Cover photo by Thomas Hawk, used under Creative Commons license

“We’re trying to understand how an institution affects an individual’s behavior. We’re trying to do something good.”

Somehow, in our few tiny stretches of downtime, we’ve watched two movies in the past…I don’t know, month?

The Gift (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was kind of up and down…not quite there with the pacing, but probably a movie I’m going to remember in five years because it was mildly, weirdly unsettling. Joel Edgerton has more going on than I thought he did.

Speaking of unsettling, I knew going in to The Stanford Prison Experiment (imdb | rotten tomatoes) what would happen, but still…crazy. I’m not sure the full sociological implications of the experiment were really lined up, but I’d think that just about anyone could draw their own lines.


Cover photo by Thomas Hawk, used under Creative Commons license


On Tuesday Nellie and I met T-Bone and The Sof for dinner. We’d booked Alo months ago (not long after our first visit for a Pearl-Morissette dinner), such was the wait time required to get a table at one of the hottest restaurant in the city.

The menu is simple: a five-course tasting, with a choice for each course. That made it easy to try everything, so long as Nellie and I shared…which we did, more or less. It ended up being an absolutely outstanding meal.

Here’s the menu:

Amuse Bouche

  • Broccoli, preserved lemon, ginger / Domain Baud ‘Brut Sauvage’ Cremant (Jura)


  • Quebec Foie Gras, beets, pear, greek yogurt / Spy Valley Johnson ‘Envy’ Pinot Gris 2011 (Marlborough)
  • Aged beef ribeye, bone marrow, watercress, shallots / Schiopetto Fruilano 2013

Bread course

  • Pain au lait / Turres ‘Floralis’ Moscatel Oro


  • Hedgehog mushrooms, celery root, chicken skin, radish / Tissot ‘Patchwork’ Chardonnay 2014 (Jura)
  • Burgundy snails, parsley, black garlic, pearl onion / Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2013 (Tasmania)


  • Hamachi, citrus, parsnip, fennel pollen / Aphros Loureiro Vinho Vere 2013
  • Nova Scotia Lobster, squash, turnip, savoy cabbage / Gaia ‘Thalassitis’ Assyrtiko 2014


  • Perth County rack of pork, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts / Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny 2014 (Loire)
  • Muscovy duck, kale, salsify, pomegranate / Tolaini ‘Valdesanti’ 2011 (Tuscany)

Ummm…parsnip course?

  • Parsnip, coffee, orange

Chocolate course

  • Smoked dark chocolate, cranberry, pistachio / Toro Albala Don Pedro Ximinez Gran Reserva 1986 (Montilla)


  • Sea buckthorn, Earl Grey tea, Bergamot / Azienda Agricola ‘499’ Moscato d’Asti
  • Carrot cake, clementine, lemon balm / Southbrook Vidal Icewine 2006 (Niagara)


The dark chocolate + Don PX course might have been the single best combination course/wine pairing I’ve ever had. I almost passed out.


Cover photo from Alo’s website


Cover photo by Sandy Noble, used under Creative Commons license

Low-key, high-falutin’

This was a big week for me at work. After more than two years of long hours, constant challenges, and blah blah whatever, this week we had reason to celebrate. Unfortunately I had no energy left to celebrate properly (and it’s not like the work is stopping), so we decided to do something low-key. We’re also in austerity measures (fiscal, caloric, etc.) following the holidays so Nellie decided to make dinner for us at home.

We started with some sushi-grade yellowfin tuna in citrus/yuzu/kosho. It was meant to be paired with a 2011 Pearl Morissette Black Ball Riesling, but this bottle appeared to have refermented. Luckily we had a cold bottle of Weihenstephaner, and the citrus-y beer went just fine.

Then we shared a 20 oz ribeye with heirloom tomatoes and a variety of mushrooms.

We opened a special bottle of wine to go with it: a 2008 Kerrigan + Berry Cabernet Sauvignon from the Margaret River region. We bought it from the winery when visiting Australia over four years ago, and have been very patient in waiting this long, if I do say so myself.

