…that former Terroni and Black Hoof bartender Ian McGrenaghan has partnered up with ex-Hoof chef de cuisine Colin Tooke to open up a Mexican taco and bourbon bar? And as luck would have it, their Parkdale place, Grand Electric, is in my neighbourhood! And just how does Corey Mintz do it? How does he get these two boys, who clearly don’t want their place to turn into a community centre for fanatic foodies and scenesters, to open up to him for a piece in the Toronto Star thereby increasing the chances that Grand Electric will, almost overnight, turn into a community centre for fanatic foodies and scenesters? They already have 228 Twitter followers! Amazeballs.
…that it was a busy week at Maclean’s putting out the re-think issue! There was an article and video about an archaeologist who recreates ancient beverages, plus I got to test-drive a car that automatically breaks should a pedestrian jump in its path. And the week before that, I interviewed Stephen Mitchell about his new translation of The Iliad and gave my two cents on Ami McKay’s new book, The Virgin Cure.
….that the NYT recent Food and Drink issue is a real keeper. Find out about the highlights here.
…that the October “wine issue” of Food & Wine is top notch. There’s even a lovely spread on gents behind Montreal’s Joe Beef, Frederic Morin and David McMillan.
…that Bon Appetit released their Best New Restaurants list. M. Wells, the Long Island restaurant that’s been in the news lately, made the list. (If you didn’t read the controversial review by GQ food critic Alan Richman, you simply must!)
…that Tomatoland, a new book that chronicles how we pretty much ruined tomatoes, is reviewed in Maclean’s by this one, right here.
…that I’ll be doing some blogging now for Maclean’s! “Eat it up” will appear at least once a week on their site, and it’ll cover everything from hot dogs to what’s in the food news.
…that I’ll be making a batch of lemonade on Friday, July 15 for the Paws for the Cause booth set up at King and Portland? Read more here!
…that a very patriotic Canadian has been campaigning since 1991 to make strawberry shortcake the official confectionary of Canada Day. I wrote about her–and polled the folks in the newsroom for their favourite version of the dessert in a funny little video–for Maclean’s. Read and watch here.
…that a new hot dog place just opened up on in Little Italy and it’s called Little Dog! The Beast is going to FLIP HIS LID.
…that Rob Rossi, one of the final three chefs to compete for the prize of Top Chef Canada, announced that he’s leaving the Mercatto group and his position of executive chef there? What does it mean? That he’s Top Chef Canada? OMG!!!
…that if you’ve still got a little royal wedding fever you can read a fun piece on proper royal decorum here, another piece that speculated what the wedding cake(s) would look like here and finally, a round-up about what Kate, William and their guests ate at their afternoon reception and evening dinner here. All courtesy of Maclean’s…and me.
…that yours truly reviewed the NYT’s best seller Blood, Bones & Butter for Maclean’s? Remember when the Beast and I went to the author’s restaurant, Prune, in November 2008? No? Then read about that here.
…that Amy Rosen, the new food editor of House and Home and Toronto-based freelance writer, authors a little shout-out to our Dundas St. West restaurants in the May issue of Food & Wine? Nice!
…that yours truly reviewed My Korean Deli, a memoir by former Paris Review staffer Ben Ryder Howe for Maclean’s? Read it here!
…that Joanne Kates gave a perfect review to Campagnolo, an Italian place that opened up in the old Coffee Time on Dundas St. W., in today’s Globe and Mail?
…that my pal Aaron, who came to visit last November to do some research for his new job as chef at Mile End in Brooklyn, has done a pretty great job at getting his shit together. Read the glowing New York Times review here.
…that back in September one of my favourite Top Chef contestants, Marcel Vigneron, cooked up special venison dinner at Terroni in L.A.? Neither did I! But this blog post, care of Tomostyle which I just happened to stumble upon, details the evening with some pretty wonderful photos.
…that this funny-but-still-insightful blog post by New York Times writer Peter Meehan about being a little fed up with the preciousness of food culture is a few months old. But it’s still great.
