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VQA Sparkling Wine Tasting

Earlier in December I attended a sparkling wine tasting put on by Wine Country Ontario at Stock Restaurant in the Trump Hotel. It was one of those events that offered excellent company, great wine, and some useful information.

Angelo Pavan, Winemaker and Founding Partner at Cave Spring Cellars joined us for the educational and tasting portion of the lunch. Pavan identified two trends for Ontario sparkling wine that I think are worth examining from a consumer perspective. (more…)

Anthony Bourdain’s Layover in Toronto

At long last, Anthony Bourdain has ignored the critics in Montreal and Vancouver and brought his Layover film crew to Toronto to tape an episode. It aired this week in the States and won’t be coming to Canada’s Travel channel until next year. (Update: DailyMotion has a video up that Canadian viewers can watch.)

He praised the comedy scene and slagged the CN Tower (fair enough, on both counts) but we all know that my expertise and the interest we share lies in food. So here, now, a quick summary of Tony’s itinerary: (more…)

Stone Road Grille $100 Giveaway for Wine Country Ontario’s #12daysWCO

December in food blog land — “flavour country” to you and me — is the magical time for giveaway contests. The PR companies that represent various brands approach writers and say: “we have this really great doodad that we’d like you to give your readers a chance of winning.” Often the doodad isn’t so great or it just doesn’t have anything to do with the conversation I try to have on Food With Legs. That’s my fairly obvious way of introducing an exception, a really great prize that I think you’ll want to win, to give to a loved one or keep for yourself.

The Wine Council of Ontario runs a programme they call Wine Country Ontario that promotes the idea that our province’s wine regions are more than just a great place to get sloshed surrounded by rows of grape vines, disappearing over the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, they like wine, but also want to help you find a place to stay in the County, plan your route while on Pelee Island and a great restaurant to eat at while in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (more…)

Firkin Pubs Revamped: $100 gift card contest

I have a long, if not always glorious, history with the Firkin chain of pubs. More than a decade-and-a-half ago the Frog and Firkin at Yonge and Sheppard was the bar my high school friends (all legal drinking age, I’m sure) chose to hang out at. Then there was that memorable but fairly annoying campaign of radio ads. But, this month 25-year chain has received a bunch of attention because they’ve redesigned four of their locations to be more authentically British, at least in a campy sort of way.

The food and drinks menus have also been shifted to augment the standard, North American sports bar choices. They still offer burgers, caesar salad, wings and calamari but have also added a Pot Roast Sandwich, Butter Chicken Pie and in the category that approximates British poutine and is called “Spuds ‘n’ Sauce” there are options like: Curried Chicken and Braised Beef.  (more…)

The Redone Reds Wine Tavern

Fine dining in Toronto is going in one direction: toward the more casual. With both fundamental and cosmetic changes–like changing their name–Red Bistro has become Reds Wine Tavern and joined that parade.

The biggest change is that Ryan Gallagher (of Top Chef Canada season 2 fame) was brought on as executive chef to design and execute a menu that focuses on communal plates that blur the lines between appetisers and mains. Chef Gallagher comes to Reds from the much smaller Ruby Watchco and when I chatted with him he joked that he’s used to being in a kitchen the size of the communal table at Reds. (more…)