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T O R O N T O , O N E B I T E AT A T I M E

The standard of excellence for Canadian whisky.

Crown Hot Toddy: 1.5 oz. Crown Royal Fine De Luxe 1 tsp fine grain sugar 2 small cloves 1.5 oz. boiling water cinnamon sticks

ENHANCE MOMENTS Tastefully Italian


180° CHANGE. 360° VIEW. Toronto has changed and so have we. Discover the CN Tower’s newly revamped event spaces and let the one-of-a-kind view provide the inspiration for your next meeting or party.

To book, email


Krista Faist


Suresh Doss


Jessica Huras WRITER

Katie Bridges COPY EDITORS

David Ort Andrea Yu


Taylor Newlands CONTRIBUTORS

Vanessa Ling Yu


Matthew Hasteley SENIOR DESIGNER

April Tran


Kailee Mandel


Kayla Rocca Lizzie O’Donnell ILLUSTRATOR

Drew Shannon

EDITOR’S LETTER The common theme every holiday season for me (and most of the people I know best) is food. We break from the bustle of life and spend time with loved ones and friends. Food is the essential soundtrack to all the “holiday hangs” and family feasts.

T O R O N T O , O N E B I T E AT A T I M E

For our 14th issue, we wholeheartedly embrace that spirit from these opening pages to the last spread. If you’re getting ready to shop for the holidays, we’ve got your bases covered – at least when it comes to food and drink. Our annual gift guide (pg. 56) is stocked with gift-buying ideas for all the foodies in your life, from bakers to cocktail makers. And our spirits guide takes care of holiday libations, whether you’re meeting friends or treating yourself (pg. 84).


David Horvatin Nick Valsamis Spencer Reynolds MARKETING COORDINATOR

Emily Buck



Tim Slee



FRONT COVER: Photography by Ian Dingle Art direction by Matthew Hasteley, April Tran

To make sure the celebrations run smoothly, we equip you with all the knowledge you need to Sleigh the Holidays (pg. 38). It’s no small feat to raise and run a restaurant mini-empire within a decade. Toronto chef Anthony Rose has done that, and also just released a new cookbook, The Last Schmaltz. I sit down with the restless chef to chat about his successes and failures (pg. 44). A slew of recent openings has helped Toronto reassert its reputation as


a city with top-quality hotel bars and restaurants. Katie Bridges gives us a


look at what’s cool and interesting (pg. 50).


This issue’s Daytripper brings you through Newmarket, one of the fastest growing towns north of Toronto (pg. 14). Plus, we go further afield to Rochester, a U.S. city that is quickly on the rise when it comes to an exciting culinary scene (pg. 80). Whether your festivities take place at home or out of town, the team at foodism wishes you a happy (and stress-free) holiday season. f


EXCESS 080 INSIDER 084 BOTTLE SERVICE 091 FOODISM’S FINEST Suresh Doss Editor at Large foodismto



Photograph by ###

© Foodism Toronto 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Foodism Toronto cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Foodism Toronto a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Foodism Toronto nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Foodism Toronto endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.


— PART 1 —





There's more to being a holiday party guest than ugly sweaters. Katie Bridges has a yuletide primer for us.


ITH THE SEASON of joyous gluttony right around the corner, our calendars are filling up with holiday parties. But don’t think for a moment that because you’re an invitee and not the host, you’re exempt from responsibility. A guest's mandate extends beyond arriving fashionably late, slipping off their jackets and proceeding to stuff their faces. You’re a part of the rich tapestry of a dinner party and expected to contribute more than a halfhearted “Anything I can do?” while your host slaves away in the kitchen. This starts the moment you’re invited. Ask if you can bring anything and don’t believe them when they politely respond, “Just yourself!” Bring a bottle of wine – and don’t sulk if the host waits until after you leave to open it. Do NOT bring flowers that need to be destemmed or a giant backup dessert that won’t fit in the fridge. While it’s a given that extreme lateness is annoying, early-attendees are equally irksome. Don’t cut into your host’s window


for getting ready and/or removing cat hair from the sofa. Arrive up to 30 minutes after the suggested start time, but no later. For extra brownie points, send a text en route to see if you can pick up anything they forgot. As a guest, your job is to complement the meal your host has planned, not improve it or assert your own agenda. “Too many cooks...” and all that. No matter how lumpy the potatoes or how alarming their recipe for stuffing à la pepperoni, no “advice” is required. If in doubt, the Joey Tribbiani school of acting applies: Rub your tummy, say “mmm” and smile. Unless you have a legitimate intolerance, spare the precious demands; “mushrooms are icky” isn’t a real food allergy. If you’re vegan, celiac or a garlic-declining vampire, mention it when you’re first invited to dinner – otherwise, suck it up, buttercup. When the post-dinner drinks begin to wane, take your cue to leave and don’t wait for your host to yawn and tidy up around you. We guarantee you'll be invited back again. f

One of the largest food banks in Canada, Daily Bread supports almost 200 food programmes across Toronto. They accept both monetary and food donations – check their list of mostneeded items before donating. For a more hands-on experience, their public food sorts offer a onetime volunteer opportunity for the whole family.

EVA’S INIT IAT IVES F O R HOM E L E SS YOU T H Eva’s provides emergency shelter and programming to help youth transition out of homelessness. If you’re feeling tight on cash this season, Eva’s offers a number of ways to give back without the extra cost. When dining out, pick a Mealshare restaurant – for every meal ordered, they make a donation to feed homeless youth at Eva’s.

SE C OND HARVE ST Working with farms, local businesses and social service agencies, Second Harvest reduces waste by redirecting surplus food to those in need. In addition to monetary donations, Second Harvest raises funds from year-round events. This December, volunteers will be at Loblaws stores to encourage customers to purchase a turkey and donate it to Second Harvest.

Photography: Gift by Kira auf der Heide


Sure, give gifts but also remember that these community organizations rely on giving back to operate.

DAY TRIPPER Under an hour north of Toronto, the town of Newmarket is making big strides.

What's the vibe? Over the last few decades, the former bedroom community that was once home to the likes of Jim Carrey and John Candy has morphed into a place that wins accolades for its quaint historic aesthetics, but has maintained its charm and romance. In 2017, it was ranked by Amazon as one of the top 20 most romantic cities in Canada.


Many of Newmarket’s highlights can be found on Main Street South. Here are two favourite spots to jump start your food adventure and give you a strong sense of the up-and-coming scene in the town north of Toronto.

Chip+Malt; 201 Main St. S. English-style fish ’n’ chips are served in chic contemporary digs. Ingredients for the perfectly battered and fried fish are sourced locally, when possible. Our favourite is the halibut – make sure you ask for extra tartar sauce.


Don't miss





2 Amano Kitchen; The Toronto transplant boasts a beautiful openconcept Italian kitchen with madefrom-scratch pasta. The Newmarket spot takes things up a notch with classic Italian dishes like roasted pork belly and lentils or seafood & n'duja cioppino.

3 The Wine Shop; One of the highlights of the food hall is a taste-and-buy room where you can sample wines from notable Ontario houses like Peller Estates, Trius Winery and Thirty Bench. Start with bubbles from Trius and work your way to Peller's reds.

Photography: Fish by Christie Vuong; Suresh Doss

Newmarket is a convenient trip from Toronto via the 404. On a good day, you can expect to get into town in 45 minutes. Budget a full day to take in Newmarket’s surrounding park networks in between noshing. Biking through the Wesley Brooks Conservation Area or Bailey Ecological Park is highly recommended. (Rent bikes through f

1 Lil' Brew Hops; 209a Main St. S. The sister establishment to the popular Hungry Brew Hops has a lot going for it. There’s a snack menu, raw bar and an inventive cocktail list all in a casual, refined setting. Brunch is also great – try the Swedish meatballs.

Market & Co. is making waves as one of the largest food halls in Ontario. Here’s why you should visit the new 20-merchant food hall at Upper Canada Mall (17600 Yonge St.) for everything from macarons to bowls of pasta.

Start your visit among the cozy quarters of Main Street South. Here you can find many artisan shops and restaurants on one historic, walkable street. You can open with smoothies and coffees at Cafe Hesed and walk your way north; you’ll find everything from sushi to Mexican fare. Finish with a pint of Ontario beer at Hungry Brew Hops, or sweet tooths can head to Baker’s Crush for the city’s best cupcakes.

Getting there




THE RADAR Dog-friendly beer east side and a revived diner in the west, these are the hot new openings. B L A C K LAB BREWING Newly opened in Leslieville, Black Lab Brewing is a taproom and bottle shop where you can sip on craft brews while in the company of your canine companion. The dog-friendly brewery is owned by husband-and-wife team, Billy and Anne Madden, but the star of the show is the Maddens' black lab, Snoopy. Head brewer Connor Deuchars is also a black lab owner, with two dogs of his own – Echo and Clover. So far, the beers available at Black Lab Brewing include Prickly Pear Kennel Sour, Cornerstone Black Lager, Double Dry Hopped IPA and Sitting Pretty APA. With two kinds of kombucha on tap, non-beer drinkers can enjoy the pet-friendly atmosphere too. The retail shop offers t-shirts, collars and leashes brandishing their adorably apt motto: “Sit. Stay. Drink.”


M AD RADISH Ottawa's health food chain, Mad Radish has opened its first Toronto location at Yonge and Eglinton. The salad shop specializes in “healthy food for busy people” and serves quick eats for your lunch break or to grab on your way home from work. In addition to salads, Mad Radish offers soups, stews, grain-based bowls and snacks, all with a focus on high-end culinary techniques and healthy eating.

ANNE X F OOD HAL L The Annex is rapidly changing and among the neighbourhood’s improvements, the Annex Food Hall has replaced the old Bloor Superfresh. The food hall is home to a great lineup of Toronto eateries. Dal Moro’s is serving up their fresh pasta and Urban Herbivore has got vegan fare covered. Boasting some of the best fried chicken in the city, PG Clucks has a spot at the Annex Food Hall, along with Smoked Up Meats, Mean Bao, Eat BKK and El Nahual Tacos.

VIRT UOUS PIE Vegan pizza parlour Virtuous Pie opens its doors this fall. The Vancouver chain’s first Toronto installment is bringing plant-based pizzas to Little Italy. Most menu items are made in house, including their nut cheeses and small-batch vegan ice cream. Local brews, wine and kombucha will be available from their 12 taps. Virtuous Pie sources local ingredients, uses environmentally sustainable packaging and partners with local businesses to provide items like cold-pressed juices.


Toronto’s newest Asian-style dessert cafe has a preoccupation with purple. The Korean chain recently opened in Yorkville and the menu uses that regal colour for everything from purple ice cream, purple bingsu and purple tiramisu to our absolute favourite, purple jjinbang -- traditional Korean steamed bread, a winter favourite.

L E SWA N Fans of restaurateur Jen Agg were sad to see the Black Hoof, her critically lauded restaurant, close. But Agg has quickly switched gears to take over Swan near Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen West. Le Swan is an ode to nostalgic French diners with a menu of bistro and diner-style classics like beef (cheek) bourguignon and chicken fried steak. Expect Agg's refined touch for the drinks and wine lists. @leswanfrenchdiner

7 BAK ER The latest in Toronto’s infatuation with Europe-meetsAsia-style bakeries focuses on a variety of baked goods with ingredients and inspiration from Hong Kong and beyond. Located at Yonge and Wellesley, you can expect things like charcoal salted egg yolk buns from 7 Baker. There’s also a line of mousse cakes for those who want something sweeter.



WHAT’S IN STORE Jessica Huras checks in on Madame Gateaux, the city’s top supply shop for bakers of all levels.



bakers looking to step up their game. Yim, a former pastry chef at the Windsor Arms Hotel, puts on classes focused on techniques ranging from how to do Korean-style floral piping on cakes to the fundamentals of making French macarons. The shop also offers family workshops for parents and kids, featuring activities like making doughnuts or decorating cookies. One of the perks of classes at Madame Gateaux is that ingredients and tools are included in the price. When not in use for classes, Madame Gateaux rents out its kitchen to bakers and pastry chefs. It’s a popular option for burgeoning entrepreneurs looking to test the market and do trial runs of their baked goods before investing in their own commercial kitchens. Murray says the team at Madame Gateaux loves that the rental kitchen gives them the opportunity to support developing small businesses, as well as a firsthand view on what some of Toronto’s most talented new bakers are creating. f

Pans for all purposes Madame Gateaux has pans of every shape and size, including tins designed for making things like doughnuts and madeleines, as well as proofing baskets for bread. Murray says the silicone pans, which can take the place of clunky metal baking pans, are a game-changer for many customers.

