Toronto - DINING & NIGHTLIFE
September 13th, 2008
A charming little cookbook shop has recently opened in Kensington Market, and here's five reasons why we're glad Good Egg has hatched:
2. Handcrafted ceramic Egg Bird Feeders from J. Schatz in yellow, orange and light aqua.
3. A Marimekko apron so we look chic while whipping up Lady Cawdor’s Orange Soufflé (from Decadent Desserts).
4. Witty pinnes, tea towels and ‘lapkins’ from Aussie company Third Drawer Down.
5. Workshops (slated for early 2009) such as Knife Skills, Food Carving, Confections, and Bento Boxes – “I’d like to offer workshops where skills can and will be repeated over a lifetime. I’ve taken classes where we were taught how to cook rabbit, and well, I’ll never cook rabbit again! But chocolate truffles...”
Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-593-4663, www.goodegg.ca
September 6th, 2008
After years of settling for mediocre caesars and overpriced niçoise, we have finally found two Yorkville lunch spots that whip the rest.
Brimming with character, Mela dishes out tasty Italian fare for the veggie hungry. Try the Arborio rice pie or a Quinoa salad loaded with colourful vegetables (mains $6-$9). Owner and chef, Robert Granata will toss together a mean pastaciutta if you ask. The blueberry pie (from Wanda’s Pie) ends things sweetly.
While the weather lasts make your way to the pretty back patio at Carens Wine and Cheese, where Moroccan style lanterns hang from elegant trees. Enormous slabs of warm baguettes are stuffed with grilled chicken, sweet peppers and Sao Miguel cheese. The Stilton burger or the spicy baked mac 'n' cheese fill the hungriest of humans while lighter dishes such as salads and nibbles hit the spot (mains $14-$30). Wash it down with a glass or two from the generous wine list.
Just don’t get too trolleyed—you might regret splurging on those hot pink suede Louboutins.
Mela, 7a Yorkville Ave., Toronto, 416-916-0619.
Carens Wine and Cheese, 58 Cumberland St., Toronto, 416-962-5158.
August 23rd, 2008
The image of a rooster evokes many things—a nostalgia for a country kitchen being one.
So it makes perfect sense that Table 17 owners Erik Joyal, John Sinopoli (Izakaya) and John Dawson chose the feathered barnyard bird as the symbol for their cozy new Leslieville haunt, Table.
With dishes such as “family style” polenta ($12) served on a wooden board with a sugo of tomato-pea ragout, homemade tagliatelle, ($16) and steak with matchstick frites ($19) on the menu, you can’t help but feel that Nonna and Mémé are running the kitchen.
The décor is farmhouse chic with a large butcher’s block covered in piles of fresh bread anchoring the room. Service is warm (Prosecco arrived as a gesture for a tardy table) and the wine list short and sweet.
Table 17, 782 Queen St. E., Toronto, 416-800-2562.
August 16th, 2008
We all have a sweet tooth and Toronto certainly bakes enough cupcakes, cookies, pastries and tarts to satisfy those sugary cravings.
One of our favourite spots for all things sweet is Osogood—a teeny pastry shop in Little Italy.
Brownies, oat bars, pies, cakes and heart-shaped jam cookies are all lovingly made in Suchada Promsiri’s bite-sized kitchen using the finest, healthiest of ingredients. Nothing beats her lollipop Smarties cookies (on popsicle sticks for the sprockets) when you want sugar-to-go.
If you’re entertaining at home call ahead (at least two days) and Promsiri will rustle up key lime tartlets, macaroons and sugar-free jalapeño biscuits for your guests.
Osogood Pastry, 874 College St., Toronto, 647-283-2478.
August 9th, 2008
Don’t let rain put a damper on barbeque season. We say fire up the coals whatever the weather.
For our tried and true BBQ sauce, you will need:
5 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Coleman’s mustard powder
120 g brown sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp chilli powder
A pinch of pepper
A splash of Tabasco sauce
2 and a half tsp of soya sauce
A knob of butter
Mix together cider vinegar, Coleman's mustard powder, brown sugar, water, chilli powder, pepper and Tabasco in a saucepan and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
Add soya sauce and butter and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Brush it over ribs or chicken wings in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
Voilà – a hot, sweet and sticky summer meal.
August 2nd, 2008
There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about pantries stuffed with paella rice, pickled onions, Grasse D’Oie and dried Chanterelles.
Step into Pantry on College Street and you’ll feel like you’re raiding your posh aunt’s larder. Floor to ceiling shelves are stacked with gourmet sauces, spreads, salts and tapenades while the counter boasts an array of tasty homemade tarts, cookies and cupcakes.
Sit back on the big red leather sofa with a plate of pesto orzo, beetroot salad and curried cauliflower ($14 for a mixed salad plate with a cup of tea and carrot cake) and then pick up something hearty and delicious to take home for supper.
At pantry you can’t help but feel like you’re in the English countryside – Norfolk maybe – sipping tea and leafing through old cooking magazines. But where are the flapjacks?
Pantry, 974 College St. (at Dovercourt Rd.), 416-364-2495.
July 26th, 2008
Q: Is there a posh way to open a screw-capped wine?
For all the issues Emily Post does not address, from creating a pitch perfect playlist to hosting a scorcher of a poker party, we refer to Party Confidential: New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining.
From party pros Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison, (their PR firm has feted the likes of Will Smith, Lenny Kravitz and Paris Hilton), this modern day planner offers rules and advice on everything you’ll need to light up the party circuit.
A: Turn, pour and let the good times roll.
Available at Chapters across the GTA.
July 19th, 2008
The Bard of Avon comes to High Park, as the stars shine bright above…
Due to overwhelming demand, this year’s CanStage TD Dream in High Park is an almost unheard of reprise of last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This hip-hop version of Shakespeare’s Athenian romantic comedy played under the canopy of Toronto’s skyline has a decidedly urban appeal. With its thumping backbeat and young cast, this popular production presents the comedy of love and magic with exuberance and joviality.
Oh, the drama of potions, parties and undercover romances.
CanStage TD Dream in High Park runs Tuesday to Sunday at 8 p.m. until August 31. For directions and ticket click here.
July 12th, 2008
In the midst of the west ends' renaissance, Jeremy Day set out to open a cafe that lends itself to the vibrancy of the area. With Cafe Taste’s intimate setting and vast selection of wines and cheeses, we’d say Mr. Day has done a marvelous job.
We adored that most menu items are selections from local wineries and the artisanal cheeses are sourced from Ontario and Quebec.
So tasty in fact, our poor date went neglected once the tempting baked-brie cheese wheel arrived.
Cafe Taste, 1330 Queen St. W., 416-536-7748; http://www.cafetaste.ca
July 5th, 2008
To borrow a phrase from dear old Mother Goose, “eating local” gets a spot on the map. And abiding by that maxim has never been simpler or more scrumptious.
The upswing in the Liberty Village neighbourhood is in full tilt. Last year’s inaugural farmer’s market was such a resounding success that it has found itself a permanent home and will run every Sunday until November 2.
With over 40 Ontario farmers selling everything from juicy peaches to BBQ-ready bison burgers to freshly-buzzed honey, eating close to home has never been so palatable.
Liberty Village Farmer’s Market runs until November 2, 2008, at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Liberty Street in the Green P parking lot.