On the GO

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Since I moved to Toronto, I’ve always fancied cycling through the Niagara wine country. I’ve had the opportunity to drive to a few wineries but always daydreamed about how beautiful biking through the area would be.

Last weekend, I finally got the opportunity to make this wish a reality with GO Transit’s seasonal service to Niagara. It was my very first GO Transit experience so I was excited to see what it would be like to travel with a bike.

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I invited one of my girlfriends along for the day trip. We packed a picnic and got up early on Sunday morning to take the 9 am GO Train. The GO Train conveniently stops at Exhibition, which is a 5 minute bike ride from my house, so it made the commute hassle-free.

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The train arrived on schedule and, to our surprise, had dedicated bike coaches, which allowed for easy boarding with our bikes. Inside, they had bike racks to store your bike during the trip. We got to Niagara under 2 hrs; it was a short and comfortable ride down.

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When we got to the Niagara GO Station, my friend and I hopped onto our bikes and headed towards the nearest bike path: the Niagara River Recreation Trail. The Niagara River Recreational Trail is a scenic 56 km paved trail that allows you to ride in nature. We followed the path along the water and made our first stop at the Botanical Gardens.

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We continued our biking adventure by passing through the pretty Queenston town, where we stopped for corn on the cob. The farmer’s stand was located beside the beautiful 1-acre pool, which made us regret not having our bathing suits.

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We parked our bikes and had lunch at the Reif Winery, one of the top wineries in all of Niagara. We ate our picnic outside with a nice glass of wine. The winery was beautiful and serene. We topped that off with some homemade wine-infused gelato and a tour of the property.

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At the end of our cycling adventure, we had clocked more than 40 kms. Exhausted but completely content with our getaway, we took the 7pm train back to the city. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day in gorgeous wine country. I’m thrilled to have been able to spend the day with one of my best girlfriends!

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We live for the weekends, especially during the summer. And planning them is just half the fun. Exploring the big city or biking through wine country – it’s good to have weekend options and we give them to you. Toronto to Nigara. Barrie to Toronto. Either way, we’ll take you there. Seasonal weekend train service runs until Sept 7. Discover a different side of GO this summer at gotransit.com/getaway

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This post was brought to you by GO Transit via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Metrolinx.

Exploring San Francisco

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This summer I returned to beautiful San Francisco. Though I travel to Los Angeles several times a year, I’ve only been to San Francisco once before, back in 2006 when I was on tour. I was delighted to be back in a city I didn’t know much about and that has changed so much over the past couple of years.

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If you’re flying into San Francisco, the good news is that the airport is pretty awesome! It’s located only a few minutes from downtown (you can access it easily via cab or the BART), it’s new, clean and also offers some of the healthiest food options I’ve ever seen before in an airport. I loved their market and all of their fresh food options.

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I spent five full  days in San Francisco, which really gave me the opportunity to re-familiarize myself with this lovely city.  We spent those days walking for hours non-stop. San Francisco is really a great city to explore by foot. If you’re going to go explore though, make sure you wear comfortable footwear as you will have to climb up and down hills to get to the different areas of town. San Francisco also has many bike paths than span across the downtown area. They have the Bay Area Bike Share system that you can use if you want to tour the city on wheels. I’ll be posting a special San Francisco food blog soon but in the meantime, here are some of the things that stood out while exploring the city.

1) Mission District. Is an incredibly unique neighborhood that is full of life and culture located in east-central San Francisco. What immediately stood out in this area was the huge presence of the Mexican culture. Everywhere you go you will find influences of Mexico in the food, the shops and the environment. Mission reminds me of a small Brooklyn or even Parkdale in Toronto. There are many young adults, artists and entrepreneurs that live in the area. Valencia Street between 24th and 14th street is the main street in the neighborhood where you’ll find a ton of really neat shops, restaurants, bars, schools, etc.  Guerrero and Mission Street are also filled with tons of different businesses. Every street around these main arteries is filled with beautiful homes and apartments. The architecture in this neighborhood is stunning, just like anywhere in San Francisco. The Victorian rowhouses are all colorful and each have something special. One of my favorite shops that I found on Valencia was Paxton Gate, a boutique shop that specializes in taxidermy, fossils, plants, science & so much more. The shop is filled with so many interesting books, unique gifts & decorations. There’s also a handful of vintage stores on Valencia that have amazing clothes and accessories.

