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Dining

Toronto’s Best 25 Cheap Eats Under $10

By ALEX BALDINGER AND REBECCA FLEMING
Photography by DAVE GILLESPIE

Mutton kothu roti from Martin’s Bakery

After spending a year scouring the Greater Toronto Area, from Bay Street to the burbs, the editors at Toronto Life magazine assembled a list that proves the city’s food scene is a source of amazing bargains. Here are their top 25 must-try dishes under $10. Visit torontolife.com for 75 more budget-conscious culinary wonders

The Spicy Classic ($7)
P.G Clucks
This is the year fried chicken sandwiches surpassed burgers for bun-filling brilliance on a budget. This perfectly crunchy, ­cayenne-infused slab of Nashville hot chicken, doused with buttermilk ranch dressing, fermented chili sauce and tangy coleslaw, is as messy as it is habit-forming.
610 College St.

Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel ($6.99)
The Bagel House
It figures that the place that makes the best Montreal-style bagel in Toronto would know how to handle a proper lox and cream cheese sandwich. The schmear is spread thick, flecked with red onions and capers, and layered with smoked salmon, and here’s the best part: it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all your middle-of-the-night noshing needs.
1548 Bayview Ave.; four other GTA locations

Deep dish slice from Double D’s

Deep Dish Slice ($7)
Double D’s
This is no floppy, unfulfilling slice. This is Chicago-style deepdish, a dense wodge of buttery crust, cheese, fillings such as pepperoni and Italian sausage, more cheese, and a sploosh of crushed tomato sauce, baked in a metal pan thicker than a crime novel. One parm-dusted slice is more than enough for a midday munch, and it comes with a drink.
1020 Gerrard St. E.; 1256 Dundas St. W.
Meat roti ($2.50)
Quality Bread Bakery
The “short eats” (that’s the Sri Lankan term for “snacks”) at this Scarborough bakery are kind of like Hot Pockets—if Hot Pockets were delicious. Spicy dried mutton is tucked into a plain roti that’s then folded up into a palm-sized treat that can’t be beat for a bit more than a toonie.
1221 Markham Rd.

Mapo tofu ($5.99)
Sichuan Garden
For this classic spicy dish, the Chinatown restaurant tosses tender cubes of tofu, ground pork and bean paste in a fiery pool of chili oil dotted with crushed Sichuan pepper­corns. The rice provides some respite from the numbing heat.
359  ­Spadina Ave.

Half chicken with rice ($8.75)
Churrasco of St. Clair
In the city’s west end, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a churrasqueira—and that’s not a bad thing. But this no-frills Portuguese chicken shop on has been turning out golden-brown, budget-friendly birds since 1986. Their combo No. 3—half of a charcoal-grilled chicken served with seasoned rice—is a no-brainer.
679  St. Clair Ave.

Dirty duck fries ($7.25)
Wvrst
King West’s popular beer hall is a seven-day-a-week sausage party, but it makes some pretty great Belgian-style taters that are dirty in the best possible way: fried in duck fat and buried in roasted peppers, jalapeños, sautéed onions and Wvrst’s addictive special sauce.
609 King St. W.

Korean fried chicken from Kaboom

Korean Fried Chicken ($10)
Kaboom Chicken
Legit Korean fried chicken, or KFC, is fried twice and should almost shatter on first bite. This Riverside chicken joint passes the crunch test and then some: the two-piece thigh and drumstick combo—shellacked with a gochujang chili sauce and sprinkled with green onions on a heap of crispy fries—offers more satisfying bites than an entire bucket of that other KFC.
722 Queen St. E.

Eggplant tramezzino ($8.50)
Forno Cultura
It doesn’t much matter what goes on the sandwiches at this King West bakery: the bread—oh, that bread—is the main attraction. But the toppings on this particular herbed focaccia concoction are excellent, too: delicate sheets of roasted eggplant and zucchini with fior di latte, arugula, baby kale and a creamy aïoli.
609 King St. W.

Cheese pupusa
Tacos El Asador ($3.75)
These corny, doughy discs at Koreatown’s long-standing Salvadorean spot are stuffed with queso, and sided with tangy pickled onions, cabbage, carrots and beets, and a teeny paper cup of kicky tomato salsa.
689 Bloor St. W.

