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The Dish

Food Events

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Superchef Supper Club: Victor Barry and Marc Thuet serve bison and bear for two nights at Splendido

Thuet/Barry Collaborative Dinner

Toronto chefs have become remarkably mobile, flying from food events to pop-ups to guest-chef gigs with the ease of musicians flitting between jam sessions. Last week, Marc Thuet joined Splendido’s Victor Barry for a special, two-night dinner at Splendido with tickets going for $120, plus $75 for wine pairings, and a high-profile guest list including big-wig lawyers Howard Levitt and Clayton Ruby. On the menu: seasonal veggies, like poached white asparagus, and Canadian game, like bison and bear. Here, a slideshow from the six-course feast.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Friday Night Bites: tables for two at Union, Origin Liberty and Aria

FRIDAY NIGHT BITESIt’s 4 p.m. on Friday, and you don’t have a dinner reservation. Still, there’s no need to fret (or waste your night waiting for a table). We just called some of the city’s hottest restaurants and found three that can squeeze in two for dinner tonight. Now it’s up to you to get dialing and snag a table before they’re all gone. Today: Union, Origin Liberty, and Aria.

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TIFF Talk

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TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: top 10 spots for boozing and schmoozing with stars

TIFF 2012 Insider’s Guide: where to party

TIFF can be the most exhausting event of the year—10 days of near constant drinking, schmoozing and stargazing, all, ostensibly, in the name of movies. Choosing the best parties requires insider intelligence and expert planning. Here, a highly discerning look at the festival’s hottest hot spots.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Friday Night Bites: Edulis, Actinolite and Origin

FRIDAY NIGHT BITESIt’s 4 p.m. on Friday, and you don’t have a dinner reservation. Still, there’s no need to fret (or waste your night waiting for a table). We just called some of the city’s hottest restaurants and found three that can squeeze in two for dinner tonight. Now it’s up to you to get dialing and snag a table before they’re all gone. Today: Edulis, Actinolite and Origin.

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The Informer

Columns

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Dear Urban Diplomat: can I lodge a complaint when fellow restaurant patrons start photographing their food?

Urban Diplomat

(Image: Shermeee)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I were enjoying our 35-year anniversary at Scaramouche, until the young couple at the table next to us started photographing their food, distracting us with flashes every time a new dish arrived. My son tells me that these food bloggers take their work very seriously. I don’t care—they ruined our night. I was tempted to lodge a complaint. Should I have?
Meal, Interrupted, Summerhill

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 2 to July 8

Farmer’s market season has arrived (Image: Kevin Ho)

Monday, July 2

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Check out a double bill at the at the Drake Lounge. First, a throw-down for the ultimate hangover cure: the Bloody Mary versus the Caesar. Second, a watermelon-eating contest. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: A weekly aperitivo italiano with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

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The Dish

Deathwatch

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Captain John’s Restaurant succumbs to the stormy seas of unpaid back taxes

(Image: Paul Dex)

The ongoing debt and legal issues at Captain John’s Harbour Boat Restaurant, the iconic marine eatery docked at the foot of Yonge Street since 1975, have finally shut it down. Owner “Captain” John Letnik owes $568,000 in back taxes, utilities and outstanding lease payments. Normally, the city would just seize the property and sell it after three years of nonpayment, but the fact that Captain John’s is a boat—with no engine, stuck fast in the muck—makes things a little bit tricky. The vessel will stay put for now, but Letnick has to remove the sign, gangplank and everything inside by July 27. And it looks like Chef Grant Soto (also known as Taylor Clarke) is already trolling for a new site for his gluttonous charity pop-up dinner. [Toronto Star]

The Dish

Licious

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Summerlicious 2012: our food editor picks the top 10 offerings from this year’s Licious list

Summerlicious-2012

One of Colborne Lane’s innovative concoctions (Image: Renée Suen)

Ten years in, Toronto’s loved (and loathed) bacchanalia of affordable dining is larger than ever, with 181 restaurants offering three-course prix fixe menus for $25, $35 or $45 from July 6-22. Despite common complaints—packed rooms, harried dining and more salmon and chicken than a buffet wedding—an ineluctable truth remains: Summerlicious is a good opportunity to sample new restaurants on the cheap. To that end, we’ve sifted through the overwhelming list of participants to find the most interesting dishes and the very best value. Start making your reservations now.

