The New Danforth

Pape and Danforth may conjure up images of family-friendly Greek restaurants, but on Saturday, when the new restaurant Local opens its doors, all that may change.

Local is set in a stunning modern loft space, with exposed brick walls, soaring ceilings and subtle lighting. The self-styled supper club aims to provide a social dining experience, combining Chef Steven Wilson’s menu of pan-Mediterranean tapas with expertly poured cocktails and nightly DJs.

Chef Wilson, who has nearly 25 years of culinary experience, including 12 years at the King Eddie and a stint in the south of France, is passionate about Mediterranean food. Blending flavours inspired by South France, Greece and North Africa, the menu will include such highlights as filo pie with braised chicken and kefalograviera cheese and grilled lamb spareribs with honey balsamic glaze. Wilson aspires to source local ingredients whenever possible and supports neighbourhood businesses. It’s all part of Wilson’s effort to integrate into the community, like a local pub with a supper club feel.

Like the concept, the restaurant itself is multi-layered: Behind the dining area is the lounge, home to six tables geared to bottle service. Above that is the VIP section, complete with private bar. By spring, a rooftop patio will be open, providing a great vantage point for watching this neighbourhood evolve.

“The whole idea,” says Wilson, “is to create a real social atmosphere. It’s not going out for dinner or going out for drinks. It’s going out for a full experience.”

Plates, $7 – $16; bottle service, from $180; 511 Danforth Ave., (416) 465-5522.

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