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Ontario Sip and Savour - June 16, 2009

I attended last year's event at the Distillery District and all the food was wonderful. Sorry I can't remember anything in detail, but there were some uncommon dishes that were fun to try and the chefs were very happy to explain everything. Wines were very good, too. Enjoy!

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Distillery District
55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

Jedd's Frozen Custard

I tried this place this afternoon. Jedd served me a sample of each flavour: vanilla, chocolate and caramel. They all tasted rather similar, nothing distinct enough to stand out. I chose the caramel and redeemed the free coupon from his website http://www.jeddsfrozencustard.com/dow... (valid until August 1st, I think) for a full portion. Then I asked where they get their baked goods from. The girl at the counter didn't know, just that they come "from outside", but Jett told me they are from Marc Thuet. So I bought an oversize banana muffin that was quite delicious, even better when I got it home and spread some peanut butter on top. Oh yeah, Jedd said they always have vanilla and chocolate frozen custard; the 3rd flavour changes every day. And as the summer wears on, he will have another machine that makes 3 more flavours, so he's looking forward to offering 6 per day. I'll be back to try more, especially that white raspberry.

ISO queso blanco or queso fresco in the GTA

I used to buy it at Mendels cheese store in Kensington. I remember being told that they receive it on Monday and it's usually sold out by Thursday. I've been disappointed a couple times by asking for it on a weekend, but it's been a while so I don't know when they are currently getting it in.

Do you know anywhere I can get mango ice cream?

I second the vote for PC mango sorbet. Hotel Gelato on Eglinton West, about a block and a half east of Chaplin, also makes mango gelato and can pack it for take-out.

Quick bite near the Tarragon Restaurant

Ferraro Diverso opened recently on Dupont near Spadina. I was talking with their owner tonight at Ferraro 502 on Egliinton West and he told me that while the original location is closed on Sundays, Diverso is open for brunch/lunch on Sundays. Check it out.

melt in your mouth Colombian arepas

Finally made it there for lunch on Wed. Owner Juan Carlos was very solicitous and recommended the Reina Pepiada arepa, filled with avocado, chicken, mayo and onions. Filling resembled chicken salad with a little too much mayo for my liking but very tasty altogether. I passed on the sauces, maybe next time. For me the standout was the Avena oatmeal drink, made with milk, oats, cinnamon and slightly sweetened. Will definitely be making this drink at home.

Blood Orange sorbet available!

Hotel Gelato on Eglinton W also has blood orange sorbet and sometimes soy blood orange sorbet. I've tasted the soy version and found it to be fab. You can eat in or they will pack it to go. http://www.hotelgelato.com/

Aroma Espresso Bar opening in Forest Hill Village

It would be brilliant if true, sadly it's just where Aroma put up its billboard. At least we have one location uptown at Yonge/Eg.

Best Lentil Soup in TO?

Mashu Mashu's lentil soup is great. So is the one at Tabule on Yonge (halfway btwn Davisville and Eglinton).

Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar

Had a wonderful meal last night at Wine Bar. Our res was by phone on Tues for 5:45 since we were going to Berkeley Theatre right afterwards. Place was not at all busy when we arrived and we had our choice of table or bar seating. By 6:30 it was packed. Two of us shared 4 small plates for dinner and 2 small plates for dessert which was more than ample. Faves were the potato gnocci with woodland mushrooms and Qualicum bay scallops with carmelized red onion; chocolate tarte with caramel nuts was simply to die for! Washed it all down with Tavel Rose. Service was attentive and leisurely, staggering delivery of plates so we could concentrate on different dishes. Will definitely return!

Going to AGO...should I stop at Frank, or go somewhere else?

My favourite place for lunch when visiting the AGO is just across the street from the front entrance. The savory crepes at Art Square Cafe are very good, soup and salad looked good too the last time I was there (last August). They usually have a special of the day posted outside.
http://www.artsquarecafe.ca/Cafe/inde...

Everything Cherry

Thanks TorontoJo, I am going to make the Cranberry Walnut Scones from their website's recipe section. Also noticed they have a page listing retailers in Toronto and the GTA.

cheap and cheerful brunch recs needed

Two places I remember as being cheerful, kid-friendly and offering lots of egg dishes are Over Easy on Bloor W, just west of Avenue (across from ROM), and BOOM on Eglinton W at Lascelles, a few blocks west of Yonge - 5 min walk or take bus 32, 61 or 5 from Eglinton Stn. I think both would probably qualify under the cheap category especially if you stick to the specials. But I'll qualify this rec by saying I haven't been to either place in a quite a while. I did have brunch at the Senator on Boxing Day (Monday) and was very impressed with the quality of the food there. Then there's always the Pickle Barrel with something for everyone and the Yonge/Eglinton locatoin is extremely kid-friendly.

