April 20th, 2015

Food Notes for April 20, 2015

I’ve been doing the countdown for some time now – I’m heading to Boston later this week for a brief vacation with my sister Amanda. So it’ll be a bit quiet on this blog until I’m back! On to this week’s food notes:

Edmonton Opera

With Sable, who is a part of the chorus

  • It was another fun show at this year’s Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, which took place Monday evening. One of my favourite acts was Edmonton Poet Laureate Mary Pinkoski, who combined talents with singer Eva Foote and dancers Jeanie and Jodie Vandekerkhove. Congrats to all of the nominees and winners!

2015 Mayor's Celebration of the Arts

Performers against a stunning backdrop by Jason Carter

April 19th, 2015

At the Judges’ Table: the Fourth Annual Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Mack and I had the privilege of being asked to be a part of the judges’ panel for the fourth annual Culinary Arts Cook-Off, a fundraiser for Mount Royal School. It’s a great, volunteer-driven event; a convergence of talented chefs and good food all in the name of arts education. Samples of the dishes are just $2, so it’s easy to understand why the event has attracted large crowds over the years.

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Live auction portion of the Culinary Cook-Off

I’d attended the Cook-Off before as a patron, but never as a judge. Our panel was made up of Mack and I, Tina Faiz from CBC and the Edmonton Journal, and returning judges Jennie Marshall from Yelp and Stanley Townsend from NAIT. In addition to the Judges’ Choice award, the chosen chef would also have the chance to compete in the pasta category of the Canadian Food Championships in July – talk about high stakes!

Each of the adult judges had also been paired with a student from Mount Royal, who had each written a winning essay to earn their spot at the table. The student judge I had been paired with is a foodie in his own right, and shared with me that he wants to become a chef one day.

The theme at this year’s event was “noodles and doodles”, and nearly all nine entries featured pasta. Student servers brought each of the dishes in succession to us, accompanied by the chef who created them. We rated each dish on appearance, consistency and taste, and during the process, some of us had also wished for a category to cover creativity!

Lux had one of the more innovative dishes, a pasta take on the Reuben sandwich. Crafted with handmade rye noodles, gruyere caraway cream sauce, housemade pastrami and pickled mustard seeds, it was a unique dish that prompted many favourable comments around the table.

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Reuben sandwich-inspired pasta from Lux

Zinc had many of us doing a double take – their dessert pasta version of tiramisu (with pasta cooked in sugar water layered in between lady fingers and vanilla and espresso creams) was the first non-savoury pasta for most of the judges.

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Tiramisu pasta from Zinc

Noodlebox’s entry of vindaloo pasta wok-fried with pulled pork and topped with crushed naan bread came as a pleasant surprise for many of us. The consensus was positive for the layered flavours and multiple textures.

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Vindaloo pasta from Noodlebox

Northlands contributed the only non-pasta dish of the bunch, a generous bowl of ramen in dashi broth, roasted garlic corn, egg and chicken kara-age. Although the noodles set them apart, the broth unfortunately lacked that expected umami.

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Ramen from Northlands

Pazzo Pazzo ended up earning the Kids’ Choice award for their traditional and tasty Pasticcio, comprised of four different kinds of pasta, alfredo and tomato sauces and cheese. In the words of one of the student judges – “It’s just plain good.”

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Pasticcio from Pazzo Pazzo

The big winner of the afternoon was Chef Lindsay Porter of El Cortez, who walked away with both the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice awards. Her tortilla soup ravioli stood out even at first glance, as she had brought her own pottery bowls for plating. I really enjoyed the layers she built, with a spicy soup base, beans, Mexican cheeses, and a touch of corn chip crunch. Best of luck to Chef Porter as she competes in the Canadian Food Championships this summer!

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Tortilla soup ravioli from El Cortez

2015 Culinary Arts Cook-Off

Chef Townsend hands the well-deserved award to Chef Porter

In total (combined with the silent and live auction sales), the Culinary Arts Cook-off raised $18,305 this year, an amazing feat for a single-day event. Congratulations to all of the volunteers and students involved! Thanks again to the organizers for having us as judges; it was a blast!

April 17th, 2015

Choose Your Own Noodle Adventure: Tao Garden

Like the One Ring to rule them all, to me, pho is the ultimate in noodle soups. That said, I know some people can’t have beef, or just prefer to change it up now and then. For those seeking variety, or have a group of particular eaters, Tao Garden would be a good option.

