brentsfoodandtravelblog

Review: Il Posto Restaurant, 148 Yorkville Ave., Toronto

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The Courtyard at Il Posto an a Warm Evening

Il Posto has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It has graced the courtyard off of Yorkville Avenue since 1981, and is an established part of the fine dining scene in Toronto. I had my 18th birthday dinner here, my parents celebrated anniversaries here, I took ex-girlfriends here (Leni and Natasha) for romantic meals, I’ve walked by going into Hazelton Lanes and talked to friends I noticed who were lunching here. I love this restaurant (esp in summer when the courtyard patio is open) and it is a part of me and my history.

I had dinner here recently, and here is a review.

Four Stars. I am biased as I love the place lol.

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Pomodori Con Mozzarella Di Bufala

It is summer and time to eat those delicious vine ripened tomatoes! Look at those red and juicy beauties!

For my main course, a lobster salad special on the menu tonight:

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Lobster with avocado, tomato, and greens with two dipping sauces.

I like how their fish dishes are served on plates with a fish scale pattern along the edge.

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Il Posto’s specialty dessert: chocolate meringue banana cake.

Since they opened 32 years ago, Il Posto has had this specialty dessert on their menu. At most restaurants desserts come and go, but this is a classic that is here to stay.It is their signature dessert - loved by patrons year after year. I had it for dessert on my 18th birthday, and I had it for dessert tonight. Sometimes change should not be embraced in life - this is one of those times. Yes, it really is that good. The soft meringue and banana enhance the chocolate and the result is simply amazing!

An enjoyable dinner! So glad to have visited this old friend tonight who has been a part of my life since the very beginning. Il Posto - long may you prosper!




Blog Index September 2013

Greetings readers!

As promised, I have indexed the Gatsby-themed food blog to date, allowing you to scroll down to find a past blog post that interests you based on this index of posts. I will post an index once per month that indexes all the previous month’s posts. Enjoy! Note: I bold type reviews on this list.

Aug 28    The New Yorker Article by Gopnik: The Humanities Matter

Aug 27    Review: Auberge du Pommier Restaurant, Toronto

Aug 26    Tiffany & Co Great Gatsby Cufflinks - my pair just arrived!

Aug 22    Review: Il Posto Restaurant, Toronto

Aug 21    Reminder: Food Contest is now on!

Aug 17    Sexcereal

Aug 15    Peach Season in Ontario

Aug 14    Recipe: Pasta with Bolognese Sauce - simple & complex

Aug 12    Ice Cream Review: Belly Ice Cream Company

Aug 11    Daisy’s Engagement Ring

Aug 10    Food Contest: Win a Dinner for you and your friends

Aug 8      Review: La Societe Bistro, Toronto

Aug 8      Am I like Giles?

Aug 7      Follow Up Review: Origin North

Aug 6      One of my Tumblr followers selfie in sexy Gatsby shirt

Aug 4      Buffy the Vampire Slayer Contest Winners Announced.

Aug 2      Tracy’s Dinner Party

July 31     Recipe: Chicken Alfredo

July 30     Great Gatsby makes me think of Emma

              Review: Escabeche Restaurant

July 27     Recipe: Mango shrimp salad

July 26     Easton Press leather books

July 25     Recipe: Steel cut oatmeal

July 24     Song: Some Enchanted Evening

July 22     Jeri Ryan’s tomato harvest

July 21     Put your foot down for warm bread

July 20     Review: Pangaea restaurant, Toronto

July 19     Underwear: Vic vs Trin

July 18     Song: Rainbow Connection

                Lady’s Leg Cosmo

July 17    Recipe: waffles with wild blueberry syrup

July 16    Grace Kelly - To Catch a Thief movie

July 15    Song: Lana Del Rey - Young & Beautiful (Emma’s theme)