Curried vegetable samosa ($1.10)
Sultan of Samosas
The samosas at this North York takeout shop come in almost a dozen different flavours, but we like the curried vegetable one. Each teeny triangle is packed with potato, carrots, green beans and corn, all tossed in a secret blend of north Indian spices.
1677  O’Connor Dr.

Tofu stew ($8.85)
Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
No matter the season, the windows at this Koreatown favourite are always steamed up. The reason: mini-cauldrons of soon tofu, a spicy Korean stew of kimchee, tofu, pork and a freshly cracked egg that cooks in the boiling, roiling mess. On the side: a stone bowl of sticky purple rice.
691 Bloor St. W.

Barbecue pork skewers ($2.50)
Lasa
The grilled pork skewers at Lamesa’s midtown sister spot are marinated—in true Filipino style—with soy and 7-Up, but they’re a more subtle, less saccharine rendition of the traditional dish. Each one makes for a perfect three bites.
634 St. Clair Ave. W.

Rotisserie chicken sandwich ($9)
Flock
Cory Vitiello’s signature rotisserie chicken is pulled, then heaped on a soft milk bun and decked out with crunchy apple, beet and horseradish slaw; creamy avocado; crisp onions; and romaine lettuce.
330  Adelaide St. W.; three other GTA location

Doubles with curried chickpeas ($1.99)
Drupatis Roti and Doubles
These piping hot pillows of dough stuffed with spiced chana are ubiquitous in Toronto’s Caribbean and West Indian enclaves, and while everyone swears by their doubles joint, Drupatis is one of the standard-bearers. Order them with slight pepper and some tamarind chutney to really savour the spicy sweetness.
1085 Bellamy Rd. N.; three other GTA locations

Nona’s veal eggplant ($9.75)
Uno Mustachio
There’s something almost parental about cradling a hefty sandwich from this St. ­Lawrence Market stalwart. Each one is a couple of pounds of saucy veal, eggplant and parmesan. Topping it with roasted peppers and jalapeños, plus sautéed onions and mushrooms, is an offer you can’t refuse.
95  Front St. E.

Shanghai won tons ($7.99)
Ding Tai Fung dim sum
Tossed in a mixture of chili
oil and soy sauce, these pork-packed dumplings are equally sweet, spicy and tangy, and they deserve some of the
attention usually received by the restaurant’s ever-popular soup dumplings.
3235  Hwy. 7 E., Markham

Gobernador taco from Seven Lives

The Gobernador Taco ($6)
Seven Lives
If you have time for only one taco in Kensington (and there are many), make it this one. Double-shelled to hold the heft of its contents, the gobernador is a delicious mess of shrimp and smoked marlin, all glued together with gooey mozzarella cheese.
69 Kensington Ave.

Hainanese chicken rice ($6.99)
Malay Thai Famous Cuisine
The food court in First Markham Place is full of gems, including this hearty serving of tender, boneless Hainanese chicken and rice cooked in broth, with even more belly-warming broth on the side. Winter and summer colds, you’ve been warned.
3255 Hwy. 7 E., Markham

Three-piece chicken dinner ($8.05)
Chick-N-Joy
Not to be confused with the even-more-east-end chain of the same name, this family-run Leslieville chicken shop has been frying up fowl since 1977. A three-piece dinner here includes a trio of fresh-never-frozen ­country-fried thighs, legs or breasts, a choice of sides, and a roll. Don’t forget to order the famous yellow gravy for $1 more.
1483  Queen St. E.

Whitefish dumplings ($3)
Yan Can Cook
This long-time vendor in the food court of First Markham Place has a borderline-overwhelming menu of Chinese dishes. A sure bet is the fish siu mai: five massive dumplings loaded with whitefish and drenched in a homemade chili-garlic soy sauce.
First Markham Place, 3255 Hwy. 7 E., Markham

Savoury Chinese crêpe ($5)
Lamb Kebab
Look for the routine lineup at Dundas and Spadina to find the street vendor selling lamb kebabs, stinky tofu and jianbing, ­delicious savoury Chinese pancakes. Made to order on a flat-top grill, the paper-thin crêpes are covered with egg, painted with two sauces (sweet and heat), sprinkled with cilantro, green onions and lettuce, and topped with a couple of crispy crackers before being folded up into a tasty multi-layered mess.
492  Dundas St. W.

