In March 2019, a fire ripped through Allium restaurant, destroying the popular Holland Avenue eatery run by Chef Arup Jana for more than a decade. In the aftermath of the devastating blaze, the well-known chef thanked the community for its outpouring of support and committed to rebuild.
Jana has stood by that commitment, enduring close to a year of paperwork and delays with the hope that Allium will rise anew, perhaps as early as summertime 2020.
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But Jana’s year of frustration has also led to opportunity — his second restaurant, Brassica, opened its doors on January 25 in Westboro at the former location of Vittoria in the Village (it closed its doors at the end of the year).
The collaboration with Domenic Santiguida and Harjeet Singh, who operated Vittoria in the Village, sees Jana working with another restaurateur who has endured the hardship of a fire. The ByWard Market location of Vittoria Trattoria, housed in a heritage building on William Street, was severely damaged by fire in April 2019. (That rebuild will take until at least the end of 2020 and perhaps longer.)
In the weeks leading up to the opening of Brassica, Jana tempted the palates of potential diners with colourful Instagram photos of the menu items he was testing. Fittingly, he tagged each and every photo #newbeginnings.
The Dish on the Dishes
The chef says he doesn’t plan to change his style at his second eatery, but the menu will broken up a little bit differently. “We will also try new things, and new styles that we have not tried in the past. We will offer some sharing dishes and small plates as we did on Monday nights at allium. A new thing for us will be brunch on the weekends, which we are looking forward to.”
He says Brassica’s menu will also be more veggie focussed, with a nod to more gluten-free and carb-free meals. Jana has conceived his dishes so that most can be tweaked for dietary needs.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken: Scallion and cheddar waffle, pickled carrots, apple syrup, charred jalapeno cream, sunny egg, herbs
Pork Belly Pancakes: Smoked bacon, scallion, chilli glaze, roasted pork belly, cilantro, lime, soft egg, pickles
Brassica Bowl: Roasted brassicas, sesame and cider dressing, pickles, cherry tomato, crushed yams, roasted nuts, tofu ragout
Sour Cream Cavatelli: Braised lamb ragout, mushroom, red wine pickled shallot, parsley, lime crema, Worcestershire syrup
Crispy Duck Confit: Chili braised cabbage, golden raisin puree, maple vinegar glaze, corn cream
Beet Cured Salmon: Dill, crème fraiche, puffed wild rice, beet powder, cucumber, marinated kale, cabbage, pecans
Aged Cheddar Arancini: Pickled red cabbage, parmesan, parsley dressing, curry aioli, corn powder, dill
Broccoli Orecchiette: Shallot, garlic, chilli, parmesan, mint, greens, walnuts, cheddar
Hot Tip: Dessert lovers take note. The chef’s signature banoffee pie is back! Save room for the most important part of the meal.
Hot Tip #2: Come with friends. There are so many plates here that are just made for sharing — from smoked beets to French fries with horseradish aioli and from mushrooms on toast to crispy calamari with a remoulade sauce.
Open Tuesday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
309 Richmond Rd., 613-680-7575