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Everything posted by evilhomer

  1. c'est what is serious about their casks the victory cafe (markham, just s of bloor) also keeps a few real ales around at all times.
  2. duck fat (and lard) can both be gotten at the healthy butcher on queen toronto is indeed part of southern ontario. arguably so is everything this side of sudbury (at least according to the highway traffic act, but they only divide south from north)
  3. that must be the third or fourth drink in this run to both use scotch as a base and be surprisingly delicious. I don't know where to locate orgeat syrup in canada, but i look forward to adding another scotch cocktail to the arsenal.
  4. this was a very good use of parmesan broth http://ideasinfood.typepad.com/ideas_in_fo...san_water_.html i cut the recipe in half, it worked well.
  5. this reminds me of the affinity which mixed scotch and sweet vermouth into something surprisingly synergistic. Those have been a welcome regular since you brought them up (in july?) and I'm very eager to try this aptly named concoction too.
  6. from a small bottle of vodka, pour out a shot. now pour in black peppercorns until the bottle is full again. let sit at room temp for about a week. then store in the freezer and put a few drops on oysters (or boiled shrimps). it's a pretty assertive condiment which overwhelms none of the oyster flavours. a little vodka to lift the brininess through your nose and a very smooth heat rides in afterwards.
  7. This is a fine cocktail - we've been making more and more cocktails at home over the past two years (it's amazing what a difference a jigger makes - it seemed a fairly useless housewarming gift at the time). Anyways - the scotch of choice was Te Bheag which is a nice blend, both vermouths from martini rossi, angostura, stirred and strained and WOW - more than anything in recent memory, this drink defines balance, you taste everything individually and collectively. I'm loving the refined character of many of these Savoy cocktails you're posting up, keep at it.
  8. le gourmand is quite decent and the pastries are some of the best in the city (maybe top 8) jet fuel is good (there are a few locations, one on parliament n of carleton i think) I like i deal an awful lot, on nassau in kensington. alternative grounds in roncesvalles is also good. I don't know of anything that's consistently fantastic, but I don't really know what's uptown either.
  9. I betting on Zaphod Beeblebrox, the President of the Galaxy. ← nope, as mentioned upthread it was homer j simpson 'lobster stuffed with tacos sir, excellent choice'
  10. Where do you find cheese with truffles in it? Alex farms used to carry a truffled mozzarela di bufala and a truffled pecorino but don't carry them at SLM anymore. while we're on the topic, I'm also curious where to get truffled honey.
  11. I recently had a Clubhouse of sorts in Toronto which included a fried soft shell crab - plus lettuce, tomato, thick cut bacon, on lightly toasted white bread liberally spread with a sriracha mayo. It was simply fantastic.
  12. so is the queen mother, same basic menu a block eastwards. Rivoli has the great front people watching patio, queen mom has the great back garden urban seclusion patio.
  13. not consistently, but sometimes at Mendel's Creamery in Kensington (on Kensington St, S of Baldwin). They also have great (and inexpensive) smoked fish, salted capers, some good cheese and lots of east european cookies, jams, pickles and such. They make awesome sandwiches too but only on weekdays. is there a white anchovy season or does the preservation tactic negate that?
  14. pho hung the other pho hung and you're on your own for the last one
  15. I'm gonna have to profess my undying love for the vini fratellini here - a florentine sandwich of a whole other order. Not far off via calzaiulo yet a world away from the hordes, sip a glass of wine, cozy up to a stoop and enjoy a little sandwich (for 2.10) I like the Caprino e Cinghiale Piccante, the lady's all for the pomodoro e mozzarella, they make about twenty different kinds - two ingredients each - purity on a bun.
  16. right on! power to the small wineries! (vineland is actually huge, but great) from vineland going the other way tawse is a block away. Ridgepoint is right there too - They make a nebbiolo which really piqued my curiosity but it was sold out the other day.
  17. watermelon juice smells like cucumbers (seriously, it's stunning) campari is a winner - great with hendricks - great with watermelons. i mixed watermelon:gin:campari ~5:1.5:1 and it was great with a little twist of lime this made me think of the negroni so we mixed an ounce each of gin, sweet white vermouth and campari and then topped up the glass with watermelon juice. A good hit of the bitters and another lime twist. This drink is still not all there, but it's getting good. I'm gonna try this lightly salted cucumber thing now.
