Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

For the love of talking food!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I have a not-so-secret love of anthropomorphized  inanimate objects and I can’t get enough of these Excel and Extra gum commercials.

Poor donut. Characters designs are by artist Morten Rowley. You can check out some sketches on his website here. Great drawings that show some of the development of some characters and their personalities.

I believe my love of talking foods must have started with the Muppets.

All these happy foods make me think of Heidi Kenney of My Paper Crane. She’s an awesome craftster who started with plush toys and now has an empire of vinyl toys, artwork, fabrics, and other lovely things. Check out her shop for your own cute pieces of food.

~ Lurgs

O&B Canteen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Also had the chance this past weekend to try out the O&B Canteen for dinner at the new TIFF Bell Lightbox at King & John St. before the hoards of film fanatics descend on Toronto for the film festival. The Lightbox is the new 5-storey complex that will be the home of the Toronto International Film Festival. The building will house multiple cinemas, galleries, learning studios, an event space, a restaurant and lounge and the delicious Canteen already nestled in the corner at street level.

Canteen is a new concept from the Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants. I walk by this building almost every day and once it opened, I was intrigued by the clean design and openness of the space. With glass walls all around and a patio out front, it’s a nice place to sit and view the bustling street outside.

The soup of the day was a gazpacho with watermelon. It came out like a work of art and tasted as good as it looks. Very refreshing and perfect for a hot summer evening.

I had Gallo Mussels with white wine, garlic and herbs and fries. Very good for a light dinner. I just wish there was a bit more bread to sop up the tasty juices at the bottom of the bowl.  My friends tried the Gnocchi with braised Ontario lamb and the Mac & Cheese with garganelli, aged Quebec cheddar and smoked ham. A bit salty, but both very tasty as well. One friend wished there was a bit more gnocchi.

We finished off our meal with 3 delicious desserts (from L to R):  a Lemon Posset (lemon curd), the Gateau Basque (cake with a custard filled center topped with vanilla ice cream) and a Soma Brownie (infamous Toronto chocolate makers). I wouldn’t hesitate to order all 3 again…possibly all at the same time.

The also have items available for take-out and their menu can be found here. Canteen is definately worth a try and a welcome addition to the entertainment district.

** Ah yes, “not enough gnocchi” has reminded me that we have to go back and try the Canteen Breakfast Butties, a variety of made-to-order breakfast sandwiches. To me, it’s a bit of an unfortunate name, but I guess it’s honest, cause that’s where all this delicious eating is gonna go! Ugh…maybe if I walk up the escalator, I can indulge again :D

~ Lurgs

The State of a Union

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Union has been open for over a year now. Located on Ossington, its bistro menu focuses on locally grown produce presented in a simple yet refreshing way. As I sat down, I saw a couple of baskets of fruits, as though they were just picked from the farm that day.

The lunch menu has only about 12 items total. This to me is a good thing. I’m always wary of places that boast many items, because I feel quality is always sacrificed when this is the case. My brother and I both got the dish of the day which was a steak on an open face sandwich with tomatoes, basil, and aioli on the side. The beef was cooked to a beautiful medium rare and the tomatoes were as fresh as can be. I really enjoyed this dish and was pleasantly full just from having that. The only complaint I have was that there weren’t many people in the place for lunch, but strangely it took awhile for our food to get to us.

The staff there were friendly. Head chef Teo Paul was there and yes, he is quite the handsome man.

I really love the decor of the place. From the exposed brick walls, to the open kitchen with metal bar seats, to the green and cream coloured fabric covered chairs.

Traditional with a contemporary twist. Next time, I’m going to try the Elk sliders.~yy

Not the best picture for sure...but it was delish!

Spaces and Places: Old Montreal’s Le Cartet

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Le Cartet is a beautiful modern and urban space that serves as a restaurant as well as a shop for gourmet foods. Smoked duck in a can? Check. Gourmet chocolate bars? Check. Brunch? Also check. If you’re planning a picnic for the day, this is a definite spot to drop by. There are tins and jars filled with all sorts of goodies.

Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the actual food restaurant part as we didn’t eat there, but I’ve heard some positive reviews. We just stopped by to peruse the “shop” part of the place. Lots of unique beverages and also pre-made meals for take away like sandwiches and soups were available. I ended up getting an Earl Grey and Honey Nougat Galerie au Chocolat bars even though there was shelves of chocolates to choose from! I also got a very cute small reusable bag with a nice font. It looks like a paper bag.~yy

Buttery goodness: Artisan Biscuits

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

I was first introduced to Two by Two Artisan Biscuits by my friend Carmen. I was already sold on the packaging with the cute owl and pussycat on it. It’s kind of old school/ retro illustrations. I’m already a big fan of vanilla so that and the buttery crispness of the cookie was do delish. I’m not normally a shortbread cookie fan, but these are just the right bit of thickness. Being an “artisan” cookie, they are not necessarily the cheapest thing around (quality ingredients!), so each bite was to be savoured. 

Now many months down the road, I’m reminded of these cookies because my sister bought me the Tortoise and the Hare pack which has toffee bits! Wow! There are 6 cookies in a box and as you can see, cutely shaped and decorated. I can easily eat them all in one sitting. Two by Two is marketed for children but I think it’s safe to say that they’re good for children 0 – 90.  Wait a minute,  I just noticed…there’s a lemon curd one?! Gots to get my crumbling fingers on them!  ~yy

Spaces and Places: Old Montreal’s CLUNY

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

 

In old Montreal, there’s this really cool artbar/cafeteria called Cluny. My friend Sue brought me there and luckily it was still open!…but pretty much empty…most likely due to the time of day we went in. Unfortunately, because of that they were finished serving hot food and only had sandwiches/paninis and soups left. So I got a chicken hawaiian sandwich and she got the soup and basil/tomato/mozzo panini. My sandwich was alright, although I think the cheese they used in it was a bit too rich for the thick slice of chicken breast that was in there. The vegetable pureé soup was yummy though and had a hint of spicyness to it (hello, jalapeno).

 

 

I love the industrial space. When you walk in, you are greeted by a large photo of a black pug (the mascot and namesake for the place). Exposed brick walls, metal chairs, long communal tables, and a long line of hooks for hanging are just some of the decor you can expect. Customers can pick up their cafeteria tray by the entrance and choose drinks and order food as they move along the counter. They have a varied wine list, that ranges from a $9,95 bottle to a $139 bottle. It’s all pretty much open space, with only the counter separating where the food is prepared and the seating areas. I felt sorry for the workers though because even though they had some high-powered fans going on in there, it was HOT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool herb garden outside

 

Wouldn’t it be cool to book the space out for a party?? It’s possible! See here. ~yy

 

Montreal weekend

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

This past long weekend, I went to Montreal. I really do enjoy Montreal. It has great food and lovely architecture and it’s so close yet when you’re there, you feel like you’re in a different country. I like the idea of practicing my French there, but people are so bilingual…that I’m afraid once I speak French they reply back and I’m like ??? We drove down this time around and it took us about 5 hours. Just some highlights from this trip included: Premiere Moisson almond croissants and creme brulee,  the Osheaga Festival where we got The National and Arcade Fire. So good! Also, delicious macarons from Boutique Point G. I have to say, these are the best macarons I have tasted yet and a steal at $1.50 each. Flavours I got: maple syrup, grilled pistachio, madacasgar vanilla, apricot black tea, chocolate, caramel salt, lime and basil and creme brulee. It’s a bit of a kitschy place which makes it pretty inviting. They also sell gelato there!

 

 

 

I was really impressed by Bixi. Which is Montreal’s public bike system. There are stations throughout the city and you sign up by subscribing to the service based on your needs. It’s really useful. They’re supposedly bringing this to Toronto but not sure if it’s going to happen.

Arcade Fire @ Osheaga, can you even tell?

 

Premiere Moisson cakes

Brunch @ Reservoir

Duck in a can

Best Lobster Salad dish at Laloux

Summerlicious wrap-up: Hemispheres & Globe Bistro

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Another Summerlicious is done and my only regret is that I didn’t go to Pangaea. I heard it was good! So I’ll share some pics on my other experiences. Hemispheres and Globe Bistro.

Hemispheres. Menu (me and my friend split what we had).

App- Serrano ham wrapped grilled asparagus salad with quail egg & raspberry gastrique / shaved fennel, apple & mango salad with pickled onion, spiced hazelnut brittle & vinaigrette

Main- Grilled hanger steak, foie gras poutine, with apple-cranberry cabbage slaw / Lobster & seafood BLT with crab, shrimp & crispy pork belly

Dessert- Banana split and Lindt chocolate ice cream

Pretty whatevs. I could've made this...and better.

Fresh and delicious, just what summer ordered.