Chicken mole burrito ($6.99–$9.99)
Carnicero’s
The people who hand out those free samples of pork belly right inside the main entrance of St. Lawrence Market have a hidden talent: they make a damn fine burrito. The rich, smoky chicken mole has a distinct dark-chocolate note, and a few pickled jalapeños offer an extra stab of heat to the bundle, which is stuffed with cheese, salsa, lettuce and sour cream. It’s lightly crisped on the grill before serving.
93 Front St. E.

Crab-and-pork soup dumplings from Shanghai Dim Sum

Crab-and-pork soup dumplings ($7.99)
Shanghai Dim Sum
Don’t pop these perfectly pinched parcels whole: each of the Richmond Hill dim sum restaurant’s xiao long bao with tender crab and pork is filled with piping hot soup that needs to be carefully slurped.
330 York Regional Rd. 7, Richmond Hill

Mutton kothu roti ($6)
Martin’s Bakery
Kothu roti, a Sri Lankan staple, is an ingenious (and delicious) use of day-old bread. For this particular version, crispy roti that’s 24 hours past its prime is grilled on a flat-top along with spicy mutton, chilies and onions. Then, two blunt metal blades chop it all to pieces, ensuring you get a bit of everything with each bite.
2761 Markham Rd., Unit 15

Where’s Where to Après Ski

By Where Writers

So you want to après ski, eh?

From ski hills to yoga studios, and breakfast joints to late night pubs, we’ve created the definitive list for après ski activities in the Canadian Rockies. Without bias, we can certainly declare that our list if the best list. Read on!

 

Pre-après your Day

Sometimes the most important part of your ski day happens before you squeeze your feet into boots.

Saltlik Steakhouse Caesar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretch out before you head out with lululemon Banff. They host free Sunday morning classes so that you can get ready for a whole day of skiing … or recover from one.

Fuel the whole family at Craigs’ in Canmore. This classic diner serves hearty breakfasts that are sure to give you energy for the entire day.

Late night? Rally in Canmore with a fresh-pressed juice from Toniq or a Hangover Wrap from Harvest (718, 10 St., Canmore). If you are in Banff and feeling a little worse-for-wear, grab a day-saving Caesar at Saltlik. Rumor has it that any of these cures will have you back on the slopes in no time.

 

Wear your Ski Boots

In a mountain town you can wear your gear with pride, so long as you know where to go…

Get your après on at these on-hill locales (goggles optional):

  1. The Caribou Lounge at Marmot Basin offers food and drink specials every weekend from 2 till 5 (and that includes Friday).
  2. Mad Trappers resides in the original Sunshine Village ski lodge, so you can après the same way the very first skiers did. Sunshine’s other favourite end of day spot, The Chimney Corner, offers fireside lounging for cold days and an outdoor terrace for sunny ones.
  3. It’s said that the Kokanee Kabin at the Lake Louise Ski Resort has the “best draught deck in the Rockies,” but we’ll let you be the judge of that.
  4. Stop for a late lunch or an early après on the deck at Nakiska’s Mid-Mountain Lodge, or pop up to the Finish Line Lounge for a post-ski poutine.
  5. Pause for a pint at Norquay’s Lone Pine Pub before heading back down into Banff.
  6. If you’ve crossed over into BC for the weekend, treat yourself to a traditional Raclette Après at Panorama’s Elkhorn Cabin, or take in live music and après specials from the Whitetooth Grill at Kicking Horse.

If you can make it up the stairs in your ski boots, we’ll lay a bet that you can dance in them too. You might head to Wild Bill’s in Banff for the drinks, but you’ll wind up staying for dinner and likely late into the night when the live music starts and the real fun begins!

 

Grab Some Grub

Some of us are in it for the adventure, some of us are in it for the party, some of us are in it for the scenery, but ALL of us are in it for the FOOD!

