Category: Events

Say Cheese & Say Cheers: Black Creek Pioneer Village Beer Workshop

Last night, I went to Say Cheese and Say Cheese at Black Creek Pioneer Village for the first time. (Full disclosure, I work closely with BCPV) I haven’t been back to Black Creek since I was in grade 6! So it was a unique experience. The beer workshop is hosted by the lovely Julia Rogers, cheese society member and all around awesome person.

The tour started off with one of Black Creek’s cheerful animators leading us around the village. Each person was assigned a character card, and we learned a lot about what the beer scene was like in the 19th century. The principal beer makers were women!  They made beer for the whole family. Also, women could only own property if they were widowed.

After learning a bit about everyone’s characters, we traipsed into the mill. We took a look at barley and other things needed to make beer. Barley looks like coffee when it’s all ground up! Barley also is what gives beer it’s colour and most of it’s flavour.

After the tour, we headed down into the brewery and pub. Julia had arranged a nice selection of Canadian cheese and beer.

The first pairing was St. Albert’s Cheddar and Black Creek India Pale Ale. This cheese was my favourite! It was medium textured and creamy. It’s available in various stores, and also at Pusateri’s fruit market.  Black Creek IPA is made on site and is available at the LCBO.

The next pairing was Lankaaster cheese from Glengarry Cheese. It was an hard aged cow milk cheese, and reminded me a bit of Parmesan. I liked it. It was paired with Creemore Springs urBock, a strong German lager, from Creemore, Ontario. A great ale for winter.

Next up was C’est Bon Chevre, which I enjoyed. This goat cheese was from Transvaal Farm in Saint Mary, Ontario. It was  light and delicious! One of the things that I loved about this event was hearing stories about the cheese maker. This particular goat came from Riverdale Farm! And now it’s happily living on Transvaal Farm. The cheese was paired with a festive fall Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewery, in Etobicoke.

(PS: These sweet potato “root chips” were delicious! And made in-house. )

Mouton Rouge was next, a raw sheep milk cheese from Ewenity Dairy Co-op, in Fergus, Ontario. This cheese wasn’t my favourite. It was supple and a bit gritty. This cheese was paired with Black Oak Nut Brown Ale, made at the Black Oak Brewery in Oakville! This brown ale goes well with meat and bitter chocolate.

Last but not least was Celtic Blue Cheese, a creation from Glengarry Cheese, in Glengarry, Ontario. This firm cow milk cheese was served on a dollop of strawberry jam. The contrast between the sweet jam and nutty cheese was perfect.  This was paired with a whopping 10% beer, Trois Mousquetaires Imperial Baltic Porter, from Les Trois Mousquetaires in Brossard, Quebec.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience! This was the last session for the year, but more workshops will happen in 2012, and each pairing is different!

Hit List: November 14-20

My top 3 event picks in Toronto this week!

TO Underground Market: Sat. Nov. 19 at the Evergreen Brickworks: The Underground Market is an excellent way to spend a Saturday! I went and was so full after I pretty much had to be rolled home. Everything is unique and independently run, so you can’t find this dishes on the street. $10 to get in at the door.

Lisa’s Cosmetic Sale: Nov 19-22/25-28 & Dec 2-5 in Markham: This will be my first year attending this sale, but I have a friend that swears by it. They have nail polish for $1, eyeshadows, and even designer sunglasses! She says that the first day is the best, so line up bright and early.

What a Girl Wants Fundraiser:  Thurs. Nov 17 at 99 Sudbury: An evening out for a good cause! This event is held by the Canadian Liver Foundation and features a fashion show, live auction and swag bag.

 

Hit List: Toronto Events

Event hit list Nov. 8-12:

Black Cat Ball//
Sat.Nov.12: Worn is launching their 13th issue, and is having a classy fun black and white ball to celebrate! Advanced tickets are $10 and include an issue of the mag.


Not Far From the Tree’s End of Season Celebration//
Thurs.Nov.10: After a busy season of picking fruits, Not Far from the Tree is throwing a end of season shinding featuring a raffle, yummy food and tunes from DJ Secret Agent.

