The Drake

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The Critic: with its new downtown restaurant, the Drake continues to conquer Toronto

The Critic: with its new downtown restaurant, the Drake continues to conquer Toronto

The restaurant is decorated with contemporary Canadian art, including a mural by Douglas Coupland

Drake One Fifty 2 star ½
150 York St., 416-363-6150

Even for a hotel, the Drake comes with a lot of baggage. Ten years ago, the dot-com entrepreneur Jeff Stober spent $6 million, what seemed a crazy amount, renovating a flophouse on a nasty block of Queen West. He talked big—he wasn’t opening a mere boutique hotel but “an adult multi­plex” for bohemian culture, whatever that meant. He hired an art curator and a social-convener-in-residence (the literary agent Sam Hiyate, who took meetings in the café in his bathrobe). The grimy basement was converted into a venue for experimental concerts and one-woman plays about gender dysphoria. On weekends, the place turned into a nightclub with a velvet rope, the narrow sidewalk blocked by bachelorette parties.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Flavour of the Month: lobster goes casual in five pub-style plates

After a recessionary hiatus, the symbol of culinary luxury is back on menus, but something’s changed: lobster has gone lowbrow. Here, five lobsterfied pub plates

Flavour of the Month: Lobster

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The Goods

Stores

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The Drake General Store opens a location at Yonge and Eglinton

The Drake General Store has shuttered its Rosedale location and opened a new store 27 blocks north, at 2607 Yonge Street. The uptown outpost, which opened today, is the largest of the Drake’s three stores and carries a similar mix of apparel, jewellery, housewares and tchotchkes, including in-house clothing brand Shared, beauty products by Malin and Goetz and Canadiana by Hudson’s Bay Company. The quirky sensibility and neon purple cross above the door are nods to the shop’s West Queen West roots, but a sizeable children’s section reflects the family-friendly neighbourhood.

The Drake General Store Yonge and Eglinton, 2607 Yonge St,, drakegeneralstore.ca, 416-966-0553

The Dish

Food Events

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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 November 5 to 11

Foodies on Foot leads a culinary tour of Roncesvalles on Saturday (Image: Danielle Scott from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Monday November 5

  • The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair: A variety of exciting food and drink events will take place throughout the week as part of the 90th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, including a mixology competition on Monday. CNE grounds, 100 Princes’ Blvd. Find out more »
  • Group of 7 Chefs—Dairy Dinner: Special guest chef Matt Jennings of Providence, Rhode Island’s Farmstead joins the 7 chefs as they take to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for a five-course tasting dinner with wine pairings. Heritage Court entrance of the CNE grounds, 100 Princes’ Blvd. 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: This week, a meatball potluck, with a buffet of samples from Le Select, Bestellen and The Drake. Dig in while you watch the classic film Meatballs (of course). 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 »
  • Grain Goodness: Learn how to prepare simple and inventive recipes with grains as the base. Menu includes mushroom barley soup, citrus wild rice, festive farro salad and apricot fig bars. Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. Find out more »
  • Workshop—Kids in the Kitchen: A series to help children aged 9-12 learn to cook, develop recipes and understand healthy food choices, run by holistic nutritionist Kate Leinweber. Session four is Food Intuition: Nourishing Creations From Local Vegetables. The Depanneur, 1033 College St., 416-828-1990. Find out more »
  • Taste Canada: Hosted by Christine Cushing, The Food Writing Awards gala is a great opportunity to meet cookbook authors and sample creative food from Canadian chefs. The Arcadian Court, 401 Bay St., Simpson Tower. Find out more »

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for October 15 to 21

Monday October 15

  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves up 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: This week, a battle for doughnut glory. Watch the folks from Glory Hole Doughnuts, Dough by Rachelle, The Sweet Escape, Paulette’s and more put forth their best fried dough. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Mediterranean Flare: Marni Wasserman demonstrates a variety of Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian dishes. The menu includes lentil-cumin soup, quinoa tabbouleh, roasted eggplant dip, spelt pitas, baked falafel, and homemade hummus. Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. Find out more »
  • The “Seoul” of Korea: Chef Carrie Rau shows how to make some of Korea’s national dishes, including jap chae, glass noodle salad, bulgogi, skewered marinated beef, mandu dumplings filled with pork and beef, and hoddeok (a sweet pancake with brown sugar and nuts). Dish Cooking Studio, 390 Dupont St., 416-920-5559. Find out more » 
  • Workshop—Kids in the Kitchen: A series to help children aged 9-12 learn to cook, develop recipes and understand healthy food choices, run by holistic nutritionist Kate Leinweber. Week one kicks off with prep skills, super-power salads and healthy sweet snacks. The Depanneur, 1033 College St., 416-828-1990. Find out more »
  • Fizzie Bevvies—The Art of Home-Fermented Pop: Love pop, but not the lengthy list of ingredients on the can? This workshop will demonstrate how to make your own fizzy, home-fermented drinks packed with probiotics and other health-supporting products of fermentation. The Depanneur, 1033 College St., 416-828-1990. Find out more »

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The Informer

Events

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The Weekender: The Junction Flea, Ellie Goulding and six other events on our to-do list

Ellie Goulding performs at The Sound Academy on Sunday (Image: Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment)

1. THE JUNCTION FLEA (FREE!)
Presented by Smash and Russet and Empire, this eclectic outdoor market features vintage and kitschy items from furniture to vinyl records, all hawked by super-hip vendors in a lot in the Junction. Even though this market only kicked off this summer, the response has been overwhelming, and the onset of winter is sending the organizers looking for indoor spaces to continue the run. Make sure to catch this last outdoor event of the season. October 14. 2799 Dundas St. W., hello@junctionflea.com, junctionflea.blogspot.ca