Mountain Mercato Après Ski Special

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bite into the burger of your dreams at Eddie Burger (137 Banff Ave., Banff). The Grass Fed Rancher has us drooling, but maybe you’ll go for the Aussie Burger (topped with grilled pineapple, beets and a fried egg!). No matter what toppings you choose, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied.

If your post-hill cravings are for finer fare, the Juniper Bistro in Banff offers an après ski lounge menu starting at 3 pm, and Murrieta’s in Canmore offers half price appies and $5 beer and wine, Monday to Friday 3 to 6 pm.

Mountain Mercato (817 8st., Canmore) is a local favourite, and with their beer and panini combo for $15, we can understand why. Head there between 4 and 6 pm to get yours.

Baker Creek Bistro in Lake Louise offers their winter appetizer menu from 2 to 5 pm. These seasonal selections pair beautifully with fireplaces and afternoon cocktails.

 

Get Your Game On

If the slopes were great, but you spent all day worrying about the score, don’t worry; you can catch up on all your favourite teams (and Olympic athletes) no matter where you are in the Rockies.

Montana’s Game Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in Jasper, O’Shea’s has game night specials and Montana’s has great game day door prizes.

In Banff you can cheer on your team at Melissa’s and you won’t miss one word of the commentary because each table has its own speaker. Join passionate locals at Tommy’s, a favourite hangout of everyone in Banff.

Pull up a chair anywhere at the Iron Goat in Canmore. The two-story restaurant has TVs on both floors so you won’t miss the game no matter where you are seated.

 

Après Hour is the Happiest Hour

We’re pretty sure that après ski is French for Happy Hour, no matter what you say.

Crazyweed Crab Fundido

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazyweed In House Smoked Camembert

 

Jasper Brewing Co. has great vibes and luckily, the end of your ski-day coincides nicely with their Happy Hour. From 3 to 6 pm, enjoy $4 pints of local brews and $1 off mixed drinks from the bar.

Canmore’s Crazyweed calls 3 to 5 pm “Crazy Hour”, probably because they offer a crazy awesome sharing menu including Taber Corn & Crab Fundido and In House Smoked Camembert.

From 5 to 7 pm you will find daily drink and food specials at the De’d Dog Bar & Grill in Jasper. This means $6 pints of seasonal ale and Sriracha cod Sandwiches on Saturdays, and steak night Sundays with $5.25 pints of Keith’s.

 

Soothe It Out

If dinner sounds nice, but your sore legs have you feeling wobblier than Bambi on ice, maybe try out a few of these active recovery methods first.

Wildheart Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildheart Studio

 

Do your stretches at Canmore’s Wildheart in their Snow Flow yoga class on Monday and Saturday evenings. This class is designed to help you relax into a deep stretch after a day on the slopes as well as build strength for your next lengthy ski day. Jasper Wellness offers a similar class, Après Activity, on Saturday afternoons at 4 pm. This class will help you finish off your day by re-lengthening.

The Willow Stream Spa at the Banff Springs offers a variety of massages including a deep tissue massage to help your muscles recover from strenuous exercise or you can soak it out in one of the three waterfall treatment whirlpools.

10 Toronto Steak Houses That Sizzle

The Shore Club

Everything from traditional favourites to new takes on the classic steak dinner

The Shore Club
The Shore Club is located in the heart of the Entertainment District, close to venues like Roy Thomson Hall and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Along with classic cuts like New York strip loin, bone-in rib steak and filet mignon, you’ll find a steak and lobster dish, braised short ribs and double-cut lamb chops.
155 Wellington St. W.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Ruth Fertel, founder of this international chain, credited the success of her steaks as much to their sound and smell as to their taste. That’s why steaks here are cooked at nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius, served on an incredibly hot plate and doused with a tablespoon of sizzle-inducing butter before they leave the kitchen.
145 Richmond St. W.

Morton’s
This Texas-based steakhouse chain has a modern ambiance but still delivers a proper old-school steak—not to mention an impressive number of side dishes, including sautéed broccoli florets, creamed corn, bacon and onion macaroni and cheese, and parmesan and truffle matchstick fries.
4 Avenue Rd.