July 14    Recipe:   Halibut with chives and Hollandaise sauce

July 13    Michelle’s ‘Sharkdonnay’ wine bottle

July 12    Review: The Breakers, Palm Beach

July 11    The Gardens Mall, Palm Beach Gardens

July 10    Michelle & Tracy make me a lobster dinner

July 9      Song: Icona Pop - I Love It

July 8      Review: Cafe L’Europe, Palm Beach

July 6      Review: Testa’s, Palm Beach

July 4      Review: Graze, Palm Beach

June 22   A very unusual cookbook

June 20   Review: Tundra, Toronto

June 18   Review: Peller Estates Restaurant

June 16   Recipe: Ribs & Crepes Suzette

June 15   Review: Origin North, Toronto

June 14   Food & Art - Emma as Lady Caroline

June 13   Review: Fabbrica, Toronto

June 12   Recipe: Steaks

June 11   Recipe: Hemingway’s Tournedos

June 10   Patrick O’Connell wins Silver Spoon

June 9     Gatsby-style Afternoon house party

June 8     Review: Cafe Boulud, Toronto

June 7     Michael Pollan Interview at UofT

June 6     Urban Planning disgrace at UofT

June 5     Impressionism & Fashion at the Met, New York

June 4     Review: Jean Georges, New York

June 3     In Memorium - Aisling Ryan

June 2     Review: Carlyle Restaurant, New York

June 1     A Hotel Bathroom fit for Gatsby (and Daisy too) New York

May 31    Movie Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

May 30    Books fit for Gatsby’s personal library

May 29    Review: Le Cirque, New York

May 28    A horse carriage tour of Central Park, New York

                Review: 21 Club, New York

May 27    A Funny Take on Freud and Food

May 26    Review: The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York

May 25    Review: Meet me at The Plaza, New York

May 19    Review: Bosk, Toronto

May 18    Understanding my blog’s star rating system

                Gourmet Pizza

May 17     Welcome to my Blog

Review: Auberge du Pommier, 4150 Yonge St., Toronto.

I had lunch recently on the patio of Auberge du Pommier, one of the Oliver & Bonachinni restaurants. If you don’t know it, it is in a French style building  in north Toronto on Yonge St just north of York Mills Rd.

The food standard here is high 0 I often come in the winter to enjoy a glass of wine by the fireplace. Today I enjoyed the nice weather by eating outside on the patio.

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I started with a bowl of gazpacho soup - a nice cold summer soup. Auberge did a great job of this with the unusual addition of melon which gave it a sweet tinge I rather liked. Their version was not the usual red colour. I really liked it and asked for the recipe so I can make it at home.

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My second course was he steal tartare - hand cut raw beef with garnish of white anchovy, raw egg and pickle. The balance was just right. My friend Tracy was recently at La Societe on Bloor St and found their steak tartare to have a bit too many pickles mixed in with it. I haven’t had that issue here at Auberge.

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My main course - a risotto with shrimp, broccoli, Parmigiano Reggiano, and green beans. This was amazing. One of the best risottos I have had ever. So satisfying and a perfect-sized portion too. 

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Dessert was a Chocolat Napoleon.Chocolate and hazelnut wafers, caramel cream, dark chocolate croquette, and chocolate gelato. OK, this was decadent. The chocolate croquette was the best part - the finest grade warm molten chocolate in a fried crisp shell that dissolved in my mouth after I took a bite.

I don’t usually order chocolate desserts, but this was good. It reminded me of the time I was having dinner with Emma at the Studio Cafe in the old Four Seasons hotel (before the new Four Seasons hotel opened) in 2011 and they waiter brought us the chocolate dessert from the menu that I said was like chocolate pudding and Emma corrected me and said it was much better than chocolate pudding and reminded her of a dessert her older sister used to make at home when they were growing up. This is the first chocolate dessert I’ve had since that night at the Four Seasons that was of comparable quality. Bravo Auberge du Pommier.

So, this was an amazing lunch and I can happily give Auberge du Pommier Four Stars. The atmosphere, food and service were all top of their class in Toronto. For people like me who live north of Toronto, Auberge du Pommier allows one to have fine quality dining without having to drive downtown.

Blog Index August 2013

Greetings readers!

As promised last week, I have indexed the Gatsby-themed food blog to date, allowing you to scroll down to find a past blog post that interests you based on this index of posts. I will post an index once per month that indexes all the previous month’s posts. Enjoy!