  18. So bit by the bug and bolstered by tax refunds I headed down to the Benchland on Saturday for a full day of tasting. 13th street (for their release party), Flat Rock, Stoney Ridge, Featherstone, Vineland, Tawse, Ridgepoint, Malivoire, Dan Lenko, 30 Bench, Angel's Gate and attempted to go to Fielding but they were closed for the day. Accompanied by the fairly hardcore tasting panel of my dad and his dad (Sadistick, you would have been in good company, Comments like 'I could get a Barolo for that price' or 'for $10 more why don't you just get some good Beajolais' ruled the day). Lunch on the - cold rainy beautiful - veranda at Featherstone was excellent. Some definite highlights: 13th street easily makes the best sparkling wines around. They released two of them on Saturday - one spent 6 months on the lees and the other two years I think. They were both excellent, the second showing a yeasty fresh baked bread aroma that was very champagne like. Those aside, I was disappointed in their riesling and their gamay which seemed thin, watery, short and dull. I'll certainly be back in six months with high hopes. As this was their release party, they were serving food as well - barbecued chicken and pulled pork sandwiches - which provided a great start to the day. Featherstones Gewurz is a great bottle, just a bit floral and beeswaxy then dominated by grapefruit and green apple. The Canadian Oak Chard is probably my favourite canadian chard - ripe pear and canteloupe and caramel and butter the luscious fruit and wood tempered by a soft lemony acidity - it's not 'that' food friendly but i imagine wih creamy things it would do great, even with a plate of cheeses. Their gamay is one of the better I tasted (along with Malivoire and Lailey) but I'm finding them mostly disappointing this year. Vineland's Sauv Blanc was the first wine to impress my peanut gallery - probably because the 04 could easily be from NZ. Herbal and crisp with a good sustained hit of gooseberry, it is a very good wine. They also make an oak aged version which sacrificed a bit too much of the fruit for us. Their Meritage blends were not bad, but for $100 there were a lot of fabric rending cries of 'Italy, California, Australia' Anyone who thinks that Stratus is too expensive should go to Tawse. Their Pinot is the barnayrd funkiest I ever smelled here - they're only a year old - let's see what they grow into. Dan Lenko has the most hospitable tasting room on earth. Their Pinot Noir is worth the price (but sold out) They make about 11 different chards, the cab franc was was the first one of the day that could be called full bodied. Everything about this place is rich full brimming with flavout and even a little over the top. For me the highlight was their Viognier which was just luscious with tons of pineapple, peach, mango, passionfruit, lime - very creamy in the mouth and a long finish. It's a unique product in the VQA world. That's the end of my travels for a bit - hopefully get to PEC sometime in early July though. Perhaps this thread can hold ongoing reviews of Ontario Wines, what's everyone drinking?, or just some fabric rending. The quality is increading rapidly but the prices even moe so - Globally, this is a very very very young wine industry - I don't think anyone predates the early 80's putting us on par with upstate New York and where else? Everything is in it's first generation. Within the next 50 years I'm sure we'll see extraordinary changes locally - especially as global temperature rise. I hope though that Ontario will be known for more than ice wine.
  19. I've been fiddling with these three ingredients for two nights and the results vary from simplistic to insipid. A bit of lime juice goes a long way, but the flavours are so subtle that a few drops of bitters dominate. I was thinking of adding some basil to the mix tonight to see if a more balanced subtle and generally delightful cocktail could be coerced - but that also means experimenting on company (which i'm not necessarily opposed to). Has anyone had any success combining watermelon, cucumber and gin? I have a fair bit of home squeezed watermelon juice and cucumber juice and am playing with hendricks (though we also have tanqueray). Any tried and true formulae would be greatly appreciated.
  20. thuet (it's two doors west of susur) on the playing field of others mentioned. You can check out the webpage www.thuet.ca for many menus, though i'll say that the Munster crème brûlée with white truffle ice cream is one of the best things i've eaten in recent memory. They have details down pat. In house bread is fantastic, crusty and sour, I had a great cocktail based on gin and pastis, the service is very engagin, accomodating, informative. They care a lot about seasonal and local produce. They care alot about alsatian classics although will often deconstruct them. I had a pig's foot stuffed with foie gras that was fairly life affirming. Having said all that, splendido is probably 'better', but if you're going for two big meals then make one thuet.
  21. we tried it at crush and it was definitely more in line with an austrian or north italian pinot, some nice bright cherries and a soft finish. not exactly the burgundian must, a pleasant bottle, way overpriced (at the wine bar, don't know about the winery). The things with a lot of the small pec wineries, and stratus for that matter, is that their hardline no compromise attitude results in wines far more expensive than international bottles of comparable quality. I pay 3x the price for local asparagus at riverdale than the broadly 'canadian' stalks at loblaws, but there's a discernible jump in quality at the price point. Not so for many Ontario wines. --that aside -- just had a lovely weekend in around niagara on the lake. Biked everywhere and consequently didn't hit as many stops as intended but it was worth it be so engagedwith the environs, to sweat out the alcohol between stops and to not need a designated driver in our group. J&T - beautiful new building, I was really impressed with the operable wall and the catwalk through it, definitely my favourite KPMB project in recent memory. I don't have notes from this stop but we tasted a simple sparkler, two different chards and an abhorrently bad rose. Stratus - 10$ to taste 3 wines is just too much. Even in a nice new facility, even out of proper riedel glasses, even with a 'free' taste