Pre-opening celebration with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

Last Friday, we had the pleasure of attending Ruth’s Chris’ pre-opening rehearsal dinner at their new restaurant. Their new restaurant located literally across the airport (970 Dixon Road) officially opened to the public on November 13th. The cost of the meals that evening went to benefit the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Before this visit to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, I’ve actually never stepped foot into any Ruth’s Chris restaurant so you can only imagine my excitement! For the pre-opening dinner, we were given your not so average pre-fix menu. Rather than having 3 pre-selected courses, we were given 6 courses (some courses to share).

Veal Osso Buco Ravioli

  • Saffron-infused pasta with sautéed baby spinach & white wine demi-glace

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Caesar Salad

  • Fresh romaine hearts, romano cheese, creamy Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan & fresh ground black pepper

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Soup of the Day

  • Lobster bisque with brandy

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New York Strip

  • USDA Prime, full bodied 16 oz cut, slightly firmer than a ribeye

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Ribeye

  • USDA Prime 16oz cut, well marbled for peak flavor, deliciously juicy

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Mashed Potatoes – with a hint of roasted garlic
Creamed Spinach – a ruth’s classic

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Crème Brulee

  • with fresh berries

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Both E and I had an amazing dinner (and we’re not just saying that) – besides the steaks we ordered, we really enjoyed and didn’t expect the veal osso buco ravioli to be one of the highlights. The sautéed baby spinach complemented the pasta sauce really well. For mains, we ordered a New York Strip & Ribeye to be cooked rare. Both steaks arrived on a very hot plate with sizzling noises from the steak that you could hear and smell from across the room. Both steaks were cooked and seasoned perfectly. I personally enjoyed the New York Strip a little more because of the firmness of the steak. Last but not least, the sides are something that you cannot forego. The buttery mashed potatoes and creamed spinach were oh-so-good!

Ruth’s Chris airport location hours are Monday to Friday lunch from 11:30AM to 2:30PM. 7 days a week, they are opened for dinner from 4:30PM – 10:00PM (Sunday to Thursday) and 4:30PM -10:30PM (Friday & Saturday)

Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

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This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Brighton, here we come!

We ventured off to Brighton for a day trip one sunny afternoon. It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of London just for a little breather. Brighton is a sea side town that is just about an hour train ride south of London. I remember stumbling out of Brighton Train Station instantly feeling very calm and relaxed! It’s the cute and little quaint boutiques that I like so much about Brighton. But of all places why Brighton? Well, let’s just say my favourite youtubers (Zoella & Alfie) reside in Brighton and a day trip to this beautiful town was a must!

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Steps away from Brighton Train Station, we found ourselves at Cafe Coho – a cozy little cafe that served up some amazing brunch & hot brews. You can’t go wrong with some eggs benedict and an order of pancakes stacked with bacon!

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After our hearty breakfast, we were in dire need of a long walk. As we were strolling towards the pier, we made a couple of stops along the way including souvenir shops and the busy Churchill Square for those that are shopaholics (aka me!)

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The Lanes – is your one stop shop to everything but situated in many ‘alley ways’ hence “The Lanes”. I loved aimlessly walking around in the area looking at all the different boutiques serving gelato, to cafes, artisan, book stores, stationary – you name it!

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Eating fish n chips along the pier is a must and that is exactly what we did!

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For those that want a view of Brighton from way up top, you can go up the British Airways i360 – the world’s tallest moving observation tower on the seafront.

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Take a quick photo on the Brighton Bandstand.

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One of the best memories I had during our entire trip was riding these teal bikes towards the sunset for cheap! (£1.00 for 35 mins).

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You will realize you’re walking into Hove when you see a galore of beautiful coloured beach huts facing the waters.

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Stroll along the Brighton Pier and watch the sunset before heading home!

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Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

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24 hour getaway to Wayne Gretzky Estates

Last week, we were whisked away to the beautiful Niagara on the Lake region to explore the newly opened Wayne Gretzky Estates. We had pleasure of meeting those behind-the-scenes experts whilst getting up close and personal at the wine-making facility & vineyard. We spent 24 hours in the region learning, tasting and enjoying the beautiful view overlooking the vineyards.

ABOUT WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES

The Wayne Gretzky  Winery and Distillery is a destination for any wine and whisky enthusiasts. The 23,000 square foot facility includes a winery, distillery, tasting areas, retail and hospitality space and barrel cellar. With the production of the wines beginning six years ago under the direction of APL, the wines have garnered international awards for their high quality and have become the top selling wines in Canada. Whether the wines are made in the Okanagan or Niagara, they are produced from the greatest winemakers in the country. The same soils that produce great grapes allow grow grains that are used to produce their brand new Wayne Gretzky No 99 ‘Red Cask’ Canadian Whiskey.

Niagara on the Lake was chosen specifically for the permanent home of the Wayne Gretzky estates Winery and Distillery because of its rich history in wine excellence, the growth in wine tourism in the area and Wayne’s personal connection to Southern Ontario.