Aug 2      Tracy’s Dinner Party

July 31     Recipe: Chicken Alfredo

July 30     Great Gatsby makes me think of Emma

              Review: Escabeche Restaurant

July 27     Recipe: Mango shrimp salad

July 26     Easton Press leather books

July 25     Recipe: Steel cut oatmeal

July 24     Song: Some Enchanted Evening

July 22     Jeri Ryan’s tomato harvest

July 21     Put your foot down for warm bread

July 20     Review: Pangaea restaurant, Toronto

July 19     Underwear: Vic vs Trin

July 18     Song: Rainbow Connection

                Lady’s Leg Cosmo

July 17    Recipe: waffles with wild blueberry syrup

July 16    Grace Kelly - To Catch a Thief movie

July 15    Song: Lana Del Rey - Young & Beautiful (Emma’s theme)

July 14    Recipe:   Halibut with chives and Hollandaise sauce

July 13    Michelle’s ‘Sharkdonnay’ wine bottle

July 12    Review: The Breakers, Palm Beach

July 11    The Gardens Mall, Palm Beach Gardens

July 10    Michelle & Tracy make me a lobster dinner

July 9      Song: Icona Pop - I Love It

July 8      Review: Cafe L’Europe, Palm Beach

July 6      Review: Testa’s, Palm Beach

July 4      Review: Graze, Palm Beach

June 22   A very unusual cookbook

June 20   Review: Tundra, Toronto

June 18   Review: Peller Estates Restaurant

June 16   Recipe: Ribs & Crepes Suzette

June 15   Review: Origin North, Toronto

June 14   Food & Art - Emma as Lady Caroline

June 13   Review: Fabbrica, Toronto

June 12   Recipe: Steaks

June 11   Recipe: Hemingway’s Tournedos

June 10   Patrick O’Connell wins Silver Spoon

June 9     Gatsby-style Afternoon house party

June 8     Review: Cafe Boulud, Toronto

June 7     Michael Pollan Interview at UofT

June 6     Urban Planning disgrace at UofT

June 5     Impressionism & Fashion at the Met, New York

June 4     Review: Jean Georges, New York

June 3     In Memorium - Aisling Ryan

June 2     Review: Carlyle Restaurant, New York

June 1     A Hotel Bathroom fit for Gatsby (and Daisy too) New York

May 31    Movie Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

May 30    Books fit for Gatsby’s personal library

May 29    Review: Le Cirque, New York

May 28    A horse carriage tour of Central Park, New York

                Review: 21 Club, New York

May 27    A Funny Take on Freud and Food

May 26    Review: The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York

May 25    Review: Meet me at The Plaza, New York

May 19    Review: Bosk, Toronto

May 18    Understanding my blog’s star rating system

                Gourmet Pizza

May 17     Welcome to my Blog

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Contest Results

As you know, back in June I posted a contest to award a prize of an Amazon e-certificate to the best entry that answered the question “Why do girls like the show BtVS?”

This question was based on the fact that a number of my female friends in their early to mid 20s really like this show. Elusive Emma seems to have adopted Buffy/SMG as her avatar on her Twitter I noticed, and says she loves the show. Our mutual friend Allie likes the show and said I remind her of a younger version of the Rupert Giles character from BtVS. Not having watched the show I didn’t know if this was a compliment or a slight lol. Allie is a kind soul, so I’m guessing she meant it in a good way.

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Personally I (and my friends) think Emma has far more in common with the Great Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan character than with the BtVS Buffy character, from what I’ve learned about the Buffy character from reading the many essays submitted in this contest. Granted Emma physically has a slight resemblance to both Carey Mulligan done up for the Gatsby film and to SMG when she did BtVS. I joked with a major BtVS fan on Twitter, asking for a spoiler - I wanted to know if Buffy had an affair with Giles on the show. Told they did not, I asked if Buffy married Giles at the series end. Told no, I replied that since Emma’s friend told me I’m like Giles, and since Emma thinks she is like Buffy, the negative answers re Buffy & Giles doesn’t give me much motivation to watch the series haha.

Okay, humour aside, after reading the entries I have selected two winners.  Here are excerpts from the winning two entries, in alphabetical order by last name.

