Fashion Magazine

Award Winning Restaurant Blu Ristorante lends a hand for a good cause

On Wednesday night, Bloor Street threw it’s massive annual fundraising effort for the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research (CANFAR). To reach their $400,000 goal, Bloor Street Entertains turns boutiques all over Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood in pop-up restos catered by the city’s top chefs. Marc Thuet, Jamie Kennedy and Blu’s Massimo Collavani were just a few of the foodie names who cooked menus at venues normally known for dishing out luxe–Tiffany & Co., Eleven, George C., Holt Renfrew, Teatro Verde and Cartier among them.

After dinner, the party moved over to the Royal Ontario Museum where the guest list included designers Sunny Fong, Jeremy Laing, Philip Sparks and Nada Shepherd, Canadian fashion royals Joe Mimran and Kimberley Newport-Mimran (who were also the event’s co-chairs), and sea of smartly dressed socials who cut a rug and tried to outbid each other in the silent auction.

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Jazzing up the mystery behind the facade

Blu, Italian for blue, is the colour of mystery. On the quiet eastern front of Yorkville, set back behind a brick façade, Blu is an Italian restaurant based on classic cuisine presents a warm and modern flare.

Warmly lit faux stone walls and grand mirrors surround cozy leather seating and dark wood tables. The 135-person room is part upscale bistro, part informal lounge, with a hip, urban ambiance. After 10pm, a ten by five foot stage is set for jazz on Thursday evenings, and something a little more upbeat on Friday and Saturday evenings. The music is not the main attraction though. It is one element of the ambiance, “for people that don’t really want to go to clubs anymore, but want to have a night out, and have fun at the same time; go for dinner, and have live entertainment,” says owner Alfredo Rodriquez.

The doors opened in October to a fanfare of food mavens, but the menu has since been refined from its Mediterranean concept to a strictly Northern Italian focus: simple and authentic.

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Into the Blu – Toronto’s upscale Italian Restaurant

Located in the heart of Yorkville in Toronto, Blu Ristorante has been wowing and enticing patrons ever since it opened over two years ago.

The eatery won’s Diners’ Choice award in both 2009 and 2010. Lauded and talented chef Massimo Callovini serves up dishes native to Northern Italy, with a focus on “simple and clean flavour combinations.”

Blu’s owner Alfredo Rodriguez says that the restaurant’s Cioppino, an Italian seafood soup, has become a favourite among guests. Other popular dishes on the menu are the Beef Carpaccio, the Arancini di Riso (lightly fried bite-sized pieces of saffron risotto, prosciutto and mozzarella) and the Seafood Linguine.

Those who want a quick meal before a jaunt on the town can take a seat at the bar and indulge in the tapas menu, which features various appetizers and share plates. The wine list features a large selection of Italian wines “and also a wide variety of new world and old world wines from across the globe,” says Rodriguez.

Blu is open Monday to Saturday to the public, but reserves Sundays for special private functions. The venue can accommodate up to 135 people, and there are various options for set menus. From Wednesday to Saturday Blu offers free live music, which Rodriguez says complements the atmosphere of the restaurant.

Blu also appeals to a wide range of people. Rodriguez says, “We have pre-theatre clientele and guests that just want to sit at the bar for a quick pasta and wine. There is always a mix of couples, family get-togethers, social occasions, business meetings and out-of-towners.” The ambiance is inviting and Rodriguez says, “Service is warm, friendly and informed.”

Blu is a perfect spot to celebrate the arrival of 2011. There will be live entertainment, a delicious four-course meal and, of course, sparkling wine to toast to the new year.

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Blu Ristorante prides itself on being one of Toronto’s best Italian restaurants and destinations for live music. Visit us today for your next night out or for booking your group functions. Click Here – Yorkville Restaurant