Cake decorating The shop is also known for its extensive cake decorating supplies. They carry both gel and powdered forms of colourant for finishing cakes and cookies, in a rainbow of hues, as well as fondant and gum paste (a kind of pliable dough) and all the tools for cutting and shaping them.

Photography: Jessica Huras

OR EIGHT YEARS, Madame Gateaux has drawn bakers of all skill levels to the east end in search of hard-to-find kitchen tools and expert pastry advice. The original owner, Noel Yim, brought on Heather Murray and her partner Alexandre Dowbor as co-owners a year and a half ago and, according to Murray, the pair helped to streamline its product displays. The result is a charming, tidy interior that, in spite of its modest size, manages to neatly fit over 2,000 items needed for baking (and at prices that are far from budget-busting). As Murray points out, Madame Gateaux is one of the only Toronto shops specializing in baking. It’s for this reason that professional chefs as well as pastry students at George Brown and Centennial colleges are frequent customers. Despite its pro-level inventory, Madame Gateaux isn’t an intimidating place for newbie bakers and the co-owners are happy to walk customers through their products and chat about baking projects. Madame Gateaux also offers classes for

One of the more specialized categories of products carried by the store are the tools needed for chocolate-making. Pour liquid chocolate into one of the large selection of polycarbonate moulds to cool and harden, giving shape to the finished candy.

Chocolate Lava Cake These decadent and rich Chocolate Lava Cakes are easy to make and even easier to enjoy! Their warm, molten centres make for a melt-in-your-mouth experience that will surely impress any guest. Serve with vanilla ice cream for a beautiful contrast in temperatures. Yield: Prep Time: Cook Time:

4 cakes 10 minutes 15 minutes

Ingredients ½ cup (125 mL) 1 tbsp (15 mL) 6 ounces (175 g) 2 2 ½ cup (125 mL) ¼ cup (50 mL) 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL)

unsalted butter, plus more for greasing ramekins unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting semi-sweet chocolate, chopped eggs egg yolks icing sugar all-purpose flour salt Vanilla ice cream, a variety of colourful sprinkles (optional)



Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease four ¾ cup (175 mL) ramekins with butter; dust with cocoa powder. Set aside. In a large heatproof bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering (not boiling) water. Cook stirring until melted and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove heatproof bowl from large pot and allow to cool, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, into chocolate mixture, until incorporated. Add icing sugar, flour and salt; mix gently, until smooth. Spoon batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of desserts are firm and slightly cracked, but centre is still soft and spongey to a gentle touch. Remove from oven, allow to cool 3 to 5 minutes. Gently loosen edges with a knife and invert onto individual serving plates. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and sprinkles, if desired.

Tip: For very runny centres, similar to chocolate sauce, bake for 10 minutes; for a slightly firmer centre, similar to pudding, bake up to 12 minutes.

Nutrients per serving (1 cake): 565 calories, 41 g total fat, 24 g saturated fat, 116 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 8 g protein. The Chaudary Family, Egg Farmers, Wainfleet, ON

WEAPONS OF CHOICE Flour, water and these cutting-edge tools are the keys to better baking. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL STYLING BY APRIL TRAN


SM E G M IX E R Fake it till you bake it, with this sleek and handy kitchen assistant. Make pizza and cookie dough easily in this stand mixer, with all the smooth speed-control functions you’d expect from Italian machinery.



C UI SI NA RT B RE AD MA K E R Bring the bakery home with this supersimple-to-use breadmaker. Choose from 12 pre-programmed menu options, three crust shades and three loaf sizes. Trust us – you knead this in your life.



B RAUN M U LT IM IX 5 This mighty hand mixer doubles the power by placing the weight in the bowl - not your hands. Prep ingredients in the chopper, whip up bread and pizza with the dough hooks and whisk and beat simultaneously with the MultiWhisk attachment.



BAK E RSTONE PIZ Z A OVE N K IT This compact grilling accessory transforms your stove top into an ersatz wood-fired pizza oven. Place on top of your cooker, turn the burner up high and await your gourmet ‘za. The kit comes with a peel and spatula.



DE'LO NGHI CO MPA CT CO NV E CTIO N OV E N Run out of stove space? Roast, broil and bake in this convection cooker, which heats up 60 per cent faster than a conventional oven and fits comfortably on your countertop.







Cookbook connoisseur Anna Olson puts her best oven mitt forward with her latest title, Set for the Holidays, a festive manifesto that makes hosting a breeze.

T Photography: Janis Nicolay

HANKFULLY, WHEN IT comes to holiday hosting and cooking, there is help for handling the hectic season. We looked to celebrated chef Anna Olson and her new book Set for the Holidays for guidance. Olson has published an impressive list of books over the years that discuss everything from the fine art of baking to the ins and outs of hosting. In her latest, Olson breaks down the holiday feast and presents easily accessible recipes for small to large dinner parties, whether it's a cozy romantic catch-up or a rambunctious main event. Olson’s book is organized by occasion

with menu ideas for nearly every type of gathering. There’s even a section on hosting a festive brunch (think cheese boards and fluffy jalapeno cornbread madeleines). Olson ties up the loose ends with a chapter devoted entirely to the challenge of handling leftovers deliciously. Bonus: vegans will find ample options from beginning to end. Excerpted from Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson by Anna Olson. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved. f



F O O DISM RE CIPE S, IN ASSOC IAT ION W IT H J AC OB'S C R E E K A hallmark of Australian wine making, the Jacob’s Creek portfolio has a dedication to making great quality wines that goes back to 1847. Since the first plantation of vines in the Barossa Valley over 170 years ago, generations of wine makers at Jacob’s Creek have maintained one principle; to produce high quality wines that speak to the grape

and the land. Since the first exported cases of wine in 1984, the brand has garnered over 8,000 awards from international wine competitions across the globe. Whether it’s the critically praised Shiraz or the Chardonnay, fans of Jacob’s Creek can expect wines made with distinction that express the unique soil and sun of Australia.


Anna Olson’s


MEAT PIES Sometimes all you really want is a little bit of meat pie and these bites make an ideal entertaining appetizer.

Mini Tourtières ◆◆ 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ◆◆ 11/2 lb mixed ground veal,

pork and beef ◆◆ 1 medium onion, diced ◆◆ 1 medium carrot, peeled and

coarsely grated ◆◆ 1 medium russet potato,

peeled and coarsely grated ◆◆ 1 apple, peeled and coarsely

grated ◆◆ 2 cloves garlic, minced ◆◆ 2 bay leaves ◆◆ 1 tsp celery salt ◆◆ 1/2 tsp ground allspice ◆◆ 1/4 tsp ground cloves ◆◆ 11/2 cups chicken stock


◆◆ Dash of Worcestershire


Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Shiraz

◆◆ Coarse sea salt and black

pepper ◆◆ 1 egg whisked with

A richer, deeper and smoother Shiraz whose flavours have been enhanced by its finish in Scotch whisky barrels.

◆◆ 2 Tbsp water, for egg wash ◆◆ 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough

Basic Pie Dough ◆◆ 21/2 cups all-purpose flour ◆◆ 1 Tbsp granulated sugar ◆◆ 1 tsp fine sea salt ◆◆ 3 Tbsp vegetable oil ◆◆ 1 cup cool unsalted butter,

cut into pieces ◆◆ 1/4 cup cool water ◆◆ 2 tsp white vinegar or lemon


Basic pie dough method

1 Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and blend in using a pastry cutter, electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until the texture of the flour looks evenly crumbly. 2 Add the butter and cut in until the dough is rough and crumbly but small pieces of butter are still visible. 3 Stir together the water and vinegar (or lemon juice) in a small bowl and then add all at once to the flour mixture, mixing just until it comes together. Shape it into 2 discs, wrap well and chill at least 1 hour.

Meat pies method

4 Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the ground meat and the onion and stir until the meat has almost cooked through, about 7 minutes. 5 Stir in the carrot, potato, apple,


garlic, bay leaves, celery salt, allspice and cloves. Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer, still on medium heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes. 6 Season to taste, remove the pan from the heat and let cool. 7 Preheat the oven to 400 F and grease your mini-muffin pans. 8 To assemble the pies, lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out the first disc of dough into a circle just under 1/4-inch thick. 9 Using a round cookie cutter, typically 3 inches in diameter, cut out pastry circles large enough to line the bottom and sides of the cups of the mini-muffin pan. Gently press the pastry into the cups. 10 Spoon the cool filling into the muffin pans, filling each cup right to the top of the pastry and pressing the

meat mixture in firmly. 11 Roll out the second disc of dough to a circle just under 1/4-inch thick. Use a smaller cookie cutter, typically 2 inches, to cut pastry circles that cover the filling completely. 12 Dock each pastry circle once or twice with a fork or make a criss- cross mark with a paring knife, then set it on top of the filling. There is no need to crimp the edges or seal them – just press them gently into place. 13 Brush the tops of the tarts with the egg wash and put them in the oven. Immediately, reduce the temperature to 375 F and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is a rich, golden brown and a paring knife inserted in the centre of the tourtières feels warm to the touch. 14 Let the tarts cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then either serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way. f

Anna Olson’s


Gnocchi is a fun and easy pasta to make that will keep everyone warm and well-fed on cold winter nights.

◆◆ 21/4 lb russet potatoes, skins

Gnocchi method

1 For the gnocchi, simmer the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water over high heat until the flesh is tender and the skins crack, about 50 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool in the saucepan for 15 minutes. 2 Peel the potatoes while they are still warm, discarding the skins. Push the warm potatoes through a ricer or a food mill, or use a handheld potato masher. Stir in the flour, egg, salt and a pinch of pepper until the mixture comes together. The dough should not stick to your hands – if it feels tacky, stir in a little more flour. 3 Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a large cutting board and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece into a long rope about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. 4 Cut each rope into pieces that are approximately 1-inch long and arrange them in a single layer on the baking tray. Chill, uncovered, until ready to cook. 5 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi, dropping them in quickly but carefully, a few at a time, so they hit the water individually (this way they won’t stick together). Let the water return to a boil and cook the gnocchi for 3 to 4 minutes, until they float to the top of the water. Drain the gnocchi in a colander.

ING R E DIE NTS Gnocchi on (about 2 to 3 medium) ◆◆ 2 cups all-purpose flour ◆◆ 1 large egg


Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay

A dry, full-bodied chardonnay with crisp acidity and stone fruit and oak flavours that linger wonderfully.

◆◆ 1 tsp fine sea salt ◆◆ Black pepper

Herb Butter ◆◆ 3 Tbsp butter ◆◆ 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian

parsley ◆◆ 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives ◆◆ 1 Tbsp chopped fresh

tarragon ◆◆ Salt and black pepper ◆◆ Parmesan cheese, for grating

Herb butter method

Photography: Janis Nicolay

6 For the herb butter, return the saucepan to low heat (no need to wash it) and melt the butter. Add the still-warm gnocchi, followed by the parsley, chives and tarragon. Season lightly with salt and pepper, stirring gently to coat the gnocchi. 7 Spoon the gnocchi on to individual plates or pasta bowls. Finish with a generous grating of parmesan cheese and serve immediately. f







Anna Olson’s


Ham deserves more credit at the holidays; it easily stretches to feed a crowd and the leftovers are superb. Roasted applesauce method

1 Preheat the oven to 375 F. 2 Toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice, honey, melted butter and salt to coat well. Spread in a large ungreased casserole or other ceramic baking dish (the apples can overlap) and roast, uncovered and stirring occassionally, until the apples are fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Allow the apples to cool to room temperature. 3 Purée the cooled apples in a food processor or blender. If the applesauce is too thick (this will depend on the apple variety), add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water as you blend. Chill the applesauce until ready to serve.

Horseradish cream method

4 Stir together the crème fraîche (or sour cream), horseradish and mustard until well mixed. Spoon into a serving bowl.

Baked ham method


5 Preheat the oven to 300 F. 6 Remove and discard any netting on the ham before placing it in a roasting pan. Score the top of the ham (parallel lines or criss-cross, if you wish), right through the fat. Pour the apple juice (or cider) and water into the bottom of the pan and bake the ham, uncovered and basting occasionally with the juice, for about 4 hours, until it reads 170 F on an instant-read meat thermometer. Set aside. 7 Transfer the ham to a cutting board and carve slices across the grain. Serve with a dollop of the horseradish cream and/or grainy mustard (if using) and warmed roasted applesauce. f




Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz

Aromas of baking spices and cedar, notes of black cherry and blueberry, this medium-bodied wine leaves a mark with each sip.