From Lila’s Entry:

Why do girls like this show? Based on my point of view (as a teenage girl), Buffy the Vampire Slayer balances real life and fictional life, comedy and heartbreaking deaths, and characters who you hated but then grew to love. This balance between reality and fantasy allows the show to be both relatable and an escape to a place with magic, demons, and a whole lot of fights.

There are countless strong female roles, including the most obvious, Buffy, a petite teenage girl who may look weak and hepless but actually has the power of ten men, and protects the people in her town (and the world) from danger on a daily basis. We see how the stereotypical screaming girl in horror movies becomes strong and independent.

Other factors such as witty one-liners, the love between characters, the not so good costumes and effects, and the unexpected episodes (a musical episode, a silent episode, etc.) make Buffy the Vampire Slayer the most memorable show I (and probably many others) have ever seen. I hope after reading all of these contest entries you will go and watch the show because you won’t be disappointed.

From the second winning entry - Brittany’s entry:

I think people like Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a variety of reasons, not just one. It’s not just a television show; it’s a way of life. It examines so many different ways of looking at life: experiencing love, and finding ways to make the bad times not seem as scary and the good times not seem so brief and short lasting. Usually someone stops being a fan of a TV show once it goes off the air but with BtVS that’s impossible because it becomes a part of you. The show tugs at your heart strings so well and I often feel that it describes life, and the events occuring in life, in a way that no one else has. People who embrace the show and trully understand it are people who live, think, and love in a certain way. The show is bursting with such passion and depth. It goes beyond being a simple TV show; it is an extraordinary show.

The people who sit there crying every time Oz leaves Willow no matter how many times you’ve seen the episode because we know it’s impossible to watch Willow cry without crying ourselves. The people who fall in love with the characters because they became a family. The people who find themselves using BtVS quotes as their mottos - not just on websites, but as their motto for life. The people who hear Buffy say “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live.” And REALLY understand what she meant. These are the BtVS fans I love.

Some people turn the show into a whole “Bangel vs. Spuffy” debate. I think both couples were very important to the show and meant a lot to fans. However, I think the show was so much deeper than that. I am not trying to underestimate the power of their relationships…I just think the relationships were a representation of what was happening on the show, not the other way around. Buffy’s relationships reflected on Buffy’s struggle to find herself, to come to terms with her calling, and her growing understanding of how to be a young woman in a lonely violent world. It was a metaphor for our own life. How many of us struggle with day to day life, hoping that what we’re doing is right. Buffy’s struggles were not a reflection of her relationships…her relationships were a reflection of her struggles. BtVS was one of the most intellectual and emotionally stimulating television shows ever created and while the romantic relationships on the show were important (very important to story lines, character development, the representation of love and passion…) I think the show goes way beyond these relationships. What’s so great about so many BtVS fans is that THEY GET THAT!

Buffy took female representation to a new level and redefined feminists and what it means to be human. I will watch reruns and read the comics til the end.

Okay, thank you to all the readers who entered this contest, and congratulations to our two winners: Lila and Brittany!! I will be in touch with both of you about sending you your e-certificates for the value of the complete series DVD set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you already have the BtVS DVD set, you are welcome to use your e-certificates to order anything else you want from Amazon.

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Yes, in case you are wondering, I will watch a few episodes of season 1 to see if BtVS grows on me, even though I know the spoiler that Buffy and Giles don’t have an affair. I am pretty confident though that Emma is far closer to Daisy Buchanan personality wise than she is to Buffy, but I am curious as to what this Giles character I’ve been compared to is like.

There will be another contest posted later this month, so stay tuned and I hope you continue reading and enjoying my tumblr blog. I also have Twitter and Goodreads accounts under the name BrentsFoodandTravelBlog.

It is peach season in Canada!

What tastes better for breakfast than a fresh ripe peach with a drizzle of fresh cream on a summer’s day? Easy and oh so delicious!

I couldn’t wait to eat this peach as soon as I had photographed it.

I could see Daisy and Gatsby eating peaches like this in his garden. They couldn’t taste any better than this one did though!

Dare to eat a peach! :)