Toronto’s Regent Park has never been considered a dining destination. Enter Paintbox Bistro, a colourful new restaurant with a social mandate, that seeks to empower the community through food. At the very least, it’s given Regent Park a cozy neighborhood joint, where the cooking is solid, and the service, sincere. A desire to revitalize the community through social mission and community initiatives takes this restaurant to another level.
Paintbox’s cultivating nature is not unlike the student-run Chef’s House at George Brown College, and the many similar programs across the city that provide training, support, and opportunities to the community. But the mandate is even more ambitious at Paintbox- train inexperienced locals, adopt and promote socially responsible values, and attract others to an otherwise stigmatized community – all while turning a profit. It’s these bold ideals that set Paintbox Bistro apart from other restaurants.
The restaurant itself is charming and lovely, and quaint details -like mini easels to hold up table numbers, and paintbrushes in the flower arrangements – lend themselves to the artistic theme. The dinner menu showcases a comfortable selection of ‘primers’ (appetizers), ‘grand strokes’ (entrées), and ‘finishing touches’ (desserts), all prepared by an in-house kitchen staff of locals and students in training- some never having even yielded a knife prior to this. Nevertheless, technically sound cooking, whimsical presentation and amiable, earnest servers make for a pleasant dining experience, such as has never really been seen before in Regent Park. It’s this kind of recipe for social change that breaks down barriers in a community and brings people together.
www.paintboxbistro.ca | 555 Dundas St. E, Toronto
Posted by Jenelle Antolin