Friday, October 29, 2010

Motto Launch Party

I was invited to Motto Gift Registry's launch party last week Tuesday at Marben Restaurant. I thought that I wouldn't be able to make it since it has been soooo hectic at work lately. Luckily Marben is not too far from my work so I quickly dropped by after work that day, while promising my mom that I would be home for dinner afterwards. Big mistake. I realized how full I was only when I was subwaying back home!

Let me start off by letting you know a bit about Motto. I met Motto's founder, Priscilla, at a Tweetup at Biff's Bistro two months ago. Motto Gift Registry is an online gift registry that makes gift giving easy. If you're running out of ideas on what to give your friends or family, check out their website -  Motto offers unique gift ideas that you may have never thought of before.

As per Motto's site:

"Motto is the first, online gift registry that networks specialty retailers in and around the GTA to create a collective catalogue of gift ideas that are unique, practical, and completely unforgettable. Whether the special event is a housewarming, birthday, engagement, wedding, anniversary, special holiday, or any other party, Motto Gift Registry provides simple solutions that make it easy to select and to give the gifts that people really want, need, and love." 

The launch party was very successful; friends and family of Priscilla got together to celebrate the start her exciting venture. I met quite a few new friends too (the open bar helps for this). Oh yeah I love the "motto mix"!

I just want to take a minute here to say thanks to Priscilla for the invite. If you're reading this, Priscilla, I'm so glad we got a chance to meet up again and I wish you (and Motto) all the best ^_^ 

You can find Motto on Twitter: @MottoGiftsFacebook: Motto Gift Registry, and its website

Obviously, Motto is awesome, but just as awesome was Marben, where the launch party was held.

The patio out front.

It was obviously deserted given the time of year. 

The lighting inside Marben was very dim / dark, which gave a very old and rustic feel, especially with the brown earthy tones, wooden tables and beams. If you are looking for a cozy place, Marben is not for you. 

But if you're looking for a place in downtown that is cool, non-pretentious with an affordable menu, then you may want to give Marben a shot.

Motto's party was held in the basement of Marben so I headed downstairs, got myself signed in, hung my coat, and went inside the party room. Once I was in, my eyes quickly darted toward these:

How cuuuuuute! Cupcakes with the Motto logo! These beautifully crafted cupcakes (which came in vanilla and chocolate) were made by the talented Stephanie Lo a.k.a Chef Steff. If you see her, don't judge this young woman too quickly - Chef Steff has quite an impressive bio and has worked in several renowned kitchens in Toronto already. She also has her own business, Cupcake Cuties, selling custom cupcakes and cakes.

*SIGH* How can I ever compete with these smart and intelligent business women? =D Anyway, I digress...

Marben provided us with quite a selection of delectable appetizers / finger foods, such as this charcuterie plate: 

Which also came with a wide assortment of sauces and sides.

I had a couple of these fresh raw oysters too.

I vaguely remember there being a salad but with charcuterie and oysters around me, who cares about salad!

The star that night, besides Priscilla (hehe), were these burgers. I missed the first round because I arrived late. So when they came around a second time, I pounced on them.

Hey, it wasn't just me, OK? Others also leaped at them just like I did.

They were indeed very, very tasty burgers. Look at them. Look at the juices that seeped through the bun. Look at the pinkness of the burger. Look at how thick the burger is. Look at how the burger is not densely packed tight nor patted down. Look at the subtle hints of juice glistening. And finally, imagine biting down on it......HA!

Yeah. *nod*.  I wish I had a couple more of these quarter-burgers just so I can say I ate a whole burger at Marben.

Now, knowing the quality of these appetizers, I'm longing to pay a visit to Marben so that I can try their regular menu. I checked out their dinner menu online - it's quite a condensed menu serving approximately 6 appetizers, 7 mains, and 3 desserts. Not a whole lot of selection compared to other restaurants these days. Maybe they have specials too? But a small menu can only mean one thing, right? That they put their best, and only their best, items on the menu? I guess I will have to find out.