I recently made a promise to my 12 year old niece that we would start making the rounds at all the high tea’s in Toronto. After experiencing high tea at Harrods in London this past summer, she loves the whole experience as do I.
I thought our first trip should definitely be to the Nutcracker High Tea at the Shangri-La hotel as it is only on for a limited period of time.
While the Signature Shangri-La High Tea (available all year round) is normally $65 per person (which also includes a glass of La Glolosa Prosecco with mixed berries or a Elderflower Fizz mocktail), the Nutcracker High Tea is $75 per person.
The cost of the Nutcracker High Tea also include the cocktail (or mocktail) along with a small takeaway item…. unfortunately we did not receive the takeaway item. Two email follow ups regarding this have gone unanswered. If you do make a reservation it would be good to clarify this on premises, I left in a rush that day so it completely slipped my mind. Continue reading →
This past weekend, the Shameful Tiki Room on the edge of Parkdale celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary in Toronto.
If you haven’t visited it yet, you are in for a treat. The Shameful Tiki Room is literally a bit of paradise within Toronto. An amazing little cocoon of tropical drinks, shareable snacks, and palm trees and thatched roofs keeping you safe from the Canadian weather outside. Continue reading →
Hard to believe that it has taken me this long to make a trip to Patria in Toronto. Nestled down a laneway off of King West, hidden behind a subtle black iron archway (with the name etched in the curls of the iron), Patria is a contemporary surprise. Floor to ceiling windows gives the restaurant an open air feeling.
Specializing in Spanish tapas, it is best to go with fellow diners that will be as equally willing as you to experiment and really experience what the Executive Chef Stuart Cameron has to offer. Continue reading →
Cluny Bistro had been on my list of restaurants to go for a while now. My best girlfriends and I decided we would select it as our belated Christmas dinner venue. Nestled in the Distillery District, it is in the perfect spot for a French bistro. Cobble stones leading up to the historic building makes for an old world feeling that in no way would the bistro have been able to create in a modern space.
I wanted to get a feel for what the founders of Cluny were trying to accomplish with their bistro, therefore I visited the “about” section on their website. What I found was a cute list of what they felt made up their restaurant, but written in recipe format. I also got the impression that this restaurant had at least a bit of a humorous side and this was not going to be a typical stuffy French restaurant. Following is the ‘recipe” for Cluny Bistro:
1 Big crazy dream
11,000 sq feet Beautiful space designed by Munge Leung Design (Canada’s top hospitality design firm)
45 Historic buildings surrounding the restaurant
100 Caring hearts from the professional, yet fun, hospitality team
2 dozen Heated debates over what the coolest French restaurants are
1/2 tsp French truffle & Parisian butter
A dash of Creativity and playfulness
1 Elite management team
26 Bottles of Vallium to ease the nerves of everyone involved
I made it out to Café Boulud recently on a wintery Friday night. It was the perfect setting in which to keep warm against the outside chill. Luxe leather chairs and banquettes paired with contemporary French bistro style lighting, created very much a French bistro feel. Every detail has been thought through down to the bistro style red striping on the cloth napkins.
The restaurant is owned by renowned chef Daniel Boulud. The vision behind the café is a menu “rooted in French tradition, highlighting both bistro classics and contemporary dishes inspired by Chef Daniel’s family meals in Lyon.”
The only down side at all, is on a busy night, the noise from D bar one level down, Cafe Boulud is on a mezzanine level overhanging the bar which means if you are seated near the edge of the restaurant you can hear rowdy groups below. Thankfully the café is enchanting enough that it’s able to keep you distracted for the most part.
We started the meal with the Canadian oysters, a selection of 6 market oysters at $18cdn, fresh and served with a light mignonette.
Also started with the Foie Gras au Torchon, served with cherry and green almond light spread and toasted brioche at $24cdn. The foie gras was not seared as I normally have it but was li
ght. I was not a huge fan however of the toasted brioche because I felt it took away from the delicate nature of the foie gras, it was also difficult to spread the foie gras on it. Overall I
likely would not order this starter again.
As my main I ordered the Confit de Canard. Slow cooked duck, perigord style sautéed potatoes, and parsley salad for $36cdn. I have absolutely nothing but glowing praise for this dish. The duck was absolutely perfect and pretty much melted in my mouth. I would order this again in a heartbeat!
My companion ordered the Homard aux Choux, grilled lobster with bok choy cabbage and ginger beurre blanc for $56cdn. The lobster was perfectly done and there certainly was not a single bite left on the plate. The presentation and plating was also stunning.
Unfortunately there was no room in my tummy for dessert, next time I’ll probably forgo an appetizer to ensure I can finish off with a sweet. Looking around, a popular selection seemed to be the Baked Alaska for two, pistachio and vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet, and fresh meringue flambeed with kirsch. It was a show watching the flambéing done table side.
For full menu, to make reservations, and any other additional information visit the Café Boulud website HERE.
This past fall I had the awesome opportunity to take a short trip down to New Orleans (affectionately known as NOLA). I’m not going to go through my whole trip because, let’s be real, all you really wanna know is some foodie spots to hit up right?
Well I’ve selected my top 3 spots within the French Quarter that must be included in any trip you make to NOLA. Continue reading →
With September 30th comes the do not miss event of Fall, SwirlTO. Described as “an elevated beverage experience”, this is sure to top the beverage and culinary events for 2016.
