Best Seat in the House: Toronto Double-Header Edition
When you're dining with Scott Vivian, chef of Beast, you don't have to decide between Japanese or Italian. Just do both.
March 25, 2019 ● 2 min read
By Richie Nakano | Photo via Imanishi
Chef Scott Vivian's restaurant Beast is the go-to spot for meat-forward, nose-to-tail cooking and one of the most satisfying brunches in Toronto. And it has made him the city's de facto ambassador to all things meat–the late great Anthony Bourdain even called on him for advice when he visited Toronto years ago.
What's a day off dining excursion look like for him? “The question I usually wind up asking myself is: do I want Italian or Japanese?" he says. "Imanishi is an izakaya run by Shori Imanishi, a very talented young cook. Superpoint is essentially a pizzeria that serves the closest thing to New York style pizza that I’ve ever had outside of NYC.”
Why choose? Here are his tips on how to have your pizza and eat your monkfish liver too.
Where to sit:
"Both places have bars I like to sit at, and they both have great, personable staff."
When to visit:
"If I'm going to have a big night out, Imanishi is my go-to place, especially I have friends in town. Superpoint keeps me coming back because it just gets better and better! We’ll go get some drinks after brunch service on Sunday, then eat at Superpoint, or go for snacks at Imanishi on a Monday."
What to order:
"Both menus are very simple–on my days off I don’t want anything too extravagant.
Imanishi's vegetable dishes are killer, and the monkfish liver served with garlic bread is one of my favorite dishes in Toronto.
At Superpoint I like to get a pepperoni pizza. It’s delicious and consistent and I always get a Caesar salad. There are three or four pastas on the menu, and their beef cheek ragu is one of my favorite pasta dishes in all of Toronto."
What to drink:
"Both places have great drink lists, and Superpoint has great natural and craft wines. Imanishi's small plates go great with big bottles of beer and they have a very well priced sake list too. They’re both great places to hang out, sit at the bar, and let the staff guide you."
Who to talk to:
"They both offer a really nice personal experience where you can sit back and relax, and the staff at both are so welcoming. Very few things are normal in restaurants, and these places bring me a sense of normalcy."