Contact: 131 Bloor St. W., 2nd floor, 416-551-9929, amaltoronto.com, @amaltoronto
Neighbourhood: Entertainment District
Previously: La Société
Owners: Charles Khabouth and Danny Soberano (INK Entertainment)
Chef: Rony Ghaleb
Outdoor seating: Second-floor terrace will be outfitted with a tent and heat lamps for winter
Covid-19 safety measures: Hand sanitizer stations; tables are sanitized in between guests; masks are to be worn when leaving the table; protective barriers between tables in the dining room; guest information is collected for contact tracing; seating capacity adjusted to comply with city regulations
Accessibility: The second-floor dining room is fully accessible via an elevator from the building’s main floor
Beirut-born Khabouth’s long-awaited project—INK announced the opening way back in March and you know what happened next—brings flavours of his homeland, via chef Ghaleb’s takes on familiar plates. Expect traditional mezze, like hummus and freshly baked pita, plus kebabs, tk and tk. For brunch, there are traditional Lebanese breakfast options, including manouche (meat pie with thyme), foul (fava beans) and balila (warm chickpea and cumin salad), but there are also a few modern interpretations, like pita with lox and labneh, and eggs with makanek (Lebanese sausage).
Nishan Nepulongoda (Sofia Yorkville) is responsible for the house cocktails made with Lebanese ingredients (tea, sumac, Arak). The wine, available by the glass or bottle, is largely European and there’s some spendy champagne, too.
To capture the vibrancy and energy that Khabouth found in some fancy restaurants in Lebanon, he enlisted the talent of Lebanese design firm GraphicShop, one of the biggest in the Middle East. They collaborate with Studio Munge to create a fresh, sweeping space inspired by traditional Lebanese architecture and design. The one item they didn’t plan on: protective screens, which now separate tables in the main dining room.