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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for December 17 to 23

Porchetta and Co. celebrates two years in business on Thursday with $1 sandwiches (Image: Andrew Brudz)

Monday, December 17

  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight—Annual Sagittarian Ball: Get festive in your best cocktail attire while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres from Stasis Preserves, mead tasting from Rosewood Estates and cheap cocktails made by pros from the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • Lettuce Wrap Night at Chantecler: Chantecler’s popular lettuce wrap night is now taking place twice a week. Come out on Sunday and Monday nights for lettuce wraps with meats, assorted pickles and condiments for $21 per person until 1 a.m.—or until the food runs out. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • Make, Don’t Buy—Chocolates for Beginners: As part of the Depanneur’s Make, Don’t Buy series of DIY gift workshops, join Emily Zimmerman and learn how to make old-fashioned creamy ganache truffles, chocolate bark with toppings of your choice and crunchy chili-cornflake bars, all using organic, Fairtrade and locally processed Chocosol chocolate. The Depanneur, 1033 College St., 416-828-1990. Find out more »

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for December 10 to December 16

Farhouse Tavern hosts F*CK Mondays on Sunday (Image: Gizelle Lau)

Monday, December 10

  • Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District: Every day through December 16, stop by the Distillery District for the third annual Christmas Market. Enjoy the festivities while browsing the locally made treats and gifts. 9 Trinity St. Find out more »
  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight—Holiday Party: Stop by for some Appleton’s and eggnog and enjoy holiday cookies from the Sweet Escape. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • Lettuce Wrap Night at Chantecler: Chantecler’s popular lettuce wrap night is now taking place twice a week. Come out on Sunday and Monday nights for lettuce wraps with meats, assorted pickles and condiments for $19 per person until 1 a.m.—or until the food runs out. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • Indian Inspiration: Join Marni Wasserman for a lesson in how to incorporate the fragrant flavours of Indian cuisine into simple, healthy recipes. Menu includes chana masala, lentil dahl and chai lattes. Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. Find out more »

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 30 to August 5

On Tuesday, the Culinary Adventure Company leads a canoe picnic to the islands (Image: Mike in TO)

Monday, July 30

  • Group of Seven Chefs—Fish and Beer Dinner: The seven chefs get together with Bellwoods Brewery for a five-course, seafood-heavy meal with beer pairings. Bellwoods Brewery, 124 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586. Find out more »
  • Monday’s Dinner chef series at Chantecler: This week, chefs Jonathan Poon (Chantecler) and Jeff Claudio (Yours Truly) will be cooking an 18-course tasting menu full of summer ingredients. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Judge the ultimate Blue Ribbon battle of the butter tart. Competitors from Bestellen, The Gabardine, The Flaky Tart and more. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s 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

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

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for May 21 to 27

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market are back on May 27 (Image: Min)

Monday, May 21

  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight for a tea party in honour of Queen Victoria. Featuring Victoria Gin tea cocktails and dainty tea sandwiches from Fresh City Farms. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Queen Victoria’s Secret: The launch of Brewer’s Backyard, a new craft beer series at the Brick Works. This time around: beer by Great Lakes Brewing of Toronto and sandwiches from Fidel Gastro. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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The Dish

Restaurants

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War on fun update: patio applications for Campagnolo, Woodlot and more up for Valentine’s Day rejection

More like probably denied (Image: Jon Sufrin)

Summer—a.k.a. patio season—is still months away, but that isn’t stopping the Toronto and East York Community Council from raining on everyone’s parade in advance. Seven proposals for “boulevard café permits,” including from Campagnolo and the Queen West location of Dark Horse Espresso Bar, are on the agenda for the upcoming Valentine’s Day meeting of community council. In each and every case, city staff members have recommended that the application be denied. (To be fair, most of the time at least some nearby residents have opposed the patios.) At the same meeting, the Greektown on the Danforth Business Improvement Association will continue its battle against Toronto’s inconsistent rules on patio hours. Last year, a stretch of Danforth eateries won the right to keep their patios open until midnight, but a few party animals just couldn’t help themselves and broke curfew—so city staff has recommended the privilege be withdrawn. See the full list of doomed patio proposals after the jump:

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The Informer

Politics

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The war on fun takes aim at a new target: city patios

Future Bakery’s popular Annex patio (Image: Andrzej Wrotek)

City council was busy junking 2010’s harmonization of city zoning bylaws yesterday—but as the Toronto Star points out, that isn’t necessarily the best idea. Although the project was roundly criticized by the development industry and David Miller’s opponents for a multitude of technical errors—its supporters, on the other hand, greeted it as an unglamorous but important achievement—there was good reason behind it. Take, for example, the existing bylaws pertaining to the city’s outside patios and rooftop decks: basically, they’re kind of ridiculous.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Aravind, an authentic south Indian restaurant in Greektown

Ontario meets the subcontinent: a local fish wrapped in a banana leaf (Image: Jon Sufrin)

Set in the midst of gyro-heavy Greektown, new Indian restaurant Aravind is something of an anomaly. It stands out by serving Keralan and southern cuisine (the curry-and-cream dishes of northern India are way more common downtown) and for utilizing Ontario-sourced ingredients when possible. Aravind, which opened last month, is not a bargain joint by any means—mains here range from $14 to $21—but owners hope the local ingredients, dedication to service and the concise, VQA-heavy wine list make up for it.