2. ELLIE GOULDING
Since her first album, Bright Lights, came out in 2010, Goulding has received a whirlwind of accolades, including winning Critic’s Choice from the Brit Awards (she also sang at Will and Kate’s reception). That album’s single “Lights” spent months on the charts, finally breaking through to become an essential 2012 summer power jam. Her second album, Halcyon, dropped earlier this month. October 14. $25. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St. 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for September 24 to 30

Chantecler hosts its regular lettuce wrap night on Sunday (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Monday September 24

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Chefs from the Gabardine, Luma, Seed to Sausage and more face off in the pâté battle of the year. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Monday’s Dinner Chef Series at Chantecler: This week, chefs Jason Carter (ex-Centro) and Jonathan Poon (Chantecler) will be cooking a five-course tasting menu. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • Local Food Movement Dinner: Jamie Kennedy presents his latest Local Food Movement Dinner, a harvest season menu inspired and accompanied by the wines of Nyarai Cellars and 2027 Cellars. 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680. 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 »
  • Sustainable Living and Ethical Eating—Cooking With a Conscience: Learn simple tips for a greener, guilt-free kitchen. The menu includes leek and golden beet barley risotto with spicy kale chips, whole roasted organic chicken infused with apple, sage and garlic and more. Dish Cooking Studio, 390 Dupont St., 416-920-5559. Find out more »
  • Fit and Fabulous: Marni Wasserman teaches the positive impact of a whole-foods, plant-based diet on health and fitness. 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 September 17 to 23

Join Ben Heaton at the Canadian Beer News dinner at the Grove on Tuesday (Image: Renée Suen)

Monday, September 17

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Eat, swap and buy preserved goods, and learn about home preserving from Sarah B. Hood, author of Sure We Can, who will be available to answer all your canning questions. 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 »
  • Preserving the Harvest: Chef Paula Bambrick focuses on different preserving methods, using mostly local ingredients to prepare sweet and savoury specialties like wild blueberry jam, cranberry-raspberry chutney, pickled wild mushrooms and rosemary dipping oil. Kingsway LCBO, 2946 Bloor St. W., 416-239-3065. Find out more »
  • Rock the Danforth—Pub Crawl: Part of the third annual Toronto Beer Week, Troy Burtch of Great Lakes Brewing Co., along with Sam Corbeil of Sawdust City Brewing and Cass Enright, founder of The Bar Towel and Brewers Backyard, will lead a pub crawl along the Danforth, stopping at five of the neighbourhood’s favourite spots. Starts at 417 Restaurant and Lounge, 417 Danforth Ave. Find out more »
  • Highland Park Whisky-Tasting Series: Join Highland Park ambassador Marc Laverdiere at The Caledonian for an exclusive whisky tasting. All proceeds go to support the Canadian National Trust for Scotland. The Caledonian, 856 College St., 416-547-9827. Find out more »

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TIFF

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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

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for August 27 to September 2

Outstanding in the Field comes to Whitty Farms on Wednesday (Image: Jeremy Fenske)

Monday August 27

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: A special 86’D at the Drake’s Sky Yard, celebrating the pairing of chardonnay with corn. Sample Rosehall Run’s chardonnay alongside grilled corn dipped in the Drake’s selection of fine butters. 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 »
  • Summer Pasta Making: Join chefs Scott Savoie and Shahir Massoud and learn how to make, sauce, and store the best fresh pasta, including various noodles (tagliatelle, fettuccine), stuffed pasta shapes (agnolotti, ravioli, tortellini) and the softest potato gnocchi you’ll ever try. 201 Weston Rd., suite #101, 416-565-1730. Find out more»
  • Cooking for Cooks: Jamie Kennedy pays tribute to those who do service with a three-course dinner for industry folk (although non-industry types can come too). Gilead Cafe, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680Find out more »

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for August 20 to 26

Foodies on Foot leads a culinary tour of Roncesvalles on Saturday (Image: Danielle Scott from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Monday, August 20

  • Dinner at the Bellevue: Chef Robbie Hojilla, formerly of Woodlot and Ursa, cooks a five-course, modern Filipino–inspired feast. $35. The Bellevue, 61A Bellevue Ave., 647-340-8224. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: A preview of Savour Stratford, with complimentary samples from Château des Charmes, Mill St. Brewery, Mercer Hall, Rene’s Bistro and Monforte Dairy. A flight of cocktails showcasing Stratford mixologists will also be available. 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

Drinks

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Prince Edward Bounty: a hedonist’s guide to eating and drinking in Ontario wine country

Weekend Traveller: Prince Edward Bounty

In Prince Edward County, $1.3 million buys a lot of real of estate—an entire 19th-century inn, to be precise. That’s how much Jeff Stober, the founder of Queen West’s artsy Drake Hotel, recently spent on Wellington’s historic Devonshire Inn, which he will convert into a high-end restaurant and boutique hotel next spring. He’s the latest in a string of urbanites turning the County into a wine country destination to rival Niagara—only smaller, scruffier and hipper. Since 2001, newbie vintners, dreaming of grape-stained feet and sleepy-town life, have set up more than 30 boutique wineries in the County, producing some brilliant wines from the area’s limestone-laced soils. The food scene, too, has rapidly evolved past pick-your-own-berry patches into eclectic farm-to-table dining with a distinctly Toronto edge (wood-burning pizza ovens, charcuterie, fancy-pants cocktails). City escapees—those who can’t ditch their corporate jobs to raise goats—now hightail it to Wellington, Bloomfield and Picton for a weekend’s worth of edenic vineyard tours, tipsy tastings and produce yanked fresh from the dirt. Here, we pick the best (and newest) places to eat, drink and sleep off the hangover, County style.

OUR GUIDE TO PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY

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