ING R E DIE NTS Baked Ham ◆◆ 6.6 to 8.8 lb bone-in smoked

ham or picnic pork shoulder ◆◆ 1/2 cup fresh apple juice or



DEC. 2, 2018 - JAN. 5, 2019

apple cider ◆◆ 1/2 cup water


◆◆ Grainy mustard, for serving ◆◆ 1 recipe Horseradish Cream,

for serving ◆◆ 1 recipe Roasted Applesauce,

for serving

Horseradish Cream ◆◆ 1 cup crème fraîche or full-fat

sour cream ◆◆ 1/2 cup prepared horseradish ◆◆ 1 tsp dijon mustard

Roasted Applesauce ◆◆ 2 lb apples, peeled and sliced ◆◆ 2 Tbsp lemon juice ◆◆ 2 Tbsp honey ◆◆ 2 Tbsp butter, melted ◆◆ Pinch of salt

Photography: Janis Nicolay



Anna Olson’s



Jacob's Creek Moscato

A tropical wine with the slightest hint of effervescence. Great accompaniment to desserts or enjoy on its own as a finisher to a feast.

Go all out with this superstar of the Dickensian Christmas table and don’t be Scrooge-like with the sauce. Honey crème anglaise method


1 Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below a simmer. 2 Whisk the egg yolks and honey together in a small heatproof bowl. Whisking constantly, ladle up to half of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture a little at a time. 3 Return the entire mixture to the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low and stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce coats the back of the spoon, about 3 minutes. 4 Pour the sauce through a finemesh sieve into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature. Chill the sauce for at least an hour.

Plum Pudding ◆◆ 1 cup dried currants ◆◆ 1 cup raisins ◆◆ 1 cup walnut pieces ◆◆ 1/2 cup store-bought candied

orange peel ◆◆ 2 tsp ground cinnamon ◆◆ 1 tsp fine sea salt ◆◆ 1 tsp ground cloves ◆◆ 1 tsp ground nutmeg ◆◆ 1/2 tsp ground allspice ◆◆ 1/2 cup brandy or dry sherry ◆◆ 5 large eggs ◆◆ 1 cup granulated sugar ◆◆ 1 cup 2% milk ◆◆ 2 cups all-purpose flour ◆◆ 2 cups dry breadcrumbs ◆◆ 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

Plum pudding method


◆◆ 1 tsp baking soda ◆◆ 1 recipe Honey Crème


Honey Crème Anglaise ◆◆ 1 cup half-and-half cream ◆◆ 2 large egg yolks ◆◆ 2 Tbsp honey

stirring until just combined, and then scrape the batter into the prepared pudding mold and secure the lid. 9 Bring the stockpot of water to a gentle simmer over medium heat. 10 Set the cookie cutter (or mason jar lid or wire rack) in the bottom of the saucepan and place the pudding mold on top of the ring (this prevents it from touching the bottom of the saucepan and possibly burning). The water should only come halfway up the sides of the pan.

11 Cover the stockpot with a lid and steam the pudding for 4 hours, checking periodically to be sure the water level remains the same. Add hot water as needed to keep the level constant and adjust the temperature to keep it at a gentle simmer. 12 Remove the pudding from the pot, remove the lid and let the pudding cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. 13 To serve, turn out the pudding onto a serving platter. Serve warm with the crème anglaise. f

Photography: Janis Nicolay

5 Lightly grease an 8-cup (2 L) steam pudding mold (a curved metal or ceramic mold with a lid). Have ready a large stockpot filled with 3 inches (7.5 cm) of water and a metal cookie cutter about 3 inches in size, as well as the metal ring from the lid of a mason jar, or a small wire rack that will fit inside the stockpot. 6 Toss the currants, raisins, walnuts, candied peel, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg and allspice together. Stir in the brandy (or sherry) and let sit while preparing the pudding batter. 7 Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in the milk. Sift in the flour and whisk well to combine. Stir in the breadcrumbs followed by the melted butter. Stir in the macerated fruits and nuts (including any soaking liquid). 8 Stir the baking soda in a small dish with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of warm water. Add this mixture to the batter quickly,






Vanessa Ling Yu details how caterToronto works to support women of colour who run food businesses.


HE BUSINESS OF food involves hard work, but it is especially challenging for women of colour. Just name a food business that is owned and operated by a woman of colour. There aren’t many, but I know you can. I want you to consider something hidden from the facade of your favourite popup event or weekend market. There are drastic consequences to a system wherein racialized women are simultaneously overlooked and undervalued, over-burdened and undercut. I started caterToronto five years ago to establish a strength-based approach to build bridges and address challenges together. We created a forum of support. We work with racialized women from all walks of life to help find a clearer path to the finish line. Currently there are six groups of women

and we’re about to onboard two more. We are a neighbourhoods-based network that advances the careers of caterers and cooks in Toronto. Everyone seems to have different goals. Some just want to be able to provide for their families at home, and others want to be able to share the food of their home country with the masses. Racialized women have had to work with bottom-of-the-barrel ingredients; they had to learn how to make food delicious without spending a lot. They learned to make great things because of limited options. Oxtail is a great example. One of the great things about the nose-to-tail movement is that it doesn't waste food, but when prices increase for offcuts of meat, it affects people’s cuisines. Regardless of their ambitions, we try to provide caterToronto’s members access to

commercial kitchens, business training and technical support, as well as feasible market opportunities. The goal is to empower them with the knowledge and know how that is necessary to navigate the complex waters of starting a food business. For starters, many of the individuals behind your favourite startups have difficulty getting loans for their businesses. For a woman of colour, the banking experience can be a frustrating one. I’ve been told many times that these entrepreneurs need a male ally to help navigate these financial waters. Sometimes, the challenges are not as obvious as it may seem. It’s not always about economics and bottom lines; there are also the social challenges. I hear from food businesses owners about the microaggressions and macro-assaults on their worthiness as individuals and makers of your favourite meals. Racialized women are over-represented in precarious low-wage work that is typically gendered in the food industry, and they continue to do a disproportionately high load of unpaid caregiving work and emotional labour within their immediate and extended families, neighbourhoods and communities. We’re a social enterprise that supports the food businesses of women of colour. I have yet to meet a woman of colour who was groomed informally or formally to eventually run her own food business. Self-grooming, sheer luck, willpower, and so much work, yes! But, no, I can’t think of other circumstances in which racialized women have benefitted from the systematic provision of resources, mentorship, and supports to accomplish what we do daily for free, but in a proud and profitable way. In the meantime, consider the person behind the popup stand at your local market and the challenges they face to be able to bring something delicious to your plate. f




Holiday feast wine pairings are a breeze with Stoneleigh and Campo Viejo, a versatile red-and-white duo that will complement all the flavours on your table.



to bring to your holiday table. Take the hassle out of holiday hosting with this versatile red-and-white duo.


Aromatic and flavourful, this bright white wine comes from the Wairau Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand. You’ll notice aromas and flavours of grapefruit and passionfruit, accompanied by notes of melon and stone fruit. The wine is a lovely pair for appetizers like scallops and other seafood. For mains, Stoneleigh is also a delightful pairing for white meats like turkey and chicken.

A full-bodied red CAMPO VIEJO RESERVA

This smooth rioja is aged for 18

months in American and French-oak casks, followed by another 18 months of aging in the bottle, which means the wine is at least three years old by the time you drink it. You’ll detect a rich mix of cherries and blackberries along with hints of vanilla. This red will go nicely with cheese platters before your meal, as well as red meat mains. ●

HOLIDAY SAVINGS From December 2 to January 5, get $3 off Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc (regularly $17.95) and Campo Viejo Reserva (regularly $18.45) in LCBOs and select grocery stores across Ontario.

Photography: Kailee Mandel; Art Direction: April Tran

HETHER YOU’RE A wine newbie or a veteran vino lover, choosing wines for your holiday feast can be a daunting task. The perfect wine should balance and enhance the dish you’re enjoying with it, but a typical holiday dinner has many different flavours to keep in mind. Your holiday spread might have multiple courses of lighter and heavier dishes, not to mention a range of herbs and spices, along with both sweet and savoury flavours. There’s also the varied preferences of your guests to consider, with many people preferring whites or reds regardless of what dishes they’re eating with it. Your best bet is to offer your guests a choice of a white and a red wine. Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc and Campo Viejo Reserva are an easy-drinking pair

— PART 2 —



HOW TO SLEIGH THE HOLIDAYS Gather ‘round and get set for easier holiday hosting with our guide to everything from sabrage to oyster shucking. ILLUSTRATED BY DREW SHANNON



OUR GRAVY IS bubbling over, the bird is burnt to a crisp and Auntie Pam is already outside ringing the doorbell. There are some Christmas traditions we would rather not repeat. If the thought of holiday hosting makes you want to hide under the duvet until Boxing Day, we’ve got the plot twist you deserve. With the help of some industry experts, we’ve compiled a guide to help you rule the yule and pull off your best Christmas yet.


Two essential knives all home chefs should have in their kitchens are a santoku, which is a Japanese, all-purpose knife; and a petty for smaller jobs. You can accomplish most of your basic knife tasks with these two. Know how to care for your knives

Make sure you’re cutting on a good-quality butcher block. Keep your knives clean and dry – and never put them in the dishwasher. When using your knives, cut in a smooth, push-and-slice motion rather than chopping madly with a machine gun style. Prepare early

It’s easy to overlook sharpening your knives until you’re in the middle of cooking and realize they’re in horrible condition. Get your blades professionally sharpened now; or, if →


→ you’re sharpening at home, start spending a few minutes on it every week. HOW TO TRUSS A BIRD Trussing a turkey isn’t just a ploy to get that picture-perfect platter – no matter how delicious your stuffing or rub, if she ain’t trussed, she’s not going to cook properly. To ensure that the legs and wings don’t get burned, you’ll need to tuck everything into a neat little parcel to make sure things cook evenly. Flip your turkey breast-side up and start by grabbing some twine and tying it around the turkey’s neck bone, located in between the two breasts. Tuck the wings under the shoulders and tie the twine around those, too. Finally, cross the legs over and tie together, et voilà. Season and stuff as desired. HOW TO KEEP YOUR FOOD FROM STICKING To skip greasing your pan when baking, line


the tray with parchment paper instead. Season your cast iron ahead of cooking to create a natural, non-stick coating. Rub the interior with canola or vegetable oil, put it in the oven at 425 F for 30 minutes and repeat to build up the coating. When frying, make sure your pan is sizzling hot before adding your food. We don’t have space to get into the science behind it here, but trust us. HOW TO DECORATE A TABLE If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that some people have too much time on their hands. Keep things simple by sticking with a theme – whether it’s plaid, fir cones or sparkles – and add subtle touches. Make place cards so your guests know where to sit. Consider using an unconventional runner like pine boughs. And don’t forget to do a test run before December 25.


The humble playlist has the potential to set the perfect festive tone or add stress to an already fraught affair. Bank on the former with a musical beginning, middle and end to transition through your evening. Create a playlist that’s long enough to last the night so you’re not constantly on your phone. Upbeat tunes are great as guests arrive and mingle, but go easy on the holiday songs – we’ve been listening to them since mid-November. Then segue into mellower music for the meal and after-dinner wind down. No time? Use some of Spotify’s intelligent features, like the Party Mode, with custom-made playlists based on tempo.


Malpeques and kumamotos are top draws, but pick oysters that are in season, and try a few different sizes. Purchase a good oyster shucking knife ahead of time. Place the oyster under a tea towel, exposing only the hinge. With your other hand, place the tip of the shucking knife at a downward angle into the hinge and press firmly. Twist the knife until the hinge opens, then slide the knife around the opening of the oyster to release its abductor muscle. Give the oyster a quick clean to get rid of any shell. Serve with wedges of lemon, an assortment of hot sauces and plenty of sparkling wine.