…that Jamie Oliver recently came through town and spent a morning at The Stop–an amazing Toronto organization that’s gets good, healthy food to people who need it. Watch a video of Jamie demonstrating some knife skills here. And read more about The Stop here.
…that Jessica Allen did a little cooking with four University of Toronto students and wrote about in the Maclean’s University Ranking issue? Stay tuned for the video!
…that the heydays of cupcakes are officially over? That’s what the New York Times said today. Taking over the popular culture dessert reigns is the humble, but always glorious, pie. This is good news if you ask me.
…that heirloom apples are on their way to culinary stardom. The Wall Street Journal had a great piece yesterday on these forgotten breeds of fruit, which are often a bit speckled, russeted and sort of ugly–but far superior in texture and taste to something as ubiquitous as, say, a Red Delicious.
…that a Montrealer’s deli has been named the best deli in NYC beating out institutions like Katz’s and Carnegie? Noah Bernamoff and his wife Rae Cohen are doing something right at their Brooklyn-based deli, Mile End. Can’t wait to go! Nice piece about them in the National Post today.
…that ratatouille, or some version of it, exists in almost every culture? Great article today in the NY Times by Martha Rose Shulman with all the details!
…that the Feast of San Gennaro, a Mulberry Street festival in NYC’s Little Italy, is on from September 16 to 26? And this year, Torrisi Italian Specialties, a restaurant in that hood that opened up earlier this year (and a place I will line up at when I visit next), will offer up some of their delights. Read about their mouthwatering Chinese-Italian inspired creations in the NY Times today.
…that also in the NY Times today, Mark Bittman knocks another one out of the park with his column on the food processor. So many things I want to try here, starting with sweet potato stir fry, and then that mayonnaise.
…that Guy Savoy has added a video to his website? Talk about food porn! But it’s so much more than that. I have goosebumps after watching it. Now, I’ve never worked in a restaurant of this calibre but the images of the staff at the end still struck a cord with me. Click here to watch it, if you dare!
…that Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit fame, tackles the separate bills when dining out etiquette issue in a recent blog post? Read the comments too!
…that La Bettola di Terroni is officially open? Think of it as a “best of” Terroni that features their greatest hits in regular rotation. It shares an entrance with the Osteria, one of the Beast’s favourite restaurant’s in the city. JJ Thompson posted some lovely photos of the gorgeous space on his website, The Compendium Daily.
…that Mark Bittman has a new 101 list in the NY Times? It’s 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling. I save all of his 101 lists and periodically refer to them when I need a little inspiraiton.
…that Beppi Crosariol’s Wednesday column in the Globe and Mail takes those lunching Pinot Grigio ladies to task? It’s hilarious–and informative. Go Teams Greco, Falanghina, Fiano, Grillo and Pecorino!
…that Torrisi, a fairly new Italian-American restaurant in NYC, just got a fantastic review from Sam Sifton of the NY Times? I can not wait to go!
…that NY Times wine writer Eric Asimov reports on love-it-or-leave-it rose wines today? I’ve got my fingers crossed that the LCBO carries at least one of his favourites.
…that the Globe has a top ten food apps list in their Living section today? I’ve never bought an app. I think I’ll start with Nigella’s. My brother swear’s by Jamie Oliver’s twenty minute meals: it even provides you with a grocery check list!
…that La Palette, that charmer of a bistro on Augusta in Kensington (that serves up one of the best steak frites in the city if you ask me), just opened up a Queen Street location? Can’t wait to go!
…that Toronto just might get their very own EATALY? There are 11 of these gastronomical Meccas in Italy and even one in NYC (Batali and Bastianch have their fingers in that pot of course). I haven’t been to one…yet.
…that Terroni recently hosted the first in a series of winemakers dinners. The inaugural guest was Ciro Biondi, who came all the way from Sicily to share a meal, lovingly crafted by Terroni all-star chef Boris Buttner, and talk about his extraordinary vini. Stephanie Palmer was on-hand to document the perfect night.
