Saturday, August 31, 2013

Creamsicle Cocktail & Eggs on Pizza at Pizzeria Libretto

Seeing that this is my 4th post on Pizzeria Libretto (2nd for the Danforth location) it is obvious that I love the restaurant. I don't blog about each and every one of my visits at Libretto (Twitter: @PizzaLibretto / @pldanforth, Facebook: Pizzeria Libretto) but this particular one at the Danforth location deserves some love + attention.  Rocco's Salad and both pizzas were as always top-notch but what made this meal extra special was the creamsicle cocktail and the addition of two eggs on our Nduja Sausage pizza!

Creamsicle Aranciata (2oz, $11)
Vanilla bean infused Tag vodka, triple sec, vanilla gelato, aranciata

Negroni Sfocato (4oz, $10)
Gin, aperol, gragnano

Rocco's Salad ($12)
Crispy egg, butternut squash, heirloom beets, pine nuts, pingue prosciutto, ricotta salata

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Neal Brothers' Maple Bacon Kettle-Style Chips

Chips are my weakness. Not chocolate, not candies. Well Pocky actually comes close but still nothing trumps chips. It's weird because I'm not even a big snacker but I cannot say no when someone offers me chips. Chips seem to have some magical power on me...a magnetic pull of some sort. If I'm at a party and there are bowls of chips out you would probably see me guarding them all night (ya I'm that girl). But the absolute worst would have to be when I'm like "Screw it I'm just gonna have a few!" and open a bag of chips at home. A few? That never happens. NEVER. More like half a bag or 3/4 of one! Then what follows is just self-loathing and it's ridiculous because it happens every single damn time.

Are you one to understand my love and hate relationship with these crispy things? If your answer is "yes, of course!" then understand that there was absolutely NO WAY I would skip out on the launch of Neal Brothers' Maple Bacon Kettle-Style Chips at Amsterdam Brewery, right? Right???

So...MAPLE. BACON. CHIPS. And as if that wasn't enticing enough, the launch event had these Maple Bacon chips paired with Amsterdam's (@amsterdambeer) selected ales, Big Wheel Amber Ale and Market Pale Ale. Oh geez beer and chips for lunch on a Tuesday? Don't mind if I do, friends.

Neal Brothers Foods Inc. (Twitter: @nealbrothers, Facebook: Neal Brothers Foods) a Toronto-based boutique distribution company, brought together maple and bacon, two emblematic Canada tastes, as the fourth flavour to their established line of kettle chips. These hand-cut chips are seasoned with rich maple and brown sugar, chili pepper and other natural flavours to create a sweet flavour accompanied with smoky and savoury notes characteristic of bacon.

Ahhh chips and beer. I had a lot some of this Big Wheel Amber Ale with my Maple Bacon chips...they go so fabulous together. An award winning amber, this Big Wheel Amber Ale is brewed with a blend of imported Pale and Crystal malts for a bright amber colour and sweet malt character then dry hopped with a blend of UK hops.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Basilio Pesce, former executive chef of Biff's Bistro, opened Porzia with business partner Marco Petrucci earlier this year in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. As chef and owner, Pesce (@BasilioPesce) is all about emphasizing and highlighting the classic flavours of Italian cuisine. He uses local, ethically grown and raised ingredients to create dishes that vary depending on the season. With all the breads and pastas made in-house, you can expect honest, home-style Southern Italian cooking without all the fuss and frills at Porzia (Twitter: @porziaparkdale, Facebook: Porzia). From their website: 

"Our staff believes in building memories around food and eating. It’s simple: We like feeding people." 

What?! It must be fate 'cause I love being fed too! 

Speaking of being fed, I remember Pesce fed us proper when my friends and I visited Porzia during their soft opening in January. He fed us the entire menu! Good times :)

Anyway, fast forward a few months later and I was back at Porzia again. Here's a shot of the 68-seat restaurant with its massive 21-foot bar on the left. The room is long and narrow with a decor that's both modern with a hint of vintage.

A custom built host stand made with old warship and plane parts.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wanderlust Tickets Giveaway - CLOSED

*UPDATE - AUG 28 @ 5PM*

I just received this email from Wanderlust:

Unfortunately due to unforeseen last minute supplier agreement changes, Wanderlust has been postponed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and will look forward to having you as our guest at the rescheduled event. 
We appreciate your support and understanding. 

 Illuminare Foundation 

Sincere apologies to those who entered the contest :(

I'm giving away ONE PAIR of tickets to Wanderlust worth $150!*

You and one guest will be attending Wanderlust, a cocktail party / mixer targeted towards the city's trendy young professionals. Brought to you by Illuminare Foundation (@illuminarefndtn), the primary goal of Wanderlust is to raise awareness for FINCAa global charitable micro finance organization focused on helping create pathways out of poverty through its worldwide network of 22 subsidiaries in Africa, Eurasia, the Greater Middle East and Latin America. All monies raised will benefit FINCA.

Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013.
LocationSteamwhistle Brewery255 Bremner Blvd
Time: Thursday, August 29 at 8:00 PM - Friday, August 30 at 1:00 AM
Details: Not only will Wanderlust give you and a guest the opportunity to network and connect with other young professionals, the evening will also include all the necessities to end off a beautiful summer:

- Complimentary bar
- Culturally influenced hors d’oeurves
- A silent auction
- Exotic live performances
- And many more surprises


1) You MUST be following me (@foodieyu) on Twitter:


2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown, nothing before or after it

Hey @foodieyu I want to win a pair of tickets worth $150 to @illuminarefndtn WANDERLUST! #FJCwanderlust

*For your entry to be valid, you need to tweet the above sentence exactly as shown*
*You may tweet once a day for the duration of the contest. Re-tweeting others do NOT count as a valid entry*
*Contest is tracked by the #FJCwanderlust hashtag stream. If you don't see your tweet in the hashtag stream, it means there is no entry from you. Sorry. Read this to find out the possible reasons why your tweets are not showing up*


Contest starts on Wednesday, August 21 and ends on Wednesday, August 28 at 12 PM. 

One lucky winner will be chosen randomly from and I will announce the winner shortly after on Wednesday, August 28. 

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^

For additional details please visit:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Whippoorwill Restaurant and Tavern

At the corner of Bloor and Lansdowne is The Whippoorwill (Twitter: @WhippoorwillTO, Facebook: The Whippoorwill Restaurant & Tavern), a new brunch / happy hour / dinner / bar spot that took over Bloordale Pantry last November. Co-owners of the new rustic restaurant are friends Shawn Creamer (also owner of The Dakota) and chef Tyler Cunningham (formerly of Mildred's Temple Kitchen). In a span of ten days, the duo transformed the previous Pantry space into a homey, retro restaurant that has now attracted the attention of the Bloordale brunch crowd (brunch is available from Friday, Saturday and Sunday). My friend Karen, who lives in the neighbourhood, invited several of her friends, including moi, to The Whippoorwill for dinner recently. Why? Because Karen fell in love with the restaurant ever since it opened and really wanted more people to know about the fantastic food and cocktails there.

The red booths, red bar stools and the black and white checkered floors give the space a very cool, vintage vibe. 

An old Detroit tire shop sign is now part of the bar at The Whippoorwill.

At the back is a painting of The Dale, the restaurant which occupied the space before Bloordale Pantry.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How Shell Gas Fuels My Food Cravings

I drive everywhere. Literally everywhere.

I actually can’t imagine what my life would be like without my car…I mean, I live in Mississauga for cryin’ out loud! But that certainly does not stop me from venturing downtown several times a week, eating at one restaurant after another. Even if I’m not downtown, you’ll find me eating somewhere in North York, up north in Markham and Richmond Hill or even all the way out east in Scarborough. Basically, I’ll go wherever there’s good food. Simple as that.

My 2003 Honda Civic Si-R

This wasn’t always the case. I remember back in the day, I used to take the Mississauga Transit and the TTC to school and work every day; didn’t matter if it was pouring rain or the middle of a snowstorm, I would diligently wait for the #26 bus to Islington station. Obviously, things have changed for the better ever since I got my little Civic. Although expensive downtown parking, crazy city traffic, construction and weekend road closures can all be such a drag, I still prefer driving over taking public transit ‘cause having a car makes eating at different restaurants a LOT easier – again, it’s all about the ability to access good food wherever it may be.

Road trip to the Kawartha's last month

My car is pretty much like my baby. I love it and that’s why I do my best to keep it in mint condition (i.e. frequent oil changes, tire changes, etc.) and when it comes to the type of gasoline, I always try to go for Shell gas; I was told by my friends a long time ago that it’s the best kind of gas to use. I didn’t really question this and sorta just accepted it since they know a lot more about cars than I do. So when I was offered the opportunity to learn more about Shell gas, I was all for it. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Origin North

The newest venture by chef Claudio Aprile is Origin North (Twitter: @originnorth, Facebook: Origin North Restaurant & Bar). Located in Bayview Village near Bayview and Sheppard, Origin North is the third restaurant under Aprile's "Origin empire". The Origin umbrella began with its first location on King Street (2010) followed by a second location in Liberty Village (2012).

This uptown restaurant is massive. With 12,000 sq ft, the space houses 200 seats indoors and 138 seats on its two patios.

Much like the Liberty Village location, an enormous bar in the middle of the room catches your attention right away. The floor-to-ceiling windows allows a lot of light in, highlighting the dark plush leather seats as well as the brown wooden beams. Really spacious and comfortable here.

Right of the bat there were several items on Origin North's menu that I recognize from Origin Liberty like the spicy Spanish fries, truffled popcorn and beet salad (I used to work really close to the Liberty location). I made an exception this time and did not order the spicy Spanish fries - I used to order it every single time 'cause I love them! But this time I resisted...I wanted to save room for new dishes instead.

