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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Toronto :: Nuit Blanche!

Nuit Blanche
Toronto Weekend-9 Toronto Weekend-13 Toronto Weekend-4
“How was your weekend?”

A co-worker asked me that question today – and I was reminded again of neglected Cookies & Tomatoes. This blog sorely needs some love – I’ve been to Seattle, Mexico, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Germany, Paris, and the Netherlands this summer! Wowee! Quite a bit to catch up on!

But, before I get to all of that…how was my weekend? Was definitely sorry to see it end. It’s been way too long since I’ve had a damn good weekend in Toronto with friends, family, and lots of laughter. We danced the night away, ran around the streets of my favourite city when it was alive with art, and talked as if I had been gone for years, but never really left.

Toronto, I’ve missed you!

One way to start the weekend right is with an open bar:
Toronto, YYZ
Frankfurt Lounge
Frankfurt, FRA
Calgary, YYC
The Calgary lounge for frequent flyers is always buzzing with smart businessmen and exhausted travellers. What I’ve found the most amusing is the sheer amount of alcohol at these lounges – on tap!

It was a particularly hard flight – the combination of Baileys and a strong of mocha proved to be a terrible idea since I was mentally exhausted but physically jittery for the whole flight – so it was not surprising that I left my suitcase in the bathroom on my way out.

Not surprising but sure as heck not fun.

Never ever make that mistake – because I had crossed the doorway I could not go back to retrieve it. I was told to go to Lost and Found…which was closed (it was 1AM) and by the time I returned, a cleaner had picked up my bag and he/she was nowhere to be found. Eff.

Badenjan Borani
I'm an adult that drinks scotch!
Anyway, silly airport mishaps aside, I felt relieved when I saw the CN Tower come into view and saw my friend’s apartment. That’s right – I’m officially a nomad. If you’re always on the road, there’s no point in paying rent. Especially when you have loving friends that’ll put you up for a night when you’re back in town in exchange for some laughter and dancing :-)

Work has been particularly busy lately. We’ve been keeping morals up though…working with a crowd of hungry folks has it’s perks! Chowing down giant platters of sushi from To-ne Sushi (slow service, but great fish), a disturbing amount of Starbucks desserts, and very generous co-workers bringing delicious ribs to the office…it’s all part of the job ;)

Starbucks Toshi Sushi Ribs

Oh, and let’s not forget Ice Cream Fridays:
Marbleslab Ice Cream

Anyway…where do I begin?

IMG_3586I caught up with my friend at Khao San Road – my third visit to Chef Nuit’s new spot. I always end up ordering the Khao Soi. From my review of Sukkothai – you know I like it! On this lunch visit, we also had Gai Taud Samoon Prai (garlic-y chicken with garlic sauce – pleased the Korean in me :-)) and the house curry with chicken.

Toronto Weekend Toronto Weekend-1 Toronto Weekend-2

After a fantastic Friday night, we started our morning with a fantastic breakfast at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. Seven hungry girls after night of dancing til 4AM can really pack away the food! K and I shared Fluffy Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes and Veda’s Choice. The descriptions were just So. Delicious….that we could not choose between them:

Veda’s Choice: Mildred’s classic poached eggs on a flakey croissant with smoked salmon, Béarnaise sauce & mixed greens
Mrs. Biederhof’s Infamous Light  and Fluffy Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes served with Lanark County maple syrup & whipped cream.

Huevos Monty, Lottie salad, and the grilled cheese all got the thumbs up and I couldn’t help but smile at G’s order of Green Eggs and Ham:
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I love love love Mildred’s Temple Kitchen’s space. With a name like Mildred I certainly did not expect such a bright, happy interior. Service was friendly and fast, and I really liked how the kitchen was integrated in the restaurant, but not in an obtrusive way.

We hopped around the city for a bit before starting Nuit Blanche. The first exhibit was fun – I chatted with an artist behind a screen while he drew me! I was very surprised to get the drawing, as it was shoved through the little mail slot – there’s definitely a very striking similarity. Could he guess my face structure based on the way I sounded and talked? How did he guess the side bangs?

We noshed on some mac n’ cheese and ribs at Czehoski – loved the atmosphere and the service here too. The food got terrible reviews, but I didn’t think it was awful – average quality. However, the cocktails were damn good and the atmosphere was alive and bustling so I’d definitely return. I’d skip the gazpacho next time – it tasted suspiciously like tomato paste – but I’d order a drink there in a heart beat!

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Toronto Weekend-12We bundled up against the cold and wandered around the downtown core again…enjoyed the little boutiques and random art shows that were going on around. As we chatted and wandered around the city, the sense of familiarity and liveliness made me realize that Toronto will always be home. I know the city. I love the people, the festivals, and the diversity. We were getting chilly, and popped into Art Square for some tea. Despite my blahhh experience there, we still ordered a dessert…which was just as blahhhh as last time.

After a good sleep in, we headed down to Liberty Village intending to visit School Bakery for some much needed breakfast. The line up was at least an hour (!!) so we trotted across the street for the virtually empty Academy of Spherical Arts.

I could not believe it – we were pretty much the only people there!

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What’s more – it was a fantastic brunch. GO! The smoked salmon with the mustard on top of the potatoes…and perfect eggs…my goodness! The steak was perfectly seasoned and cooked with two eggs, over easy – win win win.

Scottish Smoked Salmon was a winner for me – the herb rosti potato hidden under chive cream cheese soft scrambled eggs, sautéed spinach, sliced red onions, pommery mustard and smoked salmon was a wonderful combination. I was ridiculously happy.

The Grilled Steak and Eggs also had the fantastic potato, and it was cooked perfectly medium rare. And just to make our waistlines groan a lil more, we got 2 croissants each – how’s that for a breadbasket? Yum! The service was great, the food was fantastic, and there was no wait. The quiet restaurant was nice since we could enjoy a proper chat.

So…how was my weekend? Pretty damn good. How was yours?
  Toshi Sushi on UrbanspoonKhao San Road on UrbanspoonArt Square Gallery Cafe on UrbanspoonAcademy of Spherical Arts on UrbanspoonTo-ne Sushi on Urbanspoon


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