Plate like a pro

Warm your plates in the still-hot oven just before serving to prevent cold plates from cooling your delicious food. HOW TO MAKE GRAVY WITH JESSICA HURAS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Gravy might not be the prettiest dish on the holiday table, but it’s the glue that brings the meal together and makes it greater than the sum of its parts. When your turkey is finished, move the roasting pan to the stovetop and whisk in some flour and butter to create a roux. Add salt, pepper and stock (throw some wine in there too, because you deserve it) and you’re good to go. HOW TO CARVE YOUR BIRD Most people get anxious when it comes time to carve a turkey, but the process can be

HAVE A BOTTLE OF BUBBLY AND A GOOD TOAST PREPARED quick and easy with a few basic principles. Start with the legs and thighs by cutting them out and laying them on a large cutting board where you can then section them off into pieces. Then, using a long slicing knife, cut down the middle of the bird and sides to remove the breasts. Now you can debone and portion the meat into finer slices and transfer them to a large platter. →


Have a good toast prepared, a bottle of bubbly and a sabre or dull kitchen knife. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle and use force to slide the blade against it, starting from the label and going up the neck. Use the same amount of pressure as you hit the lip of the bottle. Make sure you’re facing a wall because the bottle will break and the cork will go flying with the glass still around it. No matter how careful you are, half a glass of liquid will be lost. If you don’t succeed on your first try, don’t put the bottle down – it could burst open. Keep trying until you get it. HOW TO KEEP YOUR FOOD WARM Discover your warming drawer

You know that tray at the bottom of your oven? It’s not always made for storage. On some oven models, it’s actually a warming drawer, designed for keeping your finished dishes hot until you’re ready to eat. Rethink your cooler

Coolers are generally good at maintaining any temperature, hot or cold. Wrap your dishes in aluminum foil and stick them inside. Pile towels on top for extra warmth.


ONCE THE BOOZE STOPS FLOWING, PEOPLE START GOING → HOW TO PLATE YOUR FOOD If you’re going to all that effort, don’t fumble your food at the final hurdle. The aim of the game is to bring your plate to life. Start with the canvas; white plates are a nice neutral background. Choose vibrant ingredients that will pop, and layer or stack things to add dimension. Don’t overload the plate – if your guests want more, they can restock later. Lastly, don’t forget that all-important


garnish; go for something seasonal like berries or a cinnamon stick for dessert. Tweezers might be a bit much, but drizzling is a nice touch.


With all the planning and prep that goes into hosting a holiday feast, dessert is the last thing you want to fuss over when the dinner plates are cleared. To avoid missing out on the final moments of the night, try to prep your desserts ahead of time. Single-serving desserts like pudding chomeur and sticky toffee pudding can be prepped in advance and will turn heads – plus, they’re fairly wine-friendly. Order pies from a bakery and let guests serve themselves. Leave toppings out like pecans, sprinkles or fruit so guests can customize.

HOW TO STREAMLINE YOUR CLEANUP Before dinner, empty your dishwasher, have leftover containers on hand and make sure garbage bins are labelled and accessible. This will make cleaning more efficient and encourage guests to help out. If you have more cash to spare than patience to clean, rent your dinnerware from a company that delivers clean dishes to your door and picks them up dirty. HOW TO GET RID OF PEOPLE WITH TAYLOR NEWLANDS, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Turn the lights on, the music off and start cleaning. Clear away any glassware so there’s no opportunity for guests to help themselves to another drink. Once the booze stops flowing, people start going. Thank your guests for coming and offer them leftovers to take home. If they still haven’t taken the hint, put on your pyjamas and start yawning. f


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Anthony Rose sits down with Suresh Doss to discuss his debut cookbook The Last Schmaltz and what it takes to run a thriving restaurant group. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAYLA ROCCA


Photography: ###


LEFT: Rose and Johns spent weeks going back and forth before they finally landed on a title for the cookbook they co-wrote together


EW CHEFS CAN pull off a restaurant mini-empire without compromising quality or service. Fewer still can do that while maintaining an individual look and feel for each business. Anthony Rose is one of the first chefs in Toronto to grow a small syndicate in a short amount of time. His restaurants, Rose and Sons, Bar Begonia, Fat Pasha, Schmaltz Appetizing and Big Crow are all different, individualized visions from a restless chef looking to share his personal style of cooking and eating. Rose continues this journey through his new book The Last Schmaltz, which recently hit bookstore shelves.


Rose cooked some of his favourite dishes from the book and we sat down to talk about his West Coast influences, the challenges of running distinctly different restaurants and the success and failure that comes with being a serial entrepreneur. This is your first cookbook. What was the process like? Well, when we first signed on to do this almost three years ago we were very gung-ho about it. Six months into the process Chris Johns came on board. I’m not an organized person, I’m very chaotic. I wrote each chapter in my mind, almost like a scrapbook. A collection of small stories tied to various

recipes, and Chris and I poured that out into the book. That’s why it has a scrapbook feel. You can see that within the first few pages. People that get to know you will recognize that this feels like an extension of your personality. It has your sense of humour. That’s how I wanted to do it. I wanted it to be about the stories and the context. Cookbooks used to be like that 30 to 40 years ago. They would list ingredients and mention dishes but there was no step-by-step. You cook like this, and here’s the final product. It was much more narrative and about the story. Let’s talk about that story. What was the

I’M CHAOTIC. I WROTE EACH CHAPTER IN MY MIND LIKE A SCRAPBOOK initial goal with the book? A compendium of all your best hits or something else? Our original goal was to see if we can talk about my culinary journey. My time spent in kitchens in San Francisco, upstate New York, I was in Boston for a bit, and then Toronto. That was the original idea. I couldn’t wrap my head around it because I was involved in so many different projects. The six restaurants and all the dinners we’re doing at farms. So the idea gradually evolved. It’s just like how I open restaurants.

bold flavours. And now in the present time, we’ve evolved again. Recently we’re changing again. Our plan with the restaurant was to become a delicatessen with the eventual goal of becoming an all-day, all-night Jewish diner. We’d serve the things that our mothers and grandmothers used to cook. In many ways you started to do that with Fat Pasha? Equal parts modern Israeli and Ashkenazi with a hint of West Coast. That’s my Jonathan Waxman influence. Not just his food but his ethos. When we were opening Fat Pasha, our thought was that we don’t really see a lot of Israeli food, so we wanted to change that. We were really lucky with Yotam’s (Ottolenghi) influence and how he was bringing Israeli food to the mainstream. We also bring in the Ashkenazi food, which can be a little fatty, with the

schmaltz and the chicken liver. The West Coast influence is the colour and vibrancy. You’ve opened eight restaurants in the last six years. In many ways they’re all different but there is connective tissue. Rose and Sons and Fat Pasha yes. I mean with Big Crow, the statement I wanted to make was about Canadian barbecue. I think it got lost in the messaging. We opened Big Crow at a time when Toronto was really going through a Southern U.S. barbecue thing, and we were being compared to that. I just wanted to open a cottage-y Canadian barbecue place. Because it’s how I eat and cook. The connection with all my restaurants is that they represent how I cook and eat in my personal life. Thankfully, many of these restaurants are still open, well with the exception of one. →

You’ve said in the past that when you start building a restaurant you don’t know what it’s going to be. This is very true. When we take over a space, we don’t know what it’s going to be. I’m sure my partner Robert Wilder hates me for that. The seed is always there but for me the idea evolves so quickly. Take me through that. Rose and Sons was your first baby after you left the Drake? The idea with Rose and Sons initially was to do a riff on the previous restaurant that had been there, People’s. But, how do you create something more irreverent? In the early days we were trying to be many things, then food critic Amy Rosen called our food “stoner food” and that stuck. It took us a while to accept it. We opened Rose and Sons as people were being introduced to really loud, bigger, fatter, juicier plates of food throughout the city. We were doing things in a simple style but with

RIGHT: Rose presents a tray of grilled delights from his first cookbook which is made up of recipes that draw from his restaurant favourites


→ You’ve been vocal about Swan’s failure. That’s my fault. I own that. We wanted to go more West Coast with Swan, something brighter and lighter. Simple but also a little cleaner with the food. The theme was California, very much like Zuni Café in San Francisco, the ultimate West Coast bistro. We changed as soon as we received the first negative review. We should have stayed the course. The first few weeks were rough but as soon as I got a bad review, I changed things. That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. And if you could go back? I would be there 24/7. I would cook with my staff and spend enough time until the vision had completely set in. This idea of a West Coast bistro is something you still want to pursue? Our goal now with our restaurants is to take a step back and look at how they’re functioning. We want to go deeper and not broader. How do we get deeper into the cuisine? With Rose and Sons, Bar Begonia, Fat Pasha. We’ve slowed down and we’re focusing on the existing set of restaurants. Robert and you were opening a restaurant every year for a while. And then you suddenly stopped. We’re going to be smart with the next one. Taxes are going up, costs are going up. We want to evolve, but the timing has to be right. Most of my restaurants are on the same street which helps me manage things. But it’s become such a competitive and tough industry. Very few restaurants can continue to be busy after a few years. You’re on for a year and then you disappear. That fucking kills me. Our restaurants are open because we try something new, we’re not afraid to spend money and hire some people. A lot of


people are relying on us. So we put the brakes on until we got it right. That evolution is this deeper dive that you keep mentioning? Rose and Sons is a Jewish diner. We want to explore those diner-type Jewish dishes. The things that are really prevalent in places like New York City. Liver with onions, brisket, fricassee. At Bar Begonia, I want to go more simple French. You have very high staff retention. That’s a challenge these days? We do retain staff. We try to give them a lot of power. Our goal was to empower a culture. This is your home, you own it. We try to round out their skills. You were talking about a deeper dive into cuisine. Is the cookbook expressing that? We wanted to pick things that are accessible. So we have this small library of recipes from our restaurants. My goal is to try and bring homecooking to the public. It’s the only thing I know. So we wanted to start by showcasing our favourites, the guests’ favourites, the cooks’ favourites. This cookbook has all the Anthony Rose classics. Each chapter is structured like a feast but anyone can cook the feast. There are a ton of recipes from my mom and grandmother. Your partner and cookbook photographer Kayla Rocca joked that you’re ready for the next one? Maybe soon. I think this was a challenging book and we were all quite stressed about our first cookbook baby. But it certainly leaves room for the next book and revisiting my career journey and opening up to travel and world influences. There’s a lot more I want to explore at some point, but not right now. What about TV? Will we see Anthony Rose on Top Chef or Iron Chef? No, absolutely not. I don’t like competition shows. I want more shows like Two Fat Ladies. They’re not about cooking, it’s about the atmosphere and the context of cooking. If I’m doing something it has to be about the food and not the selection process and who gets to be famous and who gets the most likes. So much less fluff, just the food. I remember the first Julia Child and Jacques Pépin shows, they were so great. Nowadays, you have so many competition shows, so many shiny objects. It’s ridiculous how much they’re all the same. f



Toronto has become a launching pad for the renaissance of hotel restaurants. Katie Bridges finds out why even locals are getting in on the game.



ABOVE: This boar dish is an example of the refined food on the menu at the Civic in the Broadview Hotel

T’S A CHILLY afternoon in September and I’m caught in a rainstorm. The downpour is reflected in the headlights of the cabs I skirt in front of, but aside from the cars on the road, the wise folk of Toronto have decided not to venture out. Inside the Shangri-La Hotel on University Avenue, it’s another story. One quick cycle of the revolving doors and I’m transported into a lobby full of noise and colour. Ron Pellerine, the general manager, greets me and leads me to a reserved sofa in the lounge bar, a lively room, humming with the sounds of glasses clinking and a piano playing. “There is no other place in the city that offers live music at two in the afternoon on a Monday,” muses Pellerine. This, I confess to Ron, is not my usual scene. Yet, in spite of myself (and not just because I am playing hooky in the middle of a workday), I am surprised to find I rather enjoy the vibe here. I had assumed hotel bars were reserved for out-of-towners or the chronically unimaginative. Soulless lobbies playing elevator music and charging too much for lacklustre cocktails did not seem like an obvious choice for locals or even discerning visitors. Of course, there are notable exceptions; a visit to Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar to sip Singapore slings, or the Savoy in London – former workplace of famous barman, Harry Craddock – is tantamount to visiting a museum while tipsy. Otherwise, the world appeared to have forgotten how to make a decent hotel bar – or so I thought. In the last year alone, Toronto has seen a number of boutique hotels spring up around the city – all with exciting food and drink programmes. The Broadview Hotel, home to the Civic, in the east end recently celebrated its first birthday, while 2018 saw Anndore House and its much anticipated Mediterranean restaurant, Constantine, open its doors. But it’s hard to talk about Toronto’s evolving hotel scene without mentioning the old vanguard that opened in the last decade. “Up until the Shangri-La opened in 2012, people in Toronto, and to some extent in North America, had stopped going to hotels for food and beverage,” says Pellerine, sipping a glass of water with a lemon slice. With Bosk and Momofuku, plus the Lobby Lounge and the Bar on site, the Shangri-La quickly asserted its dining cred. “We set the tone for a new kind of luxury in the city and we elevated the bar scene.” Toronto’s luxury lodgings are wellestablished, but the city’s boutique game was severely lacking for some time. Toronto

may be the fourth biggest city by population in North America, but the quality of hotel options didn’t always reflect this. “We are so lacking that in Toronto,” says Craig Harding, owner of Toronto restaurants Campagnolo, La Palma and the recently opened Constantine. “[Hotel rooms] went from $200 to $500 a night with nothing in between, until all of these new hotels started springing up.” Hotels like Anndore House; a 113-room property near Yonge and Bloor, and home to Constantine, which opened this April. The 10-storey building originally opened in 1955 as the Anndore Hotel and Apartments – a glamorous rooming house Marlene Dietrich was rumoured to have visited. In the 1990s, it was a jazz bar frequented by celebs including Tony Bennett and Eartha Kitt, owned by maître d’ to the stars, Louis Janetta. And what was it most recently? A Comfort Inn. This local colour and history is part of the plan to take the landmark back to its former glory. After all, if the Drake Hotel – a former flophouse – can regenerate its strip of Queen Street West, anything is possible. The new kids on the block certainly seem keen on bringing in locals to eat and drink. In a most unlikely move for a condo developer, Streetcar Developments actually asked locals for feedback after acquiring the Broadview Hotel in 2014. “Streetcar effectively took a poll of the neighbourhood and said ‘East end, what do you want to see in this building?’ ” explains the Broadview’s general manager, Murray Henderson, brought on two and a half years before it opened. The overwhelming response: A hotel and restaurant. →


