Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dinner with friends at Milestone's

Food REVIEW and Recommendation:

My friends came for a visit yesterday. Sounds pretty ordinary right? The thing about it was that one lives in St. Mary's and the other one lives in Florida. It has been MANY years since all 3 of us had gotten together. I have visited with my friend in St. Mary's over the past few years but haven't seen my other friend in Florida since she moved from Boston to Florida many years ago. They both used to live in Toronto in the 80's when we would hang out and watch local bands or go for Mexican food dinners which were a lot more popular back then. All of the mexican restaurants are gone now so I had to decide where we could go for dinner close to my area so I decided to take them to Milestones. Since my friend lives in the US she doesn't have a Milestone's there and my other friend lives in a small town and isn't able to go out very much so I thought that Milestone's would be the perfect place to take them to. It's one of my standby restaurants in the city. I have had large Brunches there and have celebrated Birthday's there and have had lots of pre and post movie dinners there. It's a very comfortable and visually beautiful restaurant. What I also love is that they constantly add new things to the menu and have seasonal menus. So what was the result of my visit last night when trying to please my friends? They were very impressed so I was glad that I had my good old standby to take them to. We had a lovely corner window booth and when we arrived the weather was clear but grey skies but just as we were having dinner it started to downpour with lightning but magically when we were finished dinner the sun came out again. Interesting how timing works in these instances. Like we were meant to be there at that time. The restaurant wasn't very full because of the long weekend and mostly people from local office buildings and condos go to that location but it was nice and relaxing for us.

We ordered the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, the Boconccini Garlic Bread, the Yam Frites, the Seafood Salad and the Prime Rib dinner. My friends enjoyed all of the food. For once I didn't take any photos though so you will have to go and enjoy some for yourself this time.

When you have dinner with good old friends it always makes the food taste better and makes the occasion a lot more enjoyable. My friend commented like it felt like she never left. I think that's the feeling a restaurant like Milestone's shoots for, a familiar place to spend time with friends and family and a place that feels like home or better than home.

What was also interesting was that when I got home I turned on the tv and watched Canada's next Top Chef on the Food Network and they were featuring Milestonee's so I can't wait for my next visit to see what Top chef Canada dishes are featured.

The only thing I forgot to do was use my SCENE card to get points to see some future movies. Another great Milestone's perk.

No I don't work for Milestone's and have no intention of doing so but I have enjoyed many meals there and can always count on having a good time there.

What makes a good restaurant visit are the following:

Great Service
Beautiful atmosphere
Consistent and great tasting Food
Comfortably setting.
Like home but better.

I am happy to say that Milestone's fits into all of these categories.

The Best part of it all is always having Dinner with Great Friends. It always makes the food taste better.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last Meal

Well today is supposed to be the End of the World as some *genius* predicted years ago. I doubt this is true but it made me think about what I would do on my last day on Earth if I actually planned it and I started thinking about my Last Meal. What would you have as your Last Meal if you knew that it was going to be your last one?

I have to say after thinking about it I would spend my last meal in Italy eating Pasta, probably Gnocchi or Lasagna or something and I would have to have Gelato for dessert.. probably Coffee flavoured. Maybe a salad or some grilled veggies or some antipasto to round out the meal but I am pretty sure it would be like Julia Roberts eating Pizza in Eat, Pray, Love. I would hopefully be enjoying this meal with someone or some people I love.

No big foodie gourmet extravaganza's, just basic simple ingredients that taste great.

What would you choose as your last meal? Would it be something that reminds you of your childhood or something you have denied yourself because of trying to watch your calories or something that is just your favourite food of all time?

Well I am spending my so called last day having a Garage Sale so I have no idea what I am actually going to have for dinner tonight so I guess you could say I am not exactly planning to have my last meal today. Hope I am right and I get to eat a lot more Italian Meals for many years to come.

But I still think the message is always enjoy your meals as if they may be the Last Meal you ever have. Something I learned from watching my mother refuse food on her last days on earth. Food is LIFE.. never forget it.. Even though we need to Eat to Live we should enjoy every bite.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

French Toast - Back to the Basics


During the recession or at least my current recession I am more and more going back to basic foods out of necessity and comfort. I am currently not employed and will be selling my house so I am trying to buy less food and cook with less so this recipe fits into my budget and my current life situation.

One of the most basic and classic foods is French Toast. The French created french toast to use up stale bread and make sure that their eggs and milk were used before expiration. Out of necessity comes invention. French toast is a great invention. What's better than fried bread? Nowadays people are experimenting with french toast and stuffing it with different things and adding different flavourings but I always like the classic version.