STK

STK
Mix the vibe of a modern restaurant with that of an exclusive nightclub—there’s even a live DJ—and you’ve got the STK experience. Along with dry-aged steaks, this restaurant offers some unique drink concoctions, with names like Cucumber Stiletto, Carroted Away and Strawberry Cobbler.
153 Yorkville Ave.

Harbour 60
Don’t be surprised to see a Toronto Maple Leaf or two dining here, considering the restaurant is only seconds from the Air Canada Centre, located in the century-old Habour Commission building. The restuarant offers classic fare and has a seafood menu to rival its steaks, with beluga caviar, a daily selection of fresh oysters and a seafood tower, including steamed lobster, king crab legs, jumbo black tiger shrimp and oysters.
60 Harbour St.

Barberian’s Steak House
Founded in 1959, this is one of the oldest steakhouses in Toronto. Sitting in the dinning room, you get the impression little has changed since it first opened its doors. One thing that definitely hasn’t changed is the attention to detail Barberian’s gives to preparing its steaks, which are all butchered and aged in-house. Be sure to ask for a tour of the must-be-seen-to-be-believed wine cellar.
7 Elm St.

Hy’s Steakhouse

Hy’s Steakhouse
Dark mahogany furniture, rich carpets and intimate lighting complement the high-quality, 28-day-aged Canadian beef on the menu here. The Steak Neptune—New York strip loin or filet mignon topped with asparagus, Dungeness crabmeat and hollandaise sauce—is just one of the house specialties.
120 Adelaide St. W.

BlueBloods Steakhouse
One of the city’s most noted tourist attractions is now home to this upscale eatery. Antique furniture mixes with modern art in the billiard room of Casa Loma—a circa 1900 gothic-revival-style mansion—where the Liberty Entertainment Group recently invested $3 million to create a steakhouse featuring cuts of beef sourced from around the world, plus a drink list of international wines and spirits.
1 Austin Ter.

La Castile
Eat like royalty in a three-tiered, castle-inspired dining room, complete with stained-glass windows and chandeliers suspended from cathedral ceilings. Start your meal with flash-fried calamari, escargots or a plate of Caspian Sea caviar before cutting into a char-broiled USDA prime steak, served with mushrooms or steamed spinach.
2179 Dundas St. E., Mississauga

Quinn’s Steakhouse & Irish Bar
Located in the Financial District’s Sheraton Centre Hotel, Quinn’s is a family-owned-and-operated steakhouse with an Irish flare. Not in the mood for their aged Alberta beef steak or slow-roasted prime rib? Try the Irish stew or Clare Island salmon. Whatever you settle on, make sure to relax afterward with a glass of one of the 240 whiskeys on offer.
96 Richmond St. W.

Hot Dining

Highwayman-2

SMALL PLATES, BIG TASTES

Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired share plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option servers a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Save room for a decadent dessert and something from the carefully-curated wine list.

 

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COCKTAIL HOUR

Recently, Bar Kismet mixologist Will Irvine won the regional finals of the North American Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition, and will go on to represent the city at the Global Finals in Mexico City. Visit the friendly Agricola Street bar (which also serves an excellent array of local seafood) to sample his latest creations.

 

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A RESTO WITH A STORY

The Watch That Ends The Night pairs an ambitious name with an ambitious concept. The new Dartmouth waterfront spot is a cocktail and wine bar with a kitchen headed by Mark Gray (Gold Medal Plates winner 2016) that is focused on developing a new Canadian cuisine through curing and fermenting local seasonal ingredients. It’s named for Hugh MacLennan’s 1958 novel, sharing an aesthetic with the same North American late-modern tastes.

 

TNDGang2

Photo: Emma Smith

LUNCH BUNCH

Come hungry to Darrell’s Restaurant on Fenwick Street. This joint is known for sizeable, gourmet burgers. A local favourite is the Hawaiian Burger featuring Angus Beef topped with teriyaki-marinated pineapple, mozzarella cheese, BBQ sauce, and an onion ring lei.

Go back in time at the True North Diner in Bedford Place mall. This 1950s-themed diner dishes up burgers, fries, shakes, and more. The classic dinner section of the menu highlights home-style fare such as meatloaf, fish cakes, and all-day breakfast.

