My Highlights of Taste of Toronto 2015

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the delay on my review on Taste of Toronto, here it is finally, enjoy reading & hope you don’t feel too hungry afterwards. 🙂

It was a perfect first summer July weekend for the 2nd Annual Taste of Toronto back at Fort York Historic Site where over 70 producers of the best food, beverages and premium brands providing an amazing culinary food festival. What better way to start off summer for foodies then here at Taste of Toronto culinary festival where to discover the finest & hottest restaurants along with the rising & top chefs in Toronto.

With my first amazing experience at Taste of Toronto last year, I attended Taste of Toronto again this year for 2 days on the weekend of Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5, 2015. Taste of Toronto lasts for four days from Thursday July 2 – Sunday, July 5, 2015 transforming the walls of Fort York into an outdoor foodie heaven for all foodies to enjoy a summer of eating, drinking, and entertainment as well as a producers market where you can sample and shop from boutique of food and drink market, Cadillac Taste Theatre with live demonstrations, Metro Master Classes, the Tasting Room, American Express Lounge, a Delta Air Lines VIP Lounge and a Music Stage.

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Those who have not yet attended Taste of Toronto, the event operates with lunch and dinner sessions lasting over the four days that the festival ran with sessions running from 4-5 hours each giving the attendees time to choose the restaurant dishes that they would like to try, browse the artisans stalls (loved the Pure Leaf booth as this year it has gotten bigger this year, check out my photo below) and enjoy the many different activities such as Cadillac Taste Theatre for live demonstrations, The Tasting Room, Toronto Life Chef’s Table, and attractions that was being offered.

At Taste of Toronto, they decided to create their own dining currency called: Crowns where if you wish to purchase a dish from a restaurant or a drink from the bar that you would need to purchase Crowns. This means, $1 CAD = 1 Crown. When you purchase crowns either online or at the festival, it is in a form of a card called: Crown Card and you can swipe the card at any restaurant vendor you like to buy a dish or a drink from. Each dish was priced between six and 10 crowns.

This year some of last year fave restaurants returning such as: Richmond Station, Barque and Drake Hotel, just to name a few. As well, there are some new faces to the Festival such as R & D (Masterchef Canada winner – Eric Chong), Morimoto and Little Sister who joined the festival this year.

I truly enjoyed this year Taste of Toronto having 2 days at the festival gave me more time to explore and sample the different type of foods as well as giving me a great experience as I attended the Cadillac Taste Theatre as well learning from the amazing and talented chefs. This year I sampled more desserts of course and I have to admit that this year desserts was outstanding & simply delicious and loved the beautiful plating on each one of them. Almost too pretty to eat lol!

There is no surprise that my fave dishes came from of course, Richmond Station, as they always come up with such delicious and tasty dishes from my fave Top Chef Canada Winner – Carl Heinrich. I really love his concept of fresh farm to table food (local food) concept and it definitely shows in his dishes. This year I was lucky enough to meet Carl himself after his demonstration at the Cadillac Taste Theatre, check out the photos below, Carl is such an amazing and sweet guy in person! I’m definitely looking forward to finally going to his restaurant later on this year.

This year at Richmond Station booth, they were shucking live & fresh oysters, I thought that was a great idea to do!! My 2 fave dishes from Richmond Station are: Station Burger with Beet Chutney and OKA Cheese, which was freshly made and simply delicious hard to put into words, you would definitely have to try it yourself. Of course Richmond Station never disappoints me with their simple yet delicious dessert – Funnel Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Stewed Fruit. The sweet sauce on the ice cream definitely made the dessert and I believe it’s the beautiful fresh fruits that did it. I loved Richmond Station dessert so much that I came back to for seconds again on Sunday on my 2nd day there! Check out the collage I did for Richmond Station.

Richmond Station - 1A

Some of my other fave desserts that I enjoyed at Taste of Toronto are:

  •  Rhubarb Strawberry & Pistachio Upside-Down Cake with Mint Ice Cream & Preserved Strawberries from The Harbord Room, THR & Co restaurant. This was probably my 2nd fave after Richmond Station as if you love Upside-Down Cakes this dessert is sure not to disappoint you, it was light and fresh with the strawberries and with the mint ice cream, it was perfect combination! A great summer dessert!

  • Peaches & Cream poached peaches with Darjeeling cream, bourbon syrup brown butter almond crumble from Bosk Loved the poached peaches as it was soft and sweet, another good dessert for the summer time!