Round 1 of cocktails:

MAPLE SOUR - Bulleit Bourbon + Maple + Lemon + Bitters ($11)
LA DIABLO - Don Julio Blanco + Cassis + Ginger + Lime ($11)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

CNE Toronto 2013 Media Day

AUG 16 - SEP 2
18 days of fun, food, rides, games and great entertainment at Canada's largest fair

Yup! It's CNE time~ I know it's sorta bittersweet. Whenever CNE (Twitter: @LetsGoToTheEx, Facebook: Canadian National Exhibition) starts it essentially means summer is over :( but to me it also means it's time for GAMES and FOODGAMES as in "I don't care how much money I spend I want a MINION!" and FOOD as in "I want to eat everything that will potentially clog my arteries!" Don't believe me? Check out my deep fried adventure at the CNE two years ago.

This year, I was invited to CNE's Media Day. I arrived at Princes' Gate bright and early yesterday morning and whoa was it chilly! I was so glad to see Gourmet Gringos serving hot coffee and breakfast for us :) Gourmet Gringos will be one of the many food trucks participating in CNE's Food Truck Frenzy on August 23, 24 and 25.

Gourmet Gringos' hot breakfast burrito totally warmed me up.

Welcome remarks from CNE General Manager, David Bednar. 

Kicking off our media tour was husband and wife buskers, Mr. Spin & Pandora Pink.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rose & Sons Revisited

To be honest, my original plan was to hit up Big Crow for dinner, Rose & Sons' new backyard barbecue joint. When my two friends and I arrived at the Big Crow last Thursday around 6:15 pm, we were told the wait would be around an hour and a half. And little did I know, Big Crow actually takes reservations! Gahhhh! If I didn't assume that it didn't take resos (and hence didn't make one) this post would be about Big Crow's barbecue ribs, jerk chicken and s'mores ice cream sandwiches. Major fail on my part. 

We didn't want to venture elsewhere in the pouring rain so we checked whether Rose & Sons (Twitter: @RoseandSons, Facebook: Rose and Sons) had room for us. Lucky enough we snatched the last empty table :)

Dinner began with some draaanks.

DARK & STORMY - Goslings, ginger beer, lime ($11)
PUNCH - Rhubarb, white wine, lillet, lime, seltzer ($11)

MINT JULEP - Mint, 4 roses bourbon, ice ($11)
UNO MOMENTO - Tequila tromba blanco, limeade, elderflower, seltzer ($12) 

Us three girls shared the following four dishes:

TOMATOES - charred onion and avocado salsa, pimento toast ($11)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mogette Bistro

It was a very nice change of scenery, a much needed one, when I stepped foot into Mogette Bistro (@MogetteBistro) on Mount Pleasant several weeks ago for dinner. A midtown restaurant away from the craziness of downtown Toronto, Mogette Bistro serves classic French bistro cuisine. Not fusion. Not "French-inspired". Not "with French flavours". Classic French cuisine. Almost unheard of nowadays in the city. When was the last time you had classic French food?

The decor at Mogette is clean, simple yet elegant. Framed black and white photographs hung above classic wainscoting, silver table settings on white linens, beautiful wooden floors leading to a small bar at the back....nothing here is over-the-top fancy. Everything feels just right. No loud music. No hipsters. A perfect date night spot.

Started the evening off with a bottle of BenMarco Malbec.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sabai Sabai

Being a huge supporter of Khao San Road, I knew it was only a matter of time that I would make my way to Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar (Twitter: @sabaisabaito, Facebook: Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar). Nuit and Jeff Regular, formerly of Khao San Road, parted ways with the restaurant early last year to open Sabai Sabai on 225 Church Street in November. Teaming up with the couple is Jason Jiang and Seng Luong, who became friends with the Regulars after being regulars (ha!) at Sukhothai's original location on Parliament (Nuit and Jeff continues to operate the two Sukhothai locations).

I really like the decor at Sabai Sabai. With colourful paper lanterns hung up high and vintage artwork on the walls, the space feels roomy, bright and festive.

I had dinner with my friends Carmen (@carmenhungry) and Grace (@foodinthecityTO) that evening. I ordered a lychee slushie ('cause I always prefer booze) and it was everything I hoped for: cold, refreshing, slush with a sweet taste of lychee and Soho (the Soho came through a lot more compared to the Vodka and Limoncello). It was wonderful.

Thai iced coffee ($4), Thai iced tea ($4)
Lychee Slushie - 3 oz (Vodka, Soho, Limoncello), lychee ($10)

Sabai Sabai's menu items are all meant to be shared so we ordered eight dishes followed by dessert:

Crispy shrimp chips with tamarind dip ($4)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bent Revisited

Despite a few minor hiccups, my first visit at Bent earlier this year made a lasting impression on me. It was an excellent meal. So when my friend Nic (@NicCanCook) suggested taking me to Bent (Twitter: @BentRestaurant, Facebook: Bent Restaurant) for my birthday, there was absolutely no hesitation on my part. I was eager to go back!

We had an early seating at 6 pm on a Wednesday night.

I ordered Bent's Asian Caesar because I really enjoyed it last time. Adorned with a more elaborate tomato garnish, the cocktail was just as savoury and tasty as I remembered. Maybe I'll order a different cocktail next time...maybe.

Sobieski, Clamato,chili oil, Sriracha, coriander, hoisin, soya, sesame seed, ginger, house rim, pickled radish