→ At that time, the sign above the door read “Jilly’s: The Finest in Adult Entertainment.” Jilly’s said they would never sell the space at the corner of Queen East and Broadview, but when the building became structurally unsound and required a major revamp, Streetcar took on the colossal task. “It’s literally a brand new building in an


old skin,” says Henderson. “Architecturally, it had to be completely destroyed inside. We started from carte blanche, literally standing in the basement, seeing the sky – so we had endless possibility.” Chef de cuisine Dave Couse was only recently hired by the Broadview, but admits he was attracted to the hyper-local focus. “It has a really old world sort of vibe,” says the former Canoe chef. “It’s a space that brings the neighbourhood in, instead of it being a special occasion restaurant where maybe you go once a year.” For Couse, old-timey hotel magic has a habit of creeping into his cooking. “When we sit down to make menus we do look to the past and the history of the grand hotel, because that’s really where gastronomy started. There was a time when there weren’t really freestanding restaurants, it was just hotels. That’s where every chef came from.” Couse is intrigued by preservation techniques, charcuterie and canning – essentially, the things chefs once did before

LEFT: Food on the menu at Constantine leans Mediterranean BELOW: Falcon Sky Bar at Hotel X

refrigeration. The push for modernism in food means that many cooks have stopped looking to the past – but Couse thinks there’s lots of material worth mining. “Tony [DaSilva, bartender at the Civic] and I both do a lot of reading – historical stuff from the 1800s about hotel culture,” he says. “Hotels were out of vogue for a while, but

if you look really far back, taverns and inns were the hot places. Everything is cyclical, we’re in a cycle right now where hotels are a cool place to be.” These historical touches can be seen in the side sauces that are poured by servers, as well as the neat cocktails that eschew ice in the Victorian style. But there is something else Couse would like to borrow from the past: “I would love to sit down in a restaurant and not see anyone on their phones.” Conversely, the Hotel X Toronto team has been impressed by the impact social media has had since they opened this spring. Despite its location outside the downtown core, Torontonians have been lured by Falcon Sky Bar, with its panoramic views of the city. “One thing that has really changed the environment is Instagram,” says Adele Gutman, VP of sales at Library Hotel Collection. “People are looking at where their friends have travelled to. The easiest place to begin is with all the beautiful places that are right in your neighbourhood.” Part of the Library Hotel Collection, the chain already has popular properties in New York, Prague and Budapest. “We are blown away with how many people have stayed in the hotel, much less come to have cocktails, who live just 10 minutes away,” says Gutman. Rooftop views and cocktail culture aside, does ‘hotel food’ really appeal to free-spirited restaurateurs? Harding admits that he was fortunate to find an ownership group that gave him complete creative freedom. Plus, the support of a larger network doesn’t hurt. “Sometimes, it’s hard for standalone restaurants to make a go of it and being in other properties really adds traffic to your restaurant.” He’s not kidding – around 15 to 20 per →


→ cent of Constantine’s revenue gets signed back to the room from guests staying in the hotel. And since Anndore House operates at a 90 per cent occupancy, everyone’s happy. Both the Broadview and Anndore are willing to confess that running a full-service


restaurant with room service kept them busier than anticipated. “On the positive side, it’s been busy from day one, which was great, but sometimes you want to get your feet wet first,” says Jack Scarangella, co-owner of Constantine. Tackling all meals – including the traditionally tough breakfast market – has also given them some teething problems. “Not all service periods are incredibly profitable,” says Harding. Even if the hotel is full, it doesn’t mean we’re necessarily going to be full for breakfast. It’s a challenge and we’re still figuring it out.” It’s a task that plenty look ready to take on, with many more hotel eateries on the horizon. The Annex Hotel, which opened in October, will feature an on-site food hall with local vendors, Big Trouble Pizza and Seven Lives tacos. Later this year, St. Regis will take over the former Trump Hotel, debuting Louix Louis, a 31st-floor restaurant and cocktail bar inspired by the iconic lounges of New York and Paris.

ABOVE: Bosk at the Shangri-La combines design with top-level food

So can we expect this trend of seasoned restaurateurs setting up shop in hotels will become de rigueur? “In the past, being a chef in a hotel was looked down on the same way people would look at being a golf course chef,” says Couse. “But I think now there are some really great opportunities to do cool food that’s chefdriven. I don’t think you need to be in a freestanding chef-owned restaurant to do that anymore.” Scarangella notes that it’s not just the chefs who are finding this setup agreeable. “I think hotel operators are realizing the importance of having a food and beverage component that attracts the neighbourhood and creates a vibe for their hotel guests,” he says. “I think we’ll see more of that trend – good operators that can attract the clientele that can add value to their property.” f




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Tackle your holiday shopping with our annual gift guide for the food and drink fanatic in your life. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL ART DIRECTION BY APRIL TRAN


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F O R TH E H OME CO O K 1 Zwilling 15” Multi-Use Oval Roaster with Rack and Lid, $250, 2 Gravy Boat, $35, 3 TealandGold Oak white oak pepper mill and grinder set, $264.30, 4 All-Clad stainless 9” non-stick French skillet, $84.99, 5 President’s Choice colour bowls, $4 each, 6 PC serve stand, $15.99, 7 Goye scalloped-edge ceramic bowls, from $32 each, 8 Hat Owl Measuring Cups, set of 4 for $24.50, 9 Dinera 18-piece dinnerware set, $34.99, 10 Hockey Foxes Baker Loaf, $25, 11 PC two-tier stand, $19.99, 12 Cabin Plaid Oven Mitt, $12 each, 13 Shallow round French oven, $460, 14 Staub American grill 10”, $230, 2 1


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F O R T HE BOOZE E NTHUSIAST 1 Copper Bar Tools with Marble Stand, $49, 2 Ms. Better’s Bitters New Wave 3-Pack, $32, 3 Drake General Store assorted bar glasses, $12 each, 4 Split Tree tonics and syrups, $14 each, 5 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine, $49.95, 6 Nachtmann Punk Decanter Set, $150, 7 The Tonic Trio, $25, 8 Copper Pineapple Tumbler, $48, 9 The Mini Bar: 100 Essential Cocktail Recipes, $27, 10 The Craft Beer Dictionary, $22, 11 Regarding Cocktails, $39.95, 12 Meehan’s Bartender Manual, $54, 13 Session Cocktails, $24.99, 14 The Canon Cocktail Book, $40, 15 Walter Craft Caesar Mix, $6.99 each, 16 Flower Ceramic Bottle Stopper, set of 2 for $28, 17 Potion House Coupe Glass, $9 each, 18 Stainless steel round flask, $14 each,

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F O R TH E C OFFEE AND TE A F IE ND 1 Sloane Tea Holiday Duo, $32, 2 Barocco Coffee Gift Box, $119.99,* 3 Egentlig French press coffee maker, $17.99, 4 Nespresso Explorations 2018 limited edition collection, $89,* 5 Arborist action Mountie thermos, $33.95, 6 Pluck Tea Spa Day, $8, 7 Touché 1967 Coffee, $8.95, 8 Lot15wpg blue grey matte glaze mug, $30, 9 Drake General Store white speckle mug, $24, 10 Hängiven Mug, $5.99, 11 Starbucks Red Glitter Red Ombre Stainless Steel Tumbler, $27.99, 12 Cacao 70 Hot Cocoa Powder, $17, 13 Teapigs Tea, $9.99 per box, 14 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar, $49, *additional gift box items not pictured






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F O R TH E SWEET A ND SA LTY SNACK E R 1 Create Your Own Macaron Gift Box, price on request, 2 Loacker Gran Pasticceria Tortina, $1.99 to $4.99, 3 Nügateau Box Noël, $45, 4 Spice of Life Hot Sauce Gift Set, $32.99, 5 Squish Candy, $7 each, 6 Foodie Pages Toronto’s Best Restaurants gift box, $75, 7 Bulbs of Fire Garlic Preserve 4-Jar Gift Pack, $34, 8 Jacek Box of Joy Gift Set, $105,* 9 Present Day Gifts Box of Cheer, $67.50, 10 Green & Black’s Assorted Chocolate Bars, $4.95 each, 11 South Pond Farms Gift Box of 3 Jams or Honeys, $15.95, 12 Forno Cultura Gift Box, price on request, 13 Purdy’s Chocolatier Home for the Holidays Advent Calendar, $28, 14 Provisions Food Company Condiments, $5 to $7.50 each, *additional gift box items not pictured

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Stoli Gold harnesses some of the world’s rarest elements for a truly exquisite vodka.


OCIAL MEDIA ISN’T the only place where a well-chosen filter can make things infinitely better. As it turns out, it’s also great for creating some of the world’s best vodka. This holiday season, we can’t think of a better way to raise a toast to 2018 than with a glass (or two) of Stoli Gold. This super-smooth vodka is the very definition of high-end. Don’t believe us? Stoli Gold was the vodka that established the premium vodka category when it was conceived in 1989. Since then it has been a stand-out spirit that ends its journey by being filtered through gold (told you it was special). The proof is in the pudding when it comes to vodka – but it would be remiss of us not to mention the painstakingly precise process that goes into making

this sublime spirit. Stoli Gold harnesses some of the world’s rarest ingredients to create their unmistakable vodka. The 100 per cent Gubernator Dona winter wheat used in Stoli Gold is carefully irrigated from an ecologically pure acquifier lying at a depth of 185 m to guarantee optimum soil conditions and a high-quality crop. Even the water that’s blended with the Single Estate Alpha Grade vodka (the highest grade spirit) is top quality – it’s filtered through shungite, one of the rarest carbons and most remarkable minerals on earth, found only in a remote part of northwest Russia. The blend is then filtered in the traditional Stoli way before a final filtration through coils of gold thread. Stoli Gold has been around for nearly

three decades, but its recent redesign has given the premium vodka a brand new lease of life. The next time you’re in the LCBO, look out for the taller, sleeker looking bottle with its metallic label and signature embossed glass. Because of its fresh aroma with notes of vanilla and citrus, Stoli Gold works well with fruit flavours, like peach in a bellini or club soda with a splash of cranberry. The palate opens up to fresh bread and grain notes, before finishing with a subtle sweetness that gives way to creamy aniseed and spice. Try Stoli Gold with a more booze-forward mix drink like a caipiroska or a dirty martini. Class up your holiday season with this showstopper of a spirit. ● Stoli Gold is available at the LCBO for $34.95.


COCKTAIL HOUR The Civic’s Tony DaSilva introduces us to three spirited concoctions that will keep you warm and cheery to the tipple of your nose this winter. WORDS BY JESSICA HURAS PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIZZIE O’DONNELL

SCROOGED C OCKTAIL ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 11/2 oz Cazadores reposado tequila ◆◆ 3/4 oz Rabarbaro ◆◆ 1/4 oz Campari ◆◆ Grapefruit zest for garnish

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Fill three-quarters full with ice and stir. Strain into a small coupe. Garnish with grapefruit zest.



