner Series slated for January, 2012.
Bright Young Thing: L’Unità
L’Unità, the original vision of owners David Minicucci and Sam Kalogiros, serves convivial Italian cuisine in an unforgettably inviting setting. Chef Sullivan works alongside Chef de Cuisine Mike Angeloni to deliver the rustic dishes that have made L’Unità a neighbourhood favourite for four years. Angeloni apprenticed at Oro, worked under David Lee at Splendido, and Sous Chef’d at the Hoof Cafe. The iconic space, the creative possibilities and again, a strong team, enticed Angeloni to play a role in L’Unità Restaurant’s next act.
Seasonal Dinners: ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ & New Year’s Eve Dinner
Maléna will be doing their interpretation of the classic Italian American ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ this holiday season. The feast will feature seven seafood courses, served family-style, for two nights running (December 22nd & 23rd). The tradition of decadent New Year’s Eve Prix Fixes continues, with seatings at both restaurants on Saturday, December 31st.
‘The Loft’ at Maléna: Private Dining
‘The Loft’ at Maléna is nestled in the century-old building that is home to Maléna Restaurant. The dining space’s rich wooden accents, custom hemlock tables and photographic feature wall offer a warm setting for private events and larger dinner parties. With full audio visual capabilities, ‘The Loft’ can also act as an ideal venue for corporate meetings and events. Guests work with Maléna’s staff to customize menus and choose pairings from the restaurant’s acclaimed wine program (Wine Spectator Awards 2011). ‘The Loft’ accepts bookings year-round and meticulously accommodates up to 40 guests.
Cell (416) 220 1466
Tel (416) 532 9035