Browsing: Restaurant Features

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky-Toronto

November24

A very long time ago, there was a restaurant in Winnipeg called Mrs. Lipton’s.  The little cafe was in an old house on the corner of a neighbourhood street and I always wondered how they got zoning for the place, as it was so entrenched in the quaint neighbourhood.  It wasn’t really like eating out, it was more like going home.

The same is true of  Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in Kensington Market.  We had met an old friend of ours and she had not had anything for lunch that day.  We, on the otherhand had gorged ourselves at breakfast and were too full for lunch.  So it was decided that we would check out Wanda’s.  When we arrived there were folks visiting, reading and surfing.  The place was filled with wonderful aromas and beautiful little feasts for the eyes. 

D and I shared a “piece” of blueberry pie.  It was the closest thing to my Mom’s blueberry pie and that is the highest compliment, that I can pay anyone about their baking.  How shall I describe it?  The flaky crust was appropriately salty and the generous portion of what tasted like wild blueberries was not too sweet but tangy with lemon juice.

Next time (and it will be a while unfortunately, until our return to TO) I will definitely be ordering the infamous rainbow cake.

Wanda's Pie in the Sky on Urbanspoon 

Kath’s quote:  “I don’t think a really good pie can be made without a dozen or so children peeking over your shoulder as you stoop to look in at it every little while.”-John Gould

 

Movenpick Marche

November21

D was a second year student studying Tourism and Hospitality at Ryerson in Toronto when we first started courting and he returned for his final year of study when we were engaged.  Needless to say, there were many reasons to visit Toronto for a weekend back in the olden days and I’ve been a fan of Movenpick ever since.  We would visit their Yorkville location in those days as we were fascinated that a very old neighbourhood, could some how come back to life with shops and restaurants.  These days of course, that is what TO is all about!

As the saying goes-feast your eyes!  If you agree that we eat with our eyes then you’ll be more than satiated before you even pick up a plate at Movenpick Marche.  The food displays are exquisite and are set up in food groupings.  When we visited at brunch time there were these stations: dim sum and sushi, crepes and waffles, seafood, omelettes, salad, etc. etc. etc.

On this day, we were meeting most of the rest of the family of the Frenchman (our pet name for the beau of our youngest).  We choose a quiet spot in the area of the restaurant that has a brasserie feel of Europe (appropriate since that is where this couple first met). 

I could not pass up the grilled vegetables on the salad bar reminiscent of the antipasta dishes that we fell in love with in Italy

and there were THREE kinds of baked pumpkin (I sampled them all). 

D was tempted by the divine bouillabaisse and so we shared both. 

This loaf of apple strudel was too good to pass up and even thought we shared it too, we could not finish the huge portion.

Marche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “…..all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs, to bouillabaisse, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity.”-H.L. Mencken

Thank you for making the drive from Peterborough to meet us and for the exquisite lunch and visit.

Biermarkt on Esplanade, Toronto

November17

Inspired by Belgium and the European Brasserie Tradition, the Biermarkt held a delicious dining and imbibing experience while were were recently in Toronto.

D and I started with a Czech Pilsner Urquell and Austrian Steigl Larger as we waited for friends.  It is appropriate that Czechoslovakia created the world’s first pilsner beer.  My dear ole Daddy was from Czechoslovakia and he loved his beer.  We have a tribute to him and our heritage at our summer home.  It is a framed Czechoslovakian proverb which goes like this: “Where beer is drunk, life is good”.  Life is Good is the name of our cabin.

When our friends arrived, Irish Kilkenny Cream Ales were ordered and we started thinking about moving to the dining room for dinner.  By this time, Jeremy (one of the managers) had come by to ensure that we were having a wonderful time and he checked in with us intermittently throughout the evening.  He is a wonderful host and the Biermarkt is lucky to have him.

 

We started with Moule & Frites.  These were poached in coconut milk, lime and chilies. 

We also ordered these huge hot pretzels for dipping in the mussel broth.

