Friday, December 31, 2010

Sotto Voce Wine & Pasta Bar (NO GOOD)

Another FabFind find, $15 for $30 Worth of Italian Food At Sotto Voce Wine & Pasta Bar. I always go online to do some research and read some reviews before buying those deals...this is one of those time that I was wrong, although reviews said that their food was good and I was thinking at the time that Italian comfort food is really difficult to be horrible/bad. OMG, the food was horrible, the Wine list wasn't that great, the cook was standing at the open kitchen staring at the customer....

It's a wine Bar bu they don't even have a wine menu/list, it was only available on the Blackboard on the far end by the bar... it was dark, so I can barely see anything

 See, they are standing there having nothing to do and staring (O_o)

This is probably the best dish of the night, prosciutto & sweet fig bruschetta, but they can take little credit of it... I don't think they baked the bread or make the prosciutto, the fig that they actually roasted was overly sweet

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random Chinese Food

Heh, a girl can't live on high end food/restaurant all the time... so here I am to share some of my favorite food court and "cha chang tang" (茶餐廳) food that I enjoy. I'll try to remember to take more photo of Chinese Food from now on... so definitely more pics to come ^_^

Left : "Street side sui mai" (街邊燒賣)
Those are different than your normal dim sum's sui mai which are normally pork but these are mainly flour with a little bit of fish paste. It was originately sold by street vendors in Hong Kong. Since it's mainly flour and you could barely taste the fish, you would normally eat it with soy sauce & chilli oil / sauce. These are from First Markham Place Foodcourt.

Pineapple Bun w/ butter (菠蘿油)
~ basically warm sweet crust bun with a big slice of cold butter. 
This is one of the most popular "cha chang tang" (茶餐廳) dish, enjoy mostly during afternoon tea (下午茶) together with milk tea (奶茶). Most Hong-Kong style bakery will sell the bun on it's own, so you can always warm it up at home and put your won slice of butter in it =P

Egg Tart (撻)
Love the one at Dragon Island Bakery (島) on Hwy7, but you have to have it fresh out of the oven

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas to us (^_^)

We did quite a bit of shopping for ourselves and each other. We didn't want to spent a lot on present for each other and rather go out for Dinners instead.

My f21 Faux Fur Coat

Juicy Couture bow necklace & super sparkly ring on Sale. Less than $60 for both including tax.

My Juicy Ring w/ 2 cheaper f21 rings ~ addition to my collection here

Barberian's Steakhouse

Went to Barberian's Steakhouse on Christmas eve, yes steak again and it's only because there wasn't much choice, most restaurant are close during the Christmas weekend. I love Jacobs so much that I'm not sure if anywhere else can beat it (I went for my B'day here). But it's been voted as #1 Best Steakhouse in Toronto by blog TO and Jacob is only at #3....

This is my 2nd time to Barbarian, when me and Ben first dated 2 years ago, we went there for their after Ten menu for Cheese Fondue for two and loved it

This Elm Street landmark celebrated its 51st anniversary this year, in the dining room that remains unchanged from the day when Raquel Welch broke the no-jeans dress code. 
Founded by Harry Barberian and run today by his son Arron, it features an epic wine cellar and a staff that stays around for decades.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Makeup Christmas for me (^_^)

Just love all the makeup specials/sales and gift sets out there during the holiday seasons... so a shopaholic that I am and the new makeup junkie that I am, I just can't resist =P

 UD NYC ~ Urban Decay's Book of shadow volume III
It's a limited edition Urban Decay's limited pallet from Sephora
It's a playful pop-up eyeshadow kit inspire by the iconic landmark of New York City.

 16x shimmery shadow, 2x 24/7 Glide-On eye pencils & a travel size eyeshadow primer portion ~ I'm a big fan of all 3 product. Their black 24/7 eyeliner and primer are my must have product at all time. This is my first time getting their eyeshadow but I felt in love the moment I try it on in store, the texture is so fine and smooth with just the right size & amount of shimmer

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mitzi's Sister

We went to Mitzi's Sister 2 weeks ago after a day of shopping and got there at around 9:00. We had to pay $5 cover to get in for the live band playing that night, although they weren't that good, it was a great atmosphere / vibe. All the tables was full so we sat at the bar and the service was quick, casual and friendly.

