After more bellyaching than any of us cares to cop to, summer’s finally taken residence in the great north, and why the deuces any of us is still crammed between city sidewalks and sweating highrises when we could be catching the breezes on one of our city’s glorious, away-from-it-all land masses is a mystery.
All told, 18 islands fan out a mere 10-minute ferry ride from the foot of Yonge St. They promise, among other attractions, panoramic views, acres of parkland, some nude guys on a beach and at least one antique carousel ride.
Here’s where to find Toronto restaurants, on your island adventure:...more
As reliable as crabgrass and deerflies, the annual summer discount dining festival that is Summerlicious—this year’s the ninth—is once more upon us. And Toronto Summerlicious 2011, sprawling deliciously across all corners of our food-lovin’ city, promises to be every bit as tasty as it has in years past.
The deal this year is the same as always: For a fixed price, you can score a three-course lunch or dinner at those Toronto restaurants participating in the party. Lunches are $15, $20 and $25; dinners are $25, $35 and $45. (Beverages, taxes and—most critically—tip are extra, so don’t be cheap and stiff your server just because you’re getting a deal on your grub.)
Some 150 eateries are throwing their hat into the ring this year, most of them delivering up specially prepared Summerlicious menus that are designed to provide an entry-level sampling of some of this city’s gloriously perse cuisine....more
The stories about rats skittering inside front restaurant windows may be the sexier, headline-grabbing ones, but the ones unfolding quietly behind the scenes—and behind window panes interrupted by nothing more than a green-framed “pass” notice—are actually the more newsworthy.
And the great preponderance of such success stories in this city is why Toronto Public Health has just scored recognition as the first health department outside of the United States that’s demonstrated “unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection.”
The award—the Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award—arrives just as the 10th anniversary of the city’s restaurant inspection disclosure program does. Its allocation is the purview of DineSafe, an internationally recognized consumer protection system that posts results not only in front windows, but on line, generally 24 to 36 hours after an inspection....more
The month of June marks the muy tasty arrival of the Paella Festival, at the Embrujo Flamenco Tapas Restaurant at 97 Danforth Ave., just inside the lip of Toronto's Greektown. With this annual event (this year’s the third), Mediterranean cuisine enthusiasts are invited to “rice to the occasion!” and sink their North American incisors into the sizzling flavours of this ancient Spanish dish.
This year, paella de pescado (fish paella), arroz negro (black rice) and paella de langosta (lobster paella) will make the rounds, but the restaurant’s menu selection rotates daily, and diners can expect some bit of Spanish novelty on offer every day of the celebration. Embrujo Flamenco will also include a Canadian version of the recipe for its 2011 oeuvre, this one featuring ground beef and, natch, peameal bacon....more
As Canadian viewers rear up in response to an episode of Top Chef Canada that troted Secretariat onto the menu, let us consider the virtues of putting the noble horse in us, rather than under us.
The May 16 TCC episode, which had French cooking as its theme, inspired a whinny of response from incensed viewers. “I AM DISGUSTED!!!” one Facebook comment begins. “I will NEVER watch your program again and will be sure to let others know about what you are willing to do for ratings. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!!!”
The program responded diplomatically, acknowledging that “this content may not appeal to all viewers,” but encouraging an open mind, culinarily speaking....more
The most important meal of the day is getting even more so. Or so it would seem, if the veritable explosion of public attention being paid to breakfast of late is any indication. Possibly weary of facing off in another lunch or dinner war, Toronto restaurants everywhere are slinging hash browns and griddlecakes across the latest field on which diners’ restaurant dollars are in play.
Certainly Toronto’s no stranger to the breakfast game, with franchises like Golden Griddle, Sunset Grill, Cora’s and Smittys setting the table early....more
If it sounds too good to be true, well, it just might be. Such is the message carnivorous consumers got this week when a particularly enticing Web-broadcast meat deal was revealed to be unsustainable.
The Butchers, a decade-old North Toronto standard, has apparently overextended itself with the cascade of extremely attractive offers it posted to various deal websites in recent weeks. As revealed on Trueler.com—home of the great FTD Valentine’s scam revelation and a furious forum for disgruntled eBay customers—a recent Butchers’ promotion pitching coupons for discounted meat products cannot reasonably be honoured by the tiny shop.
The more than 15,000 coupons the retailer, which specializes in “organic and naturally raised” meat...more
In a move that takes well-seasoned aim at a simmering surfeit of questionable press leveled against its integrity in recent months (remember the accusation that the company is lying by even calling its ground beef “meat”?), Taco Bell is giving tacos away for a week. Proclaim “taco libre” inside one of the 204 Canadian Taco Bell locations between 3pm and 6pm on April 7 to 13, and you’ll be rewarded with a taco without being asked for a dime in exchange.
“We thought we’d set the record straight,” Dan Howe, chief marketing officer for the company that owns the brand in Canada, has said of the promotion. "We stand behind the quality of our beef, and want to share the facts with Canadians.”...more
Japan may be a world away from the Toronto restaurant scene, but there is no geographic limitation to compassion.
On March 20—officially “macaron day” in Paris—Nadège Patisserie, a treasure trove of delicate baked yummies at 780 Queen St. W., will donate the proceeds from all of its macaron sales to the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts for Japan. These elegant French cookies, available in a dozen-and-a-half pastel-hued flavours including salted caramel and mojito, sell for $2.10 per. A box of 12 is $23. Owner Nadège Nourian’s Facebook page for the cause is called “Macarons for Japan, with love from Toronto.”...more
Toronto further cements its reputation as an outpost for superstar international chefs with the confirmation of giddily swirling rumours that David Chang will be extending his Momofuku reach into our city limits.
Chang, whose small dominion of Momofuku restaurants has long captured the buzz of their native New York, will open not one but two restaurants here, likely by the end of 2012. Stacked atop each other, they’ll occupy a building next to the much-ballyhooed Shangri-La, a 200-room luxury hotel whose 65-storey tower on University at Adelaide is itself set to open next spring. One will be a noodle bar, in the spirit of Chang’s first Manhattan restaurant; the other will be Momofuku Daisho, a new concept joint.
The Toronto expansion augments a quartet of existing Momofuku eateries, all in the Big Apple: Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, Ko and Má Pêche....more