Turned out that after sharing this four ways, we were too stuffed for our own entrees so D & I split Schnitzel with tomato jam and creamed potatoes and an add on of grilled Sea Scallops.  The scallops were perfectly cooked, succulent and delicious.  The schnitzel, not so much…. 

I must admit, I was tempted to order the Poutine (aficionado that I am) but had already eaten an order at breakfast-and Poutine twice in one day, well that’s not indulgent, that’s plain gross.

Our beloved friends enjoyed salmon with a salad of beets and walnuts.

And this Kobe Beef Burger (yippee, more frites)! 

We had low food expectations and found almost everything to be surprizingly fabulous.  But the hit of the evening was still the beer selection and we sampled these before the night was done: Paulaner Helles Original Munich Larger,  Jupiler Blonde Larger, Belgian Palm Amber Ale and Toronto Steam Whistle Pilsner.

Wish we had one of these in Winnipeg! 

Bier Markt - Esplanade on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”-Frank Zappa

Crown Princess Fine Dining-Dim Sum in Toronto

November14

We’ve been to a number of places for dim sum in Toronto but none in as opulent a location as today.  The Crown Princess  is a potpourri of crushed purple velvet, marble and chandeliers.  Not my taste in decor, but no matter, the food is fabulous.  We left the ordering to our beloved Chinaman and he did a splendid job. 

D and I were trying to describe one of our favourite selections from home.  This Crispy Taro and Mushroom dumpling came in an attempt.  

We were successful with guessing that it was fried Sticky Dumpling with Meat.  Not as good as Dim Sum Garden in Winnipeg though, I must say.

Sticky rice, normally served wrapped in a lotus leaf was double wrapped in a piece of leaf and pure white paper.  A slightly lighter portion than we are used to and we predict that is the reason for the alternate preparation.

We enjoyed a variety of steamed seafood dumplings:  Har Gow (Shrimp dumpling), Chicken with Vegetable Dumplings, Goose Liver & Caviar Sui Mai  and this new dish, which turned out to be my favourite, Steamed Scallop and Shrimp Dumplings.

 

Gorgeous presentation and taste.  

I also got brave and tasted Chicken Feet with Chef’s Sauce and

D got psyched up to try Beef Tripe with Spicy Sauce.

The steamed baby squid in Curry Sauce was also new for us-yummy.

Familiar Barbecue Pork Buns filled us up before we ended with Mango Pudding with a stream of evaporated milk drizzled over top.

Crown Princess on Urbanspoon

 Kath’s quote:  “Gourmets! serve the bird roasted, with pink feet, a strip of bacon to cover its modesty, the breast sprinkled with lemon drops.”– Charles Monselet

The Nook

November7

We have bought a second house in our old neighbourhood of Wolseley.  Two of our three kids were born in Wolseley before we moved across the river.  One of the fun things about this process is discovering new neighbourhood haunts.  Our first venture was for Sunday brunch and we decided on The Nook.  The placed was jammed and we took that as a good sign.  

The Nook has been there for eons and I have driven by on my route downtown thousands of times.  It was my first visit inside and I was impressed by the comfy booths and rows of windows.  The staff was so pleasant and helpful.  They pour a great cup of coffee.

Parking is not plentiful and it was apparent by the comings and goings that people arrived at the diner on foot.  So it was likely that we were surrounded by our new neighbours and were duly impressed.

Some of us were still in breakfast mode, while others choose from the lunch menu.

Mom #2 (my Mom-in-law) and I had the perfectly cooked easy over eggs with crispy hash browns (they couldn’t guarantee this from the kitchen since they were so swamped).

Daughter #3 ordered blueberry pancakes with a side of bacon and hash browns (that’s my girl!).

The guys had a Denver,

a Reuban

and a Burger and all were well-pleased with their choices.

The Nook Diner on Urbanspoon 

Kath’s quote: “Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor’s motorized garden tiller. If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one.”-Dave Barry

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