What Is Culinary Class In High School Presenting: At Nevada’s Ristorante Hospitality is a Family Affair

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Presenting: At Nevada’s Ristorante Hospitality is a Family Affair

You may have noticed by now that I spend most of my free time in Toronto’s Beach area. Over the years I have had the pleasure of checking out a number of Beach restaurants, and one of my favorites is Nevada’s Ristorante. Centrally located at the intersection of Queen Street and Kenilworth Avenue, it’s an easy walk from the Boardwalk; its warm beauty and beautiful paintings inside and outside the building create a unique look. But the most important thing is the food, and I’ve been enjoying the culinary scene in Nevada.

So I decided to make a phone call to find out who is behind this great company. I arranged an interview with Chris Housseas, the owner of a restaurant in Nevada, and on a cold Friday evening at 6 o’clock in the evening I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris for an interview, just before the evening rush. Dimitra’s mother, whose name is Toula, joined us and came to give me the story of the Houseseas family.

Chris grew up in the restaurant business. Gus’s father, originally from Greece, opened his first restaurant in Canada in 1961, before Chris was born. Even before that, at the age of 17 he started owning a restaurant in his home in Greece. After arriving in Canada, he moved between his country and Canada several times. On one of these trips back home she met Chris’s mother in 1976, and they fell in love. Soon after, Chris was born, and in 1978 the whole family, including parents, two sisters and a brother, moved to Canada.

Gus initially worked as a dishwasher and server. Soon after arriving in Toronto he owned many grocery stores, including a Dairy Freeze outlet near St. Clair and Caledonia. Other fast-paced restaurants followed near Bloor and Christie, and he added Steak Queen near Rexdale and Martin Grove Avenues to his hospitality portfolio. Both parents and Chris came together as a team to buy Nevada in 2004. Nevada has a long tradition at the Beach, and Chris said it has been there for almost 50 years now.

Chris explained that the menu at Nevada’s Ristorante is a blend of California and Italian cooking with Asian influences and a few New Orleans dishes. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Pollo Gorgonzola which includes chicken, penne and mushrooms in a gorgonzola sauce. Bourbon Street-inspired New Orleans ribs are baked in the oven for two and a half hours and covered in a delicious garlic sauce.

The list of mouth-watering foods went on. Pollo Pesto pasta consists of linguine noodles, chicken, vegetables and leeks in a pesto-cream sauce, sprinkled with pine nuts. Soups are made in house, and salads are very popular, especially Hot Spinach Salad and Wild Mushroom Salad. Desserts complement the flavors and include, among others, Bourbon Street Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Raspberry Tartufo as well as Ice Cream Crepe and various sorbets.

The regular menu is decorated with a night view. In winter the C$21 prix-fix dinner, including soup, appetizer and entree with three to five choices, entices people to brave the cold and tantalize their taste buds. Nevada’s Ristorante is open every day, from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 10 pm, and on weekends the restaurant opens at 9 am for brunch. Chris explained that brunch is very busy, and the most popular item on the brunch menu is the Breakfast Buffet, made up of three eggs, maple smoked bacon, sausage, home fries and fruit. Eggs Benedict (with Canadian bacon), Eggs Nova (with smoked salmon), and Eggs Florentine (with spinach) are also popular choices.

Nevada’s is a very large restaurant: the main dining room downstairs and the full dining room upstairs have 135 seats, while the terrace in summer has 35 to 40 people. Nevada’s court is very popular with athletes, for example volleyball players who come from Ashbridges Bay , and tennis players from Kew Gardens Tennis Club. The restaurant employs 35 to 40 people in the summer, and has 15 full-time employees during the leaner winter months. Chris stressed that he tries to hire local people as much as possible.

In addition to learning about the restaurant I wanted to know more about the owners. Chris was born in Greece, and his parents moved to Toronto when he was 18 months old. He grew up in Etobicoke and in Victoria Park and the Lawrence area. Even as a child he often came to Gombe; he added that he has always loved the place and was thrilled when Nevada’s Ristorante became available for purchase.