ONY DASILVA, HEAD bartender at the Civic, the Broadview Hotel’s flagship restaurant, aspires to bring a fresh approach to classic cocktails. As a starting point, he often references historic cocktail and bar books like Harry Johnson’s Bartenders’ Manual and Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book, first published in the late 19th and early 20th century. “It allows me to think about what has made classic cocktails appeal to people centuries after their creation and build off of that to create something new,” says DaSilva. From there, it’s about tweaking the flavours, taking out ingredients or adding new ones, to make original, modern concoctions. “I try and coax out one or two flavours that I notice in a spirit and find interesting flavours that complement and sometimes contrast,” he says. The Civic’s new rotating menu programme, which sees new dishes showcased each month, is giving DaSilva even more opportunities to experiment. He works with local suppliers and foragers to source ingredients for cocktails to accompany the changing menus. “I’m always examining themes, flavours and pairings that will reflect the upcoming month,” says DaSilva. Lately, he is also playing around with different ways to bring in flavour, including sous vide techniques that allow him to create infusions, such as strawberry-infused Cazadores reposado tequila, in a few days rather than a few weeks. DaSilva appreciates how this frees up more of his time to interact with customers as well as training and teaching his bar team. Aside from classic cocktail recipes, DaSilva is also inspired by everything from (non-mixology) books to music. “Sometimes I’ll listen to a song and whatever feeling that song gives me, I’ll think: How can I make that into a cocktail?” says DaSilva. f

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THE GARDEN OF EDEN C OCKTAIL ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 3 oz Eden Alcohol Batch ◆◆ 2 oz olive oil washed vodka ◆◆ 3/4 oz Dolin dry vermouth ◆◆ 1/4 oz Pino Mugo ◆◆ 7 drops Bittermens Orchard Street

Celery Shrub

OL IVE OIL WASHED VO DKA INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 1 bottle Belvedere vodka ◆◆ 3 oz extra virgin olive oil

For the olive oil washed vodka: Pour the ingredients into a non-reactive container, seal and shake. Store in the freezer for approximately 12 hours. Strain with a fine strainer and cheese cloth. Bottle. To assemble the cocktail: Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass. Fill three-quarters full with ice and stir for approximately 30 seconds. Strain into a small coupe. Garnish with a leaf of fresh basil.


UNCLE BILLY’S TONIC COCKTA IL IN G R ED IENTS ◆◆ 11/2 oz Tempus Fugit Quinquina ◆◆ 3/4 oz Hennessy VS cognac ◆◆ 5 oz Winter Wizard syrup ◆◆ 2 dashes Angostura bitters ◆◆ Orange zest studded with cloves for


W IN T ER W IZ AR D SYRU P IN G R ED IEN TS ◆◆ 11/2 cups water ◆◆ 1 cup brown sugar ◆◆ 1 apple (peeled and cored) ◆◆ 1 pear (peeled and cored) ◆◆ 3 cinnamon sticks (broken up) ◆◆ 7 cloves ◆◆ 1 nutmeg

To assemble the Winter Wizard syrup, break the cinnamon sticks, microplane the nutmeg and cut the apple and pear (after they’ve been peeled and cored) into small pieces. Lightly toast the spices. Add the water to a pot and bring to a simmer. Add all the ingredients to the water and stir until it begins to simmer again. Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand until cool. Fine strain the syrup into a container and keep refrigerated. To assemble the cocktail: Add ingredients to a mixing glass and fill three-quarters full with ice, stir. Strain into a rocks glass. Fill with ice. Garnish with clove-studded zest.

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FROM MOMENTS TO MEMORIES SAVE 10% WITH EARLY PAYMENT* 1 800-352-4444 See your travel agent

*Valid on Trafalgar 2019 trips 7 days or longer for travel between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Combinable with 10% early payment discount where available. To receive early payment discount, full payment must be received by January 31, 2019. Offer is combinable with applicable brochure discounts. Not combinable with Costsaver, custom group discounts or other offers. Subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Other conditions apply. TICO # W1583987



Tis the season to hibernate in style at the Nestleton Waters Inn near Port Perry.


HILE THE CHILLIER months might have you cranking up the thermostat and reaching for an extra blanket, there’s more than one way to enjoy the winter. While we’re not about to tell you to embrace the cold, we can suggest a cozy spot where you can pick up your winter hibernation right where you left off. Nestled on 98 acres, near Port Perry, Ontario, sits Nestleton Waters Inn (NWI), once a private family bungalow now renovated into a luxurious country lodge. The guest house has won numerous accolades as a wedding venue, but the Inn – located just an hour outside downtown Toronto – is the perfect spot to enjoy a romantic escape

or a guys' or girls’ weekend away. Family-owned and run by the Kiezebrinks, the stunning property, surrounded by forest and spring fed pond, boasts 10 uniquely themed suites. Take a walk around the grounds, but don’t stay out too long – with a games room, home theatre, fireplace lounge, plus in-suite jet tubs, there’s no pressure to be outdoorsy. Despite the estate’s remote location, guests won’t have far to travel for food that matches the Inn’s 5-star standards. The NWI hosts a monthly “Dinner Night” series, which sees their executive chef Aaron Moss cook up stunning fivecourse meals by candlelight for guests at the property. Diners are treated to

exciting local fare like pan-seared wild scallops and cod au gratin, alongside live entertainment at the exclusive 7200 square foot estate. All of the menu is sourced locally – in fact, the farthest chef Moss travels to get an ingredient is 30 minutes from the Inn. Keen to know his suppliers and learn how to use their produce, Moss visits sellers at farmers’ markets, delicatessens and bakeries in the York Durham Headwaters region. For a cozy spot that's just a little further away than your living room, Nestleton Waters Inn is the perfect home away from home this winter. ● To find out more about the Inn’s great story, head to




High-quality ingredients, a historic family recipe and a traditional brewing process are the secret behind Fentimans delicious handcrafted sodas.


OU’D BE FORGIVEN for thinking of soda as a one-note beverage, but with its traditional botanical brewing process and natural ingredients, Fentimans is no average soda. A time-honoured botanical brewing method is the secret to the complex flavours of Fentimans drinks. The brewing process has changed little since it was first perfected by Thomas Fentiman in 1905 and passed down through generations of the Fentiman family. Today, the company is managed by Eldon Robson, Thomas Fentimans’ great-great-grandson. Fentimans is the only brewer in the UK to use a botanical brewing process. Unlike run-of-the-mill carbonated drinks, which only take a few hours to produce, Fentimans drinks are made in


small batches over seven days. It all starts with natural herbs, botanicals and ginger roots, which are sourced from specialist suppliers. These ingredients continue through a multi-stage process of mashing, infusion, fermentation, chilling and centrifugation before being blended with additional natural flavours, sugars and botanical mixtures that further bring out their taste. The result is authentic, artisanal beverages that are also naturally gluten-free and vegan. There are 10 flavours to choose from, including Rose Lemonade, made from rose oil imported from Kazanlak, Bulgaria, an area known locally as the Valley of the Roses; and the Mandarin & Seville Orange Jigger, brewed with Mediterranean oranges.

Fentimans soft drinks can be enjoyed on their own when you’re looking for a flavourful non-alcoholic sipper. They also mix beautifully with your favourite spirits. Fentimans has also recently added two tonics to their line-up – Botanical Tonic Water and Light Tonic Water – which make a great addition to refined cocktails. No matter how you choose to enjoy Fentimans beverages, you’re sure to notice the exceptional taste that comes from the use of tried-and-true botanical brewing methods and first-rate ingredients. ● Find Fentimans at Farm Boy, as well as select Loblaws and Metro stores across Ontario.

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Vegan chef Margie Cook has created an exciting plant-based menu at IL FORNELLO.


T A DINNER party a few years ago, there may have been one or two vegans at the dinner table. Fast forward to 2018, where the year’s biggest food ‘trend’ has seen even sworn carnivores make the switch to a plant-based lifestyle, with many restaurateurs following suit. One Toronto restaurant group that has long been meeting the changing needs of their diners is IL FORNELLO. They have been offering gluten-free items and spelt crust pizza since the 80s – and now they're evolving once again with a new and delicious vegan menu. Vegan chef Margie Cook joined the IL FORNELLO team this year, bringing her unique brand of innovative plantbased cooking to the restaurant. A vegetarian since her twenties, Cook has since become a Registered Holistic

Nutritionist and Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, proving to the world that vegan food can be just as delicious as any omnivorous diet. The result is a menu that goes beyond protein bowls and veggie burgers to create tasty, stand-alone vegan dishes. The dough for the wood-fired pizza, for which the restaurant is famous, is now 100% vegan, and the organic vegan wine and beer to match ensure that no guests have to miss out. While the trend towards veganism continues to grow, not everyone has given up meat – which makes IL FORNELLO the ideal dining option. Whether your date wants steak or an avocado caesar salad, everyone will find a meal that’s just right for them. ● Visit one of the six IL FORNELLO locations or order takeout from Uber Eats or foodora.

WIN A $200 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO IL FORNELLO To celebrate the plant-based offerings at IL FORNELLO – plus all the other delicious dishes on the menu – we’re giving away a $200 gift certificate to one lucky foodism reader. Choose from a wide range of rustic Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients. For a full list of terms and conditions and to enter the contest, visit: competition

WIN 77

Your new





360 the Restaurant at the CN Tower is going local with its new menu programme.


60 THE RESTAURANT at the CN Tower is revamping its food and drink menu, with a renewed emphasis on Canadian cuisine. Feast On Certified and an Ocean Wise partner, 360’s seasonal menus feature locally-sourced food and drink to pair with that only-in-Canada view. Executive chef John Morris talks to us about 360’s new food philosophy.

What inspired you to embrace a fully local culinary program at the CN Tower? We firmly believe in supporting the local community. Food tastes better when you are closer to the source; we’re fortunate to be in a region that provides delicious, seasonal ingredients year-round.

What inspires you about designing a seasonally themed menu at

360 year-round? The availability of what’s in-season inspires us! What's exciting is finding new ways to present items while keeping ingredients integrity.

What can guests expect when they dine at 360 in 2019? Anticipate a menu that will deliver an authentic taste of “Canada at its best,” from coast to coast, all in a unique setting. The menus feature handmade, local, all-natural ingredients inspired through food, wine and of course, some of the most amazing views of Toronto.

What do we produce well in Canada? Ontario and Canada are strong with amazing organic farms, fisheries, producers; we have it all, from organic

fruits and vegetables to amazing cheeses and everything in between.

Ontario is home to a number of award-winning wineries and breweries. How does wine and beer fit into your ethos of supporting local? Our beverage program is a carry-over of our local focus on Ontario and Canadian suppliers – craft beer which includes our very own Tower Lager (from Railway City Brewing in St. Thomas), cider and wine, along with Canadian spirits in all our cocktails. ● Head to to

reserve your table or check them out @cntower360


ROCHESTER MARKET We recommend kicking off the weekend with a visit to Rochester Public Market, which has faithfully served the community since 1905. More than 200 vendors peddle everything from local honey, apples and pierogis to avocados and delicacies from around the world. The operation spreads across three covered outdoor sheds, every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. The surrounding market district is just as bountiful; take a stroll down Railroad Street and stop at Boxcar for doughnuts in wacky flavours like crème brûlée or bacon. Then wash it down with an IPA next door at Rohrbach Beer Hall, where Rochester’s craft brewery renaissance began.


Katie Bridges takes us around the lake to eat and drink our way through Rochester, a revived American city.


OCHESTER HAS AN uncanny knack for flying under the radar. Despite boasting a rich roster of museums, restaurants, craft breweries and festivals, few have experienced its delights despite being only three hours away from Toronto. Like its rust belt cousins, Rochester was dealt a blow when its main industry declined. While both Kodak and the city’s heyday is long gone, its rebounding neighbourhoods and tech startups are breathing new life into Upstate New York’s cultural capital. Though its charms are numerous, Rochester’s green spaces may deserve top billing – how many cities can lay claim to a downtown waterfall? Follow the Genesee River for 45 minutes outside the city limits and you’ll be rewarded with a view of Letchworth State Park, fittingly referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Culture vultures will find


much to love. The Memorial Art Gallery, affectionately nicknamed “the mini-MET,” boasts an impressive permanent collection including work by Infinity Mirrors artist, Yayoi Kusama. Take a stroll around the George Eastman Museum; the restored Georgian Revival home of the Kodak founder is the world’s oldest photography museum. Thanks to a huge amount of space and a quality of life unattainable in places like New York City, millennials are moving back to Rochester – and the city is reaping the rewards of its cultural rebirth. Large warehouses have made way for music venues, bowling alleys and urban wineries. Soak up all that booze with a late-night “Garbage Plate” – Rochesterians’ favourite heartburn-inducing drunk food of fries, beans, meat and sauce piled high. f For more great travel content, check out our sister magazine, escapism Toronto.

GETTING THERE VIA rail services and flights to Rochester (Air Canada flies from Pearson to Greater Rochester airport) are limited and pricey. We recommend going by car. Driving time from downtown Toronto to Rochester is around three hours, and once you get across the U.S. border, things get a lot more scenic.

