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June Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson



• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.

Editor’s Choice

Steak9246Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.





• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.


CREATIVE CORNERSTONEGio-Tea--024---Version-2

Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.



_MG_4104Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.

Meet Winnipeg’s Two Hot New Restaurants

Yep, it’s vegan!

The East Exchange is rapidly evolving as one of the city’s hottest dining districts. Helping that evolution are two new exciting eateries that recently opened in side-by-side heritage spaces:

• Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria brings us the flavour of Corrientes Ave, Buenos Aires, with authentic baked empanadas full of savoury fillings like smoked salmon, pickerel and feta cheese. 137 Bannatyne Ave, 204-219-5398.

• Boon Burger Café (pictured), Canada’s first all-vegan burger joint, serves up killer plant-based patties and poutine at its second spot inside a converted carriage tunnel. 141 Bannatyne Ave, 204-504-5394.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for April 27 to 29

Friday, April 27
The biannual Ottawa International Writers Festival takes place this weekend and will feature world-renowned writers speaking about their experiences in the field of history, science, fiction, poetry, and more. Some of the big-name draws include Giller Prize-winning author Vincent Lam and CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed.

In an event that will showcase young Canadian performers, Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare tells the story of seduction and politics. The semi-staged production, put on by Thirteen Strings, is the highlight of the orchestra’s season.

Ana Miura plays at the first-ever Ottawa Grassroots Festival

Saturday, April 28
Folk music takes centre stage at the first-ever Ottawa Grassroots Festival. The event features local talent and includes Ottawa artists such as The Bytown Ukulele Group and Ana Miura.


Hot Dining: Vegetarian Roundup

Greens your go-to? We highlight three restaurants for veg heads.

A pretty dish of raw zucchini pasta from Café My House.

Café My House (featured)
Here, the goal is to make vegan food appealing, approachable, and available to both vegans and non-vegans. A sit-down restaurant that offers creative breakfast, lunch, and dinner options in a casual atmosphere. 1729 Bank St., 613-733-0707. www.cafemyhouse.com (more…)

Hot Dining: Gourmet Vegan at ZenKitchen

Food is an art at ZenKitchen.

Whatever your preconceptions about vegan food, throw ’em out the window. Even meat eaters will have a change of heart when they sit down at ZenKitchen, Ottawa’s gourmet vegan restaurant that has earned rave reviews and numerous accolades (mostly recently, winning silver at the annual Gold Medal Plates competition). Nestled in an unassuming house in Chinatown, this eatery has a relaxed atmosphere that serves as a nice backdrop for the star of the show: the food. Chef Caroline Ishii and sommelier Dave Loan (also the owners) approach vegan cuisine and the accompanying wine list with thought and creativity, and each plate is as scrumptious as it is fun to look at. Popular dishes include the seitan, a wheat-based product with the look and texture of a cutlet, and the lively Mexican sopé. 634 Somerset St. W., 613-233-6404.

Hot Dining: Top 5 Cool Desserts

Cantaberry ice cream dessert at BDI.

When the sun beats down and you need to cool off, think like a kid and reach for one of these creamy treats that deliver on flavour and creativity:

Renowned for its wide range of banana-flavoured ice cream treats, Banana Boat scores a hit with its banog milkshake. Real bananas, egg, rich vanilla soft serve and a pleasing dash of cinnamon flavour this one-of-a-kind smooth sipper. 390 Osborne St, 475-4610, Map 1: T-5.

Boon Burger’s vanilla soft serve may look like ice cream, but coconut milk and rice pudding actually make up the vegan-friendly base. Vegans and non-vegans alike are scooping up this silky dessert for its refreshing coconut taste. 79 Sherbrook St, 415-1391, Map 1: R-2.

The Cantaberry (pictured) at landmark ice cream stop Bridge Drive-In excites the eyes as much as the palate. A scooped-out cantaloupe half houses a vanilla soft ice cream sundae smothered in tart blueberry sauce. Whispy clouds of whipped cream, chopped peanuts, juicy pieces of cantaloupe and a sweet cherry on top complete this adored fruit sensation. 766 Jubilee Ave, 475‑6850, Map 2: E-4.

Cool and creamy Argentinian gelato is the specialty inside Eva’s Gelato & Coffee Bar’s brightly lit and gleaming space. Pair signature caramel-based dulce de leche with a scoop of uncanny banana split flavour for a heavenly sugar rush. 101-1001 Corydon Ave, 452-3827, Map 1: T-1.

Beneath swirls of whipped cream and rivers of chocolate sauce lies a fried, crunchy surprise in La Bamba’s popular ice cream dessert. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is lightly coated in a sweet house-made batter of Rice Krispies and Maria cookies that crackles with each bite. 222 Osborne St, 415-5713, Map 1: S-3.

Weekend Roundup, September 4 to 7

Labour Day on Monday makes for a long weekend, so we bring you a special four-day guide of what to do in the city.

Friday: Vernon Wells and his Blue Jays teammates take on the New York Yankees.

Friday: Vernon Wells and the Blue Jays take on the New York Yankees.

Friday, September 4
Root for the home team as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the New York Yankees in today’s Major League Baseball game at the Rogers Centre.

Howl with laughter at The Second City’s final performance of Are We There Yet?, a sketch comedy revue about families and the summer, shaken up with some improv. Kids age six and older are welcome—and may be invited on stage to participate in the antics.

Move your hips to the mariachi sound of violins, guitars, mandolins and trumpets at the Hispanic Fiesta.

Saturday: Look for local produce at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers market.

Saturday: Look for local produce at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers market.

Saturday, September 5
It’s the opening day of the 60th annual Canadian International Air Show! Peer into the sky to find the Canadian Forces’ famed Snowbirds roar across the blue, twisting and turning in a display of aerial stunts.

Pick up Hot & Savoury pickles, preserved locally in Toronto, from the Toorshi Foods table at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers’ market.

If the pickles aren’t spicy enough for your palate, turn up the fire at the Hot + Spicy Food Festival, where you can purchase a variety of spices, sauces, marinades and dips from the Red Hot Marketplace.

Sunday: See Karen Robinson in <em>The Tempest</em>.

Sunday: See Karen Robinson in The Tempest.

Sunday, September 6
It’s the last night of the Canadian Stage Dream in High Park. Cozy up to your date on a blanket and watch Shakespeare’s The Tempest under the stars.

Treat yourself to Sunday brunch on the intimate patio at Live Organic Food Bar, where you can get dejeuner served up raw and vegan—try the walnut crepes with shaved pear and strawberry compote and cashew chantilli cream.

Unearth some of the best spots for dim sum on the Tour Guys‘ Culture, Cuisine, and Colours free tour of Chinatown and Kensington Market.

Monday: Ride the ferris wheel on the CNE's last night.

Monday: Ride the ferris wheel on the CNE's last night.

Monday, September 7
Recognize and celebrate workers’ efforts and rights at the Labour Day Parade. This year’s theme is “Good Jobs For All.”

Get a glimpse into the indulgent diversions of the affluent people of Zabid in the Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibition, Coffee & Smokes in Medieval Yemen. (Take the kids—each child for every adult gets free admission to the ROM this weekend!)

The Canadian National Exhibition closes today, so it’s your last chance to down a bag of mini doughnuts, catch an illusionist show, and view the sun setting over the city from atop a ferris wheel.