Chimps Batch Jays Owen

That was a busy-ass week. Fun too.

On Tuesday we grabbed some dinner at Wine Bar and then went to see a talk by one of Nellie’s heroes, Jane Goodall. Such an impressive human being, and her final story of the night (shown below) pretty much says it all.

On Wednesday we grabbed dinner at Batch with our buddy GB, visiting for the week.

On Thursday I met my buddy Joe at the new Bar Hop (my first visit, believe it or not) where I had an excellent Burdock session saison and then availed myself of one of his Jays tickets, with which we watched the Jays beat the Yankees. Labatt’s acquisition of Mill Street at least meant I could have a 100th Meridian to go with this view:

Last night we went over to our friends A+A’s place and had a seemingly Dan-tailored evening: grilled meat and charcuterie, stellar beer (including a Gueuze Tilquin they brought back from Brussels, bless their little hearts), cool music that made me want to start collecting LPs again, and a cat named Owen who blithely tolerated my attention. We turned into pumpkins on their couch. It was, after all, a busy-ass week.

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.

"I wish monkeys could Skype."

Toronto seems to have awakened from a long, dark winter. Not a hard winter, mind you, just one that seemed never to end. But yesterday the sun came out, and today it’s scorching (41 with the humidex) so I’d like to think this past weekend signaled the final curtain on spring.

Friday we both worked late. When we got home we decided it was a good idea to disassemble the old home theatre (the new receiver and tv stand had arrived) and rebuild it. Somewhere between “disassemble” and “the rest” I got tired of that idea, and we went out for dinner instead. Thinking the Wine Bar would offer a quick, simple meal we went there. We ended up with frites and flat breads and Miami ribs and giant scallops and pork medallions, not to mention pretty much every red by the glass (and a few whites) that they serve. We ended with five cheeses, paired with five wines. We also ended up chatting quite a bit with Carlos, the manager, who was from Spain. We mentioned that we were considering a trip to Spain in the next couple of years. He came back later with a few bits of advice:

On Saturday we stepped gingerly around the pile of cords and equipment in our living room on our way to the market for the week’s supplies, before doing a few errands. Those errands included me picking up a much-needed HDMI cable, which meant we walked past Future Shop’s collection of LED TVs. Nellie pretty much decided on the spot that we needed one; alas, who am I to disagree?

Really, we were up around Yonge & Dundas to see The Hangover Part II (imdb | rotten tomatoes) which was rubbish. Nellie described it well: take the first Hangover, pretend it’s a Mad Lib and just replace all the major plot points with something new…Vegas = Bangkok, tiger = some other exotic animal, and so on. The best part of the movie was being surprised beforehand with the new red band trailer for David Fincher’s remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

We came home and, as best we could, set up the new receiver. Still a couple of kinks to be worked out, but it’s getting there. I hear a new LED TV should really pull it together. Anyway, we couldn’t enjoy it too long as we were off to GB’s surprise birthday party. Again, we mistakenly thought this would be an early and easy night. Later, as we drove home in a cab at 2:15AM, we wondered exactly what had happened. I think Nellie kept wondering that the whole next day, which she spent on the couch.

Sunday was unremarkable, save the last-night lightning storm that crashed around the city.