Rouge//Thurs.Nov.10: Enjoy an evening of food, drink and music with United Way GenNext™. Hosted by the Much Music Rap City host and lots of live entertainment!

Indigo Fall Preview 2011

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Indigo Fall preview party. They had a twitter contest, and I was one of the winners! We were all invited to head office downtown on King street. The space was beautiful, with exposed brick walls and a stainless steel kitchen.
Indigo products were carefully placed around the room for us to look through, and tasty gourmet products were set out for us to try. Everything in the room, including the food would be for sale at Chapters in the fall. It was a really fun event. Indigo reps were on hand to tell us a bit about the products, and raffles were held throughout the evening.
I was super lucky, and ended up winning The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (WHICH WAS AMAZING) Two of my favourite things from the evening was the Napa Valley olive oil and a cool feather pencil. At the end of the evening, they gave us a little Indigo swag bag with a classic book (I got Wuthering Heights) a notebook and a $5.00 gift card. All in all, it was a lovely evening!

ttc tour of lower bay

Last Saturday I went on a much anticipated TTC Tour of Lower Bay. We underestimated the subway and arrived a little early. When we got to Bay Station, we were told to bang on the magical red doors and someone would be there to meet us. We were met by a woman (who’s name I’ve sadly forgotten) that has to have the coolest job around; planning events and tour for the TTC. We forked over our $15, and waited for the rest of our group. ( We were told to bring idea, but weren’t asked for it.)

Here are some images to sum up the day.

Winterlicious Review: Bistro 990 $20 lunch

So I decided to try Bistro 990 as my first Winterlicious lunch of the season. It’s claim to fame is that it’s the TIFF go to, so I grabbed a friend and checked it out. From outside, it isn’t much to look at, but inside is beautiful. We were ushered to a cozy corner table.

I started with the Leek & Potato Soup, Shaved Truffle Infused Pecorino Cheese, while my friend had the Bistro House Mixed Salad, Balsamic Vinaigrette. We were served two pieces of french bread, which was (oddly, but not unbecomingly) salted. Perhaps this was a taste of what was to come?

I was pleasantly pleased with my soup. I am not much of a soup drinker, but it was delicious, with the exact amount of thickness and flavour. The Pecorino cheese was a tasty addition. My companion enjoyed her salad.
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The main course arrived. I had chosen the Black Angus Beef Burger, Aged White Cheddar, Garlic Toast and Frites. My friend had the Sole Filet à la Meunière. I thought that her sole portion looked a little small, but maybe that was just me. I was a bit surprised to see my burger served without a bun, but wasn’t really bothered. The burger was excellent quality and very flavorful. I found the garlic bread a little tasteless and hard. I also noticed that it was the same salted house french bread…an odd combination for garlic bread. Not only that, but they were a little burnt. The frites were nice and crisp. I didn’t feel that they were housemade, though.

My friend took one bite of her sole and commented that it was wayy too salty. I tried a piece and it was. It was too salty with an overpowering lemon flavour. She also didn’t seem too impressed by the bed of linguine the sole was served on. Our waitress noticed that she hadn’t eaten much, and asked if everything was okay. My friend told her that it was a bit too salty for her, and she was asked if she would like anything else but she declined. We were a bit disappointed with our main course, after being started off with such excellent appetizers.
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For dessert, we had the Crème Brulée and Apple Crumble, Vanilla Bean & Bourbon Ice Cream. Both were presented quite nicely. The creme brulee was in a tea cup, and my (tiny) scoop of vanilla ice cream was in a cute spoon rest. I found my apple crumble a bit on the cool side, the the apples being just a tad too crisp for my liking in a crumble. Both desserts with served with a tiny assortment of fruits. My companions Creme Brulee made a satisfying crack as she tapped it with her spoon, and declared it delicious.

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Overall, I was underwhelmed by Bistro 990. The service was good, the food was generally good quality, but could have been way way better. Portion sizes were mostly adequate, and I was left feeling full and satisfied, if not eleated.

Bistro 990
990 Bay Street
M5S 2A5
416 -921-9990

www.bistro990.ca

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