Located behind Lucky 97 in Chinatown, Tao Garden offers a pretty good deal – a customizable bowl of noodle soup plus a hot coffee or tea for just $10.50. Select a broth base, a type of noodles, and two toppings (ranging from vegetarian to meat and seafood) and you’re on your way!

Tao Garden

Tao Garden menu

The broth choices surprisingly don’t include beef, but the dozen varieties include chicken, lamb and seafood-based soups. On my first visit a few weeks ago, I decided that the chicken broth would be a good baseline test. I added thick rice noodles, sliced beef brisket, pork and shrimp wontons, and (for an extra $1.50 per item) baby bok choy.

Tao Garden

Loved the mismatched cups

The broth had been nicely skimmed, but was under seasoned. Punched up with some chili oil, the soup was satisfying enough. I’d likely venture into the lamb broths on my next visit. Regarding the brisket, I was expecting the thin-sliced versions found in pho, but the thick pieces of meat here, slightly on the chewy side, made for a nice serving size. The won tons were easily my favourite, full of flavour; I would have gladly ordered an additional serving.

Tao Garden

My noodle soup

Though Tao Garden also offers some rice-based dishes, congee and appetizers, not one table ordered anything but their noodle soups. The “choose your own adventure” concept does make them unique. Combined with friendly service (the server refilled our tea multiple times without request, never a given in Chinatown, unfortunately) and a well-kept interior, it is a restaurant I wouldn’t hesitate to return to.

Tao Garden
9642 107 Avenue
(780) 705-9688

April 16th, 2015

The Crudo Welcome: The Black Pearl

Restaurants have been a family affair for the Crudos. After successfully running large-scale establishments in Edmonton and Penticton, brothers Cristo and Nick reunited with their father Giuseppe following their mother’s passing to open up Café Amore. The cozy Delton storefront was soon bursting at the seams, having built a reputation of good food, personal service, and the atmosphere of a neighbourhood trattoria. It prompted a move into larger digs two years later where they’ve continued to flourish and cement their hospitality excellence.

Now, the Crudos are preparing to open The Black Pearl, a seafood destination, on April 17, 2015. Though its location downtown on 104 Street may seem more upscale, it was only fitting that host extraordinaire Cristo, Executive Chef Nick, and patriarch Giuseppe welcomed us like family at the sneak peek Wednesday night.

The space has been completely transformed, only retaining the bones of what Lit had installed prior. Comparisons to East Coast fixture Atlantic Trap & Gill would be warranted, and at the very least, their rejection of the modern simplicity that dominates area décor schemes certainly sets them apart.

The Black Pearl


The Black Pearl is intended to showcase the Crudos’ love of seafood, developed especially when they had the chance to live on the coast. The restaurant will only serve fresh seafood, and as a result, the menu will rotate on a monthly basis to promote seasonality. The crustaceans in the tanks by the bar were a reminder that many of the dishes we sampled that night were made with their compatriots.

The Black Pearl

The long bar

Prepare to get your hands dirty at The Black Pearl. I would imagine most diners ordering a few plates to share, family-style, passing around the seafood cracker. The hands-on approach to eating promotes the conviviality of the restaurant, and references the more casual atmosphere of its sister restaurant. No doubt, one of the restaurant’s crown jewels will be King & Dungeness crab, served in a Crown Royal, chili, scallion and ginger cream sauce. It was a statement dish similar to the pasta pescatore so well known at Café Amore.

The Black Pearl

King & Dungeness crab

For calamari seekers, their crispy version topped with squid, ginger, garlic, scallions and chili hit all the right notes for us.

The Black Pearl


The head-on BC side stripe shrimp, sauteed with pimento, scallions, shallots and garlic oil had a bit of kick to them, and beautifully presented, were almost too good to eat.

The Black Pearl


Although the dishes did primarily focus on seafood, The Black Pearl doesn’t alienate those who prefer meat, with beef carpaccio and roast chicken on the menu. One of my favourite tastes that evening was the house-made porchetta served with maple glazed Brussels sprouts – the right amount of fat and a hint of sweetness.

The Black Pearl

Porchetta with Brussels sprouts

Mack and I also really enjoyed a salad that celebrated the beauty of simplicity and quality ingredients; the cherry tomatoes topped with fiore di latte and house-made pesto balsamic glaze is a must-try.