…that auditions for Canada’s Top Chef will start soon? I can hardly wait! And Mark McEwan has been tapped to play lead judge for the show.
…that James Chatto has parted ways with Toronto Life? Apparently it was amicable.
…that Joanne Kates has published her Top 100 in the Post City Magazine? The Black Hoof and the Hoof Cafe both made the top ten. Some of the other choices are astonishing if you ask me, but you didn’t. Take a look for yourself.
…that Jessica Brooks (aka Jessie B) has made a commercial for her Tartina company? It’s directed by Melissa Dozois and written by Ian McGrenaghan.
…that Food and Wine’s May issue lists 15 gastronomic reasons to visit Canada?
…that Therese/Tess, the Swedish girlfriend of the Beast’s little brother, has her own Swedish blog and she reported on a dinner the Beast and I cooked! Don’t you dare make fun of her English spelling.
…that macaroons are the new cupcake? Or so says the Toronto Star, the Wall Street Journal and Salon.com. The Star highlights the efforts of Nadège Nourian and her eponymous bakery on Queen Street West. Nadège worked at Ladurée–maybe the most famouse patisserie in all of Paris, if not the world. And when she came to Canada, Nadège took the Ladurée recipe for macaroons with her. And when my pal Alex Girl last visited Paris, she came home with dozens of little Ladurée boxes filled with their jewel-like macaroons. One of those boxes fell into my hands. Thanks Alex (I still have the box.)
…that there’s a lovely article in today’s Globe and Mail about grandmas and their secret recipes and how these secret recipes aren’t so secret anymore because their grandkids are helping said grandmas with video blogs whereby they share their coveted dishes with the world.
….that I wish we had wine shops in Toronto like the ones that Eric Asimov describes here in the NY Times.
…that Craft Steak in NYC is now Colicchio and Sons? I would like to go.
…that, sadly, Rose Grey–one of the founder’s of London’s River Cafe, passed away. There’s a beautifully written piece on Rose and her legacy by Elizabeth Grice that you can read here.
…that the kids who opened The Social, Jesse Girard and Richard Lambert, are opening up a restaurant way, way west on Queen Street? It’s going to be called Parts and Labour. There will be rock and roll music there! And the chef from Odd Fellows will be cooking in the kitchen!
…that my pal Boris from Terroni can butcher an entire pig all on his very own? First though, he shares a quiet moment with the beast.
…that Joanne Kates named Osteria Ciceri e Tria one of the top ten restaurants of 2009? But I’m not too sure how honoured the restaurant is: Kates writes that the Osteria specializes in Neapolitan food but everybody knows–at least those who know how to do a Google search–that they proudly produce Pugliese delights. It may not seem like a big deal to many, but each region in Italy is fairly distinct. It’s akin to mistaking a wine from BC’s Okanagan Valley as one from Niagara. And besides, Kates ought to know that orecchiette, which she misspelled, is practically the national food of Puglia, not Napoli. But the biggest faux pas by far was Kates’ opener where she writes that it’s “hard to imagine the Terroni chain nabbing a spot on this list.” I don’t know if the folks at the Osteria, nearly all of whom consider Terroni family, laughed or cried. It was probably both, with some cursing on the side. Makes me wonder how many more “Kates mistakes” get printed in the Globe.
…that Beppi offers up a list of 20 go-to wines, all under $20 in the Globe? I’m taking note. You should too.
…that Eric Asimov blogged about Italian amari in at nytimes.com? It’s the perfect way to finish a meal if you ask me. We don’t have as many brands of amari (translates to “bitters”) as our American neighbours do, but you can usually find Averna, Amaro Lucano, Fernet Branca and Montenegro at your local LCBO.
…that former Gourmet editor, Ruth Reichl, is going to do another memoir? Read about here.
…that chef Lynn Crawford may be leaving NYC and coming back to Toronto? There’s buzz that she may take over at The Citizen on Queen Street East.
