A La Turk (Toronto)


Good luck getting a table at A La Turk without a reservation. I’ve learnt this the hard way – trying to secure one last minute or stopping by after work hoping to hear seats for two are vacant. It hasn’t happened yet.

It may be their complimentary bread and dip platter. It takes a lot of willpower not to just tear into the hot puffed pita that arrives fresh from the oven. Indeed, I often lose and suffered from slightly singed fingers.


Yet, it’s that steaming toasted pita with a slather of cool dip that gets you excited for the rest of the meal. There seems to always be a garlicky creamy spread, a sweeter carrot one, and a zesty and slightly spicy tomato dip (it’s my favourite_. The fourth condiment can vary between a lightly pickled vegetable or zucchini tzatizki.

Mix a couple of dips together to create something really good, but also save them for pairing with main dishes. They went nicely with the mixed kebab ($36) platter where the chicken wing was grilled beautifully but lacked seasoning. A dip in the creamy garlic sauce saved the wings and made it sing.

Meanwhile, the kabab didn’t need a thing, the mixture was filled with herbs and a bit of chili and so flavourful that you’d want to leave it plain. Since it’s cooked on the grill, there was a bit of smokiness but restrained enough that the kebab’s meaty herb flavours could still be enjoyed. The lamb chop was overdone, but remained moist and delicious, a bit of lemon zest would make it even better. Lastly, the dish is finished off with cubes of steak cooked medium… it’s good, after all, it’s steak.


The side of bulgur rice reminded me of a softer dirty rice. It definitely could use more salt, but with some of the saved tomato chili dip, it was fantastic. Plenty of veggies finish off the dish so you can mix and match the garnishes with the meat. Even the puffy bread the meats rest on is worth a taste, it’s soft and flavourful having soaked in the lovely juices.

If a platter of grilled meat isn’t your thing – sorry we may not be able to dine together - A La Turk has a number of dishes that combine proteins on a more balanced basis. The stuffed eggplant ($12) is something I order every time. Soft and meaty, the eggplant is filled with bell pepper and walnut pomegranate paste for sweetness and ground beef for a savoury element and texture. It’s so good that I may order one for myself in subsequent visits.


That bit of texture is sadly what’s missing from the koro dolme ($12) that takes peppers and eggplant stuffing them with a thick mushy rice. It really needs something else in the filling to add a bit of bite, or at the very least, cooking the rice less and incorporating more spices and herbs. In its current form, it was too sweet and tangy for me.


Having had manti ($25), a Turkish style dumpling, at other restaurants, A La Turk’s version wasn’t the strongest. The dough was too thick and the filling in miniscule portions that it almost tastes like you’re eating gnocchi with yoghurt. Less of the tart garlicky sauce and more texture within the dumpling could improve the dish.


The sarma beyti ($28) takes a seasoned veal and lamb kebab and adds tons of gooey cheese and eggplant and wraps it in dough before baking it in the wood oven. While I’d always lean towards sharing the mixed grill platter, this dish is a close second and is a hot sandwich at its finest.


Whatever you do, save room for dessert. Their kunefe ($8 for the small) takes time to prepare, but you really want them to not rush this. It turns out best when they cook it on a lower temperature so the vermicelli noodles turn a crispy golden brown and the cheese melts into a gooey blob but the syrup doesn’t burn yet.


It’s a sweet that can sometimes be a miss, on one visit the charred bits around the edges gave the dessert a bitter bite. But more times than not it’s that sugary, crispy finish that makes you yearn for more. It might explain A La Turk’s popularity: the fresh pita and dip starting off the meal on a strong note, while the kunefe ending it with a sweet finish. Pick up the phone to make that reservation.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3443 Yonge Street 
 Website: http://alaturk.ca/

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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


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A La Turk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



Ottoman Taverna (Washington)


While researching interesting restaurants to dine at in Washington DC, Ottoman Taverna came up as the place where Michelle Obama and her friends visited for a dinner. Not too shabby if you’re an establishment where political royalty decides to break bread.  