The Black Pearl

Cherry tomatoes and fiore di latte

It will be interesting to see how The Black Pearl is received. Sabor Divino has had a lot of success with a similarly seafood-focused menu just one block over, and of course, Café Amore itself has a loyal customer base to draw from.

But as Cristo shared with us, The Black Pearl is a labour of love for his family, and the project has been driven by their passion for hospitality. That care and attention came through in the food and the service in spades, and hopefully, with this second location, even more Edmontonians will be exposed to the warmth of the Crudo welcome.

Thanks again to Cristo, Nick and Giuseppe for having us!

The Black Pearl
10132 104 Street

April 13th, 2015

Food Notes for April 13, 2015

We’re deep into planning What the Truck?!’s fifth (can you believe it?) season. Make sure to check the website in the next few weeks for an announcement of our first event of the summer! On to this week’s food notes:

  • A reminder that the Culinary Arts Cook-Off is taking place at Mount Royal School on April 18, 2015, from 11am-2pm. See you there for “noodles and doodles”!
  • This is such a neat idea – Brew-Curious is a “rare chance to experience Edmonton’s local brewing heritage and modern craft beer industry”, with plenty of tasting in between. A few tickets to the April 18, 2015 event are still available.
  • Native Delights is celebrating their grand opening on April 25, 2015, from 10am-6pm with a street festival. Check it out at 10406 118 Avenue.
  • Congrats to Glow Juicery, who just opened a new Juicery + Raw Food Cafe in Old Strathcona over the weekend (7911 104 Street).
  • Swiss2Go, a popular sandwich shop that used to be located in the west end, is reopening on April 15, 2015 at a new shop in Beverly (4306 118 Avenue).
  • My Dad, for one, will be thrilled to hear this: Bubba’s is back. You might remember Bubba’s as a very popular south side barbecue vendor, until a fire put him out of commission. Find him now in the Osman Auctions lot at 6330 75 Street.
  • Korean is definitely the cuisine of the moment in Edmonton – new restaurants seem to be opening up all the time, including Seoul Tofu House (5020 97 Street), reviewed by Andrea.
  • Great to see the Journal feature the repurposed Central Station Edmonton Transit System booth that now houses Baba Finkelstein’s.
  • Phil offers his thoughts on his YEG Pizza Odyssey so far.
  • Another local chef will be featured on Chopped Canada this season – watch Zinc’s Chef David Omar take on the competition on June 13, 2015.
  • It must be spring, as food trucks have started to come out of hibernation! Check the Street Food app for the latest updates, but in anticipation of our What the Truck?! season, we’ve also started posting profiles of new trucks you can expect on the street this year. First up: Phat Tony’s.
  • You have until April 20, 2015 to nominate your favourite restaurant for Vue Weekly’s annual Golden Fork Awards.
  • I do wish Avenue Edmonton articles went online sooner – I always want to link to them after reading the paper issue. Anyway – I didn’t want to miss pointing to a piece about some Edmonton restaurants that are building their success but not repeating concepts in the process.
  • Vue profiles the Alder Food Security Society and how they want to increase food security in Edmonton by giving a broader audience access to local food.
  • Mack and I are super-excited we got into our first track choice for Eat Alberta (Track 9: Foothills). But in case you missed it, tickets for the May 2, 2015 event are still available!
  • On the way home from an errand, Mack and I thought it was a good excuse to finally give Ragazzi Bistro (8110 82 Avenue) a try. The wait, as expected, on a Friday night was almost 45 minutes, and we toughed it out. We shared a Raging Bull pizza with pepperoni, ham, sausage, salami, bacon, and banana peppers. The crust was bone dry, which just wasn’t our preference, and we could have used a bit more cheese. And as is usually the case with meat-heavy pizzas, it was also on the salty side. That said, the service was good, and it was clear that Ragazzi has built up a clientele made up of mostly regulars – so they must be doing something right. It’ll be worth another shot when we’re in the neighbourhood again.

Ragazzi Bistro

Raging Bull pizza

April 12th, 2015

The Culinary Arts Cook-Off: April 18, 2015

If you don’t yet have plans for next Saturday afternoon, consider attending the fourth annual Culinary Arts Cook-Off at Mount Royal School. The event is a convergence of talented chefs and good food all in the name of arts education.