Chris’s background is not in the hospitality industry: he studied computer science and worked for several years at Sony Canada. Three years ago he decided to join forces with his parents to enter the restaurant business. He said that one family member is always there, and they enjoy a good relationship and have fun together. He doesn’t have much time these days, but he is preparing for a big change in his life: Chris and his wife are expecting their first child in March!

Dimitra, Chris’s mother, was born in Greece in Kalamata, which is located on the largest island in southern Greece called the Peloponnese. He graduated from high school in 1973 and by then his older sister and brother had already moved to Toronto. His mother was also here, and in 1974 Dimitra also came to Canada. From 1976 to 1978 she returned to Greece, where she worked together with her husband. Since then, the family returned to Canada, where they now have strong roots. All 16 of Dimitra’s grandchildren were born in Canada and her uncles, aunts, aunts and cousins ​​all have strong family ties and enjoy being together.

Gus and Dimitra live only ten minutes from the restaurant, and Dimitra often comes here to work the midday shift, while Gus or Chris work the evening shift. Gus also oversees procurement and purchasing of fruits and vegetables at the Ontario Food Terminal. Chris added that he has made a commitment to eating better, so he now uses vegetable oil instead of frying shortening. 95% of the sauces are now homemade, and they have reduced the use of preservatives or MSG.

Chris likes to entertain people. He said that when people go out to a restaurant, they want to have fun. Many of the regulars have become like family to Chris, and are drawn back again and again by the fresh air, friendly service and excellent food.

There are also new initiatives in store for Nevada’s Ristorante: in the next few weeks the restaurant will be closing for two to three weeks for renovations. Chris is planning to move the bar to the back of the main dining room, so tables can be set up in the front which will help provide a beautiful view of the action on Queen Street. He also decided to incorporate live music and theme nights into his entertainment. This could include a Greek night with belly dancing, or an Italian or Mexican night with ethnic music and food.

Another new feature will include freshly baked bread that can be purchased on the go. This will include olive bread and foccaccia. Culinary education is another idea that has been floating around in Chris’s mind; they are planning to set up a dining room in the attic for free cooking classes that they plan to hold three or four times a year. Chris is looking into many things to help make the neighborhood more welcoming.

The recently opened Bizzy Bee Playcentre, a safe and fun indoor play center with slides and ball pits, a play area, sand table, paint and crafts, building games, and a baby area. . Along with other local businesses, Nevada’s Ristorante participates in the Shop + Dine program, where patrons receive two hours of free childcare at Bizzy Bee Playcentre if they spend $25 or more per child. A handy idea for a romantic dinner getaway…

After a detailed explanation and tour of the place, I went upstairs to prepare my dinner. My friend Leslie and I sat at a cozy table on the second floor overlooking Queen Street. We both said we loved the decor, and one table in particular, a small northwest table with a private window, is perfect for a romantic tête-à-tête dinner. With Valentine’s Day coming up we thought this table would have no problem selling out.

All of this dinner talk got us ready and willing to do our own cooking. I started the meal with the Potato Leek Soup, accompanied by a piece of foccaccia bread with a hint of Mediterranean flavor. I’m a big fan of desserts, and it was hard to choose one of the many tempting options. I settled on the Walnut Crusted Brie while Leslie had the Indochine Spring Rolls. I then moved on to the Shrimp – Asparagus Risotto while my friend had the Pollo Maximus, made with chicken breast and wild mushrooms, leeks, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic in a basil chardonnay reduction. After a wonderful and amazing meal, neither he nor I had room in our stomachs to try some of the amazing food. I would love to have a bite of Nevada’s delicious food, but I couldn’t even finish my major and had to bring half my dinner in a doggie bag.

Chris and his staff came by several times to check on us and see if we needed anything else. Service was discreet but attentive. Leslie and I had a great time catching up, two busy women who hadn’t seen each other in a while, and our evening at Nevada’s Ristorante was the perfect opportunity to reconnect.

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