Every Turkish meal should begin with the smoked eggplant salad ($10), which is really a dip and not the boring lettuce bowls we typically think of as a salad. Instead, it’s a flavourful thick spread made from roasted eggplant, Anaheim peppers, garlic, onion, parsley, and has a zippy lemon-pomegranate molasses drizzled on top.


A bit tangy, smoky, and spicy, it’s overall refreshing thanks to all the herbs and is great for smearing on warm pita. A great alternative appetizer that’s lighter than babaganosh without sacrificing flavour.

While the lamb and beef kibbeh ($12) seemed like they would be heavy and dense, after breaking through the thin crispy crust, the ground meat mixed with bulgur wheat breaks apart easily and is rather moist. Flavoured with aromatic onion, garlic, and parsley with some walnuts for texture, it’s even better when you wrap it in lettuce with some pickled vegetables.


Where exactly did I get this lettuce? It was part of the complimentary bite for the day, so sadly you may not always have this option. The amuse bouche contained a piece of chewy soft paste made from rice, tomato, and spices. It’s interesting, but definitely not something I would want again.


Ottoman was also my first experience tasting lahmacun ($12.75), a thin crispy flatbread topped with a spread made from lamb and spicy tomato paste. With the onion and cilantro on top, it’s a surprisingly light and refreshing starter.


It was a smart idea to keep the appetizers less meaty as when the Chef Mixed Grill for two ($57.50) arrived, there was more than enough protein to go around. The pucks of kofte – one beef with lamb and the other chicken – were both loosely packed making it moist and you could taste the herbs mixed throughout. Ottoman’s adana kebab was also really good and the lamb perfectly seasoned and also not overly strong.


Yet, the lamb chops were my favourite part of the platter: cooked medium well so that there was just a bit of pinkness remaining and oh so tender. If all the other options weren’t enough, there was also a heaping pile of shaved doner. If we had any pita remaining, this would have been delicious sandwiched with the onions. It also paired nicely with the rice, which must have been augmented with melted fat as the white rice was so flavourful and had a lovely silky texture.  

With all the appetizers, the meat platter for two was more than enough for our table of four. We really didn’t need another main, but the char-grilled branzino ($27.95) seemed like a good idea to balance out all the other proteins.

 

Since it arrived after the Chef’s Mixed Grill, I didn’t try the fish until later and by then it seemed overdone. Nonetheless, there was a solid meaty portion of the branzino and the silky herbed mashed potatoes it came with was delicious. The medley of sautéed vegetables was also refreshing and greatly appreciated after all the beef, lamb, and chicken!

There’s something about the décor at Ottoman Taverna that also makes the experience memorable. Even though the dining room is open and airy, there’s a sense of coziness at the banquettes with chairs that seem to hug you. It’s a modern atmosphere but the food is comforting and tastes like it’s steep in tradition. I can see why it’s where the First Lady decides to nosh with her pals.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Washington, USA
 Address: 425 I St NW

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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


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Ottoman Taverna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


What's better than Cena in Famiglia?


It seems like every culture has a tradition or holiday that gathers families for a meal. Whether it's to celebrate or instill a custom, everything is better amongst loved ones and with food. That’s why Villa Charities Foundation is launching their Cena in Famiglia event (translates to family dinner) to help raise funds to continue their promotion of Italian heritage and everything that embodies the culture.

Villa Charities was first established in 1971 to provide affordable and quality long-term care to elderly Italian-Canadians. Villa Colombo, a long-term care facilities steeped with Italian culture, was created and soon expanded into four more facilities. As the charity grew, so did their mandate and in later decades they’ve added a community centre and now strives to be the voice of the Italian Canadian community.

Having grown up with a number of Italian friends, the Sunday “suppers” are an impressive and warming affair. On Sunday, August 25th, Villa Charities will throw their own Sunday meal where guests will dine outdoors at Sala Caboto Gardens. The event begins at 2pm with a cocktail reception complete with food stations where you’ll get a group photo to commemorate the occasion.


Don’t fill up at the stations as a 3-course meal follows where you’ll be sure to get a taste of the Italian culture. If that weren’t enough, you’ll be entertained with music during the whole affair. For the brave, it’s your chance to polka!