Roasted Beet Salad ~ with feta cheese, pistachios on baby spinach w/ a citrus vinaigrette
The portion was a lot bigger than I expected but it was super good especially because I love beets.
It was super fresh and the vinaigrette was light and lightly dressed

Love it, will have it any day

Blackened Haddock Tacos ~ Haddock, black beans, mango salsa, green & red cabbage
This was so good, I will definitely go back for this.
This and the salad would have been more than enough for the 2 of us

Monday, December 20, 2010

Seoul House

 Saw a picture of raw blue crabs from a friend's facebook page and I know I have to have it.... It's from a Korean restaurant called Seoul House on Steeles and Yonge. I love Korean food ^_^

Gye Jang Bac ~ it's marinated small blue crab.
It's rather salty and it's meant to be eaten with rice...Super GOOD especially for a crab lover like me

Side Dishes ~ they have one of the best Kimchi

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fin Izakaya

Went to Fin Izakaya in mid-town last Sunday for a friend's B'day dinner.An izakaya (居酒屋) is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks (tapas style), food which is usually more substantial than that offered in bars and snack bar in Japan. I pass by Fin many times always wondering if this place was any good. It was GREAT and they do take reservation  unlike the other popular Izakaya place (aka Guu)  ^O^ We were welcome with cheering and greeting in Japanese by all the staff upon entering the place. OK, the ambiance is not as great as Guu since it's smaller and not as "noisy" (熱) since it's a much bigger space and guess maybe people wasn't as drunk =P Anyway, if we go as a group, it'll be 熱.  typical Izakaya (居酒屋) food.
Since we are at an Izakaya (居酒屋), we have to order alcohol (酒).
The 8 of us basically order 4 carafe of Onikoroshi (山) and one big bottle of Hakkaisan () Their Sake are very resonable priced, not like most Japanese Restaurant that jaked up the price for really bad quality sake ($10 for a huge bottle at LCBO, warm up and put it in a small sake carafe and sell it for $30). I really wish they sell these Sake at LCBO but they don't, guess more excuse for me to go back more often

Classic Style Chunky Braised Pork Kakuni 
~ Slow-braised pork belly that literally melts in the mouth.
Originally Ben ask me to order only 1 portion since not everyone would like to eat "fat pork".... but as soon as this arrive everyone wants a piece and we end up ordering an extra one =P
If you don't eat "fat pork", please skip this dish since it'll just be a waste. And guess what there was a guy among us who just threw the fat away and ate the meat part... that's a total waste and he should have skip this dish altogether and leave it for the rest of us who loved it (which is all 7 of us)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baton Rouge (@ Hwy 7) ~ B'day Dinner #2

As you may have realize I posted B'day Diner #1 here & #3 here and you should be wondering about Dinner #2. It's because I only went to Baton Rouge near my workplace on Hwy 7 at Commerce Valley. I have only been to Baton Rouge once many years ago, but didn't remember it being that horrible... the food was horrible and really not worth the price. It was my friend's choice and treat (>___<)

We ordered total of 2 bottle of wine... 
please do not order the first one which was their feature wine, it was horrible but the 2nd one was a bit better

Coach House Shortbread Company

It was last year that I discover these delicious cookies from Coach House Shortbread Company to enjoy during the holidays. Good thing they only have open house during Christmas & Easter and at some of the local craft shows, if they sold them all year long I'll be munching on it everyday and I would probably weight 200 pounds  =P It's also available by special order by mail but only from September to May since they are too fragile for the summer heat. You can learn more about the history of these hand mad shortbread here

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dark Horse Espresso Bar + Mary Macleod's Shortbread

Before heading over to the Distillery Christmas Market here, we wanted to go get one of our favorite coffee first. As I may have mention here already, Leslieville is one of my favorite dt spot. I said one of our favorite coffee because Dark Horse Espresso Bar is only my #2, Manic still rank #1 on my list =P
We have always wanted to try Mary Macleod's Shortbread that has such great reviews but always pass by without stopping. So we decided to pop in a choose a dozen before going across the street for our coffee.