 

IMG_2070

HEAD OF THE CLASS *Editor’s Pick*

Every year, Where magazines across Canada present a series of awards feting Canada’s Best New Restaurants. When it came to picking this city’s representative, the Where Halifax team had an easy choice: Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street. This intimate, casual spot—run by two brothers—offers Italian-American favourites. Old family recipes are the key; they’re the sons of the couple that founded Halifax pizza mainstay Salvatore’s in the historic Hydrostone neighbourhood.

 

Cut-Steakhouse-5-X-7

STEAK EXPECTATIONS

For an opulent and unforgettable dining experience, Cut Steakhouse is the downtown’s go-to destination. Contemporary and classy, Cut emphasizes world-class service, with beef dry-aged on site. From the restaurant behind popular Halifax spots like Bistro Le Coq, East of Grafton Tavern, and Waterfront Warehouse.

 

Sawadee

TEA TIME

Located on historic Granville Mall in downtown Halifax, Sawadee Tea House serves some 150 types of loose-leaf teas from around the world, with formulae to help you reenergize, rejuvenate, and recharge.

Hot Dining

Elements-clip

THE SIMPLE THINGS

Stylish but unfussy, Elements at the Westin Nova Scotian hotel showcases local small-business suppliers. The award-winning, multinational culinary team apply worldly knowledge of flavour combinations to the ingredients harvested from the farms and oceans around Nova Scotia, all paired with local wines, spirits, and beer.

 

The-Kitchen-Table

KITCHEN PARTY

For a truly distinctive dining experience, check out The Kitchen Table on Gottingen Street. This intimate spot offers an eight-course tasting menu using local and foraged ingredients. Reservations strongly recommended.

 

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GO EAST

In the heart of downtown Halifax on Argyle Street, East of Grafton Tavern is an easygoing restaurant catering to business and leisure travellers alike, while maintaining a chill neighbourhood vibe. Locals love it for the ever-changing menu of seasonal cocktails featuring house-made bitters, and friendly service. East of Grafton fills a specific niche, but in a way that’s broadly appealing.

 

Grafton-Street-Dinner-Theatre

IN WITH THE NEW

Spend the last few hours of 2017 at Grafton Street Dinner Theatre. The evening features a four-course meal during a performance of Viva Las Vegas. After the show, stick around for live music and dancing, midnight champagne, party favours, and hors d’oeuvres.

—Lion and Bright on Agricola Street will host its annual NYE get-together. Choose from the early or late seating, and enjoy a five-course tasting menu (with optional vegetarian picks) and a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year.

 

Truck-side

YEAR-ROUND FOOD TRUCKS

You don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy those food-truck flavours again. Truck-side in Dartmouth is Canada’s first “indoor food-truck food court.” Several different kitchens serve up food-truck style eats: Chinese, seafood, BBQ, burgers, Tex-Mex, and more.

 

Hall_Sept050017

GATHER BY THE FIRE

Tucked into the petite Halliburton hotel on Morris Street, you’ll find Stories Restaurant, a fine-dining establishment known for attention to detail. Enjoy regional haute cuisine, a carefully curated wine list, and artful desserts. Reserve a spot in the cozy library to dine by firelight.

 

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Photo of Abdul Kadar Sadieh by Bruce Murray

WELCOME HOME

Abdul Kadar Sadieh wasn’t planning to immigrate when he suggested that his brother apply for a job in Halifax in 2003. Seven years and two kitchen jobs later, he runs Chef Abod Cafe on Kempt Road, offering hearty Middle Eastern cuisine.

Cowboy for the Evening

By Where writers

Photo: Brewster Lake Louise Stables

Dinner is served – cowboy style! Photo: Brewster Lake Louise Stables

The Brewster family has offered trail rides and western cookouts for over 100 years. The tradition continues Wednesday evenings with a horse or wagon ride to the barn dance in Lake Louise. Star of the buffet is a 35-pound hip of beef roast that is barbecued, basted in its own juices, transported by pitchfork to the table and custom carved for each guest. Dance the night away to the country and rock band.

