Sneak Peek: Bar Raval, a Barcelona-Inspired Bar in Toronto

In a recent “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, we gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the intricate design work at Bar Raval in Toronto, an establishment helmed by the acclaimed chef Grant van Gameren. Here, we dive deeper into the operational side of Bar Raval with Robin Goodfellow, bartender and partner.

“We wanted the space to be just like the experience, very organic,” said Goodfellow. “We’ve heard people say it looks like the inside of a tree’s heart.”

In this “Across the Bar” preview, get a sneak peek of what Goodfellow has in store for us behind the bar, including a drink inspired by Robin Williams, called One-Hour Photo. “I made this drink on the day that Robin Williams died, so I thought I’d name it after his weirdest movie.”

A Taste of Mediterranean at Boston’s Oleana

“We cook Mediterranean food, but with a huge focus on Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Turkish,” says James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun, chef and owner at Oleana. The restaurant, located in Cambridge, Mass., is in its 15th year, a clear indication of its success.

Known for its inventive cuisine, Oleana’s menu features dishes like octopus and potatoes bravas with smoked aioli and Turkish spices; Vermont quail kebob with Baharat spice, barberries, and pistachio; and duck with spring dug parsnips, walnut tabouleh, and smoke honey labne. But it seems Sortun is most excited right now about lamb. And spices.

“Spices and lamb, to me, go naturally hand in hand. They really bring depth and richness to dishes without making them heavy. And they’re a perfect match.”

There are three lamb dishes on Oleana’s menu at time of publish: a lamb and grape leaf tart with cumin, orange, orzo, and spicy feta; lamb shoulder with chickpea, fried artichokes, turmeric, and cilantro; and a moussaka (lamb and eggplant pie) with tahini, fava beans, and fried peas.

Check out the sneak peek above, and stay tuned for the full “Table 42” episode, coming soon!

Get a Taste of Linwood Essentials in Toronto

“The idea for a lot of the cocktails I freestyle come down to a simple ratio: strong, sweet, sour, herbacious,” says Jake Valianes, owner and bar manager at Linwood Essentials in Toronto.

And, like most good drinks, each cocktail has a story. But at Linwood Essentials, these stories are not elusive; in fact, they’re sometimes clipped onto the side of the drink. “Cocktails should be fun,” he adds. “We want people to experience a different style of drinking here.”

Check out a sneak peek of this “Across the Bar” above, and stay tuned for the full episode, coming soon!

Check Out the Insane Design Work at Toronto’s Bar Raval

A restaurant would not be successful or complete without good food. A bar would not be successful or complete without good drinks. But just as important is the ambiance: how does the space make someone feel? Ambiance can be communicated through a lot of channels, one of them being design. And no place strikes this as evidently as Bar Raval in Toronto.

Alex Josephson has made this connection of feeling and architecture his life. As co-founder of Partisans, a Toronto-based architecture and design studio, Josephson and his team “primarily make the improbable possible.” He says, “We believe in the political power of architecture.”

Partisan’s partnership with Bar Raval was a serendipitous one, and Josephson compares the woodwork of this project to a 3D tattoo. “These are like our children, these projects,” Josephson says. “And I think the best clients give you enough freedom, but they really know what they want.”

Stay tuned to catch the full “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, coming soon!

A Sneak Peek Inside Ilan Hall’s Esh

If you’re looking for “Top Chef” Season 2 winner Ilan Hall, you’ll probably find him floating above an Urban Outfitters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. No, not like some hipster stunt team — on the third floor of the building is where his concept, Esh, lives, and where “everyday” Israeli barbecue can be found. We’re talking banh mi poutine, octopus with za’atar, pinenuts, and olives, and more. Recently transitioning from his New American concept called The Gorbals, the chef says of Esh, “We’re not doing barbecue on the Israeli side; we’re not doing barbecue on the American side, so we’re kind of taking the best of both worlds.”

Check out the sneak peek above, hosted by Foodable video correspondent Agnes Chung, and stay tuned for the full “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, coming soon!

Sneak Peek: BarChef, Where Cocktails Are Akin to Fine-Dine Dishes

What’s your differentiator, your X-factor? You know, the thing that keeps you separate from your competition and on another playing field. “Innovation” has become a token buzzword, but only few are changing the game in a way that completely segments them from the noise. BarChef is one of those few.