My other fave stand-out dishes that are not desserts that I also enjoyed at Taste of Toronto are:

  • Competition Chicken Thigh with Cuban corn from returning fave restaurantBarque, which 2nd year in a row that one of their dishes is my fave as Barque always make delicious dishes that makes you keep coming back for more. The bbq chicken was simply perfect with the right amount of sauce and flavour, loved it and the corn on the cob a great summer food to eat! The corn on the cob was very flavourful and sweet. I loved that they grilled it too!!

  • Lobster Roll – east coast lobster and avocado from The Drake, which I’m not a huge fan of lobster (love shrimps & crabs though) so coming from me, really enjoyed this lobster roll, which was light yet creamy in a good way. If you love lobster and seafood, the lobster roll definitely would been a satisfying choice as it’s perfect for this kind of summer weather.

Lastly, I was lucky enough to attend Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford’s (Canadian borned) Live Q&A at the Sunday session all thanks to American Express Canada as I was one of the lucky winners from their contest. What a treat it was to hear Chef Lynn Crawford speak and learn from her experience as a chef! It was an honor to meet her afterwards as well and to also receive her cookbook – At Home with Lynn Crawford signed by her with my name on it too. It was a great way to start my Sunday before the Taste of Toronto as it was held before the festival. Check out my photos below when I met Lynn.

Lynn Crawford Cookbook

Also I had the pleasure of meeting Celebrity Chef – Massimo Capra & Galbani and Gabbiano Brand Ambassador and who restaurant that I love going to in Niagara Falls – The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. I attended his demonstration at the Cadillac Taste Theatre where he made Spring Rolls w/ cheese, which was very interesting to see how that was done.

If you are looking to explore Toronto’s top restaurants and be inspired by world of first class chefs, Taste of Toronto Food Festival is where you will want to be. It is a place for foodies to gather together to sample, explore and enjoy these delicious dishes from some of Toronto’s top restaurants and top world class chefs.

As it is my 2nd time attending this amazing world foodie event, it is a perfect way to start the summer with being outside enjoying delicious foods with family, friends, and other foodies.

So if you missed this amazing foodie event, don’t miss it again and come next summer 2016!

Until next time, I will be searching for my next sweet adventure in this hot summer heat…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Taste of Toronto or any of the restaurants I have mentioned, check out the links below:

Taste of Toronto Website- Taste of Toronto

Print

Richmond Station:

Address: 1 Richmond St W,  Toronto, ON

Website: richmondstation.ca

Please follow them on Facebook @RichmondStation, Twitter @Richmondstn & Instagram @RichmondStation

You can also follow Carl Heinrich on twitter @ChefHeinrich

The Harbord Room:

Address: 89 Harbord St., Toronto, ON

Website: www.theharbordroom.com

Please follow them on Facebook @theHarbordRoom, Twitter @theharbordroom & Instagram @theHarbordRoom

Bosk Restaurant (at the Shangri-La Hotel):

Address: 188 University Avenue, Toronto, ON (Lobby Level of the Hotel)

Website: www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/dining/restaurants/bosk/

Barque Smokehouse

Address: 299 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON

Website: barque.ca

Please follow them on Facebook @barquebbq, Twitter @barquebbq & Instagram @barquebbq

The Drake

Website: www.thedrakehotel.ca/dining/

Please follow them on Facebook @theDrakehotelToronto, Twitter @thedrakehotel

Celebrity Chefs:

Chef Lynn Crawford

Website: www.cheflynncrawford.com

You can follow Lynn on Facebook @Officiallycheflynncrawford, Twitter @Chef_Lynn & Instagram @Chef_Lynn

Massimo Capra

Website: www.massimocapra.com

You can follow Chef Capra on Facebook @ChefCapra, Twitter @ChefCapra

If you are in the Niagara Falls area, please check out his amazing restaurant (yes I been to it a few times now & definitely recommend it) called: The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra -> click here for website

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Best Beachfront Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC — 2nd Avenue Pier

Hi everyone!!

Happy 4th of July to all my American readers!!!

And Happy Belated Canada’s Day to my fellow Canadian readers!!!

Well, I’m back now from my Myrtle Beach trip in South Carolina!! Been back for awhile now since beginning of June, sorry it’s been me awhile now to write another review!! It taken me awhile to settle back into my routine and get writing again as well! I have to apologize for my lack of reviews and updates for my blog, but I am here now and I’m hoping to get things back on track. Hope everyone is still sticking around with me as I’m looking forward to this summer with more sweet reviews!!

