Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shop the Shore

I'm headed to Shop the Shore today! Here's a map of the festivities:

View Shop the Shore in New Toronto in a larger map

Happy Shore Shopping!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Café du Lac

For the past couple years, a lot of my focus has been on Italy and the Italian culture. I did, after all, just marry an Italian guy in Italy (he's not from Italy; he grew up in Hamilton ;)). Before the wedding, we tried to learn the language as much as possible so we could get by during our three weeks over there. And get by we did; but I don't credit our Italian lessons as much as I credit growing up half-French Canadian.

Ok I don't really speak the language (give me a few drinks and I could spew out a few French slurs) but I grew up listening to my mother and her sisters speak to my grandparents in French and I learned the basics of the basics. Later on, I took french in high school and in university, but the language skills ran dry when I didn't keep up the conversation. I love the language though. I stop in my tracks when I hear it being spoken in Toronto because it brings me back to my childhood.

{What does this have to do with learning Italian you ask? Well, there are many similarities with the tenses, and knowing some French really helped with understanding some Italian (some).}

One thing I didn't really learn while growing up however, was Quebecois cuisine. My grandmother, of course, makes tortière every year for Christmas, but really I don't know what true Quebecois food is all about.

Last week my husband and I decided to try some at Café du Lac. Three words: best. dinner. ever. I can honestly say that. I don't think I've ever tasted anything as yummy and delish as what I tasted last Friday night (ok there were some dishes in Italy that might beat this meal, but let's say best in North America...).

As soon as we sat down, I told my husband that we had to get the poutine... it's all I hear about when people mention Café du Lac. Poutine isn't something we usually get, but I talked him into it and man it didn't disappoint. We chose the Poutine with Creme Sauce ($10) which was a silky blend of deliciousness and the perfect starter for someone who loves all things cheese. The fries were crisp and the cheese was hot and I really wish I had more of it right now sitting here writing this post.

We also ordered the Organic Salad tossed in house vinaigrette ($7) which didn't come until our mains, but that was still a great accompaniment.

For dinner I ordered the Pan-seared Duck Magret drizzled with foie gras truffle sauce with potato gratin ($28). I've never had foie gras and believe that one should try everything once. It was buttery and worked wonderfully with the crispy pieces of duck loveliness that came with it. Under everything was the potato gratin which is making my mouth water right now just thinking about it. The whole meal went so well together I can't even really describe it well enough. The hubster got the Venison Meatloaf ($27) topped with seared fois gras and served on a bed of rustic mashed potatoes. As our server mentioned, this isn't your regular meatloaf. It was full of spices like cinnamon and nutmegish types of spices and my husband ate all of it, so I think he really liked it. He has been mentioning lately that he wants to have meatloaf for dinner, so now that he has had something better, I might not have to attempt to make it any time soon.

In terms of drinks, Café du Lac specializes in Quebec beers, but I didn't realize that until right now looking at the web site, which is a shame because we both really love beer. Instead we opted for a litre and a half of La Vieille Ferme which I actually think is from France (ack!). Regardless, I like this wine and it went well with the duck, the conversation and the fun musical entertainment by Kim Doolittle.

The only thing I'd have to tell the owners of Café du Lac is to lift up the window shade. To be honest, half the time I walk by it doesn't look like anything is going on in there because you can't see in. People like to see what's cooking from the street and lifting the shade would be great for the street scape down here.

Overall,this was an A+++ in my opinion and and I can't wait to go back to try the brunch some weekend soon.

le yum.