What: Culinary Arts Cook-Off
When: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Time: 11am-2pm
Where: Mount Royal School, 11303 55 Street

Every year, several community-minded chefs donate food and their time to contribute towards fundraising dollars to support arts core programming offered at Mount Royal School. The public is invited to attend and indulge their taste buds for a good cause – samples of the themed dishes are just $2 each, with all donations going towards the school. Of course, there is a competitive element involved, with chefs vying for awards in several categories: people’s choice, judges’ choice and kids’ choice.

Culinary Cook-off 2013

2013 Culinary Cook-Off

I attended back in 2013, when the competition centred around sliders. It was clear the chefs had a great time flexing their creativity, and we found that the taster sizes were definitely generous. The Cook-Off was also a resounding success; the school raised over $16,000 that year.

Culinary Cook-off 2013

The Marc’s contribution

This year, the theme is “noodles and doodles” – it’ll be interesting to see how the participating chefs interpret this, though I’m expecting at least a few versions of mac ‘n’ cheese. The ten restaurants on deck this year are: Craft Beer Market, El Cortez Tequila Bar & Kitchen, Lux Steakhouse & Bar, Noodlebox, Northlands, Pazzo Pazzo, The Red Piano, Smokehouse BBQ, Von’s, and Zinc.

To amp up the stakes even further, the winner of the judges’ choice category this year will also receive paid entry into the pasta category of the Canadian Food Championships in July. Ultimately, the winner of that competition will receive $2,500 and a trip to Florida to compete in the World Food Championships in November 2015.

I’m excited to share that Mack and I will be among the judges who will be tasked with selecting that winner on Saturday. Along with Tina Faiz, we’ll be joining some experienced judges who I’m sure will help show us the ropes. Good luck to all involved!

Hope to see you at Mount Royal School on Saturday!

April 11th, 2015

Love the Dove: Dovetail Delicatessen

Drift has become a fixture of the city’s food truck scene since they introduced their take on sandwiches to Edmontonians back in 2011. And although the number of trucks in operation have more than tripled, they haven’t lost their game – it was a three-peat when Drift was again named Best Food Truck in Avenue Edmonton’s best in food issue back in February.

Drift’s consistency, focus on local ingredients and interesting flavour combinations have resulted in a sizable fan base, one that has been hungry for a year-round ability to enjoy their food. Next week, it will finally be possible.

Nevin and Kara Fenske are about ready to open their brick and mortar shop, Dovetail Delicatessen (the name represents the coming together of their two businesses). Nestled in the 124 Street area, Kara shared that in a way, Dovetail represents a homecoming for her. Kara’s parents have owned a jewelry store in the neighbourhood for more than thirty years, and she remembers spending a lot of time in the area growing up.

Dovetail Delicatessen

Nevin and Kara with Kirsta Franke (of 124 Street Grand Market)

The Fenskes took over the space formerly occupied by Blossoms Café. While they’ve kept the concept of the open kitchen (mimicking customers being able to peek into their truck), they have since maximized the space, allowing for easier movement through and increasing the seating to about thirty.

Dovetail Delicatessen

Nevin readies lunch

Fans of Drift’s sandwiches will be happy to know they are at the core of Dovetail’s offerings. A daily roast will be served in sandwich form, while samosas, salads and dips will also be available from their cooler. At the VIP opening on Friday, we dined on a delectable roasted pork shoulder sandwich with chimichurri and pickled fennel, as well as (for Mack) a roasted carrot salad with parmesan and chokecherry vinaigrette and (for me) a barley salad with roasted apple, pear, toasted almonds and lemon vinaigrette.

Dovetail Delicatessen

Roasted pork shoulder sandwich with chimichurri and pickled fennel and barley salad

To start, Dovetail will be open Monday to Friday 10:30am to 6:30pm, a boon to residents and office dwellers looking for a healthy but hearty lunch. But Nevin and Kara also hope to capitalize on those seeking to unwind with a post-work nibble (they’re licensed!), or want to grab a quick dinner on their way home.

Dovetail Delicatessen

Country style pork paté with pistachio

And if you’re concerned that Dovetail means the end of Drift – set those worries aside. Drift will be back on the streets this year, including as a fixture of the neighbourhood 124 Street Grand Market starting May 14, 2015.

Dovetail Delicatessen


Follow Dovetail on Twitter to find out exactly when they’re opening up next week. Congrats to Nevin and Kara on this big achievement – and Mack and I will be sure to return soon!

