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Celery and Pear Soup

I actually used this recipe as a reference. I used more pears then celery and added two parsnips. The soup was divine, a real show stopper at the dinner I brought it to. I will be posting the exact recipe on my blog very soon, so definitely keep your eyes peeled.

Dec 01, 2010
yummi82xo in Recipes

Which farmers markets with great winter grub

I haven't been to St. Jacobs yet, but I'm a huge fan of Dufferin Grove Market. For a list of Toronto's farmers markets check out

Winterlicious at Tutti Matti

Big mistake judging this book by its cover.

Party of 2 Thursday night
I had an excellent meal there last week, tring their Winterlicious menu. I usually avoid winterlicious like the plague, but a friend made the reservation, and assured me, I would enjoy myself.

That was an understatement. The service was warm welcoming, and very pleasant, although the d├ęcor was a little lack luster. Simple enough the food and service give this place all of its charm. We were both tempted to forgo the set menu and order straight off their regular menu. Good thing it wasn't offered that evening, or it would have taken us even longer to decide.

We shared everything starting with the venison carpaccio with dried balsamic figs that were so good I had to ask how they were prepared. All the waiter could tell me was that they reduce them with balsamic, and sugar ...duh. Did I really expect them to tell me their secret ingredient?
We also had the arugula and yellow beet salad, which was very nice.

For the mains we had the spinach and ricotta stuffed rolled pasta with butter and sage sauce. The presentation was beautiful, although for me the dish could have used a ilttle salt. We also had the wild boar stew over polenta, This was two thumbs up. The most perfect winter dish, I could eat this once a week.

The desserts were simple, and tasty. All in all a very enjoyable experience.

NYOOD - opening tonite?

Saturday night party of 3.
Love this place.... great ambiance music and service. Although it did take its toll on my wallet. Definitely go after a big pay check, or risk leaving hungry.
We started off with a French crush, it was delicious, refreshing an got me all excited for the food. One of the other diners had the Caipirinha which comes with a dark sugar swizzle stick, the ginger bellini also got big points.
We ordered 5 dishes for three and I could have ordered more more more....
They brought us the Olive Cured Rare Beef first, what a bang. The meat was awesome seasoned perfectly the bitter greens were a very nice pairing, if only there was more then just an ounce of meat for $16. Next was the prosciutto flat bread with sweet pea puree this was great, really made the taste buds dance. The next two dishes were very good but, left me wishing I was still eating the first two. The beef short ribs and polenta cakes with tomato chutney still got two thumbs up. They forgot to bring us the last dish the scallops, and when they were brought, we were all kinda bummbed, who wants to end a meal with scallops, we ended up sending them back, NG (not good) tasted too much like a gingerbread man, and not in a good way.
This gave us every excuse to order two desserts, which made up for it. The creme brulee, and the flowerless chocolate cake yum yum. We had a bottle of proseco to wash it all down with.
Friends came and met us after dinner, the staff were great about letting us get up to go out for cigarettes, and where very prompt with the coat check. At one point our glasses were cleared, but we weren't finished, so they brought the table a new round.
I wish I was rich, I would come back week after week... The music was also very fun, the bar got very busy around 11:30. I hope this place is here to stay.

VDara Now Open (Old Habitat)

Saturday night party of 10.
I made the reso after reading a few good review about this place. Had no clue it was the old Habitat, recently Satori lunge. Only time will tell if it has any staying power. I was intrigued by the menu and the price range. Trying to find somewhere with good eats and ambiance in a moderate price range can be daunting, but everyone was pleasantly surprised by this new spot.
Aside from the scruffy looking staff, awful service and loud music, the food, and cocktails made up for the rest.
The $8.00 martinis were also quite nice. I had the forbidden fruit, very refreshing, many of the diners were disappointed by the 5oz glass of wine, what a tease. The glass is more then half empty before you've even had a sip. Is this a common practice 5oz? I though it was common practice to pour 6oz 8oz or 10oz, I'm used to getting a bottle but everyone seemed to be content with the cocktail list for the evening. The amuse bouche, was skipped by most of the diners, I love prosciutto but, not everyone is keen on the idea of cured ham, pork isn't always the best way to start off a meal. The bread seemed stale, not so much toasted.
The slivered beet salad was excellent, the perfect amount of citrus and sweet.
Zatar baked bread and cheese spread went over very well too.
I had the duck confit with sauerkraut gratin was delicious, not too rich, the duck was crispy and moist, although the sour cherry jelly? needed a little work.
The special was a Ny strip, perfectly cooked, and well spiced. The Barney beef ribs were also on the list, not so much for the celery root lasagna. It looked overcooked, and was a bit bland.
The surely and rude waiter completely ignored me when I told him that the meal was excellent, I might have thought the homeless looking fella didn't hear me, but my bf quickly added that he thought his meal was shite, that prompted a quick response. Now i'm left wondering sexist, or just pretentious hmmmmm....
curious to know what everyone else thinks.