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2) Coffee culture. I could have an entire blog just dedicated to coffee in San Francisco because it’s really a big deal. San Francisco’s coffee shops are renown across the US. You may have already heard of the legendary Philz Coffee located in Mission District, the place where each coffee is brewed individually and blended for each customer. For the past 25 years, Phil has been making his own unique blends of coffee and serving them to their faithful customers. Going into Philz is definitely a different experience. Other than Philz, you’ll also find Ritual Coffee Roasters in Mission, on Valencia Street. It’s smaller but a great spot to grab a croissant and coffee on the go or to stay for a few minutes. The simple and clean decor makes the place very modern and bright. Also, on Valencia you’ll find Fourbarrel Coffee, a spot that reminds me a lot of Intelligentsia Coffee in Los Angeles. It was rated as the #1 coffee spot in San Francisco by San Francisco Weekly. It’s a big open space. You can buy lot’s of coffee accessories and merch from the shop. It definitely feels a little more upscale than Philz and is also a major hipster hangout. If you go closer to the pier, you can grab coffee from Blue Bottle, a coffee shop that originated in Oakland, CA and that now can be found everywhere in the Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles.

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3) Street art. Everywhere you look in downtown San Francisco, you’ll find beautiful and colorful street art. Artists of all types and backgrounds leave traces of their talent across the city. I was particularly drawn to the art I saw in Mission District, just because a lot of it was inspired by the Mexican culture. I really think that street art is so special and unique and makes a city so vibrant. It adds character to the building or structure it’s on. I think each city should make space for street artists to leave their marks.

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4) Ocean Beach. I couldn’t go to San Francisco without going to Ocean Beach. Though a little far from downtown, the ocean is pretty easily accessible via bus if you take Judah Street. Another way to access the beach is to walk through Golden Gate Park, which is what we decided to do. Golden Gate Park is so incredibly vast and lush. It reminded me of Central Park minus the crowds. Once you get to the beach, you feel like you’re in a completely different place. We stopped at Java Beach Cafe to grab some beach snacks before crossing the road and climbing up the sand dunes. There’s a nice bike path located at the beach that goes on for miles. The beach in San Francisco is so large and quiet. The sand dunes prevent you from seeing the city behind you so you feel like you’re tucked away somewhere quiet and beautiful. Though I didn’t get out in the water, I did see a handful of surfers wearing 3/2 wetsuits riding some waves. A tip: Make sure you grab an extra layer of clothing when going to the beach, it tends to get a really windy. The view though… priceless!

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5) Wine country. On the last day we were in San Francisco we were invited to go down to wine country in Sonoma. We visited a few family owned wineries including the Benziger Family Winery located in Glen Ellen. What I particularly enjoyed about this specific winery is that it uses Biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming methods to make their wine. We had a lovely tour of the estate and also had the best cheese & wine tasting I’ve ever had. They had such a tasty selection of cheeses, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Another fun winery on our tour was the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. This is a destination for the entire family, with a full hotel, restaurant, pool & spa. They also have a cool museum with artifacts from all of Coppola’s movies and his daughter’s movies as well. The pool and café are a great place to spend the afternoon.

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Before finishing this post, I feel compelled to mention that homelessness still seems to be a very major issue in San Francisco. They are everywhere you go in the city. I’ve seen a lot of homeless people in Los Angeles and other cities on the west coast, but the problem seems even greater in the city of San Francisco. I really felt helpless as a tourist seeing all the people on the streets. I hope the city can continue working on making the lives of these people better!