Dovetail Delicatessen
10721 124 Street
(780) 705-1293
Monday – Friday 10:30am-6:30pm

April 9th, 2015

Recap: Northern Lands’ Meet Your Maker Event

Edmonton might seem like an odd choice to hold a national wine festival, given we can’t produce grape vintages in Alberta, but apparently our neutrality in part helped sell the idea of Northern Lands to wineries from across the country. Billing itself as the “largest gathering of Canadian wineries from coast to coast”, the two day festival featured twenty producer dinners at restaurants across the city, wine seminars, and cumulated in a stand up wine and food event at the Shaw Conference Centre on March 28, 2015 called Meet Your Makers.

Northern Lands

Meet Your Makers swag

Festival Director Gurvinder Bhatia is no stranger to organizing large-scale food events. In 2012 and 2014, Gurvinder’s brainchild Hot Chefs, Cool bEATS successfully brought together some of Edmonton’s best chefs for an evening of food and drink with a backdrop of eclectic entertainment. With Meet Your Makers, we could definitely see the resemblance to Hot Chefs (including some familiar faces), but the spotlight on wine was a definite departure.

The event was sold out, so we tried to arrive early to avoid the crowd. Maximizing the space, the lobby of Hall D had been set up to feature breweries, with a few food stations sprinkled between.

Northern Lands

Welcome beer

It was great to see so many of the city’s prominent culinary professionals under the same roof. In spite of the fact that it was a Saturday night, chefs were front and centre, serving up their creations to the 800-solid crowd. The organizers also enhanced the bill with appearances from several key names from “abroad” – namely, Vikram Vij and Charcut’s John Jackson and Connie DeSousa.

Northern Lands

Daniel Costa focuses on preparing his agnolotti

Tickets to the event were $85, and by the end of the evening, we knew we had reaped their value and then some. Although portion sizes were reasonable, with twenty restaurants, the food definitely added up.

Northern Lands

Yes, that is truffle being shaved onto a forest floor-inspired dessert from Duchess

Among our favourites that night were the Tangle Ridge Ranch lamb and olive arancini from Century Hospitality Group and the Rajasthani-style goat meat stew from Vij’s.

Northern Lands

Mack also couldn’t resist the butter chicken potli from Guru

Though we did have our share of wine that night, with 47 wineries pouring over 150 different wines, we were a bit over our head. We did gravitate towards the names we were familiar with (such as Joie, Cave Spring and Mission Hill), but it was also a pleasant surprise to learn about some new producers. For example, Mack and I didn’t know that Kamloops is now home to three wineries (we had spent some time there for a conference a number of years ago).

Northern Lands

Harper’s Trail, one of our Kamloops discoveries

While we also did our best to pair wine with the food we were sampling, it wasn’t as seamless as it could have been. Often, Mack and I ended up splitting up – he’d grab a wine to try while I waited in line for the dishes. Still, we did encounter a few wineries that asked what we’d be eating next before pouring a selection.

Northern Lands

Mack with Eau Claire Distillery, an Alberta-based distillery

There was also a bit of off-kilter fun in the hall – a seemingly random ping pong tournament pitting producers against one another. At the very least, when else can I say I watched Vikram Vij flex his ping pong skills (barefoot, naturally)?

Northern Lands

Vikram Vij shows his stuff

One of our favourite aspects of the event actually had nothing to do with the consumables. It was great to catch up with some people we hadn’t seen in a while – in many ways, the conversations forced us to pace ourselves throughout the evening so the walk home wasn’t as unpleasant as it could have been.

Northern Lands

With Elm Café’s Allan Suddaby

Meet Your Makers promises to return in 2016, and given its success, I’m sure it will be even bigger. It’ll be interesting to see if organizers will choose to showcase fruit wines in the future, given besides beer and spirits, they are Alberta’s contribution to this beverage market.

Congratulations to Gurvinder and his team on a great first event!

April 7th, 2015

Toronto Transplant: The Burger’s Priest

Before the Rush game on Friday night, Mack and I walked over to The Burger’s Priest to see if this Toronto transplant could live up to all of its frontier hype. The Burger’s Priest is among the latest of fast casual premium burger joints to invade our city, following in the footsteps of places like Fatburger, Five Guys and Smashburger. Promising a higher quality product, it does seem Edmontonians are willing to pay a premium for burgers classed a cut above fast food chains.