LIVING ROOTS WINE & CO. When Colleen Hardy headed to Australia, she probably didn’t expect to meet and marry the descendant of a winemaking dynasty, before returning to her native Rochester to set up the first urban winery in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. But that’s exactly what her and husband Sebastian did with Living Roots, a beautiful 7,500-squarefoot tasting room and winemaking facility in an old warehouse in Rochester’s Neighbourhood of the Arts. Start with a snappy white, like the excellent riesling traminette from the Finger Lakes, and end with one of their bold reds from the McLaren Vale in Adelaide.

Photography: Rochester by Gary718; Cub by Tammy Swales



Sure, this moody eatery would be at home in Manhattan but it makes just as much sense in the South Wedge area of Rochester. The Cub Room, a speakeasy-cum-restaurant styled on the Prohibition era, is run by Greg and Jodi Johnson, restaurateurs with 20 years’ experience in NYC. The area has seen an influx of trendy spots in recent years, including the Playhouse/Swillburger, a bar and arcade in a renovated church. Order the Cub Room’s house-smoked pork cheeks, which come slathered in a mouthwatering apricot BBQ sauce or the gnudi pasta dish of the day. Alternatively, grab a seat at the bar and wait for Gatsby to pour you another.

The crash of bowling balls you hear as you enter Radio Social speaks to two Rochester truths: The amount of space that’s ready to be repurposed and the strength of its millennial regeneration. Located in Rochester’s historical Stromberg-Carlson warehouse, a 40,000-square-foot facility which produced radios during World War II, the space is now a social club – paying homage to its roots with an insta-worthy radio wall near the entrance. The menu was curated by Rochester restaurateur Chuck Cerankosky, who also co-owns the excellent Good Luck. Play pingpong, skeeball, cornhole or reserve a bowling lane – or just grab a drink.



BEAR NECESSITIES Taste the next generation of Canadian whisky with BEARFACE triple oak.


HERE ARE SOME that lead and some that follow. When it comes to whisky around the globe, most makers must abide by strict regulations. But not Canadian whisky. We stand apart from the rest with the flexibility to innovate as consumer palates evolve and homegrown taste makers like BEARFACE are leading the pack. BEARFACE triple oak, a Canadian brand of whisky, isn’t afraid to challenge the existing convention. Unlike so many whiskies on the market, this is not the story of a distillery or a blend. By looking outside their wheelhouse and including experts from beyond the world of whisky, they’ve formed an alliance of winemakers, distillers and coopers to pool their knowledge and challenge what we know about the category. They begin their journey by searching far and wide for the finest

seven-year-old single grain Canadian whisky and transporting it 4,000 km across the country to Mission Hill B.C., the heart of wine country. That’s when the partnerships begin. On his quest to find the perfect vessel to age their whisky in, Master Blender Andres Faustinelli experimented with countless barrel and wood combinations. Eventually, his hard work paid off – the result is a unique brand of small batch, 7-year-old whisky that has rewritten the script. After all, why can't Canada go head-to-head with the world’s best? In order to create a unique Canadian whisky unlike any other, BEARFACE is aged in three types of oak. It starts life in ex-bourbon charred American oak from the whisky makers, to give BEARFACE its vanilla notes. From there, it’s placed in a French Oak exwine cask, giving the whisky its dry

fruit notes and rich colour. For the final finish, it goes into virgin Hungarian Oak, which has been air dried for three years – a first in Canadian whisky – for those rye-like notes you’ll spot from the very first sip. BEARFACE has nothing to hide, so make sure you enjoy your first taste on the rocks. Once you’ve become acquainted, experiment with BEARFACE in an old fashioned or a whisky sour, to open up its flavours. Shaken or stirred, neat or in a cocktail, the important thing is that you do you. This extraordinary whisky is as uniquely Canadian as you are. BEARFACE isn't afraid to do things a little differently – how about you? ● Find BEARFACE 7 Year Old Triple Oak Canadian Whisky at the LCBO, $39.95.


BOTTLE SERVICE We round up the drinks you’ll need on hand this season to keep hosts – and yourself – in good cheer. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL ART DIRECTION BY APRIL TRAN


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Present picks 1 HIDDEN BENCH BLANC DE BLANC 2013: From one of Niagara’s favourite boutique wine producers comes an inaugural sparkler bursting with brioche, apple and citrus. The beauty of this wine is how it lingers on the palate long after the first sip. Save this for a special occasion, or give it to that special someone. $48.20, 2 WOLFBERGER BRUT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE: Pop this bubbly as guests are about to sit down for appetizers. The Alsatian sparkler has a creamy mouthfeel with all the pleasing accents of stone fruit. It has a slight tangy tinge so pair it with soup or

rich cheese. $19.95, 3 ECHEVERRÍA BRUT SPARKLING: Made in Chile’s Curicó Valley region, this is our pick for kicking off the festivities. It’s an elegant blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, with the right bubbly characteristics of bread and stone fruit, without the piercing acidity. This is a great bottle to bring to a party, and hope that the host decides to share it. $19.75, 4 KRONE CUVÉE MÉTHODE CAP CLASSIQUE BRUT ROSÉ SPARKLING 2017: Rosé is not just for sipping. If you’re looking for

something with a bit more weight for the table, try this one from a 300-year-old wine farm in South Africa’s Western Cape. It has a lush mouthfeel that sings of dark berries, with a hint of clementine. $18.95, 5 VITICOLTORI ACQUESI BRACHETTO D’ACQUI: Get festive with this traditional Piedmontese sparkling red from northern Italy. This deep red bubbly is candysweet and smells just like raspberries and blackberries. At only 6.5% ABV, you can sip this refreshing fizzer all season long. $13.50,

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Treat yo’ self

1 WILD TURKEY LONGBRANCH: Thanks to Matthew McConaughey’s role as creative director, this golden bourbon has really been on our radar. The peppery punch, with a nose of vanilla, spice and oak is great enjoyed neat or in a cocktail. $59.95, 2 CLASE AZUL TEQUILA: A complete work of art, this organic agave is aged for eight months in American oak barrels before being bottled in a stunning, hand- painted decanter. With pineapple, caramel and hot peppers on the palate, followed by a salty finish, it’s the very definition of “treat yo’ self.” $201.35, 3 APPLETON ESTATE 15 YO: This full-bodied Jamaican rum will hit you with its orange peel and vanilla notes

first, before giving way to the subtler hints of coffee and nuts. Don’t waste it on your rum punch. $69.95, 4 GRAND MARNIER CUVÉE DU CENTENAIRE 100TH: This classy liqueur, introduced in 1927 to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, is definitely one to break out for a special occasion. The amber liquid has aromas of candied orange, lemon zest, cinnamon and caramel. $149.95,



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Entertaining essentials

1 MEIOMI PINOT NOIR: Special guests coming over? Break open this decadent, ruby red from California, with jammy fruit aromas and boysenberry flavours. Great with tomato-based dishes and turkey, it’s a strong contender for pairing with the main event this Christmas. $28.95, 2 WAYNE GRETZKY WHISKY OAK AGED RED 2017: A quarter of this Ontario blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot

was aged in whisky barrels for a subtle flavour that doesn’t dominate. Popping with dark fruit and smoky notes, you’ll want to have this medium-bodied red on standby. $19.95, 3 FAUSTINO I GRAN RESERVA 2005: This wellaged rioja, with red plum and vanilla flavours, has a long, silky finish and full grainy tannins. It spent 26 months in French and American oak barrels and pairs nicely with

oily fish and medium-aged cheese. $35.95, 4 GIRARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014: Even droughts and earthquakes couldn’t stop the 2014 vintage in Napa Valley from producing another standout cabernet sauvignon. A bottle that’s full of bold dark fruit flavours and soft tannins. Decant and serve with a well-marbled steak. $39.95,





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PA RUM-PUM-PUM Try Flor de Caña for yourself this December with store samplings offered at select LCBO stores. You can also try it at the Toronto Christmas Market until Dec. 23, where Flor de Caña will be serving two holiday-inspired cocktails: Toasted Coconut and Rum Hot Chocolate and Flor de Caña Egg Nog. If you’re ready for your own bottle, take advantage of discounts this season: Get $3 off Flor de Caña 12 YO 750mL until Dec. 1 and $2 off Flor de Caña 5YO 750mL from Dec. 2 to Jan. 5 at the LCBO.


With its rich heritage and time-tested natural aging process, Flor de Caña will make you rethink what it means to enjoy premium rum this holiday season.

Photography: Kailee Mandel; Art Direction: April Tran


HILE WE’VE LONG appreciated the difference quality makes when it comes to spirits like whisky or tequila, the merits of premium rum are just beginning to be discovered. Flor de Caña is one brand proving that rum need not be a cheap liquor best hidden in mixed drinks – it can be a complex spirit that’s worthy of savouring. The key to Flor de Caña’s nuanced flavours is how it’s made, in northwest Nicaragua. The rum is funnelled into white oak bourbon barrels which are sealed with local plantain leaves. The barrels are then aged at the base of Nicaragua’s most active volcano, the

San Cristóbal Volcano. This exposes the barrels to the surrounding fertile soil and mineral-rich waters, along with a high-temperature volcanic climate. Together, these unique conditions give Flor de Caña its smooth, well-balanced flavours and subtle tropical notes. Flor de Caña’s rum-making tradition has been passed down through five generations of the Pellas family, who first began making the spirit in 1890 to celebrate the end of the agricultural harvest season. The family has perfected production over the decades and Flor de Caña has grown to become Nicaragua’s top exported brand.

Flor de Caña’s commitment to quality and natural aging has certainly paid off: It has been recognized with over 180 awards, including #1 Rum Producer in the World in 2017 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in England. It's also been recognized as one of the world's first Fair Trade certified spirits. So the next time you’re looking for a new spirit to add to your bar cart, consider making it one of the world’s most celebrated rums. It tastes wonderful mixed up in classic cocktails like a mojito or stirred into your holiday eggnog, but trust us when we say this is one rum you’ll want to sip solo. ●



BAKED POTATO SOUP ◆◆ 4 slices bacon, chopped small ◆◆ 1 large onion, thinly sliced ◆◆ 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed ◆◆ 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock


fairlife's one-of-a-kind, kind of milk comes to Canada.


HETHER WE'RE POURING it in our coffee in the morning or using it to make a yummy winter soup, milk is a versatile ingredient that we always need in our fridge. fairlife is a new, one-of-a-kind, kind of milk, that has 50 percent more protein and 50 percent less sugar than regular milk. fairlife uses a unique and patented cold-filtration system to keep more of what people want (like protein) and take out more of what they don’t (the natural milk sugars). The result? A delicious new product that is lactose free and contains nine essential nutrients – and it just launched in Canada this year! fairlife is available at major grocery stores across Canada in fat free (0%),


2%, 3.25% white in 1.5L, as well as 2% white in 240 mL bottles. The fairlife line up of products also includes a delicious chocolate flavour, available in 240mL and 1.5 L bottles. With the support of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the company is building a brand-new production facility in Peterborough, Ontario, which is slated to be up and running by early 2020. The new facility will be supplied by milk from local dairy farms and will provide more than 35 local jobs. Whether you use it on its own or in this tasty baked potato soup recipe, fairlife is something the whole family can enjoy. ● For more information about fairlife, visit

◆◆ 2 large Yukon gold potatoes,

peeled and diced ◆◆ 6 stems fresh thyme ◆◆ 2 cups fairlife 3.25% ultrafiltered,

lactose free whole milk ◆◆ 1 tsp salt ◆◆ ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper ◆◆ Sour cream, chives and aged

cheddar cheese for garnish Add bacon to a saucepan and heat over medium. Cook, stirring often, until crisp (about 9 minutes). Transfer bacon to a dish, leaving rendered fat behind in pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and lightly caramelized (about 10-15 minutes). Add stock, potatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft and cooked through. Using an immersion blender (or by transferring mixture to a blender), blend until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan and heat over medium. Add fairlife 3.25% ultrafiltered, lactose free whole milk, salt and pepper, and heat through. Taste to check seasoning and serve with desired garnishes. Bon appétit!


From thoughtful seafood to trip-worthy meals, here’s what we’re loving right now.




Katie Bridges, Writer

Suresh Doss, Editor

David Ort, Copy Editor

When lbs, the Ocean Wise-approved purveyor, invited me to a sustainable soiree, I RSVP’d in record time. With Nova Scotia lobster capellini in hand, we celebrated the restaurant’s commitment to sourcing ethically caught seafood. Our time was split between the oyster bar and the real bar, where we chased down our sustainable snacks with prosecco, followed by peche et peche; a fallflavoured cocktail.

