Winterlicious 2016

This edition of Winterlicious brought us to Pulcinella Ristorante in South Etobicoke.  Pulcinella specializes in regional Italian dishes, serving seafood, game meats, risotto, pasta and pizza for lunch or dinner.

The menu was expansive!

CHEF’S SOUP OF THE DAY
or
MARIO SALAD
mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives & lemon vinaigrette
or
BEEF CARPACCIO
aaa strip-loin, shaved parmigiano, cracked black pepper

TROUT
boneless filet with farro, cherry tomatoes, capers & black olives
or
NEW YORK STRIP
aaa, truffled compound butter, chive mash potato, market veg
or
CINGHIALE
slow braised ragu of boar, basil, fresh rigatoni, shaved caciocavello cheese
or
CIOPPINO
fisherman’s stew of shrimp, bay scallop, calamari, fish filet, tomato broth & sarde fregola pastina

BANANA BREAD PUDDING

served warm with caramel sauce
or
TIRAMISU
whipped mascarpone, kahlua, espresso and lady fingers
or
CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE
deep, rich and decadent

First the wine, a delicious Pinot Noir

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Appetizer – Beef Carpaccio.  Thinly shaved beef, lightly peppered and salted, with slivers of parmigiana and spicy arugula.

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Main course – Cioppino

For dessert – Chocolate Ganache Cake

From the first sip of wine to the last bite of cake, this was a lovely meal.  The beef carpaccio was classically made pairing the thinly sliced raw beef with parm and arugula.  I was in love with the cioppino.  An endless bowl of seafood – mussels, calamari, shrimp, scallops and fish in a fragrant and tasty tomato broth.  Little bits of pastina with every bite.  So good, it had to be shared.  A sweet ending with the chocolate ganache cake.  Now, I expected something a little different.  I was expecting a chocolate cake with a ganache icing.  Instead, the cake was more of a mousse cake.  Very rich and decadent.

The restaurant itself was lively and full.  When we arrived, they had live music for the first little while and then the sounds of laughing and conversation took over.   People feasted on pizza and salumi boards.  It all looked so good.  The servers were friendly and attentive, ours full of jokes.

If you ever find yourself in South Etobicoke, checkout this fine Italian establishment.  You won’t be let down.

=)

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Bier Markt Brunches

Did anyone know that Bier Markt served brunch?  Well, they do.  I had no idea and was pleasantly surprised at what was on the menu.

http://www.thebiermarkt.com/assets/menus/Mobile%20Menu%20-%20Brunch.pdf

Since discovering brunch at the Bier Markt, I have graced their tables twice now.  I’m all  about brunch!

Round One, ordered the Benedict schnitzel – two poached eggs, panko-crusted chicken cutlet, English Ale muffin, lingonberry hollandaise paired with an orange biersicle – Erdinger Weissebier, Galliano, blood orange soda or adult orange as I like to call it.

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What I loved most about the food was the perfectly made schnitzel.  It was so nicely breaded and fried, not greasy.  The lingonberry hollandaise was creamy and I really enjoyed the sweetness of the berries.  When I finished eating, I was already craving it again.

It was this craving that made me decide to go back for another brunch.  But then, I went over the menu again and the brioche french toast which comes with two sunny side up eggs, apple sage sausage, warm maple syrup, preserved fruit compote.  For a drink, I went with the swedish mojito – Somersby Apple Cider, strawberry coulis, fresh mint and Swedish berries. IMG_8654 IMG_8653

The french toast tasted great.  A hint of cinnamon and sweetness in the egg batter.  The sage apple sausage paired up nicely with the lingonberry fruit compote.  I won’t lie, I secretly hoped it would taste like the apple sausages I had discovered in Mesa, Arizona.

https://sweetspellbaking.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/hotel-living-in-mesa/

Sadly, not close at all, but still delicious.  The swedish mojito was dangerous, tasted like juice and the alcoholic kick was well hidden.  A great summer patio drink.

If I had to pick between the two meals, I would go with the schnitzel.  Something about all the flavours and textures makes me keep wanting more.

Until the next brunch! =)

Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival

I simply love summer in Toronto.  The city comes alive as people start to emerge from winter hibernation and there is always a festival or gathering going on.  So many ways to spend time with people and explore the great city of Toronto.

The first day of summer 2014 coincided with the Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival, the city’s first outdoor wine & spirit festival which has been around for 6 years.   Held at Sugar Beach, located on Toronto’s Waterfront, it was a perfect day for some socializing, wine tasting and tanning at the same time!

This way to the festival!

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Tagged and have cup.  Time to sample.

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Sugar Beach – pink umbrellas, live music and plenty of people and sand.

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There was food to be eaten.  Had to try the lobster poutine from the Lobster Shack.  Delicious crispy tater tots, thick chunks of lobster and melted cheese.

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Braised Beef pierogies from the Saucy Pierogi.  Soft tasty beef and a rich gravy sauce.  Sauerkraut on the side. IMG_8299 IMG_8301 IMG_8303

Fall off the bone ribs by Del Fico Catering and Creemore BBQ.  One of the better ribs I’ve had ever.  Friendly servers made the wait in line enjoyable.  IMG_8288 IMG_8289 IMG_8291

And of course there was wine and other spirits.  For just a few tickets, lots of sampling could be done.  And lots of sampling did happen…

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Some of my personal favourites – a crazy concoction created with Wiser’s spiced whiskey.  We watched the rep mix up an entire bottle of whiskey, 5 bottles of beer, lime juice and a syrup of some sort to create a strange yet yummy mixture.  I also enjoyed a new product by Jack Daniel’s, I suppose a girly way to enjoy some whiskey without even realizing it.  Their Down home punch and Lynchburg Lemonade were quite delicious.

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A terrific day relaxing in the sun, catching up with Peeps, enjoying the city as the sun set over it.  Welcome Summer!  So happy to see you again! =)