Restaurants

Oliver & Bonacini: Canoe

So a couple years back when I had just moved to Toronto, and barely able to keep my bank account out of the red, we’d always joke about going to eat at Canoe. Only because with my negative bank account, I pretty much survived off of instant noodles so spending a weeks’ worth of food budget on a single meal at Canoe was never even a real option.

Four years later (OG has it been that long?!), I’m lucky enough to have a stable job, and have paid off my student debt. I can’t say I’ve given up instant noodles entirely (who am I kidding? It’s my go to hangover food), but I have increased my food budget ever so slightly. Even still, I’ve never been to canoe.

So one night, the bf called and told me to put on something nice, because he made reservations for us at Canoe for our anniversary. When he came to pick me up, there were dresses everywhere, and my grumpy butt sitting there frustrated that the 12 extra pounds I now carry around has somehow made almost every single dress I own to no longer fit. I’m convinced that somehow, everything I own has shrunk.. I mean.. with the humidity.. and the summer heat… that’s possible right? Right?

Anyways, I finally settled on a loose backless dress and off we went.

We started off with a half order of the canoe raw bar that included oysters, juicy prawns, smoked salmon, two different kinds of ceviche, plus poached lobster salad. OMG. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good. For $35 dollars, it was a great appetizer plate to share.

CanoeRawBar

To drink, we had a gin fizz (gin, lemon, sugar, egg white & soda), and a few glasses of red wine (Delaforce Touriga Nacional Douro Valley from Portugal). The bf was a little clueless about how to smell and taste the wine so our wonderful server gave us a mini lesson.

My entrée was mackerel and ridiculously buttery melt in your mouth lobster on top of buttered turnips, algonquin grits, and spinach. It was so rich and although it didn’t look like a lot of food, left me feeling quite satisfied.

me

The bf got alberta lamb which came in 3 different cuts. Also really yummy but didn’t even come close to how amazing my dish was.

Though the desserts looked delicious, I was too stuffed from the appetizer and entree so I decided to pass. To finish off the meal, our server brought over this little surprise. Look at how cute this is!
anniverary

The whole dinner was amazing. Our server was wonderful and gave us just the right amount of attention. He made wonderful recommendations and really added to the whole experience.

I’m now determined to save my pennies so I can splurge on nice meals like this more often!

Oliver & Bonacini: Canoe

So a couple years back when I had just moved to Toronto, and barely able to keep my bank account out of the red, we’d always joke about going to eat at Canoe. Only because with my negative bank account, I pretty much survived off of instant noodles so spending a weeks’ worth of food budget on a single meal at Canoe was never even a real option.

Four years later (OG has it been that long?!), I’m lucky enough to have a stable job, and have paid off my student debt. I can’t say I’ve given up instant noodles entirely (who am I kidding? It’s my go to hangover food), but I have increased my food budget ever so slightly. Even still, I’ve never been to canoe.

So one night, the bf called and told me to put on something nice, because he made reservations for us at Canoe for our anniversary. When he came to pick me up, there were dresses everywhere, and my grumpy butt sitting there frustrated that the 12 extra pounds I now carry around has somehow made almost every single dress I own to no longer fit. I’m convinced that somehow, everything I own has shrunk.. I mean.. with the humidity.. and the summer heat… that’s possible right? Right?

Anyways, I finally settled on a loose backless dress and off we went.

We started off with a half order of the canoe raw bar that included oysters, juicy prawns, smoked salmon, two different kinds of ceviche, plus poached lobster salad. OMG. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good. For $35 dollars, it was a great appetizer plate to share.

CanoeRawBar

To drink, we had a gin fizz (gin, lemon, sugar, egg white & soda), and a few glasses of red wine (Delaforce Touriga Nacional Douro Valley from Portugal). The bf was a little clueless about how to smell and taste the wine so our wonderful server gave us a mini lesson.

My entrée was mackerel and ridiculously buttery melt in your mouth lobster on top of buttered turnips, algonquin grits, and spinach. It was so rich and although it didn’t look like a lot of food, left me feeling quite satisfied.

me

The bf got alberta lamb which came in 3 different cuts. Also really yummy but didn’t even come close to how amazing my dish was.

Though the desserts looked delicious, I was too stuffed from the appetizer and entree so I decided to pass. To finish off the meal, our server brought over this little surprise. Look at how cute this is!
anniverary

The whole dinner was amazing. Our server was wonderful and gave us just the right amount of attention. He made wonderful recommendations and really added to the whole experience.

I’m now determined to save my pennies so I can splurge on nice meals like this more often!

The Brownstone

I’m so guilty of wanting to go to any restaurant that has appeared on the food network. So when I first saw the Brownstone on Restaurant Takeover, I knew I had to go! Unfortunately, I must have ordered all the wrong dishes the first time because my visit a few months ago was just ok. The space was beautiful with it’s exposed brick wall, uncovered overhead piping, and raw wood style flooring and tables, but the food wasn’t great enough for me to return. However, Yashy, from Dishcrawl toronto convinced me to go back and try their brunch. Let’s just say, I’ve returned 5 times within a 2 month period.  