The event ends by 5:30pm so there’s plenty of time to relax, nap, and digest all the food before the weekend is over. So whether you go with one person or gather a full table of eight, Cena in Famiglia will leave you full and satisfied knowing you’ll be supporting Villa Charities Foundation programs.

Thanks to the folks at Villa Charities Foundation, Gastro World is giving away a pair of tickets (valued at $200) to the event!

Entries will be accepted until August 18, 2019 at 12:00 AM. Sometime the following day, I will contact winners through email with further details. Accordingly, please make sure you enter a valid email address in Rafflecopter contest site. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
How To Find Them
 Address: Sala Cabato Gardens
                 40 Playfair Avenue

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So what exactly is Ocean Wise?



The Ocean Wise seafood program started in Vancouver when a restaurateur approached a member of the education team at the Vancouver Aquarium to ask how they could ensure they were serving sustainable seafood. Good question, they thought. It’s definitely not something where information is readily available for companies, let alone consumers. With that, they developed the Ocean Wise seafood program to assess sustainable options, connect suppliers and restaurants, and allow restaurants to promote these options to diners.

As a foodie, I knew about their sustainability program. For years, I’ve seen their logo grace menus and tried to order those options to ensure my meal has less impact on the Earth. So, when they reached out to ask if I wanted to attend their first complimentary walking tour for the public, I didn’t realize I’d learn anything new about the organization.

The first being that they are so much more than the little logo that’s found on menus. Rather, they are based out of the Vancouver Aquarium and are Canada’s national sustainable seafood program, with the vision to ensure the world’s oceans are healthy and flourishing.

The Ocean Wise Seafood program is part of the Ocean Wise Conservation Association (OWCA) which focuses on: researching about the oceans to arm everyone with knowledge, educating others about what it takes to be sustainable, running the Great Canadian Shoreline which supports volunteer led clean-up projects and limiting the use of plastics, and actually saving marine life through the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. For consumers, the Seafood Program helps diners make better choices when it comes to eating habits.

Secondly, I learnt they’re not a certification, but are rather a recommendation body that assesses fisheries and then acts as a middle person between fisheries and restaurants. For example, if you’re a chef who really wants to serve a seared tuna appetizer. They determine if there’s a sustainable tuna option and then recommends options as to where the company can purchase from.

Over 700 partners in Canada participate in the program, covering thousands of locations, and it continues to grow as establishments really want to do the right thing. Overfishing is a big issue and as the world’s population grows and more people eat seafood there’s a risk that these populations will become extinct. Already, about 90% of the world’s fish options are considered fully fished or overfished. As consumers, we need to start eating from underutilized species to ensure other generations can actually enjoy seafood in the future.

I’m a big fan of sushi and have heard about the rarity of tuna. Therefore, when Palm Lane, the first stop of the walking tour, served tuna, I was a bit intrigued. In reality, it’s the blue fin tuna that’s reaching dangerously low populations, while the Albacore tuna, especially when line caught (essentially fished one-by-one rather than using a net method that can scoop up a lot of other marine life), is a sustainable option.

Palm Lane already prides itself by having a large portion of their menu plant-based - the only protein they do serve is Albacore tuna. It’s used in the Osaka salad ($14.25; sample size shown below), which is essentially a deconstructed sushi roll. A bed of nappa cabbage and romaine is topped with a host of vegetables you’d normally find in Japanese cuisine (edamame, nori, pickled vegetables, avocado) and heartier ingredients (sushi rice, sweet potato tempura, and delicious fluffy fried tofu).  Crowning everything are slices of delicately seared tuna that’s simply seasoned and goes so well with yuzu wasabi dressing.  It’s seriously delicious.


Ocean Wise recommends sustainable species based on four criteria:
  • Is it a healthy and resilient species?
  • Is there an effective and adaptive management plan?
  • Lastly, is it harvested in a manner that limits damage to the surrounding environment?
Assessments are written to the Seafood Watch standard. The assessment will ultimately classify the species into two categories: Ocean Wise or Not Recommended. Species are regularly reclassified as new information is known and fisheries are re-assessed at least every 5 years to ensure their harvesting methods are still in line with the recommended practices.

