Monday, June 27, 2011

Trattoria Mercatto at the Eaton Centre

Monday, June 27, 2011
Looking for a patio after shopping or a long day at work? Trattoria Mercatto at the Toronto Eaton Centre may be the spot for you. Serving classic Italian comfort food in a smartly designed space, it's a welcome addition to the three other Mercatto restaurants: Toronto St., Bay St., and Elizabeth and College.

Interior design by: Munge Leung
Identity, signage, menus and uniforms by: Device222




Posted by: Mark Rodas

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Toronto Taste: THE food & beverage event of the year (and for a good cause to boot!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Mark and I were lucky enough to be Official Roving Twitter Reporters for Second Harvest's largest fundraiser, Toronto Taste, and it was a BLAST! If you do only one charitable thing next year, make sure it's Toronto Taste - it was a ton of fun for a great cause!

IMG_2132 Toronto Taste 2011

IMG_2026 Toronto Taste 2011

Since the first Toronto Taste 21 years ago (then known as Taste of the Nation), the event has raised over $4 million, enabling Second Harvest to secure enough fresh food to deliver over 8 million meals to those in Toronto living with hunger. That’s enough to feed almost every one of Regent Park’s 2,045 families with children three square meals a day for a whole year.

As it's held at the Royal Ontario Museum, the ambiance was great - with the way it's set up, you get the best of both worlds - food and drink were served up by 60 top chefs and 30 beverage purveyors both inside and outside the ROM. There was live music plus a ton of opportunities to win great prizes through a raffle as well as via live/silent auctions.

IMG_2007 Toronto Taste 2011

While we certainly didn't get around to every chef and beverage purveyor (you couldn't possibly in just one night!), we had a couple stand-outs to share:
  • Brisket burger with kimchi from Nota Bene
  • Cider-braised pork belly from Epic
  • Mushroom polenta from Scarpetta
  • Chicken lollipops in a mayo-spice sauce covered with Indian rice puffs from Roger Mooking which we paired with a Rickards White with the help of our friend Steve Riley from Better
  • Salty Chocolate Caramel from Xococava (served by men walking around with old-style candy boxes strapped to their chests no less!) and washed down with a Henry of Pelham 2008 Riesling
  • Ricotta orange donut with candied orange and cardamom orange smoothie shot from Pangaea
  • White chocolate mascarpone meringue with strawberry sauce from Baker Street
We also learned, again from our friend Steve Riley at Better, how to taste beer. Check out the diagram to the left or visit his site to find out more!

Food and beer pairing

Roger Mooking drops in

Like I said, if there is just one charitable thing you do next year, make it Toronto Taste. You will not be disappointed!

Yours in food,

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bloom-ing good fun at Bloom Restaurant

Saturday, June 11, 2011

We recently had a chance to check out Bloom Restaurant's new menu. The restaurant's philosophy is to be an extension of your family, rather than being "the stuffy aunt who visits once a year." While being chic, it also felt like a family-friendly space too, and they have a kids menu too which I'm sure parents appreciate.

We're not out in Bloor West Village often but we really enjoyed our time there and since we love walking around the city, we spent some time exploring the area and relaxing on a bench that one of the local businesses had sponsored (maybe I'm a weirdo but I'd say there are an abundance of benches compared to other neighbourhoods we frequent! Seriously! So many places to rest your weary feet and many shops to explore). The restaurant itself was at Bloor and Windermere, about equal distance between Jane and Runnymede subway stations.

You can click through to see the full online menu, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Cassava frites - what a smart idea! Never have I had cassava in the form of fries. Cassava is a starchy tuberous root popular in tropical climates - though be careful, if not cooked properly it can make you ill! I've had cassava cake quite often, since it's a Filipino recipe. But I've got to say cassava in the form of fries was a very, very pleasant surprise! Note: This item doesn't appear on their online menu, so I'm not sure if they offer it on the regular.

  • The chimichurri sauce on the pan-seared flank steak was to-die-for. Chimichurri is basically a sauce made from chopped parsley, minced garlic, vegetable or olive oil, white or red vinegar and red pepper flakes (although there are variations with added ingredients). Flank steak is known to be a bit tougher than other cuts of meat no matter which way you slice it, but boy oh boy, that chimichurri sauce made up for that!

  • The Malivoire 2008 Icewine Riesling VQA was a truly delicious dessert wine to end the night with. It's no secret that I love icewine, and this was one of my favourites. Note: All wine pairings that night were Malivoire, so again I'm not sure if they keep this specific icewine on the regular.
Check out our full set of pics or watch the slideshow above. Thanks to Sizzling Communications for the invite!

Yours in food,