This past weekend I enjoyed another Winterlicious meal at Crush Wine Bar on King St. West. In my opinion, this restaurant gets high marks on its friendly service, modern décor and amazing wine and food options.
I decided to enjoy the Winterlicious menu complete with carefully selected wine parings for each course.
With my Winter Salad drizzled in a Pomegranate Citrus and Honey Vinaigrette, I enjoyed the Peninsula Ridge Eisner Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.
To follow, I selected the rich and delicious Wild Mushroom Lasagna paired with Quinta de Ventozelo Tinto 2007 Douro from Portugal.
For dessert, the mouthwatering Chocolate and Cinnamon Cheese cake accompanied by a wonderful Inniskillin 2001 Vidal Icewine was the perfect combination to end the meal.
To me, what makes the wine selection at Crush special is the fact that none of these nor any of the bottles in their cellar can be found at the LCBO. The Sommelier works with vineyards and wine merchants to complete the extensive wine list.
The Winterlicious menu at Crush Wine Bar was impressive enough to make me want to return for another visit.
*Contest closed* Congrats to our winner Leila Monib!
This week, I’ve partnered with The Ten Spot in Leslieville to bring you the chance to win a perfect gift for yourself or that special someone in your life.
The Ten Spot offers great services like: manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials and gent grooming, all in a super cool space. If you want to know more about how great this place is, check out my post ‘No Chip? No Way!’ which, describes my experience at the Leslieville Beauty Bar and my Axxium OPI No Chip Manicure.
So… What can you win?
This week, one lucky reader will win a $50 Gift Certificate that can be used toward any service at The Ten Spot, plus some fabulous LoveFresh Sugar Scrub.
It is really only Tuesday? It’s been such a busy week so far and the rest of February is only going to get busier. I’ve been trying to shut off when I get home from the office and work on my blog, spend time with loved ones and relax to great music. It’s always the music that really does the trick for me.
Please make sure you check in tomorrow morning for the final and best installment of the Valentine’s Day Giveaways!
When the fluffy white snow turns to brown slush and the winter wind tears at my already dry skin, I long for an escape from this Toronto winter. As I feel the effects of shorter days and cabin fever brought on by serious attempts to avoid leaving the house, it was decided that a trip to Hammam Spa was not only desired but also required.
When I walked through the doors of this King St. spa and down the steps into the reception area, I immediately began to feel as though I was somewhere far away from the slushy streets of my city. We approached the front desk and were immediately greeted with warm smiles, offered tea and ushered to the fully stocked change rooms.
On the advice I was given when booking the appointment, we arrived 45 minutes in advance ready to indulge in the amazing Turkish steam room. Once dressed in our provided wraps and robes we passed the lounge where you can enjoy more tea, Turkish coffee, fresh fruit and biscuits and continued on our way to enjoy a detoxifying steam.
The steam room at Hammam is unlike any that I have had the pleasure of using. As soon as we sat down, the room began to fill with eucalyptus infused steam so thick that all I could see was the glow of the LED lights which, create an illusion of being surrounded by a cloud of colour. I found that taking away my ability to see beyond my immediate surroundings really allowed me to focus becoming truly relaxed.
After sweating it out for about twenty minutes, it was time to rinse of in the showers just outside the steam room, rehydrate with some orange infused water and wander down the hallway to find our massage therapists.
We were ushered into a room with side-by-side massage tables and spent the next hour enjoying a full body massage that was one of the best I’ve had. I felt like the massage therapist tried to understand my unique issues and work on the areas that required the most attention.
Once our treatments were complete we headed back to the steam room for shorter session followed by rejuvenating showers, then water and fruit in the lounge.
For my next visit, I’d really like to book one of the private rooms complete with Jacuzzi for two, in-suite treatments and a glass of bubbly.
The first stop on our 2011 Winterlicious tour was Banu, The Iranian Kabob and Vodka Bar on Queen St. West. After a visit with a large group of friends during Summerlicious, I knew I wanted to return to this gem of a restaurant.
We began our visit with Vodka Va Limoo a very tasty cocktail which consists of Vodka, mint water, fresh mint and fresh lime juice.
For appetizers we ordered the Kashk O Bademjan (Roasted aubergines, tumeric, mint and whey paste) and Aash E Reshteh (Iranian legume, mixed herb, and buckwheat noodle potage). These delicious vegetarian starters were a great compliment to our meat centric main courses.
The main course was really what got me excited to dine at Banu again. Served on a large sharing platter with flat bread, sumac, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil we enjoyed Jouheh Kabob (Saffron and citrus grilled chicken breast) and Koodideh (two skewers of ground Angus sirloin kabob). These dishes were cooked to perfection and once topped with sumac, rolled in the bread with fresh basil became a meal worth raving about.
To top off our meal we chose to enjoy the Soma Chocolate Plate, Almond Baklava Cake accompanied with Cardamom and Saffron Tea served on a silver platter with a small dish of dates, tiny cookies and sugar cubes.
You can enjoy the Winterlicious Menu at Banu until February 10th. Banu is the perfect place to meet friends after work to enjoy a great atmosphere while sharing amazing drinks, food and laughs.
The next time I head to Banu, I am going to have to try the Hookah.
Over the past two weeks I have been very spoiled when it comes to dining out. Work events, Winterlicious and our first wedding anniversary have provided plenty of excuses to enjoy great meals in Toronto.
To begin my indulgence, I decided to show a friend in from out of town a good time and take her to Buca, my new favorite Italian spot in the city. This hip and trendy restaurant delivered knowledgeable and well-coordinated service along with: fresh pasta, mouthwatering cured meats and delectable desserts, all created on-site. Our server happily took the time to explain the menu, ingredients and point out some extra special items for our consideration.
Buca, also served up my first celebrity sighting of 2011 when I look up from my meal to see Gene Simmons enter the restaurant. To ensure plenty of options for reservations, I would suggest planning your trip to Buca at least two weeks in advance.
I strongly recommend trying the fresh rosemary bread knots, any of the cured meats and please, make sure you order dessert.
Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, tax and tip $180
Check back this week to hear more about my dining adventures at Banu and Canoe where I enjoyed great Winterlicious meals.