Steak was cooked nicely...fries pretty decent.

Deconstructed banana split = pretty yum

Globe Bistro. Menu.  *Just a note. We went here last Summerlicious and it was a horrible service experience. Flash forward one year and we are sitting in the same exact spot with the same waitress and I feel deja vu. I am bracing myself for a repeat. But thankfully, the woman has brushed up her skills in one year and I can enjoy my lunch in peace.

App – Shaved fennel & purple basil cress salad (spiced pistachio, taggiashi olive dust, orange gelée

Main – Seared Cumbrae’s Flank Steak. Duck fat yukon chips, vine ripe tomato, scallion, Triple Crunch aioli

Dessert -Ewenity Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta. Candied lemon zest, wild blueberry soup

The orange gelée plating seems pretentious. The salad itself wasn't as good as Hemispheres

Yes, yum. The bits of scallion made a huge difference. Fresh tomatoes.

The heaviest panna cotta I've ever had. Not that it was bad...it was just super rich.

Kudos to Globe Bistro for having non-alcoholic (and tasty) bevvies on their Summerlicious menu!

Overall, decent Summerlicious experience, no regrets. However, no particular wow factors for me. Wow for me is that I’d do the same menu twice during the event. Which means all 3 courses had to performed well. My friend raved about the calamari and panna cotta from Pangaea. She said she would’ve done the menu again! Sigh. Next year. ~yy


Summerlicious at Mildred

Monday, July 12th, 2010

It’s that time of the year again where restaurants whip up set lunch/dinner menus at fixed prices ($15/20/25 – lunch, $25/35/45 – dinner) in a bid to attract customers. It’s Summerlicious! Lurgs has already started off with her attendance at Nyood, so I’ll just continue on from there…

So I haven’t completely given up on Summerlicious. But I truly believe it’s a hit-or-miss. I wonder how restaurants are chosen for it because I’ve seen some menus that leave little to the imagination. I could be wrong but I thought the whole point of Summerlicious was to offer customers a “taste” of what makes the restaurant so great so that in future, you’d be willing to spend the extra $ once the special is over. Well I can definitely tell you from Winterlicious, “Conviction” was a huge disappointment and I will never go back there again. But I digress.

Today we went to Mildred’s and braved the pitter patter of rain out in the patio. I’ve already been to Mildred’s before, so I do know that I like the restaurant.  To start, I had the Lobster Tortilla Soup. I thought it was pretty decent. Tangy, with bits of lobster chunks and avocado, it was served at room temperature. For my main, I had the Chicken Pot Pie with fresh beet salad. I thought it was quite tasty, with a generous portion of chicken and veg, and tasty pastry (my sister wished there was more pastry). However, I thought the broth could’ve been more thicker and I’m not sure where the beets were in my salad. For dessert, I had the Mildred’s Classic Profiteroles with Lindt milk chocolate ice cream. Delish! I think this was my favourite of the three. Oh and also the cheddar biscuits served at the beginning were so flaky and scrumptious!

Overall, for $20, I thought it was well worth it and so did my one sister and brother. Although my other sister would’ve preferred to have spent that money elsewhere. So there you have it. 3 out of 4. ~yy


Cheddar biscuits

Lobster Tortilla Soup

Chicken Pot Pie with Fresh Beet Salad

Mildred’s Classic Profiteroles with Lindt milk chocolate ice cream

Rough and tumble lemon meringue

Summer berry bread pudding

Paul the Octopus at Nyood!

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Not only is Paul the World Cup predicting Octopus good at calling the winning team….but he can get you free shots!

Last night I had a delicious Summerlicious meal at Nyood at Queen & Dovercourt.  With the great summer weather, the front was wide open and it was a cool and spacious spot to lounge and enjoy dinner. I had the Lamb Fougasse Flatbread, Panko Crusted Striploin and the Hazelnut Chocolate Tart, which were all very tasty. I regret not taking picts of these as I was too busy savouring them in my mouth.

The service was both attentive and helpful. When we asked about the results for the Germany – Uruguay match, we also got into a discussion about Paul the Octopus whom one of our servers had not heard about and thought we were joking. He got us the final score and someone set him straight about the octopus, so we were rewarded with delicious shots of Chambord and pineapple juice. In return, we gave him a Paul button. Thanks Nyood!

So Cheers to Paul the Octopus! and Cheers to España for their win today!

~ Lurgs

For Spanish edition buttons, check out cunning&crafty! ¡Viva España!