I’m sure it’s been just as busy since day one, but a combination of a long weekend and its newly-minted status meant it was a packed house. Being the polite Canadians we are, though, the table turnover was reasonably quick, so most who ordered weren’t left awkwardly waiting for a seat (otherwise, I was certain to flashback to our stress-inducing experience at Shake Shack in Manhattan).

As with the conversion of any other former dentist’s office or optical shop into an eatery, The Burger’s Priest is a compact space. But they’ve made the most of it, leaving a majority of the windows uncovered and incorporating as many seats as possible along the walls. Mack was saddened that like most of the businesses along the 109 Street strip, The Burger’s Priest also opted to hive off their Jasper Avenue entrance in favour of the door that predictably faces a parking lot.

The Burger's Priest


The Burger’s Priest offers a menu of ten different burgers (one vegetarian option), fries, milkshakes, fresh-baked cookies and ice cream sandwiches. I did find the tongue-in-cheek names amusing (the “Red Sea” is a cheeseburger with chili on top, while Lethal Weapon partners “Riggs & Murtaugh” inspire the name of their black and white shake). Mack and I didn’t hesitate before ordering – we knew we had to try the “Vatican City” ($11.99), double cheeseburger served between two grilled cheese buns. We also opted to share fresh cut fries ($3.69).

We didn’t have to wait long before our order was called up, piping hot and labeled to distinguish between Mack’s burger with all the fixings and my own. Unwrapped, in all its glory, the Vatican City was definitely a photogenic burger, the melted processed cheese calling back to adverts we’ve all been conditioned on. The patties themselves were juicy (The Burger’s Priest prides itself on grinding its beef on-site), but the seasoning could have been more consistent throughout. I also could have done with just a single layer of meat, so as to better emphasize the grilled cheese buns.

The Burger's Priest

Vatican City

In all honesty, Mack and I both went into the experience hoping to find an Edmonton version of our Portland revelation – the YouCanHasCheeseburger from Brunch Box. $6 for a burger bookended by two Texas toast grilled cheese sandwiches – no pretense, just a well-made burger. But we didn’t find that solace in Vatican City.

The Burger's Priest

Mack about to dig in

The fries were fine but nothing special, and one order was more than plenty for the two of us – I’m not sure how an individual could finish a single order of fries on their own.

The Burger's Priest


So although we didn’t find a burger that met our Portland standard, it will be handy to have a grilled cheese sandwich burger option in the neighbourhood. And even better, it’s one we’ll have to walk to, in order to build up an appetite…and to walk it off afterwards.

The Burger’s Priest
10148 109 Street
(780) 760-0777
Monday-Wednesday 11am-10pm, Thursday-Saturday Noon-10:30pm, Sunday Noon-8pm

April 6th, 2015

Food Notes for April 6, 2015

Back at it after a long weekend – though I can’t complain – we were able to host my family for dinner, finally write our wedding thank yous, and still had time to lay low and relax. Hope you had a good one, too! On to this week’s food notes:

  • It looks like Parkallen’s new restaurant in the west end is almost ready to open!
  • Andrea and Cindy recapped the second underground dinner hosted by The Salt Room, located upstairs at Mother’s Market.
  • Andrea also wrote about The Dog, the restaurant that replaced Absolutely Edibles.
  • The Journal didn’t take long to review The Burger’s Priest.
  • Chef Andrew Cowan has moved on from Century Hospitality to helm Packrat Louie.
  • The Journal wrote a story about the couple hoping to kickstart Chartier, their Beaumont restaurant dream, with crowdfunding.
  • The Edmonton Opera is hoping to increase the buzz about their new show, Lucia di Lammermoor, through some opera-inspired cocktails at &27, BLVD and Mercer Tavern.
  • Sobeys Newcastle pulled a fast one with some of its neighbours as a way of introducing the community to some of their ready-made items. Watch the aftermath of its “pop-up restaurant” here.
  • There’s an anti-Yelp documentary coming out in the fall; Grub Street interviewed the director on how this film came to be.
  • Mack and I started off the weekend with a stop at one of our old favourites: Route 99.

Route 99

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza

  • We also did some home cooking with some Icelandic halibut from Ocean Odyssey, served over a bevy of vegetables from S4 Greenhouses and Doef’s.

Halibut with Gazpacho Salsa

Seared halibut with gazpacho salsa and tomato vinaigrette