Being held at the Carlu in the heart of Toronto, this venue alone will lay the perfect backdrop for an elegant and refined experience.
When it comes to culinary and beverage events, I probably share the same frustration as other participants, and that is I always end up spending a bundle by the end of the night. First you need to buy your entrance ticket, often offered at different price levels depending on access priority access or not. Then you need to buy tokens or tickets to even be able to sample anything…. by the end of the night you’re bound to be topping a minimum spend of $200 without even realizing it.
SwirlTO will not only provide a more elevated experience in presentation but, they also do away with the whole concept of tokens and tickets for your sampling. Your ticket to this event gives you all inclusive access to tastings of wine, spirits, and beers in addition to entertainment. To top it all off Oliver & Bonacini will be offering distinctive food pairings throughout the evening. Continue reading →
This past spring I spend a weekend bumming around Collingwood Ontario with my girls. With amazing craft beer, wine, and culinary delights, the weekend was better then we ever could have hoped for. Here are the highlights of our trail of eating, drinking, and relaxing.
Northwinds Brew House: A very small brewery in terms of production with a delicious restaurant to dine in. My favorite part of the brewery component was how artistic Northwinds is with their bottle labels. They have the original concept sketches framed on the wall representing where each table was born from. I was disappointed that they have not made prints of the sketches to sell, I definitely would have purchased a couple.
The appetizers were my favourite part of the meal. Delicious tempura asparagus with chili soy dipping sauce was a hit with the table. A crispy deep fried treat that didn’t make us feel guilty because the batter was so light. Also for the table we ordered the beer pretzels which are made in house and served with cheese sauce and whole grain beer mustard. The beer pretzels were served warm in a mason jar, the presentation stole my heart for sure.
As my main I ordered one of the specials of the night, striploin steak served with asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes (which i subbed for the house fries), and bernaise sauce. The steak did not seem to be of the best quality as a bit chewier then I was used to, the asparagus and house fries were delicious. The bernaise sauce as well was quite the nice accompaniment except it was a tad too salty which at times overwhelmed the dish. My companions had one of the regular menu items, the chicken and waffles. Buttermilk fried chicken served on jalapeño cheddar corn bread waffles and drizzled with local maple syrup that were an instant hit around the table. Website HERE. Continue reading →
Going to the Ex each year has been a tradition since I moved to Toronto 24 years ago. In recent years I have fully embraced the assortment of crazy food that has emerged each season.
This year while I go on my culinary tour of wackiness I will be live updating this post with pictures and thoughts of every item I dare to try.
Stand by and let your tummy fill through me… And don’t forget, you still have the whole weekend to get to the Ex yourself.
Updates will start approximately 5pm est.
4:30pm at the Ex!! in search of a “snack” to start the night
4:57pm in search of The Cheesery
5:03pm about to bite into the rainbow grilled cheese (found the Cheesery in the back section of the midway)
Thoughts: decent grilled cheese, fun colours, too light on the cheese. Love the sweetness the sprinkles add. Great options for kids
5:16pm do I dare try the pulled pork cinnamon bun from Howies cinnamon rolls on the midway?
Decided to save the cinnamon bun for dessert
6:07pm found Nutella food truck near kids area with free sample. Nutella on a Belgium waffle or in a fruit cup
7:29pm in a very long line to try a ramen burger
7:54pm I think I’m the next in line to order…. And then further anticipation to actually receive it
So close yet so far….
Thoughts? Interesting texture combination. I like it just wish the noodles were crunchier and had a bit of seasoning added to them. Everything on it is awesome though
8:48pm in another crazy line now for a shake at frans crazy shakes
9:14pm. Most beautiful shake I’ve seen
10:56pm.. home and another food fest at the CNE is done for this Toronto foodie… now I need to go work off all these calories.
This is the second year that Toronto is fortunate to have a festival dedicated specifically to sweet food. As founder of the Sweetery Food Festival, Nic Yu has her goal in mind. “We aim to be dubbed the largest sweets summer festival ever hosted in the country attracting an estimated 30.000 sugar craving individuals to this two-day event”.
The festival is a completely free and an all ages event. It is also a not-for-profit organization that strives to not only allow attendees to participate in a variety of activities but also generates funds to benefit Second Harvest charity. Funds will be raised through an increased amount of games that on top of helping Second Harvest also allow participants to score a “sweet prize”. For a donation (large would be nice… wink ..wink), participants can test their knowledge in six different challenges ranging from candy trivial to a gumball shake! sure to be a fun time!
If trivia isn’t your thing, have no fear. The festival focus is on providing attendees with an abundance of culinary delights to amaze you. Some of the indulgences expected this year are funnel cake ice-cream sandwiches, candied bacon marshmallow, pressed juice pops, and iced coffee parfaits.
Your experience at the Sweetery Food Festival can also be educational, imagine that! George Brown college students will be on site to provide tutorials and live demonstrations on some of their skills and artistries that go into crafting their confectionary masterpieces.
Don’t miss out, make sure you visit the Sweetery Food Festival at David Pecaut Square (King St and John St) Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21. Saturday 11am – 11pm, Sunday 11am – 9pm.
Check Sensi Di Colpa’s instagram page the morning of Saturday August 20th for some sneak peeks of our faves of the festival.
For additional information, visit the festival’s website HERE.
NOTE: Picture property of sweeterytoronto.com. Factual information contained within this post provided by the Sweetery Food Festival.