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Award-winning restaurateur and owner of INK Entertainment, Charles Khabouth is paying tribute to his Lebanese roots with the opening of a modern Lebanese restaurant, Amal Toronto. The restaurant was set to open earlier this year but was unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic.
Last year, Charles Khabouth and Danny Soberano travelled to Lebanon to immerse themselves in Lebanese culture to bring authenticity to the Entertainment giant's first Lebanese restaurant, Amal.
The result is a blend of contemporary and old-world arabesque allure, inspired by traditional Lebanese architecture. From the decor down to the tableware, each item is hand-picked and imported from Lebanon.
"As a native of Lebanon, ensuring authenticity was paramount. We have one of the best executive chefs from Beirut [and] worked with one of the Middle Easts' biggest design firms to create the brand," says Khabouth in a release.
Beirut- born executive Chef Rony Ghaleb will be heeding the kitchen of INK's latest restaurant. Chef Ghaleb has over 25 years of experience working at some of the most well-regarded kitchens in the country, including the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut.
Chef Ghaleb's menu is a celebration of Lebanon's most enamoured dishes, featuring an innovative and contemporary take on traditional shared plates, including hummus, baba ghanoush, chicken shawarma, kabab and falafel fritters.
"As a Lebanese-Canadian, I take great pride in offering an authentic dining experience at Amal," says Khabouth. "My wish is that we tribute the people of Lebanon in a positive way and continue to bring awareness to the amazing yet challenged country, especially during this time of need. The Lebanese are such passionate and hospitable people, with deep love for family and celebrating life together. We plan to honour this way of living with Amal in Toronto."
In response to the recent explosion in Beirut that devastated the city and left over 300,000 people homeless, Khabouth and other prominent Lebanese-Canadian business leaders have formed the Lebanese Canadian Coalition (LCC) to support relief efforts in Beirut. The coalition has pledged to fundraise $2.5 million, with all proceeds donated to the Humanitarian Coalition and the Canadian Red Cross.
Taking over the space once occupied by La Société in Yorkville, Amal Toronto is officially opening this upcoming Tuesday, August 18, at 131 Bloor Street West and is currently accepting reservations.