Sunday, July 18, 2010

Expressions of Brazil

Sunday, July 18, 2010
Yesterday I checked out Expressions of Brazil, part of the World Routes summer festivals at the Harbourfront Centre.


There were lots of people sitting on the turf, enjoying music from Brazilian performers.

Though there were many cultural activities such as film screenings and drumming workshops, I went there primarily to sample Brazilian food. I was a little disappointed to not find much that was Brazilian, although there was a strong Latin American presence in the World Cafe.



It was a nice event for families, with the live entertainment, a chance to walk by the water's edge, plus the usual Harbourfront standbys of churros, fresh coconut, and a small bazaar. It also amazed me how you could hear the Toronto Indy buzzing all the way from Exhibition Place.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tasty Thursdays

Friday, July 16, 2010
Food and farmers in the middle of the concrete jungle. I love how in the heart of the downtown Toronto, amid the towers of commerce, like spires from the fortress of solitude hides lunch-hour delights.


At Nathan Phillips Square, in front of City Hall, we have Tasty Thursdays. From July 15 to August 26. Enjoy $5 meals whilst enjoying some multi-cultural entertainment.

- Tandoori chicken burger


A couple of blocks away, on Thursdays from 11-2, is theBay-Adelaide Evergreen market, run by the people who brought us the Brickworks farmers' market.





Green Guide: Toronto Farmers' Markets

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summerlicious: SEN5ES

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Summerlicious 2010 is in full swing. While many restaurants cut corners and serve up a bare bones menu just so they can say they have a prix fixe offering, the rare ones rise to take advantage of what Summerlicious ought to be: An opportunity to tease the general public with haute cuisine.

This year we tried out SEN5ES, and boy did it stimulate all 5. The restaurant was elegantly decorated and had a mix of textures and designs that made you want to run your fingers across everything. The ambient music was full, melodic, and upbeat; more like a lounge than a typical dining room.


The food was simply amazing. While dinner was at $45, putting it on the high end of the Summerlicious range, I venture that the calibre of artistry and attention to detail, not to mention textures and tastes, would put it on par with much more expensive evenings out.

- Finely sliced roasted veal tenderloin on tuna fish sauce, tea smoked egg with arugula lettuce and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette

The rare veal went very well with the bitter arugula and the smokey egg. The sauce unexpectedly was more a tuna puree, giving a fuller feel on the tongue than a watery sauce would.

- Tian of red tuna, salmon and hamachi tartare, avocado, cucumber, vine ripe tomato, aged balsamic glace

Looking at this item on the menu, I thought I'd get something like a sushi roll. I was pleasantly surprised at the way it was prepared. The 3 different kinds of fish definitely gave a more complex taste. The pureed avocado went better with the tartare than slices in a maki roll would. The crunchy and salty lotus root chip added another dimension of flavour and visual appeal.

- Prime beef tenderloin and tempura prawn, wasabi mashed potatoes, bean bundle in bacon and natural veal

The tempura was a little over-cooked, something that could be excused a bit given the size of the particular prawn used. It was still quite enjoyable. The beef was lovely and perfectly cooked. The carrots were very yummily buttery garlicky, and the mashed potatoes with a mild wasabi kick was great.

- Roasted Grand Mariner liqueur duck breast, duck leg confit lasagna and orange duck jus

I totally loved this dish. Although the duck was a little tough, the skin was wonderfully crisp and salty. The best part though was the duck confit lasagna. That's gotta be one of the best lasagnas anywhere, although with just one layer of pasta on top, it might qualify more as a pot pie. Still, it was rich, creamy and just awesome!

- Lemon-lavender-blueberry dome with chocolate arts, lemon-grass vanilla sauce

Looks like a spaceship, or one of those skyscraper car parks in Chicago. The dome was mild, light, and (usually reserved for beverages rather than food) refreshing.

- Cherry jubilee, crepe suzette and vanilla ice cream

Cherries, warm crepes and ice cream.... I scream!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Picnic in the park

Sunday, July 11, 2010
What better way to take advantage of a perfect summer day than a picnic in the city at High Park? It's nice that amid the hustle and bustle of city life, there exists in Toronto a wide swath of green, with ancient trees providing a cool canopy.


We procured a nifty picnic bag from the Bay with a Christmas gift certificate, and put it to good use.


Brie, horseradish cheddar, cherry tomatoes, Stacey's fresh basil, and rillette de canard