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Beer Bistro

Weekend Roundup, August 20 to 22

The Canadian National Exhibition opens this weekend, but it’s hardly the only game in town. There’s plenty of entertainment for everyone!

Friday: Be touched by the timeless musical, South Pacific

Friday, August 20
Get a major dose of theatre tonight at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, which offers three highly anticipated plays on its various stages. The main event is the debut of Window on Toronto, in which artists from Soulpepper Theatre Company’s academy examine the city from the perspective of a hot-dog vendor. The evening also offers preview performances of Joe Orton’s bold and witty What the Butler Saw, as well as Sharon Pollock’s award-winning drama, Doc.

The play’s the thing at the Four Seasons Centre, too! Take your loved ones to witness a triumphant re-staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The heart-rending musical romance has received glowing reviews from Toronto critics and audiences.

Head to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre to see a Canadian folk-rock institution, as ebullient East Coast band Great Big Sea is in concert tonight. Get to the venue early for a real treat: emerging all-female country group Ladies of the Canyon opens the show.

Celebrate Cuba with the third annual Havana Cultura festival, which showcases that country’s music, arts and food all weekend long. Tonight, hear popular Cuban musician Julio Cuza, see a cigar-rolling demonstration, and much more. (more…)

Hot Dining: Burger Bounty

The decadent burger at Bymark

The quintessential summer entree comes highly recommended at these local restaurants.

1 The lunch-menu burger at Beer Bistro is seasoned with Belgian ale and arrives on a beer-buttermilk bun ($10.95). Pair it with an imported cold one on the large patio.

2 Star chef Mark McEwan’s burger at Bymark is notoriously decadent with brie de meaux, grilled king mushroom and shaved truffles ($34.95).

3 Ontario beef is served thick and juicy at the Drake Hotel. The Queen West fave’s “classic” burger is tastefully topped with blue cheese, onions, bacon, jalapeños and Dijon aioli ($18).

4 Fresh-baked challah bread sandwiches your succulent choice of either Angus beef ($17) or New Zealand lamb ($19)—plus tangy tomato jam and Quebec brie—at Loire.

5 At Yellow Griffin Pub there are almost too many burgers: more than 35 options for fixin’s on eight different patties—beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, veggie, bison and salmon ($10.95 to $14.35).

July Editor’s Picks: Dining

Forte Bistro & Lounge.

1. Opera and ballet lovers have a new option for a pre- or post-show bite. Just steps from the Four Seasons Centre, Forte recently opened in an equally theatrical and surprisingly large space, highlighted by walnut trim in the front-of-house, mirrored red glass and a three-dimensional accent wall in the central dining area, plus a sleek lounge at the rear. Artfully plated bistro fare by chef Greg Argent (formerly of fusion institution Rain) suits the surroundings with such dishes as coq au vin with honey mushrooms ($25) and slow-cooked rabbit with pappardelle ($25). The pre-preformance prix fixe menu offers a streamlined selection for $30—though you’ll want to take time to savour these tastes, efficient servers ensure you’re satiated before the curtain rises across the street.

(more…)

Weekend Roundup, May 15 to 18

It’s a long weekend. Get out and enjoy it!

Touch sharks and stingrays at the Toronto Zoo (Photo by Dave Cruz Photography).

Friday: Sharks and stingrays at the Toronto Zoo (Photo by Dave Cruz Photography).

Friday, May 15
Interact with the bamboo and nurse sharks, stingrays and your family at the Toronto Zoo’s Sharks at Stingray Bay exhibit, opening today.

Dine amongst the stars at 360 the Restaurant at the CN Tower. Included in its summer menu are delectable dishes like fettuccini with East Coast lobster, and wild Canadian prawns with plum tomatoes and tarragon-chardonnay cream.

Spend an evening at storied Massey Hall watching a performance by equally renowned Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip.

Saturday, May 16
Cheer on the Toronto Blue Jays as they swing for the fences at Rogers Centre against the Chicago White Sox. Don’t forget to stop by the Blue Jays Shop for souvenir caps, t-shirts and jerseys.

Embrace Mother Nature at the Royal Ontario Museum with interactive family-fun activities like exploring a rainforest and making tree frog finger puppets—part of ROMKids Nature weekend.

Blue Jays star pitcher Roy Halladay

Saturday: Blue Jays star pitcher Roy Halladay.

Experience the youthful romance and comedic magic of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as interpreted by the Canadian Opera Company. Composer Benjamin Britten’s intoxicating score links together the mortal and fairy world at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Select from an acclaimed menu of ale-infused entrees at Beer Bistro, and toast the long weekend with one of the restaurant’s 130-plus labels.

Sunday, May 17
Take in a heart-pounding Japanese drumming performance by Toronto-based ensemble Nagata Shachu, as part of Harbourfront Centre’s HarbourKIDS Impact Festival.

The boardwalk along The Beach (Photo by Craig Moy).

Monday: The boardwalk along The Beach (Photo by Craig Moy).

Dance and dine aboard Jubilee Queen Cruises as fireworks over Lake Ontario celebrate the Victoria Day weekend.

Monday, May 18
Be astounded by fire-eaters, acrobats and daredevils performing on the final day of the Toronto International Circus Festival.

Indulge your adventurous side with the new and interactive Wild World of Weather attraction at Ontario Place.

Admire the fireworks at Ashbridges Bay after 9:30 p.m., or swing by The Beach early for a stroll and an ice cream along the boardwalk.