Summerlicious Toronto 2009

Friday, July 3.

Arrive at the Park Hyatt, totally pooped out. Ate at the bar on the roof. OK food, wildly expensive!

Saturday, 7/4

Lunch at Paddington’s Pump at the St. Lawrence Market. They make a great pea-meal bacon on a kaiser — the Oink on a Bun.

Dinner at Quince. This was the outstanding restaurant of the trip. For starters, we had an arugula salad and the house terrine. Marilyn had Grilled Flat iron steak, potato, mushroom & fresh corn hash, chimichurri sauce. I had House made gnocchi, chicken bisque, green olives, fresh oregano. The sause basquais had a nice heat to it. For desert we had Belgian dark and white chocolate terrine, raspberry coulis, caramel sauce and plum clafoutis with ginger custard.

Sunday, 7/5.

Looked for a place for brunch at Hart Hall at the university, but it turned out to be closed for a private party or something. We wound up at a breakfast place on Bloor for omlettes. We went to Second City for the mainstage show, “0% Down, 100% Screwed”, then had a late dinner at Prego Della Piazza. Starters were Pan seared Crab cake, roasted corn salsa (pretty good) and Caprese Insalata, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil. We both had Prosciutto wrapped Cornish hen, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, root vegetables as the main course and tiramisu and creme brulee for desert.

Monday 7/6

No breakfast today — well, coffee and pastries at a place on Yorkville, then over to the Bata Shoe Museum. Yup, Shoe Museum. Dinner at Pangea, one of our favorite restaurans in Toronto. This is our third time. Starters were Charcuterie
A selection of house cured salamis pork rillettes, Serrano croquettes and toasted ficelle and Local Green Salad Leafy greens & seedlings with a maple-cider vinaigrette. For the main course, we both had Bison Roasted with a honey mustard glaze, baked apples, local foraged vegetables, fresh sage and pan juice. The meat was lean, perfectly medium ratre (cooked sous vide then seared, I think) and flavorful without being at all gamy. For desert, we split Niagara Shortcake Seasonal Niagara fruit including apricots and cherries on angel food cake with whipped cream and crème Anglaise and the Artisan Cheese Selection (Three varieties of cheese made by the best cheese-makers in Canada) with walnuts, amber honey and pear compote.

Tuesday, 7/7

Day trip to Niagra Falls. Dinner at Edward Levesque’s Kitchen. It has definitely mixed reviews, but had a lot of potenial or, at least, a chef out to make a name for himself. Starters were Grilled calamari with tossed with green olive tapenade, arugula and sun-dried tomato and P.E.I. mussels steamed with pilsner Urquell beer, leek, fresh herbs, sweet onion, garlic, focaccia crouto.Marilyn had Cumbraes Grilled aged angus skirt steak with chimmichurri sauce, white bean and sage hummous, grilled vegetables. I had Grilled Lamb kebab(harissa marinade) eggplant three-ways (grilled, babaganough and caponata), red onion, mint and olive salad with black olives, tahini sauce. The lamb was good, but the herbs were to prominent, overwhelming the other flavors. Deset was Chocolate polenta cake with berry compote and Chantilly cream and Angel food cake with lemon curd, whipped cream and berries. The polenta cake was really good – a rich chococale favor. The lemon curd was too sour, with a strong aftertaste.

Wednesday, 7/8

We spent the afternoon at the ROM at the Dead Seas Scrolls exhibit. It’s amazing to look at the actual scroll fragments and read the translations. There were people who wrote this stuff down 2000 years ago and its right there. There was also an interesting video and the preservation of the fragments. They most important thing was to undo the previous preservation efforts from the ’50s that included Scotch tape and glue.

Dinner tonight at Zucca, about a block away from Quince. Zucca is our 2nd best meal in Toronto. We started with niagara prosciutto, asparagus, radishes & sorrel, shavings of parmigiano reggiano and organic market leaf salad, fresh herbs, sweet onion, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil. For main courses, we had basil ribbon noodles with gulf shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, capers, white wine, tomato, extra virgin olive oil and tagliatelle with nettles, spring peas, and aspargus. Desert was a trio of gelato — dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and vanilla. The food was great. The staff was absolutely wonderful, too.

Thursday, 7/9.

So much for fine dining. Drove to Stratford for “Julius Caesar”.

Friday, 7/10

Matinee show of “Cyrano De Bergerac” and “West Side Story” in the evening.