Kasa Moto, being a Japanese restaurant, serves a lot of seafood. Therefore, they were a great stop to showcase how many dishes could be considered Ocean Wise! We started with the scallop ceviche ($18; sample portion shown below) that takes a meaty Hokkaido scallop and soaks it in a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy passion fruit and sea buckthorn marinade. Cucumber and grapefruit slices add a bit of textual and flavour contrast against the delicate scallop without taking away its natural flavours.


From New Zealand, we’re served a vibrantly red Ora King salmon. These are farmed in an enclosed bay to ensure that they don’t affect other wild life and in an area where the salmon has adequate space to swim around. Ocean Wise explains that they don’t necessarily think that only wild options are the best. In order to be sustainable, we’ll need to raise some of the seafood we eat… unfortunately, Mother Nature won’t naturally create enough marine life to support the world.

Where farming becomes dangerous is when they overcrowd the fish and add antibiotics and other chemicals into the water to ensure the fish resist diseases in the close quarters. Therefore, Ocean Wise only recommends farms that meet their criteria for sustainable aquaculture practices.

The pressed Ora King salmon sushi ($19) is prepared aburi style so the already fatty fish is topped with garlic aioli and blow torched quickly, melding all the fasts together so it starts seeping into the rice. Indeed, it makes for a rich and decadent bite as all the flavours melt onto your tongue leaving a sweet smokiness.


I’m also delighted to hear one of my favourite dishes, miso black cod ($45; sample portion shown below) is also part of the Ocean Wise Life program. This fish arrives closer to home, coming from the west coast of British Columbia. The sablefish (another name for black cod) is oven baked until flakey and paired with grated ginger and carrot, a spear of pickled asparagus, and vinaigrette to give it a refreshing finish. 


Having eaten at Kasa Moto when it first opened, I love their revamped menu. It leans more towards traditional dishes where the seafood is left relatively neutral so its natural flavours are more pronounced.

Example of the Ocean Wise symbol on Kasa Moto's menu
So, what information do we need to make sure something is sustainable? If the Ocean Wise symbol isn’t available (say you’re at a grocery store), you need three pieces of information: (1) what species the marine life is, (2) where it’s from, and (3) how it’s harvested. Then, you can go to their website and enter the information where you’ll get the same yes or no recommendation.

For our last stop, Mercatto created an Albacore tuna dish especially for the tour. The fish is one that’s used at their various Toronto restaurants, customized to local tastes. For our visit, they paired the seared tuna with a creamy fregola augmented with Ontario asparagus shavings. It’s not part of current menu, but I highly suggest serving it as a special.


It’s at Mercatto where Chef Doug Neigel really gets to the crux of why they are part of Ocean Wise. Yes, of course, they want to do what’s right and be sustainable… but, it’s also something that clients want. Like any business, restaurants are catering to their customers’ tastes. So, if you really want to see Ocean Wise recommendations on a menu, as a customer you should suggest it. In fact, this desire is what caused Mercatto to source a sustainable calamari option for all their locations.

I’m glad more restaurants and consumers are starting to think about sustainability. Hopefully, it’s not too late to turn it around for the impacts that we have already made. With that said, it’s just the start and there’s still so much to be done. I hope customers will quickly demand that the industry begins thinking about animal welfare as well. Sure, something is sustainable, but are we also harvesting marine life in a way that’s humane?

It’s a good start that we’re not overfishing Albacore tuna, but if they are taken out of the ocean and put into small packed cold holding tanks or worse yet, removed from water so they end up suffocating for hours until they actually die, is there a better way of getting that fish to plate? I’m hopeful that we’ll soon get there.

To end this on a positive note, a special thanks to zoologist Kristen Rodrigo (who was also part of the tour), for sharing a quote that should be an inspiration for everyone. It comes from Anne Marie Bonneau, a zero waste chef, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

By no means are we perfect, but let’s do what we can. For a start, let’s go out and look for the Ocean Wise symbol below when we’re ordering from restaurants or buying seafood at stores. Then, let’s graduate for politely asking for it at places where we’re regular customers. If millions of people enact small changes, it may be all we need to make changes big enough to save the Oceans.


