Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Specialty cheeses, local produce, and more: Longo's Taste Ontario, Taste the World event

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Ever been to a grocery store where it's more of an experience than a chore to shop at? Longo's at 15 York St. is one of those. Highlights: the cozy seating area (and fireplace!) where you can eat food from the freshly prepared section (which I did recently when I had lunch with a friend), and Corks Wine Bar right inside the Longo's (yes, there's a wine bar inside where you can have a drink and a bite to eat). They have a great cheese section (believe they will order cheese in for you if they don't have what you want on hand) and carry some really interesting salts.


We also visited the Longo's Loft for their Taste Ontario, Taste the World event, and with Chef Matt Kantor at the helm and Alexa Clark as our host, I knew the food and company would be good. I was not disappointed!

Matt's red curry with Ontario butternut squash was by far my favourite dish, and we also liked the Niagara Gold cheese that was served so much that we went back and bought a wedge (even though there was a free one in our media kit - we ate that in two seconds flat and needed MOAAAAAR! Ahem. More, I mean). Seriously good cheese, thank you Upper Canada Cheese Company! It was also a hit with friends who tried some when they came over later that week.

I have to give them major kudos on the wine and beer pairings with Matt's food - they were done by a very knowledgeable lady from Corks Wine Bar. A beer that I didn't really love on its own (Duggan's #9 India Pale Ale - not terrible by any means, and I think it's pretty cool that it's brewed over on Victoria St., but a bit bitter for my liking) was TRANSFORMED when I had it with the spicy red curry. We also had a killer late harvest Riesling (Cave Spring's Indian Summer Late Harvest Riesling 2009) which was, of course, not quite at icewine stage yet but was niiiiice and sweet. Yum!

Check it out if you're in the area - just wander the aisles and gawk at everything in complete wonderment like I tend to do whilst grocery shopping in a place like that! It's fun, and we all need to slow the hell down once in a while and smell the curry, so to speak. Try it, and look for Ontario meats and produce while you're at it!

Yours in food,