Sunday, January 20, 2008

We had a really good dinner last night. Our favourite staff at the LCBO have moved on, so we have to choose our own wine now *gasp*. So instead of choosing a meal and then matching the wine, last night we chose the wine and matched the meal (we did this when we first started dating).

The LCBO has little info sheets for the wine, and one merlot had a very specific recommendation superb with basil, pimento and porcini mushroom risotto. Hmmm. I called Heather to surf for a substitution for pimento (red pepper). Also bought a small tenderloin for beef carpacio for an appetizer.

The meat guy at Loblaws didn't want to thinly slice the beef (he told me he'd then have to clean the machine), so I threw the beef in the freezer when I got home. About two hours later it was semi-frozen and I was able to slice it really finely. It turned out to be one of the better beef carpacios I've made (I think related to the thinness of the slices).

The risotto also turned out really well. I was wary of using too much basil (fresh basil can be overpowering), but the balance tasted really good. The wine was also a great match. We may have to stick with this strategy (choosing the wine first) :)

After we headed out the new organic wine bar in Leslieville (we think it's called Upstairs). The owners of Le Café Vert converted the apartment above the restaurant to a cosy little bar. We really enjoyed it. The grand opening is next Saturday, and we're thinking of going.

Yesterday I spent a couple hours at work moving to my new office. I like having everything set up just so. Hid all my wiring behind my desk (messy wiring is a pet peeve). I have a window seat again -- I last had an office with a window when I was at P&G. The building plant guy (I forget his name) has suggested moving an orphaned 10' ficus into my window. He said he'd prune it so that it fit the space. The office goes to about 12' high near the window, but the ficus is pretty broad right now.

Well I want to go shopping for groceries before the Patriots game so I should get going.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Well shortly after I had my pizza on Wednesday, I got back to One Yonge, and got a call from our CIO asking to meet her in her office. She then told me that I was being promoted to director, effectively immediately. Cool!! I was figuring on moving to a director position this year (either at the Star or elsewhere), so I'm glad I'm able to move up at the Star.

Heather and I celebrated by going out for dinner on Friday. We wanted to try a new place, but Soma was revamping their menu and was only open as a lounge, and we couldn't get a reservation at Globe Bistro. So we decided to give Tomi-Kro's another go.

We tried things we hadn't had before: lobster maki rolls and foie gras creme brulée for appetizers, and the main special (venison I think) and scallops with a mushroom sauce. I had too much foie gras (there was a lot of it). The lobster was excellent. The venison was supposed to be medium-rare but it came almost well-done, which was disappointing. The scallops were likewise slightly past perfect (Heather's a scallop connoisseur) but still quite nice. The sauces on both mains were amazing -- I can't make sauces like that. That's one thing I like about Tomi-Kro -- there's no way I could make anything as good as they do. Overall a very fulfilling meal. I think we have very high expectations of Tomi-Kro so if it's not perfect we're disappointed.

Saturday Heather met some of her friends at Prohibition, and I joined them later on. The pub is actually pretty nice inside. Wasn't impressed beer selection (all Molson's, no Keiths or Mill St beers) (a nice local touch is that most Leslieville bars have Mill St beers). I tried the wings which were breaded and oversized. Bleh. Heather had the grilled quarter chicken which was much better. The atmosphere was nice, although they kept on changing the TVs to the Leafs game (I was trying to watch the Patriots). It's the first bar in Leslieville that I've been to that has predominantly single people.

The lofts on the SE corner of Queen and Pape are finally starting construction! At least, they've added "Sold Out" to the banner, and have re-razed the site. It will be good for the intersection, which currently has a gas station, a bank (in a beautiful old building), the dang restaurant, and the empty lot where the lofts will be built. The dang restaurant was actually called Dang Restaurant in the past. A couple name changes and a lost liquor license later, it's still sketchy, deserving of dang as an adjective.

There was a gathering held today for Brad Henderson who passed away last week. He interviewed me when I first joined the Star. He gave me advice which I still follow today: read the paper every day. The Star is our product and I should know what's in it. He also suggested that I call John Honderich when I first started and ask John for a meeting. It's how I first met John, and I've heard John still tells the story of this young guy (me) who demanded to know from the publisher what was going on with the company. (It wasn't quite like that, but that's the way John tells it). Anyways, Brad was one of the old-school newspaper folks who lived and breathed the paper like you see in the movies. There's not many left in the industry.

Well I should be getting ready for bed.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pizza at Fortino's, mmm

I'm at the Fortino's in Vaughan waiting for my Pizza #7 Calabrese pizza.  It's my favourite place for pizza.

Our Ultimate season was supposed to start today but the league messed up the schedule and our first game is now next week.  Trishia's trying to set up a pick-up game but so far there's only 14 people (24 would be better).  Hopefully we'll get more players!

The low air indicator on my car went on again so I'll stop by a gas station after lunch.  I can never figure out the newer air pumps, but hopefully I'll get some air in the tires.

Lunch is ready!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm just out buying a gift for my high school friends Krys Kringle party.  It was supposed to be before Christmas but it was postponed because of the big snow storm (LA lives out in Georgetown).  Fortunately there's a lot of cool shops now on Queen E so I didn't have to go far. 

Stopped in at Queen Pita to pick up some lunch to go.  Noticed that the thai restaurant beside Tomi Kro is now open.  It also looks like Tomi Kro has expanded again, this time taking over the store to the east.  We were a bit disappointed with our last visit after their first expansion, although they still draw crowds (we couldn't get in the night we went out for dinner with Chris and Roseanne).

The building on the corner of Queen and Berkshire is now sporting a third floor -- it fits in with the streetscape much better now.

Well I think my lunch is ready.  Hopefully won't have missed too much of the world junior finals...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm at Loblaws and they're out of stock yet again on a three items on my list:  sweet potatoes, breakfast pitas and maple syrup.  I don't think these are obscure items.  I've often thought shopping at Loblaws is what it would have been like in the old Soviet republic -- if you see something you stock up cause you never know when they'll have it again.

I'm going to try to find the new supermarket that opened up near the docks.  Maybe they'll have stuff like, you know, stocked shelves.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It was a nice snowy day and we went for a walk. One of the things I like about Leslieville are all the big old trees:

I was also trying to find the location that this pic was taken. It's from 1913 and the caption said Queen East. of Pape. I think it's of the same row of buildings in the pic that I posted a few entries ago.

The rest of today we've lazed about -- caught up on reading (I finally finished Crime and Punishment).

We didn't do much last night. We were both feeling a bit under the weather, so just rented Ratatouille and stayed in. It was a pretty funny movie. It finished just in time for us to watch the countdown at Nathan Phillip's Square, and then we called it a night.