Disclaimer: The above food samples were from a complimentary walking tour run by Ocean Wise Life.  Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.


How To Find Them



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Succotash (Washington)


Washington may lie in the north east corner of the United States, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get soulful Southern food in DC. As you walk into Succotash, it doesn’t feel like you’re in the South. Open and airy, the building was home to a former bank and the ornate details still shine through. Perhaps the second floor balcony, ringed in a wrought iron divider, pays a bit of homage to New Orleans. If it weren’t so fancy, I’d almost expect people to pelt me with plastic beads

Then you take a bite of their smoked chicken wings ($11) and you’re hit with the flavours. Arriving fairly dark, due to the spice rub, it looks almost burnt but isn’t. The chicken is tender and there’s a nice crispy skin despite seemingly being roasted. Yet, it’s the flavours that impress the most. As Colonel Sanders says, it’s finger licking good.


Succotash also offers some interesting nibbles like the deviled eggs, ordered by the piece ($1.50). The snack starts off like any deviled egg, with creamy yolk piped into egg white. But, they you’re met with a refreshing green tomato relish in the cup between the two. Whose genius idea was that?


The hush puppies ($6) are a bit denser than I expected. But, the batter was flavoured nicely and more of the green tomato relish arrives on the side, making a great condiment for the warm savoury bites.


You may want to consider sharing the chicken and waffles ($23), which arrives four pieces to an order. While the portion size is certainly impressive, the dish itself contained good and bad elements: The chicken had a lovely crispy coating and was fairly moist, but the thigh pieces were over floured leaving soggy parts and the batter could use more flavour. Luckily, we thought to ask for hot sauce.


The dish’s condiments were also a hit or miss. While the pickled okra, something I didn’t think I’d like, turned out surprisingly delicious, the waffles were too dense and mushy. I also could have done without the sprinkling of aged manchego over the chicken, it really detracted from the bourbon infused maple syrup.

Nothing quite shouts out being in the south than a side order of bacon mac ‘n’ cheese ($10). Succotash’s version is bang on in terms of flavours and the pasta isn’t overcooked. Sure, the side is decadent, but it’s not overly oily so doesn’t leave you too glutinous feeling.



You really can find a diverse mix of cuisine in the nation’s capital. At Succotash, you get a great taste of Southern food. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Washington, USA
 Address: 915 F St NW

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Succotash Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Feast of St. Lawrence (Toronto)


Just imagine dining outdoors on Front Street with two hundred fellow guests. That's two long tables tucking into a six-course meal prepared by some of the best restaurants the St. Lawrence neighbourhood has to offer. Better yet, indulge in all this food and drink and support Second Harvest, a leading charity that rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and diverts it to shelters and food banks. A noble foundation that not only helps the hungry but also helps the environment.

If this sound like a cause you can get behind, than you can't miss out on the Feast of St. Lawrence. Taking place on August 9, 2019, the evening begins with oyster and charcuterie stations to wash down drinks as you mingle and listen to a jazz band performing in Berczy Park. 

Restaurants will also be serving hors d'oeurvres, such as Hawthorne's sous vide trout with Ontario saffron velouté topped with caviar. The bit of smokiness in the fish with the salty finish from the caviar makes this a great pairing with white wine. And yes, you heard right, there is a farm in Ontario that cultivates saffron!


Batch's beef tartare arrives in its own container, a crunchy shrimp chip that's deep fried until fluffy. Inside, the Korean inspired tartare is mixed with kimchi and Asian pear so that you get a bit of heat and sweetness. They say it's the perfect bite to pair with their IPA, which cuts the fat from your tongue. Wine, beer, and that cute dog fountain? What a way to begin.


Afterwards, the feast consists with six courses, all paired with Ontario wines. Having sampled four of the six dishes, there is certainly variety as chefs pay homage to the local ingredients Ontario offers in the summer.

Farm'r starts their salad with thick slices of roasted peaches that will just be hitting shelves in August. The bits of mint, salty feta, and peppery arugula helps balance out the sweetness and makes a delicious combination with quinoa. 


