Lockdown Dining – Miku

Miku Toronto, part of Isolish
10 Bay Street, unit 105
(647) 347-7347
dinner for two: $130 plus tax

While restaurants are not able to open their seating areas, none of us in Toronto are hard up for take-out or delivery dining options, and that includes high-end offerings from almost all cuisines. There will always be pizza and wings, but a new service called Isolish is teaming up with fine dining restaurants to offer 4-course meals for delivery. So you can still eat posh during lockdown, but in your own dining room.

Working with a variety of restaurants around the city, Isolish offers a unique one-off meal for delivery, with each restaurant offering their 4-course menu on a specific date. A portion of the proceeds goes to Daily Bread Food Bank, making the prospect of a fancy feast even more alluring.

On April 30th, the participating restaurant was Miku, and for $65 per person we got a marvelous 4-course meal comprised of beautifully-detailed dishes. Some of these are currently on Miku’s To-Go menu for anyone interested in trying them outside of the Isolish promotion.

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Lucky Dip – Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

In Toronto:

The Cheese Boutique has announced the line-up for their annual Festival of Chefs, which takes place each weekend in May. The event features local chefs including Rocco Agostino (Enoteca Sociale, Pizzeria Libretto), Victor Barry (Splendido) and Rob Gentile (Buca) doing in-store demos and samplings. Check the website for the full schedule.

Just opened – Bazaar Global Food (692 Mount Pleasant Road), where Amaya‘s Hermant Bhagwani has transformed the old Lai Toh Heen location into a family-friendly restaurant with a globally-sourced menu. [Full coverage at The Grid.]

Woodlot (293 Palmerston Avenue) has been given the go-ahead to proceed with its tiny 5-person patio, but other restaurants adjacent to residential areas and seeking patio permission will have to wait. Campagnolo, Dark Horse (Queen West) and Cafe Stella‘s applications have all been deferred to March or April.

Vegetarian restaurant Buddha’s Vegetarian Foods (666 Dundas Street West) will be closed from February 23rd – March 7th for renovations.

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Foie Gras Faux Pas

Every year we buy a food-related calendar for the kitchen. I’m not sure why – in this age of personal electronic devices, wall calendars are pretty much obsolete, and the selection becomes more and more sparse each year. But we have this one section of wall that needs something, and it’s kind of fun to mark the passing of the months by flipping the page and enjoying a new picture for 30 days.

This year, our kitchen calendar is a collection of vintage food ads. None of them are exceptionally remarkable, but they meet the criteria of being food-related and vaguely retro. Like most calendars, we don’t really look at the pictures as “art”; that is, we just enjoy the image and don’t really analyze it too much.

On new year’s day, we opened up the new calendar and flipped it open to January, where the ad is for a brand of foie gras; Edouard Artzner of Strasbourg, France, a company which has been around since 1803.

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Lucky Dip – Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Stand firmly upon your own truth – Joshna finds meaning in the words of Nelson Mandela and translates it into her fight for good food. [Joshna Maharaj]

The problem with sites like CakeWrecks is that, without knowing the context, you can’t be sure the cake is actually a wreck – maybe it has some hidden meaning that everyone else just doesn’t get. As such, some of these ugly wedding cakes might actually be delightful, funny and meaningful to those in attendance. Okay, except for the cake that is a life-size version of the bride – that one is just narcissistic and creepy. [Village Voice: The Fork in the Road]

“It’s important when launching a female beer not to be too patronising.” Dear Molson-Coors – suck my dick, you fucking asswipes. A “female” beer???? Maybe if you treated women like real people who could make their own choices instead of titty-shaped marketing tools to sell beer to men, you wouldn’t NEED a fucking “female” beer. Assholes! [The Guardian]

Why we love comfort food – the science and magic of carbohydrates. [National Post]

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Duck, Duck, Goose

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of foie gras. Part of my job requires that I generally eat what is put in front of me, and I’ll eat the stuff if I have to, but it’s never something that I’ll make an effort to search out.

Despite having an opinion on just about everything else, I actually have no opinion on the issues surrounding foie gras production. On the one hand, it seems weird and cruel, but on the other, those duckies sure do come running at dinnertime. I figure it can’t be any worse than the conditions that most of the western world’s meat is produced in, so any issue I have with fois gras would be more to do with farms that are more of a factory setting instead of a happy organic free-range kind of place.

Peta has recently issued a challenge to chefs to come up with a “faux gras” product, offering a $10,000 prize to the recipe that most closely resembles the real thing. Now sure, it’s Peta, and they can’t let it go without getting in a few jabs, calling foie gras the “delicacy of despair”, but the reaction to the contest has been just as childish.

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Good-bye 2007, and Take Your Little Plates and Locavores with You.

Everywhere you look in the media are round-ups of the best and the worst of 2007. Food writers are no exception and over the past week or so we’ve been inundated with Top 10s, predictions, best recipes for the year and more.

Being the crank that I am, here is my list of the Top 5 things from 2007 that I officially deem to be over.

5. Fois gras. Issues of inhumane treatment of geese and ducks aside, I just can’t get into fois gras. I’ve tried, really I have. But it will forever remind me of eating liver-flavoured Crisco shortening. In fact, as disgusting as the concept may be, I think I’d actually prefer to have to eat a gob of plain Crisco.

4. Teeny tiny burgers. 2007 seems to be the year Toronto discovered White Castle without actually having one in our city. The slider hamburger showed up at almost every foodie event I attended this year. Yes, they’re cute. No, I don’t want one.

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