Stale bread
Pure Vanilla Extract

and fried in butter

Sugar or Maple Syrup on top

Most people have all of these ingredients in their pantry..or if they don't they should. French toast tastes good breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it's probably at it's best when it's eaten for Brunch with friends and family. Share the love..Fry some bread.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ici Bistro - French Food in TO

Last night was my BIG Birthday.. won't say which big one, you can guess which milestone it was for yourself. To celebrate I went to ICI Bistro for dinner with 3 friends, one of whom is friends with one of the Owners and Chef JP Challet. While I really wanted to go to Paris for this milestone birthday that wasn't in the cards so the next best thing was to have JP cook some amazing French Food for us in his little Bistro. Yes it was a very little corner neighborhood restaurant with only 24 seats on the corner of Manning and Harbord. I have met JP in the past and we have been talking about going to his new restaurant since it opened but this was the first chance I had and I was glad it was at the same time as my birthday. We started off with these amazing goat cheese and caramelized shallot tarts..mmmmmm.. so good. Then we ordered a few share plates, Charcuterie, Steak Tartare and Croquettes. I loved the Croquettes.. potato goodness. Then on to the mains. My friend ordered the Lamb chops, my other friend ordered the Beef and I ordered the chicken which was the best piece of chicken I have had in I don't know how long. So moist and just enough flavour with a side of haricot vert and a potato galette.

Then JP created a beautiful plate with Happy Birthday written on it and little cups of white chocolate filled with cherry liquered cherries.

While one of my friends was chatting away and didn't notice JP signed a copy of his One Pot Cookbook for him. He was really pleased about that. Now 3 of us have autographed copies of his book that I hope we can cook a recipe together once I move to a new place.

It was a great dinner and JP and staff were great hosts.

Only thing I was sad about was that it was too small to invite more friends so we had to meet up with the rest of my friends for Desert at Moroco in Yorkville. But it was a good nite all in all. Go to ICI Bistro and tell them Linda and Via sent you.. you will enjoy it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Even Fast Food can be Good

Yesterday was McHappy Day at McDonalds. You are wondering why a Foodie is talking about McDonalds? Well it's because McDonald's does some things right like Mc Happy day where they collect money for the Ronald McDonald Charities from their proceeds sold and donations collected. I know most of McDonald's food can be really bad but it also tastes really good sometimes so everything in moderation. You don't need to go Super Size Me everyday on it but having it the odd time is ok. So yesterday I stopped by for breakfast and picked up an Egg McMuffin.. one of the lower calorie breakfasts but killed it by adding the homefries and an Iced Coffee. The iced coffee is only $1 now so it's cheaper than juice and when you are unemployed you think about this kind of thing.

I decided to clear out all the pennies in my car and donate it for McHappy Day and at least my pennies will add with other people's pennies and do some good for people that need assistance from Ronald McDonald house.

So I hope some of you bought some Big Macs and donated some money too yesterday.. It's ok to eat at McDonalds sometimes... Even if you are a Foodie.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parisienne cafe

Toronto is a city with diversity and we can find almost anything to eat in this city but try and find somewhere to go after you have dinner so that you can have tea or coffee and a little desert with friends to celebrate an occasion and there isn't much out there unless you want to be done by 10 or 11pm. I thought we were a cosmopolitan city? All you can do is go to a bar and drink alcohol after dinner it seems, so what if you don't drink alcohol but want to hang out with friends after 10pm during the week? Where do you go? It's my Birthday this week and a friend has arranged to go to a small but highly popular restaurant owned by a friend but only a few of us can go for dinner so I was looking for a place to meet up in the Annex afterward but it seems that Toronto is sorely lacking in this area. We can go grab a quick coffee on the run or we can go and get drunk but that's about it.

What's missing in Toronto? Well I think we need more European style casual cafe type of Parisienne style places where you can sip on a glass of wine or tea or coffee while enjoying a pain au chocolate or a macaroon or some other tasty pastry or cake while having relaxing conversations with friends... just like you imagine the Paris cafe's to be like. So I wonder why someone hasn't thought of doing that here? The closest thing to that is Moroco in Yorkville but for some reason my friends don't like going there.

If I was an entrepreneur with some cash to blow I would open such a cafe in the hear of town and make it a late night alternative to going out and getting drunk with friends. I am past the age of rowdy partying with friends and just want to chill and chat over some great deserts and a great tea or coffee. Is that too much to ask for in this Big City?

Now if anyone knows any secret places like this please let me know and the rest of the people in Toronto so that we can enjoy it too.