As you step into the place, the smell just swept over you and I'm sure no one can resist leaving the place without buying any =P
They offer a variety of  packaging and sizes; Christmas packs, tin box, small packs and individual packed Christmas cookies (x'mas tree, angels etc)

 We just bought a dozen by choosing random from their counter.
One Dozen for $17.00

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse ~ B'day Dinner #3

On my Birthday, Ben treated me to a dinner at Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse, it has been on my to-eat list for a while but since it's really expensive (one of the most expensive steakhouse in Toronto), we are saving it for a special occasion. It was a great Birthday surprise =P But be warn, I guess because of the price tag the place is pack with a much more mature crowd mostly in suits (>__<)

 Love the space, the spilt level space that once house a club. Inspired by the luxe meat temples in Las Vegas, with their modern decor and sky's-the-limit wine lists, Jacobs boasts cream walls, diffuse lighting and lush reds in the cellar.
We have to go through the piano bar, up the stairs, past the meat locker and by the wine cellar to our seats. 

Jacobs' biggest gimmick/attraction is the aging room. The glass fridge glows along one side of the dining room, its shelves propping dark-red flesh sheathed in creamy fat.  
As soon as you see it, you can't help but want to taste a piece ASAP (^___^)
The meat locker is where they age the meat to perfection from anywhere between 14-45 days depending on the type of meat.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Scarpetta ~ B'day Dinner #1

Had my first Birthday dinner last Sunday with some friends and I'm not going to lie but Scarpetta wasn't my first choice.I only choose it because frankly, a lot of good restaurant are close on Sundays but some of my friends couldn't make it on Saturday (>__<) But since it is one of the most buzz about restaurant this year in the newly open Thompson Hotel. So why the buzz? This is the 3rd location, the other 2 in Manhattan & Miami has received 3 stars from New York Times and New York Magazine which are some serious accolades, so I have to give it a try...

The word Scarpetta (meaning "little shoe") is Italian slang for the little piece of bread you use to sop up leftover sauce from your plate....

Two of my guests were late and we were all hungry so we start digging in the breads which was super yummy and it was served with choice of Mascarpone Butter, Eggplant Tapenade & Lemon infused oil . The 8 of us went through 3 yummy baskets, there was slices of regular baguette and prosciutto basil smoked mozzarella roll-ups (I could eat this as dinner any other day)

 We decided to all share the appetizers and pastas, then each order our own entree... so of course we choose some of  their more popular/famous ones (^_^)

Crispy Fritto Misto ~ Fried Calamari & veggies shredded shoestring texture with a light batter.
This wasn't bad but not great since it was not served hot enough.

 Creamy Polenta w/ fricasse of truffled mushrooms
~ I would have prefer the Polenta to be a bit more textured, this was overly creamy that you couldn't taste the cornmeal flavour (I like the one from Table 17 much better - here). On the other hand the mushroom was so yummy, but I guess you can not go wrong with any mushrooms especially truffle flavoured.

Sorry guys, this was half eaten when I realize that Ben only took the picture of the Polenta

Braised Short Ribs of Beef w/ veggies & farro risotto  
~ this was my fav appetizers, the meat was melt in your mouth out shine by farro risotto which has more texture than you regular risotto which are normally cook soft w/ a bit more of a past consistency.. but as you can see in the picture, you can still see each individual grain (it's perfect for an appetizer)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to me (^_^)

 Had such a great Birthday this year thanks to the good company of my friends, all the presents and 3 dinner: #1 Scarpetta w/ friends on the weekend, #2 near by dinner at Baton Rouge to catch up with my BFF and #3 my surprise dinner with Ben at Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse (all 3 reviews coming up).

Thanks Ben for my yummy Ruelo Cake

Thanks Ben for the Louis Vuitton Boetie Wallet (one item tick off from my wishlist here)

Thanks Mary for the cute BCBG sparkly earrings

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Distillery Christmas Market

Heard there will be a Christmas Market at the Distillery District and since I found the holiday spirit lacking this year, we decided to head down. Ok, I know it's going be cold since I'm in Canada after all but it was freezing and I didn't bring a scarf or gloves. I should have wear a heavier coat and I would enjoy it more (>__<)

I should say there's nothing special at the booths the put up.... but with the decoration and everything you can't help but feel Christmas-y (^_^)

Huge Christmas Tree

Outfit of the day : 
old coat + f21 dress & socks + UO boots (that I also wear here) + Little Burgandy from here

It was so cold that we had to head in to SOMA for a cup of hot chocolate and we aren't the only one who thought of it... it was so packed, we had to wait in line for around 15 minsso I took a few pics...