I had a great trip to Myrtle Beach and the beaches there was just breaktaking, I enjoyed every minute at the beach and of course I did some shopping and sightseeing!! Overall, a great beach trip!!

This review couldn’t come at a more perfect timing then this as summer has finally arrived and what perfect way to start this summer and for some of you a long weekend then sipping refreshing cold drinks and enjoying delicious food by the beach!! This review is courtesy of my amazing trip to Myrtle Beach, SC and if you happen to be in the area of Myrtle Beach or planning to take a fun & relaxing trip to the Myrtle Beach, I’m definitely recommending: 2nd Avenue Pier – both the House Restaurant, which is located on the 2nd floor and Pier View Bar (aka the Open Air Bar), which is located at the top level.

2ndAvePier-Exterior

What I love about 2nd Avenue Pier is that it gives you the best of both worlds of casual and fine dining with both restaurants having beautiful stunning views of the ocean as you dine either inside or outside!! 2nd Avenue Pier is located at the Boardwalk at Second Avenue North and Ocean Blvd, which is easily located by the beach and you definitely can’t miss it!! Check out these beautiful photos I took when I was there, yes I took these, just absolutely gorgeous views!!

2ndAvePier-BeachView

2ndAvePier-Docks

2ndAvePier-Sign

2nd Avenue Pier is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner with the House Restaurant closing at 8pm, but the Pier View Bar is open until very late! Their menu features a fantastic breakfast, fresh salads, savory sandwiches, fabulous seafood and delicious steaks. I love their atmosphere both at the House Restaurant and Pier View Bar, a very friendly and relaxed environment! Both restaurants offer different menus though if you prefer more fine dining type of food, I would recommend the House Restaurant and if you prefer more casual or bar food type of food, I would recommend the Pier View Bar. Either restaurant, the food was just delicious!! As for pricing, to me, it was average price for food and definitely worth paying for as the food was amazing and excellent customer service.

I been to the 2nd Avenue Pier twice during my trip at Myrtle Beach, which we went last week of May 2014, the first time I went was for dinner with my sisters as we went on the trip together! We had dinner at the Pier View Bar where we dined outside on the top level with the beautiful view of the beach and sunset! I had the Pier View Burger with chips and on the side we all shared a cheese fries. I also had a refreshing mango slush!! A great yet simple dinner!! I thought it was really good!! We had a really nice and friendly waitress as well! Love their customer service there!! Please find below my delicious dinner that evening, hope you guys liked the collage I did for my dinner! I been exploring with the new graphic editing website I’m using and I like what I came up with now. Hope you guys do too! 🙂

PierView-OpenAirBar

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2ndAvePier-NightView

The 2nd time we went back to the 2nd Avenue Pier was on our last day of our trip and we dined at the Pier House Restaurant for breakfast. Inside the Pier House Restaurant has a modern look yet has a cozy and warm feeling with the wooden beams on the ceiling show makes it feel like you are at the beach. I love that you can see the view of the beach from almost every seat! We were lucky and got seated by the window with the gorgeous view of the beach. I ordered the Single Sunrise Sampler with scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. As well I enjoyed a hot tea to go with my breakfast. The breakfast was just made perfect and delicious of course!! After my first experience for dinner a few nights ago, I expected that the food was going to be delicious still!! I was correct!! We also had a very friendly waitress as well. We actually saw the same waitress that we had a few nights ago at the Pier View Bar and she remembered us and came over to say hello and spoke with us. I thought that was so nice of her that she even remembered us!! A very friendly restaurant environment, which was very enjoyable to have when you are on vacation.

PierHouseRestaurant-Interior

PierHouseRestaurant-Menu

PierHouseRestaurant-BeachView

PierHouseRestaurant-Breakfast

Overall, a great experience at both the House Restaurant and Pier View Open Air Bar where I enjoyed delicious and yummy foods with a gorgeous view of the beach!! I will definitely be coming back here again when I visit Myrtle Beach again!! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to walk the longest pier at Myrtle Beach when I was there as we didn’t have enough time, but I definitely recommend checking it out as it looked gorgeous from the restaurant. I hope that you would go and visit 2nd Avenue Pier to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the beach like no other and the delicious foods that they have to offer.

A great way to start my summer with my new fave Beachfront Restaurant in Myrtle Beach! Until next time, looking for my next sweet adventure….

For more information on 2nd Avenue Pier, please visit them at:

Address: 110 North Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Website: 2nd Avenue Pier

Please visit them on Facebook @ Second Avenue Pier and follow them on Twitter @2ndavepiermb.