"If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't."

I’ve noticed something: I only remember to blog about movies when I watch a good movie. Hence:

  • In Bruges (imdb | rotten tomatoes), something we’ve been meaning to see since it premiered at TIFF several years ago, was quite funny. Probably more so since we’ve actually been to Bruges and didn’t really care for it.
  • Retreat (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was better than I expected for a film I’d never heard of and found randomly on TMN. I like the Cillian Murphy almost as much as I dislike the Thandie Newton, so it was balanced up until Jamie Bell appeared. On the whole: pretty good.
  • I’ve never seen the original version of The Thing, but we had the remake (imdb | rotten tomatoes) recorded on the PVR and a couple of hours to kill, and so that happened. It was rubbish.

.:.

This weekend was broken up more or less by what we were drinking at the time:

Friday: Foreign Affair Riesling, Fielding Pinot Gris, Norm Hardie Pinot Noir, and Hamelin Bay Rampant Red (which made us regret not getting down to Hamelin Bay last fall whilst in the Margaret River) at REDS; Cattail Creek Four Mile Creek Riesling, Weingut Hirsch Gruner Veltliner, Argiolas Costera Cannonau, Ca del Monte Valpolicella Ripasso, Bilogia  Tempranillo, Indigena Garnaxta, and something else I don’t remember at Midfield

Saturday: Weihenstephaner Kristall, Beau’s Lugtread, Blanche de Chambly, La Trappe Tripel, and a sunburn at Against The Grain Urban Tavern; a bottle of Hidden Bench 2008 Terroir Caché with dinner (after which I felt like crap, though I don’t blame the wine)

Sunday: an ill-advised Rickard’s White on the temporary on-Yonge-Street patio at the Firkin on Yonge (!); bottles of Kacaba 2008 Syrah and Daniel Lenko 2008 Unoaked Chardonnay when our friend Kaylea dropped in for an impromptu visit; a bottle of Norm Hardie 2010 County Chardonnay with dinner.

 

"Kids grow up."

Yesterday was a day for doing errands (morning), doing work (afternoon) and doing movie watching (evening). Battle: Los Angeles (imdb | rotten tomatoes) was rubbish to be sure, but I’m kind of curious to see whether they could make another one based in another afflicted city — which must surely have been the plan, given the title — and do a better job of it. We also watched Hanna (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which didn’t suck nearly as badly. It was quite entertaining, actually, especially if you like kids who can kill the bejeezus out of bad guys.

On Friday we took a second crack at Against The Grain, the waterfront pub we tried last weekend. We met CBJ and wife, who’ve recently completed their move back to Toronto, and enjoyed the patio on a fairly perfect evening. My food wasn’t the best (they overdid my burger, and I didn’t notice the accursed blue cheese in the menu description) but it has enough variety to keep me going back, especially with that beer selection: I had two pints of Blanche de Chambly and a Schneider Weisse; Nellie had a Mill St. Organic, a Beau’s Lugtread and an Urthel Hop-it. It should be clear from her last order that Nellie is a hop fiend; our friend, Mrs. CBJ, is not at all a fan of hoppy beers, so she declared the two of them to be “hopposites”. Adorable.

With the grain

Oh, it’s been some kind of long weekend so far, yes it has. My brother and his wife arrived early yesterday morning; we met them at the airport and — a little car-location trouble aside — got on our way down to wine country. Traffic was pretty awful with all the people headed for (presumably) the border, but once we jumped off the QEW we were fine. We stopped at Hidden Bench, where they also had sausages and burgers on the grill, followed by Fielding, Thirty Bench, Rosewood, Daniel Lenko, Tawse and Megalomaniac. We filled our bellies with charcuterie and cheese from Good Earth and then boogied back to Toronto.

That’s eleven different bottles plus a case of Daniel Lenko White Cabernet for Nellie. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

The wine theme continued that night as we settled in for dinner at Wine Bar. Excellent as always, with the scallops and short ribs being the stars of the night, along with a German Riesling whose name escapes me. We came home full and happy.

Today has entailed: greasy breakfast, St. Lawrence Market, the Distillery District, food trucks (too crowded, alas), Soma drinking chocolate and lunch at Against The Grain Urban Tavern, a new pub down by the waterfront. They have one of the few lakeside patios I can think of in the city, and a very good beer list, and pretty decent food on top of that. It’s a bit of a hike — perversely, Toronto’s waterfront isn’t easy to reach — but I can see that we’ll be back soon.

Tonight we head to Fieramosca, where I am required by law to bring any family members within Toronto city limits. So…blogging may be sparse tomorrow.