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The Informer

Events

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The Weekender: Paul McCartney’s concert, the Rogers Cup and six other items on our to-do list

1.    PAUL MCCARTNEY
Paul McCartney’s in town this weekend with his Up and Coming Tour. Far be it for us to question a rock and roll legend, but we’re not sure about this. Not the show—obviously it will be great, the man is an ex-Beatle. It’s his tour’s name we find problematic. What do you mean by “Up and Coming,” Sir Paul? You’ve been a rock star since 1962. August 89. $77–$270. Air Canada Centre, 50 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.

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The Goods

Stores

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Just opened: Tabula Rasa gives vintage hunters a new reason to cross the Don

Tabula Rasa (Image: Karen and Preston Photography)

The place: On the edge of Greektown sits Toronto’s newest cheap and cheerful clothing hub: a reason for west-end vintage hounds to cross the Don River.

The stuff: After slaving at the Le Château design table, owner Jennifer Park began reconstructing vintage pieces (a hem here, an asymmetrical sleeve there) that she now sells at Tabula Rasa along with basics from Ports, Ralph Lauren and Wayne Clark. Silk-lined double-breasted academy blazers, riding leggings with shiny fabric on the inner thigh and teeny beret cocktail hats from Toronto’s Le Petit Beret (made of out Park’s vintage scraps) keep the mix fresh for fashion-forward customers.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Taste of the Danforth: The east-end street braces for a 72-hour “gift to Toronto”

Rolling right along: Taste of the Danforth roars through the east end this weekend

Rolling right along: Taste of the Danforth roars through the east end this weekend (Photo by Matthew Filipowich)

At last night’s launch party for the annual August feeding frenzy, Taste of the Danforth, we ate: stuffed phyllo triangle, roasted mushrooms, shrimp rice pilaf, olive tapenade, pad thai, a pakora, a souvlaki skewer, another bigger souvlaki skewer, an entire grilled squid, some unidentifiable pink stuff, a barbecued rib, a Portuguese custard tart, another helping of pad thai, some Singapore noodles, red pepper dip and gnocchi. We were crammed into resto-bar-lounge The Local Company and, like the rest of the fooderati and media types present, we either had our eyes trained on the food or wore the glazed over expression of a cadet emerging from the trenches. That’s roughly what visitors can expect this weekend at Taste of the Danforth, when over one million eaters will descend on Greektown, from Broadview to Jones, for 72 hours of food, culture, entertainment and more food.

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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Toronto’s recession reaction: forget Starbucks, open 10 new cafés

Hard times, great coffee (Photo by Jim U)

Hard times, great coffee (Photo by Jim U)

Is it just us, or are independent coffee shops becoming as common as month-long Boxing Day sales? We counted a minimum of 10 newbies that have opened around town in the past six months. For east enders, there’s Hank’s, Simple and Broadview Espresso, while the west is now home to Zoots, Belly, White Squirrel and Lit. Moroco Chocolat is somewhere in between, and Isabella’s is soon to open in Greektown. For Toronto’s newest kids on the block, the barista business might just be recession-proof—can’t say the same for Starbucks. No matter how bad times get, some things are sacred: we’ll forgo the Fendi and avoid the Vuitton, but we’ll still loosen our belts for a good brew and a fresh croissant. Jamie Kennedy, who opened the café Hank’s last year and is always near the top of the city’s food chain, says that it is full steam ahead for coffee houses. “Let’s face it—there’s a vibrant café culture in Toronto, and no recession is going to stop that. The big-buck dining out will take a hit, but a coffee and a croissant is a whole other ball game.”

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The Dish

Restaurants

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The Local Company: is the Danforth still seeking its sexy hero?

Globe Bistro

Globe Bistro

Late last year, there was buzz that the Danforth was primping for some big nights out. The opening of The Local Company, near Logan, was supposed to bring an upscale, King West sexiness to the Greektown strip. We checked on the area’s progress and discovered that the nightlife effect was there on weekends, but the mid-week vibe is not so hot.

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The Dish

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All over downtown, signs are going up designating districts

All over downtown, signs are going up designating districts. I can understand some, such as Little Italy and Greektown, but Toronto’s Discovery District at University and Dundas? What’s that about?—Elsie Moolgaokar, Grange Park

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