For Pilsner Urquell’s “keepers of the craft” series of events, I was invited to a retreat in PEC for an exploration of craftsmanship. The overnighter was hosted by star Toronto chef Grant van Gameren at his Cressy House property. Van Gameren invited some of his favourite local chefs and winemakers for a collaborative dinner to showcase the blooming culinary scene that is bringing droves of visitors to the County.

If craft is the Olympic-sized swimming pool, cask is the deep end. Luckily for Toronto, Cask Days is the perfect opportunity to dive right in. After laying a delicious foundation of burgers from Harry’s Charbroiled, we sampled special-edition beer from New York, Cali and Oregon – plus shining lights from Ontario. Ticket prices were up this year, but the Moranas continue to improve on their model for a smoothly run event.

Photography: PEC by Suresh Doss; Cask Days by David Ort; M’Eat by Christopher Drost

F L AVOUR OF THE WE E K M’Eat Resto Butcher; 806 Queen St. E. M’Eat Resto Butcher brings nose-to-tail cuisine to Leslieville with its butcher-shop-meetsrestaurant concept. Chef Cameron Nelson sources the restaurant’s meat, a whole cow at a time, from a handful of ethical Ontario farms that he’s personally visited and vetted. Everything is butchered on site, broken down into chuck, rib, loin, brisket and other cuts that are either

sold at the butcher shop or presented on the restaurant’s menu. Dinners are served family-style, with selections from a chalkboard butcher block menu, a raw bar and salads. There are also vegan “cow’s trough” options and a “dairy farm” menu of vegetarian-friendly dishes. Chef Nelson lets the quality of the meat speak for itself with pared-down seasonings. Highlights of our meal were a platter of tenderloin, which got an extra kick from blue cheese sea salt and a zippy chimichurri; and a duck breast served with pickled blueberries and grilled corn.




Asahi Super Dry – Japan's No. 1 selling beer – straddles innovation and tradition to create a deliciously crisp lager that pairs perfectly with every type of food.


ROM RAINBOW BAGELS to charcoal ice cream and sushi burritos to cevicheeverything, Toronto has seen its fair share of food trends over the last couple of years. While we love to see new twists, and blends, there’s something to be said for simple food and drink done expertly. In true Japanese style, Asahi Super Dry appreciates both innovation and


minimalism. That’s why their super premium lager not only created a new standard in brewing when it debuted as the first ‘Karakuchi’ (dry) beer – it's also spent the last 30 years perfecting it. When Asahi was created in 1987, it brought an entirely new genre of beer to Japan, and subsequently, the world. The lager is brewed to an authentic Japanese recipe, using only the finest ingredients – the yeast is carefully selected to give the beer its distinctive aroma and dry, crisp taste, while its hops are chosen for its bitterness, and rice for creating a palate-cleansing taste that means you just can’t stop sipping. While Asahi is meticulous about their methods (the ‘na-ma’ process ensures the beer is pasteurized), there’s no danger of them resting on their laurels. Asahi is dedicated to fine-tuning

their lager over time, mastering the sophisticated taste by continuously advancing their brewing technology. Toronto is no stranger to high-end Japanese food – Michelin-starred chef Akira Back opened his first Canadian restaurant this year – but the greatest thing about Asahi is that it pairs with everything, thanks to its quick, clean finish which doesn’t overpower food. That Karakuchi taste is no accident – the taste curve peaks in flavour earlier than other lagers, allowing you to appreciate your food and take another sip. And it’s exactly this sweet spot that makes Asahi Super Dry a firm favourite all year round. ● Asahi Super Dry is available at the

THE DIGEST Fill your plate from our buffet of the latest food-and-drink news.

SNACKS ON A PLANE Everyone’s favourite Toronto airport recently unveiled a tasty terminal upgrade. Billy Bishop’s newly designed lounges have added more comfort, plus a bevy of new restaurant options to take your snack game through the stratosphere. Market@416 will serve breakfast bites to travellers, as well as curry bowls and tacos. OBISPO will offer a mix of local and Mediterranean flavours, and Balzac’s Coffee Roasters will supply the caffeine.


Photography: Joint by Thought Catalog; Bar Raval by Jonathhan Friedman Photography

After a decade, Nota Bene will close its doors to make way for a new Planta concept from the Chase Hospitality Group. The restaurant at 180 Queen St. W. will host its last service on New Year’s Eve, followed by a short closure before David Lee returns in the spring with more boundary-pushing, plantbased cuisine. Designer Nivek Remas will transform the 7,000-square-foot space, using the Chinese alleyways known as Hutong as inspiration. This will be Planta’s third location in Toronto.

HAPPY CAMPERS If you’re planning to camp in one of Canada’s national parks next summer, you now have the option to pack some weed along with your tent poles. Following the legalization of cannabis on October 17, Parks Canada confirmed that marijuana can be consumed at its registered campsites. Officials said that their approach post-legalization will be to treat recreational cannabis use in the same way as alcohol, in which individual campsites are treated as a home away from home. However, use will be limited to the visitor’s campsite, which means no “trail blazing.”

LIBATIONS LIST Looking for a world-class drink? You needn’t go further than Little Italy because Bar Raval has made it on to the World’s 100 Best Bars list. The Spanish tapas bar was ranked 70 on the list revealed ahead of the World’s 50 Best Bars 2018 list. Bar Raval, which offers a largely Spanish wine list with a focus on sherry, is the lone Canadian to make the cut, and one of 19 new entries.



We pick Toronto’s best drinks for cozying up and top comfort food to keep you warm at heart. We also have you covered for where to have Christmas dinner out.


HE HOLIDAYS ARE quickly approaching, and before you know it, you’ll be knee deep in social invites, eggnog cocktails and mulled wine. To spice things up a bit, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places and foods to get you into the festive spirit.


Let’s start with our recommendations for steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Who doesn’t love a good cocktail crawl through a Toronto neighbourhood – especially with holidaythemed beverages added to the mix? The cooler months call for heartier meals, and we love cozying up at our fave comfort food spots. Whether you want vegan bites or

craft beer, handmade bowls of pasta or fiery Nashville chicken, we’ve got a list of soulwarming places to keep in your back pocket. If you’re looking for an alternative to the stress of hosting, we have plenty of options for Christmas day feasting. We forgo the traditonal turkey in favour of spicy and soulful meals, plus some festive brunching. f

1. ALI MENTARI In Roncesvalles Village, this restaurantcum-grocer offers simple Italian food and pantry staples. Their delicious, freshmade pasta comes in an assortment of shapes and lengths from gnocchi and rigatoni to tagliatelle and spaghettoni. If

you can’t make it out west, their fresh pasta is also available at several other retailers including Sanagan’s and Fiesta Farms. For the ultimate comfort, their dine-in menu is also available for takeout so you can cozy up with your pasta at home in your pyjamas.

3. T HE HOG TOW N VE GAN You don’t have to eat meat to enjoy a hearty meal. As the name implies, they serve vegan versions of comfort food staples. Several dishes feature the Hogtown Vegan’s “unchicken” whether in a caesar wrap, or on a bed of fluffy waffles.

2. B EERBI ST RO For a pint with your comfort food, Beerbistro has got you covered. Each menu item has a suggested beer pairing from the 22 taps and over 100 bottles. Warm up with a bowl of Thai red curry mussels and a robust stout or their

pulled pork sandwich and a bold, hoppy brew. Beerbistro’s late-night menu features four different kinds of poutine from the original with gravy and cheese curds to the bacon double cheeseburger – loaded with chilli, bacon and cheddar.

4. C HICA’S C HICK EN Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken serves its namesake with the addition of a few sides. The chicken here is monstrous in size and comes in the form of wings, quarters and sandwiches. The grain-fed, free-run and halal birds are brought in from a local farm, so don’t feel guilty while you indulge. @chicas.chicken


From fresh pasta to all-day pancakes, this is your comfort food cheat sheet for preparing for snow.

5. T HE W HIT E B R IC K K ITC HE N Now serving brunch all day, six days a week, this diner can satisfy all your breakfast cravings. Their grilled cheese eggs benny is exactly what it sounds like – a sandwich topped with two eggs and slathered with hollandaise.



Warm up, from the inside out, with our top choices for festive beverages that will keep the chill away. 1. S O M A HOT C H O COLAT E Although SOMA sells their hot chocolate all year, there’s something especially appealing about a cup once the big chill takes hold. Choose from Dark Side of the Mug a.k.a. “the fuzzy sweater

of hot chocolates,” or the Maya with chili, ginger and orange peel. Both are available in shot format, or with or without milk in a mug. Those who need a pick-me-up choc should order the Bicerin, dark liquid chocolate with a shot of espresso.

3. E G G NOG AT T E M PE R E D R OOM Since 2014, pastry chef Bertrand Alépée has been creating delectable desserts at the Tempered Room on Queen West. The Parkdale patisserie will once again be making their yummy homemade eggnog. Enjoy your mug at the communal table.

4. M U L L E D W INE AT PE NNY’S BAR 2. MALT BALL AT BA N NOC K As part of their menu revamp, Bannock has created a selection of winter cocktails, many of which put an interesting twist on Canadiana. Among them is the Malt Ball, a spiked hot

chocolate recipe that’s perfect for chilly nights in the city. The winter warmer – which tastes just like Maltesers – combines malted milk, housemade hot chocolate and Drambuie for a boozy beverage that’s ideal post-skate.

This dive bar at Lansdowne and Bloor will be serving liquid cheer during the holiday season. Owner Olivia Jewer makes batches of her mulled wine for patrons at the kitschy karaoke bar with a blend of fruits, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. @pennysbar

5. HE R FAT HE R’S CI D ER BAR + K ITC HE N When Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen opened in 2016, it was the first all-cider bar in the city. This winter, don’t miss their Hot Mulled Cider, made with local cider, house-infused apple brandy and spiced rum. Spices include nutmeg, clove and star anise.


1. LI UY I S H OU HO TPO T Hotpot is so hot right now. There’s a new restaurant opening almost weekly. Huddling around a bubbling cauldron of broth, chilies and meat can instantly warm the body and soul. But, not all are equal. We love Liuyishou Hotpot in

Chinatown because it brings the best elements of the experience: A menu with a variety of broths and an endless myriad of ingredients to create your perfect bowl. Chinatown bustles during the holidays; start your exploration here.

3. BANJ ARA C UI S I N E For nearly two decades, lovers of Indian cuisine have headed to Banjara for its extensive vegetarian menu. Their hours and ability to host groups make it a holiday staple. Could there be a better way to switch up your holiday meal than with a basket of freshly baked naan and home-style curries?

2. CAFÉ BOULUD For their annual Christmas Day meal, Café Boulud presents the holiday classics with a French twist. The three-course, prix-fixe menu is served throughout the afternoon and evening, providing the opportunity for festive

feasting without the trouble of cooking and cleaning. In addition to Christmas Day, the French brasserie also serves dinner on Christmas Eve and lays out a special, splurge-worthy brunch spread on several days throughout the holiday break.


Get out of the house and away from the standard turkey dinner this season with these alternate feasts.

4. T HE DRAK E H O T EL Over on West Queen West, the Drake Hotel will be open on Christmas Day for brunch as well as their annual Festivus dinner. Everything on their menu is made from scratch using seasonal, local ingredients. Past Festivus feasts have included a roast turkey, glazed ham and the airing of grievances.

5. C OPACABANA Brazilian steakhouse, Copacabana serves its all-you-can-eat menu rodiziostyle. The waitstaff bring slabs of grilled meat to your table and carve them right onto your plate. From 4 p.m. on Christmas Day, Copacabana’s Adelaide location is open for a meaty feast – glorious and also gluttonous.


GARNISHES: Sliced red chilies and shiso perilla leaves add a bright pop of flavour to each bite.

FISH: SoSo sources sustainable seabream, flash fries it and then it’s tossed in a wok with the sauce from the clams.


SoSo Food Club. 1166 Dundas St. W.

SAUCE: This dish is inspired by Cantonese-style cuisine where various black bean sauces are prominently featured. At SoSo they make their own signature black bean sauce with chilies.

CLAMS: To complement the fleshy and flaky chunks of fish, the dish is topped with another Cantonese classic: Steamed clams cooked in ginger, garlic and house-made black bean chili sauce.

Photography: ###

The newly opened SoSo on Dundas West has all the cool aesthetics of 80s synthwave. With a myriad of umami and spice flavours, this plate of the sea is a hipper take on comfort.

The bold flavour of vanilla. The distinctive smoothness of Crown.

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Foodism - 14 - Toronto, food and drink