Foodie: So what exactly is a nose flute?
Beast: It’s an instrument and I need to practice before we pick up Nick Edwards.
So the Beast and I walked several city blocks–me in silence and he with an orange plastic “instrument” shoved up his nose–to the bar where Nick works. He was just finishing up and then the three of us were going for dinner. By the time we greeted Nick, the Beast had perfected a simple tune–two notes actually–and played it for his friend and then handed Nick his own nose flute, presumably so that the two of them can perform duets one day.
Foodie: Were you able to make the reservation at Union?
Nick: They’re all full.
Foodie: Did you tell them who you are?
Nick: I said “this is Nick Edwards.”
Foodie: And they were still full? Well I’ll be damned. Let’s walk along the street and see what happens.
Foxley is what happened; it’s a wonderful little place on Ossington (Toronto Life named it #11 in their top new restaurants list of 2008). There appeared to be a bit of a wait but the lovely hostess fashioned a table for three out of a table for two so that we were seated pretty quickly. Nick and the Beast insisted on sitting beside each other on the bench. They thought it would be funny to roll-play: they were a gay couple and I was a woman being interviewed as a possible surrogate mother candidate for their unborn child. That lasted all of four seconds and then they started playing with their nose flutes while insisting I choose the wine. Actually, they insisted on me choosing pretty much everything, so I did.
Our server recommended an Austrian white, (a Gruner Vetliner precisely) to start, and I chose a sea bream ceviche, frog’s legs, and mussels steamed in a green curry broth to get our appetities going.
Foodie: Maybe we should put the nose flutes away, it being dinner and all.
Beast: Nick, I also got a jaw harp! Look!
Foodie (trying to distract them): Who do you think invented the jaw harp anyway?
Beast: Many cultures have a version of it actually.
Nick: I imagine that most cultures invented a version of the jaw harp independently.
Beast: You don’t think that one culture made it first and then passed it on through migration, trade, etc.?
Sadly, the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of food. The mussels were spicy, but not too spicy; the frog’s legs were, how do I say this without sounding absurd, they were really frog’s legs. Like, they had joints and everything, but no feet. The boys picked them up and sucked them clean of all their flesh. I, on the other hand, was much more conservative, and merely broke off a tiny piece of white meat from a wee thigh. The ceviche was the biggest hit–a bang of citrus, herbs, and salt–while the chop sticks were a flop.
Beast: How are you supposed to cut a piece of raw fish if it’s too big for one bite?
Nick: Here, let me help.
With their tongues out, jaws protruding and their ham-fists clutching their sticks, the two of them made for a touching scene–like two chimps trying to figure out how a primitive tool works together.
Foodie: Did you see who just left the restaurant?
Beast: Of course I did–it was Kenny.
Nick: From Kenny vs. Spenny?
Beast: Yup. (Mom, Kenny vs. Spenny is a pretty silly show about two guys who compete against each other in very silly ways.)
Foodie: Why don’t you two go for a cigarette before we order more food? I’ll come along of course, but I won’t smoke.
And outside, there stood Kenny Hotz. The Beast and I have only seen one episode in which the challenge was to fart the loudest. They even had some sort of device that measured the volume of farts, much like the Richter scale measures an earthquake’s seismic energy. There was the consumption of beans and other gaseous foods, but Kenny pulled out all the stops when he inserted a rubber hose into his anus and blew air into it via his mouth. The resulting farts were–quite literally–off the charts, leaving Kenny rolling in a ball of pain, and laughter. The Beast and I had tears streaming down our faces and silent laughs–that’s when something is so funny that nothing comes out of your mouth.
Beast: I’m going to ask him if it hurt blowing air into his own ass.
Foodie: Don’t you dare!
Nick: Do it!
Beast: Hey Kenny!
Beast: I was just wondering if it hurt blowing air in your bum in that one episode.
Kenny: Yeah. It hurt. It hurt bad. But check this new injury out.
And then Kenny lifted up his shirt revealing black, blue and yellow bruising the size of a newborn baby.
Nick & Beast in unison: WHOA!
Kenny: Yeah. That’s a little sneak peak for you of what’s to come.
Beast: Thanks. And that farting episode was hilarious.
Kenny: I know: It was probably the funniest half hour of Canadian television and it didn’t even get nominated for a fucking Gemini.
And just like that, he walked off into the night with his dinner companions.
Back inside, I performed some quick decision making: we’d have some asian greens, a grilled mackerel, hanger steak with chimichurri sauce, and finally, a piece of pork belly. We ordered another bottle of white while we waited for the food. And while the Beast visited the washroom, I revealed a very serious plan–perhaps hatched in my head by the consumption of wine–to dear Nick.
Foodie: Nick, I have a proposal–it’s a realistic way to get our lives on track.
Nick: I’m all ears.
Foodie: The Toronto International Film Festival is just weeks away. Drew Barrymore will be attending. She dates Justin Long.
Nick: They’re back together?
Foodie: According to my sources, yes.
Nick: Go on.
Foodie: I infiltrate the red carpet–haven’t worked out the details of that yet–but I find a way to approach Drew, and introduce the two of you. Do you follow?
Nick: Not quite.
Foodie: You’re way cuter than Justin Long! And she seems to be really into guys with mediocre senses of humour. Can you imagine what would happen if she got a load of you?! All we have to do is get Drew to meet you, maybe present her with a rose to get things rolling, and then before you know it, the four of us are double-dating, we’re writing scripts together, vacationing, and BAM-you’re an actor.
Nick: Yeah. And haven’t you always wondered what happened to Firestarter? I mean, what happens next? What’s the next chapter for her?
And then both the Beast and our food arrived, leaving our master plan in limbo. I could have eaten the entire plate of greens (looked like rapini) they were so good; the mackerel was served simply, and it may have been my favourite dish of the evening; the hanger steak was good, but I prefer my cilantro-garlic sauce to this chimichurri stuff; and the pork belly, well, it was perfect Beast-fare.
Beast: Oh my God. You can’t expect anything from an animal to taste better than this.
Foodie: Woopsie….the wine’s all gone but there’s still food. We better order one more bottle of wine; I recall seeing a reasonably-priced Negroamaro on the list. Sounds good?
Nick & Beast (pointing to my plate): Are you going to eat that pork fat?
Foodie: It looks like blubber.
Beast: It’s the best part!
Nick (to the Beast): Do you want to share it?
I broke the blubber in two and tossed it to the savages who eagerly devoured it with their greasy paws.
We finished this three hour epic meal, which included three bottles of wine, seven very different dishes, and one celebrity sighting, with espresso. Afterwards we looked up and the chairs were on the tables and the three of us, other than the staff, were the only folks at Foxley. In order to continue with our merrymaking, we headed to a bar, where, after consuming martinis–a drink I’m not accustomed to enjoying in multiples–I behaved poorly. This would have been a perfectly lovely summer evening, minus the visit to the bar, and minus that third bottle of wine too. But I wouldn’t have changed the company for the world.
Foodie: ** 1/2
Beast: ** 1/2 (but **** for the pork belly)