Do you find Winterlicious a rip-off?? Or is it just me.

I'd like to give Lolo high marks for delivering regular portions of very good food and graceful service on an extremely busy night. Three of us arrived for our 6:30 reservation lsat night and only about 4 other tables were taken so far. We were under no pressure to order quickly and had plenty of time to peruse the many choices on the menu. There were at least 7 options for mains. Two of us enjoyed the beef carpacio app, and the roasted beet/goat cheese salad was also very good. Both dishes were nicely plated. For mains we had the braised lamb shank au jus, served atop creamy mashed potatoes and veg, and the sauteed tilapia atop roasted potatoes and veg. We all cleaned our plates. Desserts were excellent as well:I found the lemon tarte appropriately tangy; my pals polished off their (huge) apple strudel a la mode and creme brulee. By 7 pm we noticed the place was packed. When our server brought our bill she also offered to top up our coffee and let us take our time paying and finishing our second coffee. I should mention that I think they were only serving off the WL menu but everyone seemed quite happy to order off of it. I would definitely go back based on this experience.

APRICOT PASTE IN TORONTO

Patrycja, you'll be happy to know that Ararat Fine Foods on Avenue Rd a few blocks south of Wilson carries Syrian dried apricot paste. It's across the street from No Frills.

Negroni

Finally made it to Negroni for lunch today. All lived up to expectation per reports on this thread. We even got to eat outside in the sunshine, then had our coffees indoors. In order to taste more, my friend and I shared both the Prosciutto, taleggio, asparagus and the highly CH-touted Segovia sausage, fontina, slow roasted onions, sundried tomato pesto panini. Both were utterly delicious and served with a side of arugula salad whose dressing we both liked as well. When we asked our server what had happened to the fennel that was supposed to be in the arugula and fennel salad, he comped one dish of ice cream to compensate for the missing fennel. The chocolate ice cream was delicious and creamy, but the peanut butter was positively dreamy! Service was excellent throughout. I'll definitely be back.

New Designer Cookie place on Eglinton east of Avenue Rd. Anyone know anything about this?

their twitter page says opening next Sunday. I will be there!

Green Eggplant on Egglington

Went for the first time last Friday. Bread brought to table was not fresh, had to ask for new bread. Trio of eggplant dips (humus, tomato and mayo) were good, tomato one being the best. Should have shared my main of angel hair pasta with lobster and shrimp ($17) ; instead I got 2 more meals out of it at home. Hard to locate the pieces of lobster, though. Waitress said sharing is very popular there. Garden salad that came with meal was okay, also huge for a starter. By 7 the place was packed and quite noisy. Still, all diners seemed to be enjoying their meals.

Bolani in Toronto?

Just finished the last of the most delicious spinach bolani that I bought at a farmers market in San Francisco last week. Bolani is a traditional Afghani flatbread stuffed and baked with either spinach, pumpkin, red potato, or green lentil filling. Would love to find some locally. Anyone know where?
Thank you.

Anyone going to Toronto Taste 2009?

My BF volunteers on the planning committee so I know that Second Harvest holds its volunteers in the highest esteem. I have some insider info that this year there will be hot meals for the volunteers. Sodexo is donating all of the food and based on what I've tasted at other SH events where food was donated by Sodexo, it will all be very tasty and healthy, not processed.

p.s. to LemonLaurel - Sip & Savour is also donating some of its proceeds to Second Harvest.

Anyone going to Toronto Taste 2009?

Just ordered our tickets today, haven't missed it in 7 years. Glad to see it's finally downtown, much easier to get to. We've been to several foodie events and favour this one because of the great variety and all the chefs really seem to be enjoying themselves as well. We'd probably never meet them in their own restaurants and it's fun to have that one-on-one with some of the city's top chefs. Not to mention that we think Second Harvest does amazing work in recovering perishable food for the needy and we're always happy to support them. And you leave with a souvenir cookbook that has recipes for lots of the stuff you sampled. Already looking forward to next weekend!

Terra Burger on Eglinton?

I passed by today and there's a "now hiring" sign on the window so hopefully it won't be too long til we can try them.

Terra Burger on Eglinton?

Yesterday afternoon I popped my head in and asked one of the construction workers who said he thinks next weekend, so I'll try to keep an eye on it.

soba noodles and 'israeli' couscous

I am pretty sure I have purchased Israeli style couscous at John Vince Foods on Steeprock (nw of Sheppard/Allen). It also makes a great breakfast cereal - add whatever you would normally add to oatmeal.