 

Hot Dining

By Trevor J. Adams

DATE NIGHT

  • Intimate Lot Six (page 61) on Argyle Street is a must for serious cocktail aficionados. The bar recently unveilled a new cocktail menu featuring 16 creations. The selection includes As the Valley Blooms (cognac, sake, chamomile, orgeat, lemon, grapefruit, egg white, grapefruit bitters) and the Green Swizzle (gin, lime, cucumber, chartreuse, sage).
  • With its French-inspired seasonal menu, Agricola Street Brasserie (page 59) has helped turn the North End into Halifax’s hottest dining destination. Artfully prepared seasonal dishes, including fresh Atlantic seafood, pair with Nova Scotian wine and beer.

 

CHILL OUT

Beat the summer heat with a tasty treat. At Sugah (page 52), on the waterfront boardwalk in Bishop’s Landing, you’ll find all manner of confections, but the star of the show is the house-made hand-paddled ice cream, showcasing unique Nova Scotian ingredients.

 

LOCAL FAVOURITES

  • Athens Restaurant (page 62) on Quinpool Road offers the Greek mainstays you’d expect, but Haligonians love it for weekend brunch: omelettes, eggs Florentine, and a buffet chock full of breakfast favourites like sausage, baked beans, pancakes, perogies, pastries, and more.
  • Maxwell’s Plum (page 62) on Grafton Street boasts a huge array of craft beers and brews from around the globe, served alongside burgers, sandwiches, fish, and chips, and pub grub galore.
  • Scratch-made vegan cuisine make Wild Leek (page 63) a Windsor Street neighbourhood favourite. With an on-site bakery, tasty gourmet desserts are the house specialty.

 

ON THE GO

Quick, casual, healthy, and flavourful: Burrito Jax (page 62) on Barrington Street ticks all the boxes for an urban-exploration power lunch. Scratch-made burritos are the house specialty. Pulled pork and pepper steak will bring the big traditional flavours purists demand, or you can give it an East Coast twist with North Atlantic cod.

 

ASIAN ADVENTURE

  • In a historic building on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets, Talay Thai (page 63) serves up heaping portions of traditional dishes like creations like Gung Pad Pik Pow (basil prawn with chili paste), Pla Muek Tod Katem (garlic shrimp), and curries aplenty.
  • Japanese fine dining, showcasing traditional and fusion dishes, is on offer at Sushi Nami Royale (page 62). Check it out on Dresden Row in the heart of the downtown or Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park.
  • Don’t let the strip-mall exterior or industrial-park cul-de-sac location fool you: Dhaba Casual Fine Dining & Express (page 61) on Oland Crescent serves some of the tastiest Indian food around. The volcanic chicken vindaloo isn’t for the fainthearted; the flavours are unforgettable.

 

Editor’s Choice: ABOVE IT ALL

Take a lofty perch above the bustle of Spring Garden Road to enjoy the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache (page 63). This perennial summer favourite is the ideal place to laze away a sunny afternoon with a cold beverage, including four beers that downstairs neighbour Rockbottom Brewpub (page 56) crafts just for this bar. There are daily lunch specials but locals know to go for a signature sandwich (like the haddock bahn mi).  

5 Restaurants for Wine Lovers

Courtesy of Fusion Grill

Courtesy of Fusion Grill

Calling all oenophiles: these restaurants are must-visits for wine lovers of all stripes.

At DeLuca’s Cooking School, sip specially paired wines provided by attached DeLuca Fine Wines while chef Anna Paganelli demonstrates how to prepare elaborate Italian dishes. Call for class schedule and to register. 950 Portage Ave, 204‑774‑7617, delucas.ca

529 Wellington, Winnipeg’s most lofty steakhouse, maintains its elevated reputation with an award winning wine list so thick it could have been written by Proust. More than 800 selections pair with anything from porterhouse to prawns. 529 Wellington Cres, 204‑487‑8325, 529wellington.ca

Mona Lisa Restaurant is a top pick for comforting red sauce Italian fare in a sleek yet casual atmosphere. The adjacent cantina is perfect for variety-loving imbibers, with 20 featured wines offered by the glass. 1697 Corydon Ave, 204‑488‑3684, monalisarestaurant.ca