In Toronto, Frankie Solarik and his team think differently about the food and beverage space. In this “Across the Bar” sneak peek, host Paul Barron doesn’t find himself across the bar like at most places on the show, but rather at a chef’s table. “I really want to strive to achieve a very emotional experience for my guests and make it very special,” says Solarik. He uses that sentiment when preparing his cocktails akin to a fine dining dish. 

Check out the sneak peek above to check out some of Solarik’s uniquely exquisite concoctions, and stay tuned for the upcoming full episode, coming soon!

Sneak Peek: A Fusion Gastropub Blends Korean and Latin Flavors

Outside the bustle of Miami’s most notable culinary hubs, Finka Table & Tap is tucked away in The Magic City’s West Kendall neighborhood, a far cry from the beach. According to reviews, the destination gastropub is worth the drive, so we had to check out this Top 25 Restaurant for ourselves.

In this “Table 42” episode, we’re joined by Finka’s owner, Eileen Andrade. “The fusion of Korean and Latin cuisine was a no-brainer,” she says of the concept’s cuisine, which fuses Korean, Cuban, and Peruvian influences. “It’s bold flavors, it’s colorful, saucy. It’s just a balance between both cuisines.”

Catch the sneak peek above and stay tuned for the full episode, coming soon!

The GrowHaus: A Community Approach to Healthy Food in a Denver Food Desert

The GrowHaus is an indoor urban farm, education center, and marketplace in Elyria-Swansea, Denver. In this sneak peek, we give viewers a look into the GrowHaus mission.

“What we’re trying to do is give the voice back to the common people,” says Kathryn Ardoin, GrowHaus’ food distribution coordinator. “We don’t come up with the programs; the community tells us, and we just help make it happen.”

At its core is the belief that healthy food is not a privilege, but a right.

“We can sell all the food, we can grow all the food, but if people don’t know why or what to buy or how to prepare it, how to store it, how to grow it themselves, then ultimately we’re just another for-profit store with no mission,” Ardoin says. “Ultimately, we’re here for this community specifically. As they grow and as they change, we will with them.”

Stay tuned for the full “Sustain” episode, coming soon!

Sneak Peek: A Digital Marketplace That’s Changing the Game for Local Farms

From 2008 to 2014, the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has nearly doubled. Consumers are undoubtedly demanding more fresh and local products, and these markets give local farms and other small businesses an outlet for not only selling their fare to the community, but also putting themselves in a situation to be discovered by more consumers. With the advancement of technology and the increasing need for more time (read: convenience), the farmers market has gone digital.

Founded in 2009, Farmigo is an online farmers market that directly connects consumers to local farms. Farm-fresh groceries can be ordered through the marketplace, and are available for pickup at select “food communities” nearby. Farmigo, which is currently available in New York, New Jersey, Seattle-Tacoma, and Northern California, recently raised $16M in a Series B round in Q3 2015 and has, since inception, raised a total of $26M.

“Farmers are in a pretty big bind right now,” Benzi Ronen, CEO and founder at Farmigo, tells Foodable. “They do the majority of the work to grow our food. And then they end up selling to a wholesaler or to a supermarket chain that only gives them 20 percent of what you pay.”

Above, check out a sneak peek of our upcoming “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, featuring Farmigo and Gotham Greens.

Sneak Peek: Work & Class Keeps It Real in Denver

In a world of hype-driven, “cool factor” restaurants, Work & Class in Denver is refreshingly humble. Its cool factor lies in its approachability and its unique real estate.

“We’re using reclaimed, repurposed materials for our buildout,” says Delores Tronco, co-owner at Work & Class, who voluntarily waits tables on Saturday nights to connect more directly to guests. “It’s very easy to say to someone, ‘Look for the building made of shipping containers; that’s where you’ll find us.’”

Work & Class, which focuses on Latin and American food, includes 12 house rules, and “Be Nice” is No. 1. The restaurant also doesn’t take reservations. “You can leave everything else behind,” says Tronco. “Because we’re gonna take care of it while you’re here. It’s like you’re in a great house party or something.”

Check out the sneak peek above, and stay tuned for our full “Table 42” episode, coming soon!