The steak? Fantastic. The wine? OutSTANDing. Seriously, worth the four-year wait.

For dessert Nellie picked up a lemon tart, and we had a bit of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye to wrap things up.

Ace meal. Thanks baby!


Cover photo by Sandy Noble, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo from NAO’s site

NAO again

Last night we had dinner at NAO for the third time in two months. It was just as good on occasion #3. We had the hamachi (I can’t not get the hamachi) and some oysters, and split two steaks (a T-Bone from Ontario, and a small Kobe striploin). We even managed to get the Rustenberg cab sauv I tried to order on our first visit.

I now consider it in the same league as Jacob’s & Co., which is a tier above any other steak place in Toronto. It’s becoming a worryingly expensive regular stop.


Cover photo from NAO’s site

Cover photo by Mike Wallis, used under Creative Commons license

“Baccarat. Exquisite.”

We’ve begun our annual catch-up of the top-rated movies of 2015. And so:

Spy (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was the funniest movie I’ve watched in ages. I actually cried a little from laughing, and my stomach kinda hurt afterward. Tons of great support work here, but Melissa McCarthy is a goddamn champion.

’71 (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was…ugh. Not bad, just…ugh. A trial, for sure. I think I would have liked it more but I couldn’t understand about 35% of the movie since I’m not from Belfast. That’s not the movie’s fault, but it’s why I never quite got into it the way I probably would have otherwise.



Cover photo by Mike Wallis, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo by Martin.Cos, used under Creative Commons license

Happy 2016

To celebrate the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, we had a few friends over. Matt & Kaylea co-hosted, and we opened a little wine and served a little food. Here’s the menu:


  • Malpeque
  • Lucky Lime
  • Glacier Bay

Paired with

  • Stratus White 2010 (ON)
  • Bachelder Chardonnay 2012 (Bourgogne)
  • Fielding Rock Pile Pinot Gris 2013 (ON)
  • Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve 2005 (NS)
  • Steam Whistle Pilsner (ON)
  • Muskoka Detour Session Ale (ON)



  • Grilled lobster rolls
  • Garlic cheese twists w/ donair sauce
  • Fried pepperoni

Paired with

  • Lightfoot & Wolfville Chardonnay 2013 (NS)
  • Pearl Morissette Chardonnay 2009 (ON)
  • Le Vieux Pin ‘Ava’ Viognier/Marsanne 2013 (BC)
  • Boxing Rock Cascadian Dark Ale (NS)
  • Uncle Leo’s IPA (NS)



  • Ahi Tuna
  • Organic Scottish salmon

Paired with

  • Thirty Bench ‘Wild Cask’ Riesling 2013 (ON)
  • Hugel & Fils ‘Jubilee’ Pinot Gris 2009 (Alsace)
  • Weihenstephaner (Germany)
  • Blanche de Chambly (QC)



  • Lamb lollipops
  • Flank steak
  • Venison rolls

Paired with

  • Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (USA)
  • Yacochuya Malbec 2005 (Argentina)
  • Pierre Amadieu Gigondas 2012 (Rhone)
  • Domain Queylus Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2010 (ON)
  • Boshkung Milk Stout (ON)
  • Innocente Charcoal Porter (ON)



  • Perrier Jouët Grand Brut (Champagne)
  • Bruno Paillard Premier Cuvée (Champagne)
  • Duval LeRoy Brut Reserve (Champagne)
  • Roederer Estate Brut Rosé (California)
  • Peller Ice Cuvée Rosé (ON)
  • Mikkeller Black Imperial Stout (Denmark)


There was sabering of champagne bottles, a grill fire, and cheers-ing at midnight.

Kaylea and Matt spent the next day here. We lazed about, watched the entire first season of Game Of Thrones, played Cards Against Humanity, ate the charcuterie and pulled pork we didn’t get to the night before, posed action-figure Daryl Dixon in odd ways, and drank a bunch of other sparkling.

Two days later there was some cleaning up:


Cover photo by Martin.Cos, used under Creative Commons license