Fusion Grill stokes Canadian pride with its sophisticated use of regional ingredients, and local love doesn’t stop there. Owner Scot McTaggart (pictured) built an extensive wine list that is exclusively Canadian, and sure to win over even old-world enthusiasts to the Canuck terroir. 550 Academy Rd, 204‑489‑6963, fusiongrill.mb.ca

Forget hot cocoa—cap off a day of outdoor activities with a glass of vino at The Common at The Forks. Pours by the glass or in tasting flights are perfect to sip while relaxing in the food hall or even browsing the market’s upper level shops. The Forks Market, 204‑942‑6216, theforks.com

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Dine Like a Star During TIFF

LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO REFUEL AFTER SPENDING A FEW HOURS IN A DARKENED THEATRE? FORTUNATELY TORONTO’S DINING SCENE IS AS IMPRESSIVE AS THE FILM ROSTER—AND THERE MAY JUST BE A RECOGNIZABLE FACE OR TWO AT THE NEXT TABLE.

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Grab a drink or dinner at the chic Drake One Fifty during the festival and keep your eyes peeled for famous faces.

In addition to being home to TIFF headquarters and theatres such as the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra, the Entertainment District is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to restaurants. Enjoy the California-style vibes and say hello to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at Montecito, a joint venture between Ghostbusters filmmaker Ivan Reitman and chef Jonathan Waxman. The internationally-inspired menus at Hush and Luma win over moviegoers, with such offerings as maple glazed salmon and grilled quail respectively. Hearty Italian fare can be found at Buca, which serves house-made pastas among other favourites. The upscale Nota Bene is a downtown favourite for chef David’s lee’s impeccable menu, as well as the extensive gin list.

Catching a flick at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre? Both JaBistro  and Richmond Station are within walking distance. Feast on beautifully-plated fresh sashimi and sushi at the former, while the latter is co-owned by Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich with a seasonally-changing menu. The Chase has seafood-themed offerings like Arctic char, octopus and king crab, while further afoot, the Drake One Fifty is an ultra hip spot in the Financial District serving the likes of squid ink pasta and suckling pig porchetta.

—Karen Stevens

Stop and Stay in Fernie

Aug. 26, 2016
By Naomi Witherick

Tackle the whitewater or throw out a fishing line. With the Elk River flowing through its district, Fernie is the perfect spot for a vacation on the water. And now you can stay even closer.

RV camping Fernie (more…)

Get Your (Prix) Fixe of Toronto Dining with Summerlicious

TASTE SOME OF THE BEST FOOD TORONTO HAS TO OFFER WITH THIS CITYWIDE CELEBRATION OF FOOD

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Kasa Moto’s Summerlicious menu items include Lobster Miso Soup, Shichimi Arctic Char and Strawberry Shortcake, among others.

TO JULY 24 Summerlicious returns for the 13th year, enabling patrons an opportunity to dine at some of the city’s premier establishments. The city-wide celebration encompasses more than 200 restaurants, with each creating three-course prix fixe menus for lunch ($18 to $28) and dinner ($28 to $48). Returning favourites include Canoe, The Carbon Bar, and Chase Fish & Oyster Bar, while Ufficio, Kasa Moto, and Beaumont Kitchen are new to the program. Spots fill up fast at some of the most popular restaurants, so make sure to make reservations ahead of time.—Karen Stevens

Hot Dining: Cute Creperie

Owners Phil Salazar and Candy Lam. Photo by Ian McCausland

Owners Phil Salazar and Candy Lam. Photo by Ian McCausland

Entrepreneur Candy Lam first encountered Japanese-style crepes while making buying trips to Asia for her clothing store. With the help of her husband, Phil Salazar, Lam re-imagined the crispy, cone-shaped versions of the beloved French pancake for Winnipeg. With unique sweet and savoury fillings and names like “Pump Up the Yam” and “It’s-A-Smore”, Kawaii Crepe shows how fun and food go hand in hand. 201-99 Osborne St, 204‑415‑2833; Unit D-1220 St Mary’s Rd, 204‑691‑3700