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Santorini

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A lot of us have travel bucket lists, I certainly do and the following blog is dedicated to a destination that’s been in my top 5 travel destinations wish list for years. I was recently able to make that travel wish come true, when @offner (my faithful travel companion!) took me to Santorini for my big 3-0! NBD.

Santorini is as dreamy as it looks, sounds and as you’ve ever imagined it to be! The whole time I was there, I kept pinching myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming or looking at some fake backdrop. It’s really that breathtaking.

If you’re planning a trip to this enchanted place, may I recommend going between April and October? The rest of the year is considered the “off season” like many other destinations and a lot of the local hotels, shops and attractions are closed.

Also, if you’re flying in, consider flying with flyNiki, a division of Air Berlin that offers daily roundtrips to and from Santorini. They’re a super laid back decently priced Austrian airline. Their flight attendants all look like models and are dressed in jeans and a pink blouse and offer a variety of sandwiches and tasty drinks on your quick flight from pretty much anywhere in Europe.

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Speaking of flying to Santorini, you’ll want to spend time on the rooftop patio at the Santorini airport. You get to pass security check and then they let you have some drinks and homemade food outdoors on a patio that overlooks the airport runway. You get to see up close the planes land and takeoff. Pretty special!

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That said, here are my top 5 things to do when traveling to Santorini:

1) Rent a car. The best thing to do while you’re in Santorini is to rent a car and explore the entire island. Santorini is small enough that within a couple of hours, you’ll have been able to see the entire thing. Renting a car is > renting a scooter or 4×4 because it allows you to go everywhere and a lot quicker. Also, renting a car for the day is ridiculously cheap. A renter’s tip: the rental companies will try to charge you more for renting a Smart car (the most expensive car they rent!), a more powerful car, a convertible… but honestly all you really need is a basic standard car. A standard car is preferable because it’ll help you go up and down all the winding roads on the island. Also, take pics of the car you rent – any scratches, problems, etc. The car rental companies are really anal on car damage. You wouldn’t want to be charged for something you didn’t do yourself.

If you rent a car, go to Fira, Oia, Kamari and all the other beautiful and unique little villages on the island. Make sure you check out the Red Beach, White Beach and Black Beach, all beautiful and so different. The island also contains more than 250 churches, which are all uniquely decorated. Go up to the ruins that overlook the entire island! The lighthouse on the southern and most western tip of the island gives you a beautiful view of all Santorini.

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By having a car, you’ll also be able to do all of this discovery at your convenience and spend as much time as you want in every place you go.

2) Eat the fresh local food. Seems obvious but Santorini has so much delicious local food. Most of the island is covered by wineries (who would have thought!) and their wine is pretty delicious and super cheap, like 3 Euros for a more than decent bottle. Most restaurants will offer you fresh fish of the day, that they will cook on an outdoor grill with locally grown fresh vegetables. If you drive around to the island, you’ll see that local residents have stands or small shops off the side of the road, where they sell you homemade products – jams, sauces, wine, as well as anything they’ve grown on their property. The spanakopitas and freshly made baked goods are HUGE and stuffed with flavour. Oh yea, and how could I forget the feta!! It’s everywhere and oh so yummy! We brought back some fresh olive oil and spices, which we’ve been using on salads since our trip. Nothing compares to fresh Greek olive oil!

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A restaurant you absolutely need to check out: La Maison for unique and modern Greek cuisine with a French twist!

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An insider’s tip when eating at a restaurant in Santorini: make sure you check the menu before sitting down because a lot of items tend to not be priced, don’t feel pressured to try everything they throw at you and don’t be surprised to pay for water and bread & butter, even if they make you feel it’s on them… You will have to pay for it!

3) Get a boutique hotel in Imerovigli. Though all of Santorini is absolutely magical, there are some areas where you’ll be less bothered by the 3000+ people coming off cruise ships every day to explore Santorini on their cruise day trip. Yes, that’s the one thing you can’t avoid in Santorini: Cruise ships!! And big ones too! Some days, you’ll wake up to 2 or 3 ships anchored down close to Fira. The advantage of being in Imerovigli is that a) you still get the dreamy view of the island b) you’re far enough that lot’s of these cruise ship passengers don’t walk all the way up to your hotel c) you’re far enough from the road so no you won’t hear any car traffic and noise.

