In the last few weeks, the CafeTO pilot project has brought life back into our city's restaurant scene with patios lining the streets. Many are excited to get treated by their favourite neighbourhood spots again, and for the fine dining restaurants that haven’t been able to easily adapt to take-out and delivery, CafeTO provides an opportunity to generate revenue over the last few weeks of summer. In a recent article written by David Hopkins president of the Fifteen Group restaurant consultancy for Toronto Life, he talks about the future of fine dining and micro-restaurants as a hopeful alternative when temperatures drop off in October. Hopkins depicts minimalistic spaces with impressive tasting menus that require little overhead but provide a memorable experience for diners. Micro-restaurants may have less than ten tables which gives a front-row view of the chef creating your meal and personally serving you. The intimate setting comes with a higher price point ($100-$200 per person), but this means that these spots can change their menu frequently while still being profitable.
Micro-restaurants may have few if any, servers, and naturally pay less rent with a smaller space, but that’s not to say that it's easy. Even these small spaces are up against new and challenging COVID-19 policies, rising food costs and a slower rate of traffic. Resilient chefs like Marc Lepine of Thru restaurant in Ottawa sells seats one month in advance and always sells out of his six tables very quickly. Other spots like Ossington’s Cote de Boeuf is a small wine bar that butchers all their locally sourced meats in house. You can reserve a seat at their butcher’s table and dine family-style, or walk-in for a chance at one of their wine barrel tables for two. Food writers believe that though dining out may be less frequent, these micro-restaurants allow for a truly memorable night out and could also “grow brands by shrinking spaces.”
But not everyone is ready to dine out just yet, and if you're yearning for a 5-star dinner we have a solution so you can create your own micro-restaurant at home with one of our new weekly meal kits. Whether it's an intimate evening with some friends or a special occasion with the family, here's a chance for you to design your own backyard-bistro and leave the menu planning to us.
Pusateri's New Meal Kits are chef-driven creations of fresh and interesting ingredients for a complete 3-course meal. We've done the tedious prep-work and left the mains to be cooked just as you like them for a restaurant-quality dinner for four. Our meal kits will change from week to week to keep it interesting, and you can add one of our select wines to round out your at-home micro restaurant experience. Your future restaurant's guests can look forward to seasonal fish, filet mignon, truffles, and rich desserts as each new kit is announced online. Meal kits are very well prepped so the complexity level for you is low, you'll find everything neatly labelled and simple instructions to take your meal to 100%. Clean up, unfortunately, is on you.
The At-Home Micro-Restaurant Meal Kit
Launching September 1, Meal Kit #1 starts with Mexican-style street corn prepped for the grill with a sriracha spice blend, shredded paneer cheese, and cilantro to finish. Course two is fish tacos you construct with marinated cod, avocado whip, chipotle aioli and cabbage slaw. Finish your meal with churros, quickly reheated in the oven with warm chocolate sauce for the last satisfying bite of this perfect meal. For about $30 per person, your neighbours will be calling you to make reservations.
Meal Kits are pre-order only, so get your order in each week before Thursday to have it delivered or picked up at your nearest Pusateri's just in time for the weekend (available Friday and Saturday only).