Friday: we split a bottle of wine of Rioja (the Olabarri Reserva 2008) with a friend at Cava, then went big: dinner at Jacobs & Co. It was Lindsay’s first time there, and I think it lived up to all my hype. Here’s what we ate:
the usual white cheddar popovers | Perrier Jouet Champagne
Jacobs Caesar salad | Verum Chardonnay, Domaine d’Albas Viognier/Vermentino
a 28oz USDA swinging ribeye from Kansas aged 35 days + a 4oz california cut striploin A5 Black Tajima Wagyu from Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan + sides (sauteed rapini, duck fat french fried potatoes, king oyster mushrooms) | Achaval Ferrer “Finca Mirador” Malbec 2011, from Mendoza Argentina
Sunday: we finished watching Dope (imdb | rotten tomatoes) after falling asleep partway through the night before. Excellent movie, by the way – killer soundtrack too. Then, after finishing the last of the leftover Jacobs steak and banging out some work (over a few bottles of craft beer) we got some killer tacos at La Carnita, explored the Aquarium for the very first time, and then made an amazing batch of pasta at home before completely crashing out, exhausted from the weekend. Phew!
It’s been a busy 8 days, considering I haven’t been traveling or anything. The mother in law visited for about a week. We had a huge dinner at Jacobs & Co. I spent Saturday, including a Fieramosca dinner, involved in a work conference. Good Jays games and bad Jays games. Absolutely insane amounts of work.
I spent tonight eating dinner at Hawthorne with Nellie, planning my attack on Cask Days tomorrow, and watching the Jays’ season end in game 6 against the Royals, in a game they probably could (should) have won. But hey, at least the Habs are 8-0 to start the season. So there’s that.
Cover photo by Loaded Dog, used under Creative Commons
Well, my visit to Jacobs & Co. steakhouse a couple weeks ago without the wife was the last straw. Her birthday is coming up and we go where the birthday girl wants, and the birthday girl wanted steak after hearing me talk about it last month. So.
Nellie’s still getting over the remnants of the flu so we kept it simple: champagne, Caesar salads, mushrooms and rapini, and no Wagyu…she wouldn’t be able to taste it. She had a Hereford bone-in striploin from Alberta; I had a USDA Black Angus ribeye from Nebraska. Nothing fancy on the wine front either: a bottle of Ridge 2010 Cab Sauv. We weren’t looking for a unique snowflake of a meal. We were looking for the perfect straight-up-and-down steak dinner, and last night pretty much ticked the box. We didn’t even bother with dessert or coffee; the last bite of steak* and last sip of cab was the perfect exit note.
Unexpected stars of the night: our server in the downstairs piano bar who was so adorable you could just put her in your pocket; the smoked, chocolate-infused salt from Oregon which was so good I made the table runner put some in our to-go bag; our server who surprised Nellie with petit fours with a happy birthday message written in chocolate; the takeaway muffin which I always seem to forget about but which hit the spot this morning.
Nellie suggested we eat dinner there every Friday night. Apart from gluttony and destitution I’m having a hard time finding a reason not to.
* The last bite we took, that is. We each brought home nearly half of our steak, so we’ll have a meat coda sometime this weekend.
Cover photo by Dennis, used under Creative Commons license
We’ve been on vacation for a week now, and it’s been a damn good one. I’ve already postedpictures summarizing our time on my family’s farm: basically, it was lots of food, dogs, family, gifts, cribbage (final tally was 11 games for me vs. 6 for my dad), and quiet time.
We ended up returning to Toronto a few hours early on the 26th to get ahead of the storm headed for Ontario and Quebec, and so were well-rested for the 27th. A good thing too, considering how busy it got. We did more cleaning, bought Nellie a Samsung Galaxy S3, had some poor beers and super-hot wings at Les 3 Brasseurs, watched Silver Linings Playbook (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which was a little better than I was expecting, finalized the sale of our old condo by picking up our cheque from the lawyer, and cracked open a bottle of Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial before heading to dinner at Jacobs & Co.
Said dinner, by the way, was as exquisite as we’ve come to expect from Jacobs. We split a 20 oz. Wagyu ribeye from Wagyu Sekai right here in Ontario. We’d both had Wagyu beef here before, but this one was a whole other level of buttery richness. Between us we could only eat 7 of the 11 slices of steak; we had to give up and bring the other four home. The sommelier suggested a nice Barbaresco to complement the beef. I’d never have thought to make that match, but it worked nicely.
And, after all that, we still have a four-day weekend (more or less) coming up. Bitchin’.
Photo by moviesinla, used under Cerative Commons license
Since Nellie’s birthday last year was a (pretty kick-ass) trip to New York, this year we decided to do our celebrating closer to home. The festivities took three parts:
Diamonds. Diamond earrings, to be exact. She was more than a little bit happy about that.
Steak. Three years ago, shortly after our escape from vegetarianism, we went with friends to Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse for Nellie’s birthday. We had such a great meal that we always planned to go back. And go back we did, last summer, but it was an ill-advised visit as we’d had far too much to drink before we arrived, making it a wasted and wasteful visit. However, another birthday seemed just the occasion for a proper return, and so we booked our spot for her birthday Thursday. We had a drink first at Crush, then skipped just around the corner to Jacobs and strapped in. We each had a drink to start (bubbles for Nellie, naturally) and then got into things with the lobster bisque and a chard that I just don’t remember. For our mains we decided to go big, each ordering a different 10 oz Wagyu to share. We paired it with a 2009 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which tasted like chocolate with the steak and like vanilla on its own. Maybe one of the best flavour combinations I’ve ever had in my mouth. Neither of us had room for dessert but our server did talk us into a glass of port, and sent us on our way with muffins for Friday’s breakfast. None too soon either; Jersey Shore-lite sat down at the booth next to ours just as we were sipping our port, and we wanted out of there. But even their cheesiness couldn’t tarnish a delicious (triumphant, maybe?) return to Jacobs.
Friends. Nellie wanted to do something with friends, so we invited everyone over to ours for a Saturday evening. No agenda other than just to drink some drinks, eat some eats, and laugh some laughs. We braved the shite weather to pick up a bunch of little snacks and beer (Beau’s Lugtread, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Garrison Porter) and Prairie Girl cupcakes and Cumbrae’s pulled pork with slider buns, and we spent a little time coming up with an Ontario-focused wine list, ’cause that’s what we like to do.
To start: 13th Street 07 Cuvee Rose, Appleby Lane 10 Sauv Blanc (the “house white”), Dowie Doole 09 Shiraz (the “house red”)
Whites: Five Rows 09 Riesling, Lailey 08 Old Vines Chardonnay, Norman Hardie 09 Pinot Gris, Thirty Bench 10 Riesling
I think the last couple wandered out some time after 2AM, and we got to bed around 3. We spent Sunday lazing on the couch and finishing off the pulled pork, I think the pulled pork put us over the top, as Nellie declared this the best birthday ever.