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A lot of these boutique type hotels have infinity pools, though tiny, they’re quite refreshing on a hot day on the island. All of these hotels are beautifully decorated, most of them also have private patios and serve yummy breakfast that you can eat while overlooking the island. Though Oia is also a popular spot, too many buses and organized tours bring people to that area all day long, and you would always be bombarded by others looking through your windows, taking pictures and getting in your business.

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4) Go Surfing. Little did I know that you can go surfing in Santorini. I found a local surf spot totally by chance while exploring the island with our car (again, the advantage of renting a car!). We had seen a surf shop in Fira and had laughed thinking no one would be surfing in the area because the water is so calm but low and behold, they can get some pretty great swell in the Aegean Sea! What was amazing about this surf spot, was that it wasn’t crowded. It’s a black sand beach, with 10 or so locals catching waves and hanging out. You’ll find people surfing around Vourvoulos and Pori, not too far away from the island’s airport.

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5) Catch a sunset! Duh! The best place to catch a sunset on the island would have to be in Oia hands down. Some people reserve their seats on restaurant patios as early as lunch time, and stick around all afternoon to make sure they don’t miss out on the sunset. If you don’t want to sit on a patio all afternoon, you can always try calling a restaurant if you want to make sure you get a table. Another option, is to go down to the water in Oia. Lot’s of people drive to the tip just to catch the sunset each night.

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If you can’t make it to Oia, another option is to take a boat cruise. A lot of locals offer private or semi-cruises afternoon and sunset trips that include visiting the different beaches, swimming in the hot springs right beside the volcano and going to catch the sunset in Oia followed by a homemade dinner on the boat.

If that’s also not your jam, and you want to take it easy, I recommend any patio from Fira to Imerovigli or even using your hotel’s patio to enjoy the sunset. You might not get the same view as Oia but regardless, it’ll be one of the most magical moments of your life!

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Radio Boka

I just got back from my whirlwind of a trip two days ago (stay tuned for some upcoming travel blogs – Italy, Greece & San Francisco!!) and I’m already missing Europe! I miss it’s amazing wine, food & people of course. I was thus very excited to have been invited by the iYellow Wine Club in Toronto to the launch of the brand new Spanish Tempranillo wine called Radio Boka. It’s not a trip back to Europe, but it made me feel like I was still there for a split second! And who says wine tasting, also says cheese, so I was well served!

It was cool to firstly discover iYellow’s great space in downtown Toronto. They’re up to some really great things; organizing wine events and tastings for people across the city of Toronto. They also represent a handful of really great wine brands from all over the world. If you’d love to know more about wine culture and want to build up your wine knowledge, I highly recommend checking them out.

It was great to taste a brand new label of wine, which will soon be available at the LCBO. Radio Boka is from Valencia and offers a red, white and rosé wine, all three priced around the $10 mark. It has a cool “newschool” label design, something that can definitely appeal to the 18-35 year-olds. It was lovely to have the wine producer from Spain be on hand at the event to talk to everyone about his product, his winery, etc.

If you’re looking for wine to share with friends this summer around a BBQ, a dinner or to bring to a party, Radio Boka could be a new alternative!

Salud!

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California Wine Fair

If you’re always on the lookout for the hottest new wines or an avid wine fan, the California Wine Fair is where you wanted to be last night! Many of California’s wineries are currently in the midst of their 35th annual wine fair tour across the country. Yesterday, 450 wines from the state of California were being presented at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. This was the wine fair’s fourth stop this year. Several hundreds of people came out to sip wine, meet folks and chow down on yummy appetizers.

