Chef John Sinopoli and Erik Joyal at their Table 17 restaurant in Toronto.

Chef John Sinopoli and Erik Joyal at their Table 17 restaurant in Toronto.

I first came to know Chef John Sinopoli and Erik Joyal during my years at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. As they had their ahead-of-its-time Izakaya restaurant just up the alley from us, I was often knocking on their restaurant’s backdoor to borrow chairs, glasses, and to have them help me make change when we had forgotten to get to the bank.

I found myself immediately drawn to their warm, hospitable natures, as well as their patience and obvious amusement with my lack of organisational skills. Over the years I also became rather partial to the excellent elevated Japanese bar food they had on offer, and so was rather sad when they closed the doors of their groundbreaking Izakaya mid 2008.

In the Fall of 2008 I heard the two friends were opening Table 17 in the East End and I was delighted to discover that they had both landed on their feet. In the years that were to follow, John and Erik went on to garner critical acclaim for their endeavours at Table 17 and somehow found the time to expand, opening Ascari Enoteca in 2011, and their Hi-Lo bar in 2013.

We recently sat down with them to hear the stories of how they met, how they came to open up a Japanese Izakaya together, how the last few years have been treating them, and to welcome them onboard as our newest Good Food Fighters!


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Jamie DrummondEdinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution
… And he needs to get out East more often.