…that former Gourmet Art Director, Kevin DeMaria, posted photos he took of his last days at this venerable magazine. I subscribed to Gourmet for about five years and I’ve kept nearly every issue because each one is too beautiful to let go of.
…that I am excited to visit this place. It’s just around the corner from us.
…that we had poutine from Poutini and it blew my mind?! I’ve biked past this relatively new place on Queen Street West only to see drunken 905ers lined up outside acting the only way drunken 905ers know how to act. That made me never want to go there for all the days that I shall live. But then I went and I want to eat this poutine every day.
…that Michael Stadtlander’s new restaurant, Haisai, has opened up? Read all about it in The National Post.
…that Drew Barrymore was at Sweaty Betty’s Sunday night? And little Ellen Page and the formidable Kristen Wiig were also in tow. Maybe she lost my number.
…that Terroni in L.A. has a foosball table out front of the restaurant? There’s a story in LA Weekly about it and Max Stefanelli, managing partner, is quoted as saying, “the American’s have no game. Italians were born playing foosball.” Max is also thinking about hosting an industry foosball tournament. If he does, Max ought to send for Cosimo Pagliacolo, one of Terroni Queen Street’s managers. Legend has it that Cosi has never been beaten at the game.
…that Anne Kingston of Maclean’s recently wrote a great piece on food critics and whether or not they should retain their anonymity when visiting restaurants. There’s a pretty creepy photograph of a fake food critic that accompanies said story too.
…that Zaza (above, left)–a “Southern Italian Traditional Espresso Bar,” has a remarkably similar logo to Terroni (above right), “Traditional Southern Italian Foods.” Only difference is Terroni’s logo is about 17 years older than Zaza’s.
…that Gordon Ramsay says the Canadian restaurant in BC that one lucky chef from Hell’s Kitchen will eventually take over is the best prize yet on the show! And he disses smokers.
…that the New York Times just announced that there’s a new food critic! Frank Bruni is leaving so he can promote his new book. Find out who the new critic is here.
…that Mark Bittman just made my Monday to Friday work lunches way more interesting. Read his 101 Simple Salads for the Season in today’s New York Times here.
…that there was an excerpt from Frank Bruni’s soon-to-be-published book, Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater, in Sunday’s NY Time’s magazine? I laughed out loud a few times. You might too.
…that Bravo has announced the line-up for the sixth season of Top Chef? And it looks like there’ll be some fantastic guest appearances, including Natalie Portman and Nigella Lawson.
…that Frank Bruni, chief restaurant critic for the New York Times, has a great piece on pizza in said newspaper today. A few years ago, the Beast and I ate at one of the featured spots–Lucali, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It was delicious. Always wonder how Terroni would fair in NYC….
…that Julia Child’s birthday on August 15 is big news this year on account of the movie Julie & Julia which comes out on August 7. All the food magazines have special Julia-themed dinners menus. I think I should cook one. Take a look-see at how Bon Appetit and Food & Wine are celebrating.
…that a new restaurant has opened up on Queen Street East that only serves preserved food in jars? It’s called Swirl and I think I’d like to go there to. It would be like eating baby food I bet. Corey Mintz wrote about it today in the Toronto Star.
…that there’s a great article on Gourmet.com that points out the hypocrisy of the European parliament’s banning seal products from Canada even though they’ve been destroying our cod populations for decades. The seal hunt is one of the most controlled animal harvests around. The Beast ate seal once in Newfoundland. I didn’t.
…that Jamie Kennedy sold his wine bar? Of course you knew, but just in case, have a look-see here.
…that the Rosewood Estate Pinot Noir VQA Ontario wine I adored at Delux was just released in Vintages at the LCBO? It’s only $17.95. I’m going to the Summerhill outpost to buy as many bottles as I can fit into the milk crate attached to the back of my bike.
…that I just heard Elton John was at Mark McEwan’s ONE restaurant and he brought his own pineapple. Insert fruit joke here ___________.
…that Maclean’s has published a nice little article by a “Jessica Allen.” You should read it.