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We were all given a map, a fair guide and pencils to mark down our favorite and not so favorite wines of the evening. Though I’m in no way the biggest wine “connaisseur”, I’ve really developed a lot more wine knowledge in the past year and a half, thanks to travels and also Offner, who had sold wine back in the day in France. Honestly, after tasting a dozen wines, it became a lot harder to differentiate all the smells and tastes.

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There was an all-around great vibe at the fair last night. Offner and I had fun looking at different wine names and labels, looking for the ones that stood out the most. I particularly enjoyed this rad label taken from a poster found in Nashville and transformed into a wine label by the Three Thieves called “The Show”. I also really enjoyed hearing about the history and location of each winery, their vines and products.

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If you’re on the west coast, fear not, the tour will be coming to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton at the end of April. Same goes for the east coast, the tour will be in Moncton and Halifax at the beginning of May.

Last night got me even more excited about my upcoming Napa Valley winery tour this summer! Great times!

 

 

Geraldine

Last Friday, Offner and I tried a fantastic new restaurant in Parkdale called Geraldine. We had walked by the place a few times during the last couple of months and it always seemed to be closed but we had loved the black and white floor tile that gave the place a very French bistro look.

Reservations for Geraldine were easy to make through their website. We got a beautiful table at the back of the restaurant close to their upright piano. The piano was beautifully lit with candles, which illuminated all the artwork at the back of the restaurant. I loved the way all the round tables were placed right by the wall, every couple sat almost next to each other instead of facing each other. It was very intimate and romantic. All of the tables were decorated with simple white cloths and adorned with lovely vintage silverware and antique dinnerware. All the plates were floral, some even had gold trim, which gave the restaurant a very classy look. The marble bar was extremely classy. I also loved their vintage fresh seafood display at the back of the bar. photo 1 (37)

All of the restaurant’s staff were dressed in prohibition era garments. The men all wore suspenders, high-waisted pants, short and slicked back hair. The men looked like they were straight out of an episode of Boardwalk Empire. It went perfectly with the big band, jazzy music they were playing and the overall look of the place.

Geraldine had a lovely drink menu called “Libations” all made by the restaurant’s Mr. Mooney. All of the drinks we had were interesting and unique and seemed to have quite a lot of thought put into them.

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The entire menu looked super tasty! Lot’s of French-inspired dishes. They also had a separate menu to order fresh seafood. Offner ordered the seared duck breast and I went for the lentil salad with mushroom and tapenade plus the cheese board. The portions were small but everything was cooked to perfection and perfectly seasoned. Though a little pricey, it was well worth it! We capped off our dinner with a little digestif and tea for myself!

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All in all, it was a beautiful and romantic experience. I definitely consider Geraldine one of my new favorite restaurants in Parkdale. We’ll definitely be back! Geraldine is also having a special until the end of the month, they are serving wine bottles at half the price on Tuesdays. So make a stop on Tuesday night January 28th to enjoy some great wine for cheap!

 

Twenty Valley Winter WineFest

This weekend the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest was being held in the Niagara region, one of many wine-related activities happening in the area this month. It’s an absolutely fabulous month for fans of wine, food, cheese and the speciality of the season: Icewine!

I was really excited to make it down to Jordan Village, located just an hour away from Toronto. This quaint little village in the Niagara region is super easy to get to. Though the temperature wasn’t ideal (it rained most of the day!), everyone had big smiles on and were excited to be there. Not only was it free admission but the event also had free parking for everyone and a shuttle service going from to and from the event.

I received a very warm welcome from organizers when I arrived. I was given a beautiful wine glass for all of my tastings as well as some tokens for food and wine. The event was very well set up: there was a tent for their cooking demos (Chuck Hughes from Chuck’s Day Off and Danny Smiles from Top Chef Canada!!) as well as a tent for all the wine and food sampling. They also had a bunch of food trucks (yay!) parked on the main street, a few vendor tents as well as a big main stage in the middle of the street where would be held all the live entertainment.

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I started my day by watching the welcome presentation on stage, which was immediately followed by a cute fashion show of local retailers. I loved the fact that everyone was all about promoting the shops around the area.