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ABOUT OUR TOUR

We started our 24 hour getaway with some of the best behind-the-scenes experiences! Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a private cocktail reception with resident Mixologist, Zak Kvas. We then we attended a class with him on how to make our own signature cocktail followed by an intimate, family style Wine & Whisky Dinner in their prestigious VIP Club Lounge – with beautiful views overlooking the pond and vineyards. We finished the evening with drinks and desserts outside at the Whisky Bar Patio.

After checking out of the beautiful Queens Landing Hotel, we were whisked back to the Winery & Distillery for brunch and enjoyed a hands on experience with the true Masters behind the signature bottles: Distiller Joshua Beach and the winemaking team. It was after our 24 hour getaway where we really discovered its ‘what inside that counts’

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WHISKY & WINE DINNER

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Fall Minestrone Soup

  • Spiced Cheese Straw, House Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella paired with a Wayne Gretzky Estate Chardonnay 2013

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  • Whiskey: Indiana Jones and the Fennel of Doom

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Ontario Lamb

  • Whisky Caramel Pecan Crusted Lamb Shank, Grilled Lamb Sirloin, Merguez Sausage, Icewine Red Cabbage, White Bean and Choritzo Cassoulet. Fall Heirloom Carrots paired with Wayne Gretzky Estate Red 2015

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  • Whiskey: My mint of the Lambs

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Gretzky Creamed Whisky Cheesecake Bar

  • Caramel popcorn, Dark Chocolate and Toffee Pear paired with Wayne Gretzky Estate Vidal Icewine 2016 and Wayne Gretzky Creamed Whiskey

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TRIUS WINERY

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BRUNCH AT WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES

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MASTER DISTILLER FOR WAYNE GRETZKY ESTATES

Joshua Beach studied at Heriot Watt in Scotland where he completed his MSc in Brewing and Distilling at one of the best schools in the world. He then gained experience with brewing and distilling in Europe before returning to Canada to start a distillery in Vancouver with a partner. He’s extremely proud to be back and couldn’t imagine a better place to be than at the Wayze Gretzky Distillery – making Canadian Whisky.

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Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

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This event was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

An evening with Montes Wine

Sunday afternoons, I like to do nothing except relax with a few close friends at home. We split a bottle of wine or two, find a snug corner at home & wind down before a crazy week ahead. On this particular Sunday evening, we did some relaxing with Montes Wine along with some nibbles. One of my favourite things about this brand is – you don’t have to break and arm and a leg to enjoy quality wines when welcoming people over at your home. Montes stands apart for its reputation as a producer of premium wine – without the price tag.

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We enjoyed their Montes Spring Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2016, which retails at the LCBO for $14.95. Red lovers (like myself) enjoyed the Montes Reserva 2014, available for $12.95.

Aside from the fact that it takes a lot of pressure to host a gathering, it’s a fun way to bring your family & friends together without spending too much money. Everyone loves a good cheese or meat spread, so we usually end up assigning a type of cheese/meat to each guest and stock up on the essentials: grapes, nuts, crackers, dips and, of course, wine.

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Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

FOLLOW ME ON: TWITTER || INSTAGRAM || FACEBOOK || ZOMATO

The products in this post were complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.

Homeslice – London Food Edition

When I was looking up restaurants to eat in and out of Covent Garden, Homeslice appeared several times across different mediums. I spent quite some time drooling over the endless photos I found on Instagram; read through countless reviews and knew I would have fomo if I didn’t stop here during my time in London.

Before I go off on a tangent about how amazing their pizzas are, I want to mention that we visited 2 of the 4 Homeslice locations. Quality and service is consistent throughout both locations however, the shop in Covent Garden – inside Neal’s Yard to be specific is a must visit. When we walked through the small alley way to enter Neal’s Yard, I instantly felt attached to all the pretty colours surrounding the stores. It’s definitely something you won’t find in Toronto so I do recommend visiting this particular location.

Our first visit was actually intended to be a quick “grab and go” before heading off to dinner somewhere else. What we didn’t realize, was how much we would like it. E and I decided to share a slice of Margherita pizza out on the patio. After a few bites, E went back into the shop to order our second slice opting for a different flavour of course (mushroom!). In my opinion, both were selections were great but mushroom was a winner for me. There’s just something about all the herbs and garlicky flavours popping out of the pizza embedded on a very thin (almost pita thin) crust pizza that just did it for me. Who knew pumpkin seeds on a mushroom pizza would be so amazing?

Each slice of pizza is £4.00 & Whole pizza is £20.00 (you can pick two flavours for a whole pizza)

Tips & Facts all the way at the bottom!

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Margherita Pizza (£4.00)

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Mushroom Pizza (£4.00)

  • Mushroom, Ricotta, Pumpkin Seeds & Chilli Flakes

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Because we loved their pizza so much during our fist visit in Neal’s Yard, we went to a different location for a proper dinner the following evening. We ordered a whole pizza for £20.00 and we didn’t bother trying any new flavours from our first evening!

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Tips

  • Truth of the matter is – Homeslice is busy all the time. So visit a location during non peak hours. We made both visits during odd times at around 3:00-4:00 pm in the afternoon.