Brunch entrees will run you between 10 and 15 dollars. Fairly competitive for the quality and location. I had the grilled chicken and portobello topped with a poached egg. The side salad with nice and light and the chicken was lightly seasoned with just enough flavour. The whole meal was very satisfying and left me feeling ready to tackle the day.


We’ve also tried the salmone affunicato con frittele which is crispy potato topped with smoked salmon, mascarpone cheese, red onions and capers. The presentation of all their dishes was fantastic and since I’m living only a stone’s throw away, they will definitely see my smiling face on many more Sundays to come.

If you’re working in the area, you should definitely pop by in the summer during happy hour (4pm-6pm) to enjoy some half price appetizers on their great patio.

 

The Brownstone Bistro and Bar

603 Yonge St.,
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z5.

Telephone: 416-920-6288

FABARNAK

umbrellas at fabarnak

FABARNAK menu

FABARNAK restaurant located in the Church and Wellesley Village is a 519 Church Street Community Centre initiative that not only serves delicious food, but is focused on doing social good. They strive to help people with employment barriers through their training and employment program. They offer people who have faced some kind of employment barrier the opportunity to receive training and job experience that will help them gain future employment or help them transition to school. Some of their participants have included trans youth undergoing a gender transition, newcomers to Canada with limited Canadian work experience and young people in recovery from addiction.
Their menu items are creative and unique and over 60% of their ingredients are sourced locally. Though the menu was small, every single item had personality and sounded delicious. We started with some Crispy Ricotta Gnocchi which was a perfect sharing dish.

Crispy Ricotta Gnocchi by FABARNAK
Next up with some crispy KFQuail. Nice and crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside dipped in some spicy ketchup. Delicious!
KFQuail from FABARNAK
We also had the Lambchetta which if you’re on a diet, the amount of fat on this dish may not be your cup of tea. It was tender and full of flavour but not a dish I could complete on my own. I’d definitely recommend ordering one for the table so everyone can try a small piece.
Lambchetta from FABARNAK

Overall, the experience was wonderful. Great service and amazing food means I will definitely be returning!

FABARNAK

519 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2C9

Monday to Saturday 8:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Daily take-out and cafe service | Weekday Lunch (11:00AM-3:30PM)
Friday Dinner (5:30PM-9:00PM) | Saturday Brunch (9:00AM-4:30PM)

For more information about the Employment and Training Program, contact:

Matthew Cutler, Director of Development and Community Engagement
416-355-6798 | MCutler@The519.org

 

The Planet Bakery

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When it comes to moving, I am the ultimate procrastinator. The job always seems so daunting and I am always in disbelief at just how much junk I can actually fit in one little bedroom. Not to mention I have the arm strength of a 6 month baby and am completely useless when it comes to heavy lifting. The only good thing about moving day was that I got to have another meal in Peterborough.

 

My wonderful parents met me at 8am to get the party started. By 2pm, we had barely made a dent in the packing so we decided we needed a food break. Both of my parents are vegetarian so we went to this cute little vegetarian shop in downtown Peterborough called The Planet Bakery. IMG_0685 copy

Every time I visit this shop, I can’t help but think of one of my best friends, Sam. The orange floors remind me of the bright orange walls in his old apartment and just everything from the minimalistic design, to the mismatched recycled chairs, to their openness and friendliness of the atmosphere just screams out Sam Robertson. I could easily see him working his chef magic here.

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We were so hungry that we ate most of the food before I thought to take a photo to share with you guys. So the only thing I have pictured is their rosemary walnut burger. SOOO good! Moist and flavourful, it sits on a fresh Focaccia bun with basil mayo, melted cheddar, and a sweet and savoury cranberry-onion confit. YUM!
We also had their green apple & old cheddar sandwich, as well as their cranberry and brie sandwich. I personally preferred the crisp freshness of their green apple sandwich over the sweet tartness of the cranberry.

 

These flavourful dishes will make even the biggest meat lover opt for a vegetarian option every once in awhile.

The Planet Bakery

374 Water Street,

Peterborough, ON

 

The Magic Rolling Pin

welcomeI can’t believe I almost ended my Peterborough experience without a stop to the Magic Rolling Pin! It’s a place you might easily miss as it’s tucked away a little bit in a residential area… this adorable quaint house turned restaurant is full of warmth and grandmothery (definitely not a word but the only appropriate way to describe this place) charm.

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Think doilies, fresh flowers, floral printed couches, fine china, and the sweetest servers ever.

I’m not a huge fan of chicken, crepes (unless I’m in Paris) or fruit in an entrée so I was a little sceptical when our server suggested the grilled chicken crepes but her voice was so trusting that I went ahead and ordered it. And goodness was I ever happy I did. Grilled chicken, carmalized onions, apple and havarti layered inside their homemade crepes, and covered in a rich cream sauce. Every single bite put a smile on my face. On the side, they had a beautifully presented salad drizzled with their homemade poppy seed dressing.
IMG_0581aThe whole experience reminded me of when I lived with my gramma and would come home after work to the most amazing home cooked meals.