Not long after, the cooking demo featuring chef Danny Smiles began. Being a fan of Top Chef and all of The Food Network shows, I was stoked to see his presentation. He was super friendly and funny, he made everyone laugh and have a good time during his 1 hr demo. He was also gracious enough to pose for photos with fans before and after his demo.

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I then headed into the main tent to use some of my tokens (tokens could be bought for $3.25 each and could be used during the entire weekend to claim food or wine samples). Inside the main tent, 30 + premium wineries from the area had brought some whites, reds, sparkling and icewines for tasting. What I loved was also the food pairings that were being offered by some of the top Niagara area restaurants. It was great to see all the local producers having such pleasure explaining their wines to everyone in the tent. I loved hearing about all of the winemakers’ history, process and stories. They were even kind enough to give us little cards for free wine tasting and tours at their wineries.

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I was thrilled to see that the food and wine tent was packed pretty much all day long! Some of my favorite food was the Wellington Court Restaurant and Catering Truffle Parmesan and Lemon Arancini, Spicy Tomato Fondue and Kale Pesto as well as the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Sticky Bun dessert. Everything was absolutely delicious! It’d be hard to pick my favorite wine of the day but I did very much like the 2010 Mountainview Pinot Noir from Angels Gate Winery and the GreenLane Estates Winery 2008 Riesling Icewine.

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What was great about the festival was also all the musical guests they had. All day long, they had good bands (Hollerado, Treble Charger, etc!) on stage who performed either classic covers or their own original material. People braved the rain to go sing and dance with them. Fire pits had been installed in the street to keep people warm, a nice little touch!

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Though I did miss the barrel roll out competition and the Steamwhistle After-Party, I had an amazing day at the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest.

In you’re looking for something to do next weekend, the 18th Annual Niagara Icewine Festival continues with a handful of other activities and events. For more information, go here. Events will be taking place until January 26th

 

 

ICI Bistro

A few weeks ago, Offner and I finally got a table at ICI Bistro. We had wanted to go check out the place but it was always booked every time we had tried to make a reservation. So if after reading this blog, you’re dying to try it out, make sure you plan your visit in advance!

The Bistro is located on Harbord St.  just at the corner of Manning St.. There aren’t that many restaurants in the area but I think that when a restaurant is good, it doesn’t really matter where it’s located, people will go to it. And ICI Bistro was sure worth the trek!

The first thing that appealed to me about this place was their slogan: “Food, Wines & Happy People Is What We Are Most Passionate About At ICI“. Sounds perfect!

We received a warm welcome when we arrived at the restaurant. The host took our coats, made sure we had everything we needed. Because there aren’t too many tables in the place (there are like 6 or 7) we opted to sit at the small bar, which gave us a really nice view of the room. The decor was simple but really nice. The restaurant felt extremely cozy. I loved their slightly elevated open kitchen concept.

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We started off with a nice bottle of wine from their extensive wine list. We opted for a French wine since we were in a French inspired bistro. We noticed that a lot of the staff were also either from France or from Quebec and as a result spoke both French and English. As we were picking out our meals, the waiter brought us a really yummy appetizer on the house, a sort of fine rice and cheese ball.

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We started off our meal with a plate of cheese. It was $18 for a selection of 3. We opted for double that just so that we could get as many different cheeses as possible. The cheese portion was great for the price and the cheese were all different and extremely tasty. The chef even came over to personally bring us a plate of fruit, nuts and jams to accompany the cheese we had ordered.

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While we were waiting for our mains, the server came over and offered us some homemade gnocchi on the house in order to tie us over before the mains arrived. I must say I was REALLY impressed by the quality of the service. Little things like that go a long way in my opinion. Plus the gnocchi melted in my mouth!

