When Chef Rob Rossi announced he was leaving Mercatto a couple weeks before the first season of Top Chef Canada wound down (on which he was a fierce competitor), the Toronto foodie community was aflitter on Twitter, with speculation that the move might signal Rossi’s impending win. As is customary with the social media hierarchy of sharing, the information was based on rumour slightly derived from fact, and unfortunately for fans of the former Mercatto exec chef the buzz was, in this case, unworthy. While Rob may not have taken the title, he came in a close second, and in the process bewildered viewers of the American series’ Canadian offshoot.
Fast-forward a few months, and Chef Rossi is set to open Bestellen. Cue the harp and sound the trumpets. Yes, we’re excited. The Little Italy locale, at 972 College Street, will house the culinary genius of Rossi and supposedly be based on an haute European tavern vibe.
Bestellen is German for ‘to order’, though assuming you’ll find traditional Deutsch fare would be a misnomer. Meat will take a prime cut of the menu, and Rossi and partner Ryan Sarfeld (also a Mercatto alum) have installed a glass-walled meat locker as a focal point in the converted convenience store space.
Furniture from Smash and reclaimed chairs from U of T will be part and parcel of the homey space where Rossi and Sarfeld will create an experience for patrons awash in Europe meets North America flare. The first showing off of the restaurant is on the 25th with the Visa Infinite dinner ($145/person) slated to highlight Rossi’s dishes. Soon after, the restaurant will open full-tilt. For now, follow Bestellen and Chef Rob Rossi on Twitter to stay in tune with new developments.