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IMG_0556aI usually opt out of dessert as I’m much more partial to savoury and salty over sweets. However, the displays of home baked goodness at the front were just too delicious to pass up. I had a raspberry coconut delight which is a tart filled with raspberry jam and coconut custard that was just the right amount of sweet and crumbly. I’m craving another one as I type this now. For only $2/tart, I really regret not ordering a bunch to take home.IMG_0585a

The Magic Rolling Pin is also a great place if you just want to meet up with a friend for a spot of tea. Their premium loose leaf tea is served in the sweetest little tea cups.

I absolutely loved loved loved everything about this place and want so badly to go back! Definitely on my list of things to do next time I find myself back in Peterborough.

 

They have fairly short hours and are usually very busy so make sure you make a reservation as to not be disappointed!

The Magic Rolling Pin

302 King Street,
Peterborough, Ontario
Monday-Friday 11-5
Saturday 10:30-4

P: 705-745-6556

The Sapphire Room

I finally popped by the Sapphire Room in downtown Peterborough and was quite impressed with their atmosphere and decor. Think 50’s glam with a bit of naughty and jazz mixed in. It was fairly quiet on a Thursday night but I’ve heard that Sundays are quite poppin’ with their trivia nights.

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I loved the soft glow of the lights and the wall of framed album covers. Such a great decorating idea.
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Though I’m more of a beer, or gin and tonic kind of girl, sometimes I like to class it up with martinis.

 

Their mile long drink list includes some of the more traditional drinks as well as a bunch of their own specialties.

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I was pleasantly surprised by their food menu as they had some unique dishes for reasonable prices. I opted for “Wrapped in Bacon” which was Rumaki, water chestnuts, wrapped in bacon with a chipotle whiskey sauce. The saltiness of the bacon was an interesting mix with the cold water chestnuts. It’s different and had some mixed reviews, although I’d probably order it again. I also ordered the “Cheesy Goodness” which was artichoke, hot pepper vodka cheddar fondue with corn chips. It was a great sharing dish and at 2 items for $12 , you can’t really go wrong. IMG_0232

If I wasn’t leaving Peterborough in a few weeks, I’d definitely come back for a girl’s night or for after dinner drinks.

 

The Sapphire Room

137 Hunter St W
Peterborough, ON K9H 3R2
705-749-0409

Chasing the Cheese

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Cheese!
Cheese Who?
Cheese a jolly good fellow

You can imagine how many knock knock jokes I’ve heard growing up (because my name sounds like knock)… but this one may actually be the worst.

cheesemarbled

graciousgormetspreads

marmelade
pasta

Owner, Julie Austin, aims to expose people to both great and humble cheeses that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to try at home. They encourage branching out and trying new varieties and let you sample the cheeses before committing to buy. Their passion is evident and it’s clear how much they want to help you find something to make your taste buds smile. I left my first visit with a little brown bag filled with roaring 40s blue – an amazing blue veined creamy cow’s milk from austrailia, Sartori Bellavitano Espresso – a pasteurized cow’s milk soaked in espresso coffee from Wisconsin, USA, and Commanda – I can’t remember what this was exactly other than it was made with ewe’s milk. All 3 were quite distinct but each delicious in their own way. I also picked up some white Stilton Mango Ginger which is a little on the sweeter side and the Shropshire Blue which has a nice earthy taste.

 

cheesecuttingboard

I’ve already gone back to Chasing the Cheese twice this month and I’m sure I’ll be popping by a lot more often. If you’re a cheese lover, or are looking for the perfect gift for your cheese loving friend, then this shop is guaranteed to have what you’re looking for.

 

localartchasingthecheese

Chasing the Cheese

372 Water Street
Peterborough, Ontario
K9H 3L6
(705) 775-0525

Naked Chocolate

Is there really anything better than chocolate? My co-worker and I were on the hunt for items to include in our gift basket for my supervisor when she suggested we fill up the mug with some chocolates from Naked Chocolate on George st in Peterborough. I’ve heard mumblings of this magical place but haven’t had a chance to visit until today. As you enter the shop, you are literally engulfed in chocolate aroma. As I looked around, all I could think about was how my chocolate loving friend Sam would have a field day in here. Even Willy Wonka himself would have been impressed.

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Chocolatier Warren Eley beautiful hand-crafts all the artisan chocolates and fine confections. You can see the artistry that goes into all of the beautiful sweets in the shop. I kid you not, the truffles were actually glistening and some even sparkled!

 

Although we had planned to just buy a few items to fill up the mug, we couldn’t resist buying box full of truffles and some butter crunch toffee. shelfchocolate
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They have pre-packaged boxes but it was surprisingly fun to pick out each individual piece. They have everything from the traditional milk chocolates, to more exotic and unique flavours that incorporate balsamic, chilis, and curries.

Sadly, I didn’t buy any chocolate for myself so I can’t comment on how delicious everything is but I can say that I’ve heard nothing but good reviews. I’ll definitely be stopping by in the new year for one of these chocolate covered strawberries and a box of macarons.

chocolatestrawberries
french macaroons from Naked Chocolate

Naked Chocolate

300 George St. N
Peterborough
705-755-6253