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By the time our mains arrived, I was almost full! Though they don’t have a big vegetarian selection (1 out of 11 dinner choices), I was told that the chef could always prepare something special for me if ever I didn’t like what they had on the menu. I opted for their homemade patties with cheese, fresh salad, pesto and homemade sauce and my boyfriend the duck magret. His said his was pure bliss! Mine was also very delicate and flavored perfectly. The chef even came by again during our meal to make sure everything was ok and asked us if we had liked everything. A very nice gesture!

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All in all, our experience at ICI Bistro was delightful. There aren’t too many restaurants in the city that have served us that well and that are so in tune with what their clients want. The staff at ICI made sure that we were fully satisfied with our meal.

Looking forward to returning very soon!

 

Cibo Wine Bar

Last Friday, thanks to a twitter recommendation from Chic Darling. Offner and I tried out the new Cibo Wine Bar that opened up just over two months ago on the corner at King and Brant Street in Toronto. We were looking for some good food to enjoy after a long week at work.

Reservations were super easy through Open Table online. Even if we reserved the afternoon of, there were still some spots available.

Right when we walked in, I noticed that the place had completely transformed from the trashy club that it used to be. The big wall of wine bottles, the dim lighting and the wooden walls gave it a very homey and nice atmosphere. I liked that you could see the kitchen from the dining room, the wood oven and also where all the in-house pasta are made.

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As expected, the wine bar had a pretty big selection of wines. We let our waiter recommend us a wine, something we rarely do but figured it’d be the place to do it. To our surprise, the wine he recommended from Napa Valley was delicious! Though a little pricey for the bottle in our opinion ($65), it was worth it in the end.

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The menu was pretty extensive. They had a variety of Italian food – a full pizza list, pasta that was made in-house, others that that weren’t, a list of salads, soups, fish and also some cheese and charcuterie boards.

We opted for an appetizer each: I took the cheese platter and Offner, the fried calamari. Though his calamari was good it was a little undercooked and too chewy for his liking. I was really excited to try their cheese board as it was recommended to me. The presentation was nice and the portions were good for the price ($17). That being said, the cheese itself wasn’t very original – they served Brie and a form of Mozzarella, basically cheeses that are not only easy to find, but unoriginal. The rest of the cheese was a little better/tastier but being a big cheese connaisseur, sadly I was disappointed with their overall selection.

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For our main course, Offner ordered some shrimp pasta made in-house, which he really enjoyed and myself, the endives salad, which was tasty and reasonably priced. Though the dessert menu looked very appetizing (hello Nutella pizza!!), we were too stuffed to order any.

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The one thing that really stood out and gave the restaurant an edge was what I noticed on my waiter’s feet…

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Yup! Some good ol’ chucks! I think having all the waiters wear chucks gave them a cool laid-back vibe.

Overall, a good experience at Cibo Wine Bar. I think they could improve their cheese selection (Terroni in my opinion still offers a better selection of cheese for the same type of Italian cheese board) and perfect some of their dishes a little more but all in all, we had a pleasant time. The restaurant now also serves brunch on the weekends, something I’d be curious of trying out some time!

 

Feeling Like A Chick #DailyOutfit

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? I went to the movies on Friday night to see the brand new Sandra Bullock and George Clooney flick Gravity in 3D. If you’re a big space, NASA or astronaut nerd, this will definitely be up your alley. It’s 90mins of beautiful images, action and a pretty decent storyline. George Clooney is effortlessly cool and funny and though isn’t present much throughout the film, his comic relief easily welcome. Not my favorite movie as of late, but worth watching!

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I also checked out the new Cibo Wine Bar that just opened up two months ago on King Street West. I’ll have a full review of the restaurant for you later this week!

Today’s outfit makes me feel like a chick… I mean one of these! I kept the accessories to a minimum opting for a badass shark tooth statement necklace from OIA Jules!

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Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

Forever 21 yellow sleeveless top (similar one here)

H&M gold cuff bracelet

Uranium gold tripple thick ring (Fall 2013 collection)

OIA Jules Giant Gold Dipped Shark Tooth Pendant (get it here)

Steve Madden Madhouse Stud Strap Ankle Boots