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Everything posted by malcolmjolley

  1. malcolmjolley


    Hmmm... interesting. Sorry for my ignorance, but how do you order through an agent? Do you just call them? Since LCBO has a monopoly, I assume you're going to pay a lot more than buying direct through LCBO, right? ← Yes, exactly: you just call them. And, no you don't pay more. You have to buy at least 6 bottles or sometimes a case. James McNally from Lifford, who posts here sometimes, did a thing on Gremolata (sorry - more shameless plugging) about it: http://www.gremolata.com/gourmetmedia050128.htm
  2. Exactly! Pasta was considered a light meal!
  3. Hey! I resemble that remark! larkhess ← As have I at times! I know there are exceptions in every crowd...hence all the "mostlys." ← And I went to McGill, longer ago than I care to mention. Actually I remember every once and a while blowing the bank and going to L'Expresse at midnight. Can't do that here or on the left coast. Just can't go to L'Expresse at all, which is probably why Mtl wins, in the end.
  4. malcolmjolley


    Manolo: that's brilliant! Thanks. I hadn't noticed that before. Good for Michael Vaughn. Once you find the agents, I have a fairly comprehensive list of Agents and contact info at Gremolata: http://gremolata.com/wineagents.htm
  5. At the time they seemed quite avante-garde, or at least to me as a kid. They're intrinsically linked to new worlds of food opening to me, like carpaccio or penne alla vodka (I remember them in Italian restaurants more than others.) [Edited for my very previously mangled spelling of "intrinsically".)
  6. Yeah, but, there are plenty of places with lots of money with a pretty so-so restaurant scene. Palm Beach comes to mind. Or even London 20 years ago.
  7. Ok, now that I've had some time to mull this over, I think an argument in favour of Toronto's restaurant supremacy (a silly idea, but bear with me) would be broken down as follows: 1. Size: not money, but sheer numbers. There is a greater critical mass of diners and a corresponding greater number of restaurants, of all kinds to serve them. This breeds competition and differentiation. Especially on the high end, since there are more expense accounts to cater to (OK, I guess money does factor into it); 2. Immigration: we have more people from more places who bring their food traditions with them. This goes beyond mom & pop ethnic operations. We also attract more well-trained pros. Look at our top chefs: Stadtlander, Lee, Thuet, etc. Also, the real fruits often come a generation or two later, as in the case of the Italian and Portugese communities. The story of Toronto as a gastro-centre really starts with the first major wave of non-Anglo immigration of hungarians n the 1950s who brought garlic to Hogtown. This sped up in the 70s and 80s when Italo-Torontonians started opening high-end places; and 3. Character of the City. Let's face it: Toronto is a prime contender for Bourgeois Capital of the World. "Downtown living" often means owning your house, having a garden, a station wagon (imported, of course) in the garage. It's not like we're windsurfing in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. Nor are we out on St. Laurent until 4AM on a Wednesday. We're boring, so cooking and dining out is pretty much our biggest urban thrill. It only makes sense we'd be good at it.
  8. Misto (www.misto.ca) on Bathurst, just south of Dupont, is a "Japanes Swiss Restaurant" known for their fondue (cheese) and raclette. I haven't been, but Joanne Kates gave it a middling review a few weeks ago. Her verdict was that it was good for fondue and raclette, if not much else, so there you go.
  9. malcolmjolley


    Devious! I've also heard that on a larger order a lot of stores will start selling the release on the Friday that it comes in - obviously not the big ones that attract the major winos, like summerhill, Queens Quay and 401 & Weston in TO.
  10. Well put, Andy (and not just because you stuck up for my home and native land). I particularly like your point about the emergence of a market through "the internet and cheap travel". Reminds me of Jeremiah Towers' observation on how cheap refrigerated air freight in the 80s changed restaurant menus as chefs could source the world for ingredients. Perhaps the effect will be a strengthening of the cult of the "authentic", with the farm-restaurant ascending over the laboratories.
  11. I took my kid to the doctor's yesterday, and she had a vintage 80s poster of a photograph of a cross section of a green bell pepper attributed to Jon Neubauer "Gourmet Grafiks". I remember posters like this as ubiquitous in fine restaurants in the early 80s, and I'd like to find out more about this brief trend in food photography and restuarant interior design. Does anyone share my memories? Or does anyone know more about the genre?
  12. malcolmjolley


    95 WS? Yeah, that would explain it. checked the "Inventory Position" just now and there ain't a bottle left. Very annoying that the LCBO doesn't disclose the importing agent (as if they need to protect their sales!). Will try and find out who brought it in and if it's coming back.
  13. malcolmjolley


    Are you familiar with the product search feature at the LCBO site? You can find out what stores carry it. You can even get your local to order some from any other store. That being said, it sounds like this went pretty quick, which will happen with a small order of a good deal. The good news: it will probaly come back topt he LCBO, based on the success - assuming there's more of it to ship! [edited for spilling]
  14. I didn't get to the bread - too popular! Couldn't wade through. My understanding, though, was the bread, foccacia, etc. (at least for sale that day) was from the communal wood burning ovens in the park.
  15. I will post properly later - this is just a quick hit... Very impressed with the market, actually. To be perfectly honest, I was expecting a super crunchy granola vibe - and there was cartainly enough of it there, but the food for sale was excellent. In particular, I bought a small bucket of greens, picked that morning form a neighbour of Greenfields Farms, at there stall, which was absolutely fantastic last night with dinner. they also had loads of Jerusalem artichokes, which are hard to find. And that's just the beginning. I'm doing a story on it for Gremolata, and will go back next week, too. So, I'll give up more goods soon.
  16. I just got sent this: http://www.bringmywine.ca/. Covers all of Ontario. Gotta love the WWW.
  17. Very embarrassing: I live only a few blocks away from Dufferin Grove park, but I've never been to their Thursday afternoon farmers market. Has anyone been? What do you think? Any stalls/producers I should check out?
  18. Jancis Robinson had a great piece on this on her site last year. Can't find it, but her big beef was the interruption of flavour from the food (as per Jason's post) and that sometimes it's nice to kick back and a drink a few glasses of wine without worrying about a headache the next day.
  19. SOB - can't we all just get along? Look: if someone gave me a choice between a gastro weekend in Mtl or Vancouver, I'd have to flip a coin. Same with SF or NYC, for that matter, or Chicago or New Orleans. Or London or Paris, etc. TO, Mtl and Vancouver (need a 2 to 3 letter abbreviation!) all have great, interesting restaurant scenes because there's a critical mass of diners to cater to. It's population more than anything... ...oh, wait. Which is bigger?
  20. Montreal was the commercial and financial centre of Canada for 200 years and, without question, the top city in all matters, including gastronomic. That there would even be a rivalry between Toronto and Montreal in anything other than hockey is only a 30 year old phenomenon. If the best dish in Canada is plated in Montreal, it's probably because the city has retained its cosmopolitain character and sophistication from those glory days. Toronto (and I'd venture Vancouver) are still relatively young rubes learning how to be big cities.
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