And I didn’t even mention all the wine

Christ, I’m full. What a weekend of eating.

First, on Thursday, we met Mike & Heather at Lake Inez. They’d never been; we had maybe our best meal there ever — which is saying something. We shared deviled eggs, miso-molasses pork skewers, teriyaki beef tartare, fried yukon gold potatoes w/ bonito+nori+okonomi, gyoza sausage roll, sancho pork side ribs, and several amazing bottles of beer.

Friday, after work, we had drinks at the Summerhill Boxcar, brought home Yeah Yeahs pizza, and re-watched the first few episodes of House of Cards.


On Saturday we ended up eating a lot of leftovers and doing stuff around the loft as it was so shite outside, but did order some bbq from Greenwood Smokehouse and watched Sour Grapes (imdb | rotten tomatoes), a documentary about this con man who duped people into buying millions of dollars worth of fine wine.

On Sunday we got up early to have breakfast at Bonjour Brioche, then worked at our local Boxcar for five hours, walked over to White Lily for some lunch, and came home to watch 22 July (imdb | rotten tomatoes). Not the lightest way to end a weekend, one might say.

.:.

Cover photo by 3dom, used under Creative Commons license

Cover photo from Joshua Isard's Medium article

Otverload

Such a big part of the reason why my movie addiction has died down is both the quality and volume of TV. HBO made it hard enough, but with Netflix pumping out new content at an alarming rate (and we just signed up for Amazon Prime video) we can’t keep up. We just finished Making A Murder season 2, Fargo season 3, and Big Mouth season 2. We’re in the midst of The Good Place season 3 and Homecoming season 1. We haven’t even started The Deuce season…uh, 2 or Handmaid’s Tale season 2, and we essentially abandoned Maniac, Mr. Robot, Ozark, and Altered Carbon at various points. To say nothing of all the other shows we’ve been told we should be watching.

Mercy, television.

.:.

Cover photo from Joshua Isard’s Medium article

Cover photo from the Loop Gallery site

I wanna be your

Thursday night we braved the mid-November snow and went west, arriving at the Loop Gallery on Dundas just in time for readings from the latest installation in Vallum’s Chapbook series. Lindsay’s friend and collaborator Zach was one of the readers, from his latest poetry collection Ladybird Bug Boy.

Also reading — sort of — that night was Steve Lambke, a local musician and member of The Constantines, one of my all-time favourite bands whose song “Hyacinth” is on my best-songs-of-all-time list. I introduced myself and told him I’d seen him open for …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at The Horseshoe back in 2001. And then I think we both felt old. Anyway, Lambke was there to read, to his own music, from The Weave: A Work In Progress by Thurston Moore and John Kinsella. Yes, that Thurston Moore: guitarist for Sonic Youth, who also has an entry (“Theresa’s Sound World”) on my list of best songs of all time. Tenuous third link: Thurston Moore figures in the lyrics of one of my favourite Sleater-Kinney songs, “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” and S-K also have a song (albeit a different one, “Turn It On”) on my all-time-fav list.

Anyway, after the event four of us grabbed dinner across the street at Enoteca Sociale. We shared chicken liver mousse w/ apple preserve & grilled focaccia, some cheese, and some salumi. For mains I had the orecchietti w/ butternut squash, prosciutto & fried sage; Lindsay had the special, a hazelnut and ricotta pasta in mushroom broth. For dessert I had a chocolate terrine w/ salt and olive oil; Lindsay had cannoli.

It felt like a Honda tauntaun ride across town to get there, but what a fun evening.

.:.

Cover photo from the Loop Gallery site

Fine, I’ll stay away

A few weeks ago I was in Montreal for work*, and bought a last-minute ticket for the Canadiens-Stars game. In keeping with my tradition, the Canadiens lost. I’ve seen four games in Montreal in my life, and they’ve lost all four.

Last night, after a couple beers and a quick bite at Beerbistro, Lindsay and I went to the Raptors game against New Orleans. The Raps were 11-1; the Pelicans 6-6. The Raptors hadn’t lost at home all year. But last night the Raps stunk the joint up and lost.

So fine. I won’t go to any more games. I know curses are ridiculous, but more to the point: paying hundreds of dollars to watch a loss is a bigger negative for me than seeing them win live is a positive, so it just makes good sense.

Still: grump.

* I also hit old coffee favourites Différance and Crew Collective, and tried La Finca for the first time. Beer-wise I only had time to hit Brutopia on my way to the game.

“I think it’ll be more the fact that it allows us to see things. That maybe we should have seen a long time ago. But just haven’t been able to until now.”

While the back half of this long weekend will be spent doing work (probably) the first part was about unwinding from the week, and having a bit of fun.

First, on Friday: Lob, an indoor bocce track / bar that opened near us earlier this year. We met a bunch of friends there and played our little hearts out (I sucked) and had some pretty good beers — Lindsay drank Radical Road Yuzu pale all night, and I drank Left Field Bang Bang sour. More fun that I reckoned it would be, actually.

Yesterday, after plowing through a bunch of Making A Murderer season 2 we went to see First Man (imdb | rotten tomatoes) at the Scotiabank theatre. I knew it was a straight procedural and obviously knew how it ended, but the personal lens (Armstrong’s) and style with which it was done made it so good. It certainly didn’t feel like its 2:20 run time.

After the movie we went to dinner at Patria. I’d been many times but it was Lindsay’s first visit. Not to brag, but I think we kinda killed it.

  • cocktails: Spanish Manhattan, Spanish Negroni
  • pimientos de Padrón (blistered peppers + sea salt)
  • aceitunas (house marinated olives)
  • palacios chorizo
  • cheese: oveja con trufa la quesera, 12 month d.o. manchego, d.o. murcia al vino
  • tartar de carne (striploin + organic egg + chili + guindilla + alhambra cheese)
  • bombas con salsa brava (house chorizo + aioli + spicy piquillo sauce)
    • Cava: Raventos I Blanc ‘de Nit’ 2014 (Monastrell, Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada)
  • carne de Wagyu (Australian Wagyu + crispy potato bravas + jus)
    • glasses of Terres de Vidalba ‘Tocs’ 2007 (Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah)
  • Mousse de Avellana (hazelnut mousse + salted caramel + dulce de leche + carajillo syrup + candy roses)
    • 1955 Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Convento Seleccion

 

ReTOCA

Last night, after a quick work event stop-in at The Walrus, we had dinner at TOCA in the Ritz Carlton. I’d first tried it in 2011, not long after it opened, and loved it. I went back for a work dinner not long after, and was pretty disappointed — I think they’d switched chefs by that point.

I’d read that they had their footing back with an Italian focus, and it was perfectly placed between the work event and the TIFF Lightbox, where we intended to see ANTHROPOCENE (tiff), so we booked ourselves a table.

We shared everything:

  • caprese salad made with Nova Scotia lobster
    • paired with glasses of Franciacorta
  • potato gnocchi w/ roasted butternut squash, gorgonzola, and pumpkin seeds
  • 32oz tagliata di Fiorentina w/ roasted brussels sprouts, celeriac purée
  • traffalina cheese
    • paired with a bottle of 2013 Caburnio from Tuscany
  • biscotti, raspberry chocolate truffle, and housemade limoncello

It was all pretty fantastic, frankly. I’m happy to have another decent option in an entertainment district that’s a little lacking sometimes.