Monday, October 29, 2012

a rainy, fall weekend


So amidst all the work and stress and all that, we still have to make some time for fun, right?  RIGHT??!!  Absolutely.  Even if there is a Frankenstorm heading up the East Coast, threatening $1 billion in damages.  We all need to keep a sense of humour about these things, after all.  So in between worrying about my next set of applications, my pretty lady and I ventured out in the rain and wind for some food and culture.

Friday night was spent experiencing the tasting menu at Yours Truly Restaurant on the Ossington strip, because tasting menus aren't just meals - no, ma chérie, it's an event. A few standouts for the evening were the raw scallops, beet salad, and seared halibut. To drink, a 2011 Ciù Ciù Oris | DOP Falerio dei Colli Ascolani, a blended white (Passerina, Pecorino, and Trebbiano) of Marche. The server really didn't have a clue what it was beyond oh, it's light and refreshing, so I went with my gut because, and how do I put this delicately, my gut is always right when it comes to wine. Fresh and vibrant, with a steely minerality and a beautiful acidic structure. Proof that with multi-course, multi-textured meals, young white wines with high acidity are always winners. I'm really beginning to feel these obscure Italian whites. There is a very confident chef working this menu here. Lots of simple plating, the basics really - protein, sauce, and (one) garnish. But it's the execution that makes the meal. The beats were beautifully fresh, with the most amazing concentrated sweetness. A thick chunk of halibut, cooked perfectly. Some courses (devilled eggs, cod) a bit of a head-scratcher in terms of conception and place in the menu. But once again, tasting menus are experiences - take it as an evening of adventure, where the dinner conversation with your lady is completely devoted to the food, and you should have a good time. In and out in a tidy 3 hours.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is showing an exhibit of the works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. So inspiring, and personally, I have a newfound appreciation for Frida's genius. She was an absolute master of capturing human expression, especially in the eyes. Rivera's murals are impressive and all, but as a history guy, knowing that he spent the entire years of the Mexican Revolution eating, drinking, and banging his way through Europe, only to return triumphantly as some of kind of socialist hero to the people is a bit of a joke. Frida's work is deeply personal, as if she's healing her trauma through her work. From her polio to her trolley accident, to even her miscarriage - she's so eloquent at depicting (personal) suffering, more intimately than I think any artist I've ever seen. And the way she paints eyes ... simply captivating. Left the gallery a bit quiet, a bit contemplative. Quick hangout at O&B Canteen at TIFF Lightbox for a coffee, before scurrying over to Khao San Road, one of those Thai dives off of King St. that all the locals seem to know. Packed and all, but the food was the real deal, and a bottle of Singha was a good way to end the day with my pretty lady.

This is going to be a busy week. Right. And once again, back to work. Hope everyone had a great weekend Hallowe'en partying.


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