In gracefully edited but ultimately disingenuous fashion, Fine Living tracks the opening of 22 restaurants — one at a time — in the series “Opening Soon,” which intrigues while doubling as an infomercial. First up is Toronto eatery Rain, from the owners of Zoom, and a year of work glides by without confrontation, disagreement or thoughts of throwing in the towel no matter how bad things look.
Brothers Michael and Guy Rubino oversee the $2 million conversion of a large empty building at 19 Mercer St. to a sleek glass, water-themed restaurant based on Asian-fusion food. While “Opening Soon” expertly captures the ambition of Michael and menu plan of chef Guy, “Opening” never delves into the episodes of panic that must have happened off-camera — the restaurant didn’t even have a front window 30 minutes before opening, the dishwasher exploded when it was turned on and the first night’s food was prepared at Zoom because Rain’s kitchen wasn’t finished. Shouldn’t there be some yelling in here?
“Opening” buoys the glamour of the restaurateur lifestyle, presenting them as modern artists and community pillars. The eminently likable, low-key Rubinos talk about the hard work and long hours, but it’s not seen; instead, it’s mundane meetings with the contractor and a lecture to the staff about Rain’s image.
Onscreen text and a middle segment — ostensibly an ad — about Rain’s cuisine clue in viewers about prices, hours and specialties, certainly the part of the story the Rubinos most want told. Uncredited cinematographers and editors Ricardo Acosta and Ryan Monteith do fine work, presenting a construction site with the sexiness of an E! “Wild On …” episode.