of icewine. The fellow working the counter had miles of attitude (which put off all my compadres) but I played right back and we got on fine. Nice cab franc - very brambly, dark intense long finish - ontario's zin? - lots of dark berry flavours, I would have picked this up if it were less than $30. that's a personal decision of taste too. The riesling icewine I tasted a year ago and it was just overwhelming viscous petrol. That's mellowed out a lot and now it's easily my favourite icewine around, good hit of acidity, complex citrus fruits - something like burnt orange peel - very good. Joseph's was a little odd. At the exact opposite end of the pretension meter (proving that all thing rely on balance) from Stratus - I tasted some really bad reds, lots of beet horseradish and green pepper flavours (not aromas here). The chenin blanc was interesting - clear as water, a little sweet a little sour. for 10$ it would make great sangria. Tasted two vidal blends (with chradonnay, with riesling) The riesling was also interesting, off dry, a bit of white pepper to balance out the sweetness. The whole place was just a bit odd somehow though. Pilliterri was really fantastic. Had a very enthusiastic fellow working the counter, Everything we enjoyed he would direct us 5 or 6 neighbouring wineries doing similar bottlings. Their vidal was also very nice (i like this grape way better as table wine than ice wine) a little honey, a little floral, a little green apple and lime. The merlot bianco was a good rose - a little tannin to round things out, good hit of raspberries. Our friends were really into the pinot grigio. Hilldebrandt was way to big and busy to really get a grasp on - they were pouring two wines - a nice red blend that tasted a bit like jalapenos and roasted peppers, an icewine that was way too hot with the alcohol. the place was really crowded, we were really sweaty from biking, it was not a good match. Caroline Cellars - Never heard of this place but the folks at the bike rental spot recommended it highly. In addition to wines of blackberry, plum and peaches, they make some clean simple whites and very odd reds. Tasted a chambourcin which smelled like cooked strawberries but tasted like nothing. A zweigelt which smelled like fruitcake spices but tasted like cabbage. A mix of pinot and cherries that was a little cloying but not totally unpleasant, a few teaspoons topped up with champagne would make a nice aperitif. Reif Estates - I like their shiraz and their chardonnay at the LCBO, tasted a gamay that was a bit simple but nice - soft red fruit - not as good as the shiraz. An off dry blend of gamay and baco - too sweet for me. Lailey - architectural highlight of the day - the building is really stunning. Tasted two chards - one barrel fermented, and from very old vines. They were both excelllent. Lots of luscious tropical fruits, the barrelled one rounded out with coconut and toasty notes. The other equally well balanced with limey acidity. Great wines. Then their gamay and pinot noir- both winners. The gamay - not as rich as sandstone's or featherstone's - but fairly complex with cherry, chocolate and something darker and subtle - made me think of cherry cola sometimes. The pinot like a more complex reading of the same flavour profile, lingering finish, a little bit earthier though not exactly funky. Riverview - The only Fume Blanc I saw all day (the only sauv blanc in any form though apparently there are other growers around, it usually gets blended) was a definite highlight. A great mix of lively green acidity, fresh tart exotic fruit and soft butter, almost a bit smoky. I'm not doing it justice - this is a great wine. Nice lychee driven gewurz, a lot of sweet rieslings, no red wines except a sweet blend - not my speed. I woud definitely come back in a year to see how that sauv blanc continues. So NOTL is definitely different than the Benchland. Lots of very decent alsatian white varietals, lots of poor reds, lots of vidal, lots of good unoaked chard, lots of sweet wines. Had an awesome meal at Zee's - recommended by the Pillitierri crew. Had a great day biking (though next time i'm bringing my own, 30$ for a bike for a day is insane). I would definitely return to Riverview, Lailey and Pillitierri, and I definitely want to see the spots I couldn't get to (NTC, Ch Des Ch, Coyote's Run, Marynissen, Frogpond, Palatine, Strewn, Stonechurch....)
  22. In the interest of staying in as narrow a geographical ring as possible I've been compelled to avoid our stalwarts and stick to niagara-on-the-lake proper. It looks like there's only 10+km from the two furthest stops here - bikeable! Here's the (very) tentative and (highly) subject to change hit list: Stonechurch Strewn Stratus Lailey Reif Frogpond Ch des Charmes Coyote's Run Maleta NCT we've only tasted a few of these and visited none of them before so I'm still eager to here of any recommendation in the immediate environs or cautionary tales. (If I can finagle out one pit stop, hopefully visit dan lenko on the drive home sunday) will report back
  23. thanks for the responses so far (even if the vast majority are not in niagara on the lake per se - It seems many of us prefer others) (raises a whole other set of discussions - is the land and climate that different 30 minutes away, are other real estate factors attracting/demanding a different approach to winemaking?) anyways, keeping it to notl, where are good spots for breakfast/coffee/pastries?
  24. heading down that way next weekend to stay near NOTL. most of my favourite wineries are closer to ste catherines in the benchland (13th street, dan lenko, featherstone, tawse, vineland) so these will be unfamiliar waters. So as of now, what's great near around niagara? I've heard that stratus is good but expensive, strewn and lailey have been mentioned. what else? what's particularly good from them? Any other gems not to be missed out there (food wine or otherwise)? thanks kindly
  25. Aha, that was the Japanese place I'm thinking of! ← not to be confused with koni-sushi-ya also on baldwin konichawa (on the south side) has excellent noodles koni-sushi-ya (on the north side) is average at best, but Samuel L Jackson has been there and signed the wall (! - there are photos to substantiate this) torito and la palette are both great, but i don't think either is open for lunch
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