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The Dish

Food Porn

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See every course of the R.M.S. Titanic’s final first-class dinner (meticulously recreated by a food blogger)

All aboard (Image: Renée Suen)

April 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and Titanic-mania has become pretty much unavoidable: there’s a memorial cruise retracing the luxury liner’s doomed voyage, a 3-D rerelease of James Cameron’s 194-minute epic and, inevitably, collectables from the Royal Canadian Mint. The culinary world is by no means immune to all this, of course. Food blogger Paula Costa (of Dragon’s Kitchen) has taken the event to her food-loving heart, challenging herself to recreate the 11-course first-class dinner from the eve of the vessel’s demise. Although the Kitchener/Waterloo–based food blogger has previously hosted similar Titanic-themed dinners with others (mainly of the second- and third-class menus), this was her first solo effort. The project, based on the recipes found in Last Dinner on the Titanic by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley, was a year in making, with weeks devoted to testing recipes and sourcing ingredients used during the Edwardian period. In the end, eight guests were invited to partake in the dinner, which involved $400 worth of ingredients, three days of preparation and assistance from a few sous-chefs on the evening of service itself. See Costa’s entire Titanic feast—including a chunk of iceberg from off the coast of Newfoundland—in our slideshow »

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The Informer

Columns

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Dear Urban Diplomat: is arriving late to parties just part of Toronto culture?

Dear Urban Diplomat

(Image: Khairil Zhafri)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I moved to Toronto from Tokyo about a year ago. Maybe it’s just a difference in cultures, but no one shows up for my parties on time. Where I’m from, if an invitation says 8 p.m., you show up at 8 p.m. Here, some guests arrive an hour late and don’t even apologize. Often, I am too annoyed to enjoy myself. Any tips for hand­ling this situation next time?
—Times Have Changed, CABBAGETOWN

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The Dish

Food Events

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GALLERY: at this month’s TBD dining series, Acadia’s Matt Blondin let loose

Blondin’s tapioca course (Image: Gizelle Lau)

TBD is a monthly dining series that brings some of the city’s top chefs together with one of the foodie world’s current obsessions: the semi-secret pop-up dinner. Concocted by Dan Gutter (Drake Hotel, Auberge du Pommier, Susur) and designer Sukko Stach (Acadia), TBD offers one-time-only intimate dining experiences in a distinctive setting for no more than 12 guests. Past TBD dinners have featured Dustin Gallagher, Steve Gonzales and the guys behind Poutini’s. November’s TBD took place last week in a tucked-away private members’ club at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and featured Acadia chef Matt Blondin. For $150, the diners were exposed to Blondin’s wilder, more modernist side over 15 courses (with wine pairings).

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The Informer

Columns

8 Comments

Dear Urban Diplomat: What do I do when my friends pay for dinner but stiff the server on the tip?

Urban Diplomat

(Image: Dan4th Nicholas)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I went with another couple to Celestin, where we’re regular patrons. The service was attentive, as always, and the food was superb. When the bill came, my friend took care of it, but I noticed he left less than 10 per cent for the tip. Mortified, I waited for everyone to leave the table, then threw down an extra $20. Unfortunately, my friend turned around in time to see me and said it was a slap in the face. How should I have handled this situation?
—More Money, More Problems, DAVISVILLE

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Best of the City 2011: The city’s most interesting dishes, places to eat them and, yes, hot sauce

Best of the City: Dining

(Image: Christopher Stevenson)

Baguette Pasta Fad Hot Sauce Lobster reinvented Carnivore cure Roast chicken Devilled eggs Patio for dessert

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The Dish

Food Events

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VIDEO: In our favourite reaction to yesterday’s hotpocalypse, the Star’s Chris So cooks a roast in his sedan


While most cubicle dwellers burrowed themselves away in the cool confines of their A.C.-blasting offices during yesterday’s hotpocalypse, Toronto Star videographer Chris So decided to make dinner—in his sedan. In a video worthy of Bill Nye, So takes the viewer through his suburban kitchen and out to his front yard, balancing both camera and seasoned eye of round. Setting up his car-becue with three different types of thermometers, So places the roast on the dash and plays the waiting game. Four hours later, the rather raw, leather interior–infused roast is removed from the 190° F confines. And while the meat itself only reached 131° F, So goes one step further and digs in, concluding the experiment with an unconvincing, “Hmm. Yummy.” Success? We’re not so sure, but we’ve got to hand it to him for trying.

Car-cooked roast taste test [Toronto Star]

The Dish

Restaurants

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Toronto chefs and Ontario wineries join forces for Japan earthquake relief dinner

In response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week, a number of Toronto chefs and Ontario wine producers will be joining forces in a fundraiser on Sunday, March 27th, organized by Nobuyo Stadtländer, the business partner and wife of Michael Stadtländer.

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