Facts

  • They do not take reservations
  • If you do find yourself in a line, just repeat to yourself that their pizza is totally worth the wait!

Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

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GIVEAWAY: 1pair of Tickets to Eva’s Taste Matters for Nov 2nd

I’m thrilled to be giving away a pair of Tickets to Eva’s Taste Matters for Nov 2nd!

I’m happy to be partnering up with Eva’s Taste Matters this year to be giving away a pair of tickets to the Eva’s Taste Matters on Thursday Nov 2nd. Eva’s Taste Matters is an annual celebration with 500 guests in attendance to raise funds for Homeless Youth to provide shelter and opportunities for homeless and at-risk youth in Toronto. Guests can expect fine food, great wine, craft beer and exciting silent and live auction experiences. This year, the event will be hosted by Cook Book authors from BiteMeMore.com, sisters Julie & Lisa. Guests can sample tastings from different restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries. This event presents itself as a significant and enjoyable networking opportunity to enable Eva’s to make a difference for hundreds of young people every year. Tickets are available – so please join the caring community to help homeless youth leave the streets permanently and provide them with the solid foundation they need to create bright futures!

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EVA’S TASTE MATTERS

Date: Thursday November 2nd
Hours: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Liberty Grant Entertainment Complex (25 British Columbia Road, Toronto, ON, M6K 3C3)
Website
Evas.ca

WINNER WILL BE RECEIVING:

  • 1 pair of tickets to the event ($250 value!)

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To enteryou must (1) follow me on Instagram (@foodinthecityTO) and @evasinitiative (2) tag a friend that would like to join you at Eva’s Taste Matters (unlimited entries)

Instagram post: https://instagram.com/p/BaUvHoXBnqK/

  • Contest closes Sunday October 29, 2017 5:00 PM EST 
  • Winner will be randomly selected via random.org and announced on my blog & Instagram on Monday morning Oct 30, 2017
  • Tickets will be emailed to the winner. 
  • Winner will be selected via http://www.random.org/

To Purchase Tickets, please click here

Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

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London Travel Diary I

Within our short 4 day trip to visit London, we actually made 2 separate treks to see Big Ben. Our first visit was at the end of river cruise that took us from Tower Bridge all the way to Westminister Bridge / Big Ben (more on that in a separate post). Our second visit consisted of us waking up bright and early (5am to be exact) to arrive right at sunrise to catch some good shots of the Tower & Westminister Bridge. 

No visit would be complete without a visit to these infamous tourist spots. The weather that particular morning was especially chilly & crisp – just the way I like!

Here are some of my favourite photos from morning before the streets got too busy with locals heading to work!

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Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto
Photos shot by: EY

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Breakfast at Duck & Waffles – London Food Edition

I spent the last 15 days falling in love with different parts of Europe and it has been one of the best trips for me so far. Before this trip, I’ve never stepped foot on European soil so this vacation was definitely an eye opener for me in many ways. Our first of many stops was London and I instantly developed an attachment to the rhythm of the city . It’s the hustle and bustle of the London that makes me feel like I’m at home. One of the best views of the City of London was found during our breakfast at Duck & Waffles.

Steps away from Liverpool station, Duck and Waffles is situated in one of the tallest buildings in London serving “all day” dining from breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert. From sunrise to sunset and hours in-between, Duck and Waffles is opened 24/7 to satisfy all your cravings anytime of the day.

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Shashuka (£12.00)

  • Egg, toast, harissa yoghurt & mint

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OX Cheek Benedict (£11.00)

  • Braised ox cheek, hen’s egg, waffles & sriracha

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Duck and Waffles (£15.00)

  • Crispy leg confit, fried duck egg, waffle, mustard maple syrup

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Spicy BBQ Baked Beans (£3.00)

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Duck & Waffles is a great place to take in the view of the city without breaking the bank. We arrived at our reservation for 8AM on a weekday. It wasn’t too bad of a trek from our hotel considering that it was during rush hour. We entered the restaurant through a separate entrance with its own elevators that sends you up directly to the 40th floor with a spectacular view of the city. Service was quite attentive and our selections came fairly soon after our orders were placed. There was nothing I didn’t enjoy from our breakfast. My favourite was the ox cheek benedict (I’m a sucker for any benedict!). The Duck and Waffles was the perfect sweet and savoury combination to kick start the morning.

Tips

  • Be sure to make online reservations as soon as you can. Reservations are accepted 2 months in advance.
  • Be sure to ask for a window seat (that’s if you’re not afraid of heights). Luckily we were not seated by one of the smaller tables in the middle of the restaurant away from the window.

Facts

  • For all bloggers / instagrammers – unfortunately the restaurant has a strict “no large camera / interchangeable lens / video equipment” policy. The photos from this blog post were taken with an iPhone
  • When you make a reservation, you’ll notice the confirmation indicates the table will need to be returned in an hour. That being said, I’m not sure if we were lucky that the table after us cancelled or had a no show, but we enjoyed our breakfast for 1.5 hours without anyone rushing us to leave.
  • The restaurant has a different daytime and evening dress code – be sure to read their policy listed on their website!

Cheers!
Grace, Food in the City Toronto

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