Trust me, you're in for some good food. Having tucked into a sample of Cantina Mercatto's smoked corn sugo cavatelli, the light cream base with chewy pasta, which is almost reminiscent of a tiny gnocchi, is absolutely delicious. There’s meaty chanterelles, a bit of heat from birds eye chilies, sweet corn kernels, and refreshing pea shoots. The dish is so good I went back for a second sample.


Having done a quick preparation of Cirillo’s Academy’s grilled octopus, it seems like such an easy dish to create …until Chef Cirillo actually describes how they make the octopus: slow braising it with stock mixed with its own liquids, breaking it down to remove the inedible pieces, and then finally finishing sections on the grill. You’re left with meaty bites of octopus mixed with quickly seared tomatoes, chickpeas, and arugula. It’s a nice bridge between the pasta and the heavier main.


Normally, serving 200 guests lamb done two ways would be quite the feat. But, the Omni King Edward Hotel has served large numbers of guests for decades. While I would have liked the lamb belly fat rendered a bit more, the meat was so tender. Meanwhile, the lamb chop was done a perfect medium and has a lovely salty rub.


To keep the dish summery, they finish it off with a lovely pea puree and sweet charred leeks. And if you’re hesitant about having lamb due its potential gaminess, the salty spiciness from the accompanying andouille and crouton side will surely balance it out.

The night continues with whisky cocktails from CC Lounge's onsite whisky bar and if you're too full, you can just dance throughout the evening… it’s not often you can dance along Front Street.


And if you need a little post-dinner activity, try to find the birds that are part of the dog fountain. Hint: the cat is looking at it. Once you discover this hidden sculpture you'll be a St. Lawrence insider. 

Disclaimer: I attended a media event to try the dishes above, but I'm am not being paid to promote the event. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada

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The Toronto Life Garden Party (Toronto)


Toronto Life’s Garden party is in its fifth installment and continues to sellout as guests descend on the Toronto Botanical Garden for an evening celebrating summer. We were so lucky: the day began with rain, but stopped just before the event… even Mother Nature wanted us to party!


Quite frankly, with so much booze flowing from Belvedere, St-Germain, London Dry Gin, Diplomatico Rum, Storyteller lager, and wines care of NZLighter, most likely no one cared about the weather anyways. 


Having made my way through the vendors sampling the refreshing vodka cocktail from Belevedere; just sweet enough mojito from Diplomatico; and the crowd favourite, the St-Germain spritz, they were perfect concoctions for a garden party. As a keepsake, drinkers went home with a metal straw / stirring spoon from St-Germain.


The giddy feelings were balanced by delicious eats from Eatertainment where I indulged in panko crusted tofu in a colourful steam bao, fried chicken sandwiched between chive biscuits, and even a poke bowl.


The beef brisket with veggie mash definitely hit the spot and was my favourite bite of the evening. If there wasn’t so many things to try, I would have definitely gone back for seconds!


Aside from more drinks, the evening ended with beautiful desserts from The Tempered Room. At first, I was going for a scoop of gelato from Love Gelato, but after hearing the gentlemen describe the various tarts and puffs, I ended up trying the Love-in-idleness potion (a light lavender crème brulee tart) and the fantastic Mad Hatter, a dessert that’s magically fluffy and tasty.


The night wasn’t all about the food and liberations. We also were serenaded by Honey Jam and Jesse Gold and watched Passmore from ZimSculpt painstakingly turn a stone into an artform.


I also took way too many pictures amongst all the beautiful flora and in the photobooth, a crazy RV from Betty Loop. 


As an attempt to burn off calories, we challenged each other to beanbag tossing in the garden games area. Plus, the endless supply of sparklers to end the evening left me feeling like a child.


My friends and I left full and slightly tipsy, but not without a book of our choice from the Penguin Random House. Thank you, it’s sure to come in handy at the cottage weekend in August and remind me of a lovely evening partying in the gardens.

Want to become a Toronto Life Member? If this event sounded great, don't miss out on the fun. Toronto Life is providing Gastro World readers a $15 off discount code to become a member!

Just use discount code GASTROWORLD at the Toronto Life Member checkout and the discount will be automatically applied.
Email me if you join and let me know the next event you'll be attending. Maybe we can meet in person!


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