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Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Vacation Travel

New Restaurants in Toronto

February 24, 2016

Restaurants in TorontoToronto has an exciting and thriving culinary scene and it draws some of the best chefs in Canada and around the world. There are always new restaurants in Toronto opening up in this booming Canadian metropolis and visiting Toronto means that you get to enjoy the best of its gastronomical offerings.
So what are some of the hottest dining spots in the big TO? Here are a few restaurants in Toronto that have opened up recently and are creating a buzz:

Los Colibris
Chef Ella Herrera was born in Mexico and learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. She has recently opened a restaurant so that she can share the traditional Mexican dishes that she loved as a child with the people of Toronto – including warm handmade flour tortillas, tender spicy chicken and savoury roasted poblano peppers. The restaurant is stylish and upscale, but never stuffy – it has a funky and laid back vibe and is perfect for a date or an evening out with friends.Restaurants in Toronto

Boralia
What defines Canadian cuisine? Canada’s culture is a mosaic of influences from around the world, but this restaurant delves deep into the indigenous and early history of Canada to serve dishes that are linked to the origins of our home and native land. You can try pigeon pie or tender squab, or perhaps a bowl of buttery mussels smoked in pine needles. The dishes here are full of heritage, so why not give them a try?

Dandylion
Dandylion is the creative project of chef Jay Carter, who offers up a menu of nine dishes that change almost daily. The portions are generous, the meals are frRestaurants in Torontoesh and flavourful and there is always an option for vegetarians.

Otto’s Berlin Donor
This new sandwich shop in Kensington Market caters to the Torontonian craving for German street food. Try the delicious Berlin doner, which starts with a circular flatbread and is filled with chicken, veal, lamb, fried halloumi cheese or a vegan mix of zucchini, garlic, peppers, secret spices and onions. There is also the much-loved German street food dish Currywurst, a juicy bratwust sausage topped with a spicy tomato-based curry sauce.

Pai Northern Thai Kitchen
Do you love the spicy, fragrant and fresh flavours of Thai cuisine? This restaurant brings the flavours of Thailand to the streets of Toronto. Northern Thai dishes are the focus, such as crunchy fermented crabs and papaya salad or Massaman curry with tender chunks of beef.

These are just a few of the restaurants in Toronto that have opened up, so why not check them out during your visit when staying in your furnished rental?

Business Travel, Community Events, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Toronto Cafes for Warming Up with a Hot Drink

January 22, 2016

Toronto Cafes for Warming UpAfter walking around Toronto in the winter chill for hours, checking out the attractions, admiring the sights and doing some shopping, you might be in the mood for a hot drink. You can head into one of these lovely Toronto Cafes for warming up with a hot drink whether it be a warm cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Tealish
If you are passionate about a good cup of tea, you’ll love this beautiful and cosy place. There are several different loose and pre-bagged teas to choose from, so you are sure to find your favourite blend. The staff are tea experts and if you let them know what flavours you like they will be able to recommend the ideal tea for you to try. You can even get a pot and stay for a while if you don’t want to go back out into the winter cold. Check out the tea latte bar and order yourself a London Fog.

Dark Horse Espresso
There are four locations of this great coffee shop throughout the city, so you will never be far froToronto Cafes for Warming Upm your next delicious cup of coffee. They offer delicious drinks and a great range of yummy and filling snacks and treats, as well as reliable fast Wifi. The décor is cosy and rustic and it’s a great atmosphere in which to relax after a busy day of exploring Toronto.

The Rooster Coffee House
In the east of the city you will find the Rooster Coffee House, a lovely place that feels like home. They offer really great coffee within a welcoming atmosphere and they also have a delicious selection of baked goods. You’ll love it so much that you won’t want to venture out into the cold again.

BivyToronto Cafes for Warming Up
This is another great cosy little café with only eight tables and a warm and welcoming vibe. It serves up delicious lunches as well as great coffee and hot drinks. Check out the pancakes and the open top sandwiches – perfect for filling up your belly when it is cold and dreary outside.

Tango Palace Coffee Company
Tango Palace is one of the cosiest cafes on the east end, so when the winter chill gets too much for you it’s the best place to warm up with a hot drink. It is a neighbourhood institution – being around for 17 years and offering a huge range of drink and food options.

Boxcar SocialToronto Cafes for Warming Up
This coffee shop is set within a warm and inviting two storey house and it has a great selection of high quality coffees. The décor is rustic – the tables are made from thick cut raw wood and the walls are exposed brick. The staff are friendly and enthusiastic and will make you feel comfortable as you hide from the cold.

Sip your favourite hot drink at our Toronto cafes for warming up and let it warm you up from the inside. Savour the bustling atmosphere and welcoming vibe of these great hangout spots.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Food & Recipes, Holiday Events, Lifestyle talk

Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: Distillery District

November 11, 2015
Distillery District

Photo Credit: Alonso Inostrosa Psijas

The Distillery District, a national historic site in Toronto, is a neighbourhood and village of its own, a distinctly unique area in the city, just east of Old Town (King East) and south of Corktown. It’s a great mini-escape from the hustle of downtown Toronto and outside of our downtown properties while still being in the downtown area. Though it’s much quieter during the weekdays instead of the weekends, it’s a lovely way to explore more of the city, get connected to its roots, and escape the hustle of downtown. Here are our favourite places and events to explore the Distillery District.

Distillery District

Photo Credit: Tasting Toronto

1. El Catrin
As one of our top patio picks in Toronto, El Catrin’s bright outdoor display is one you can’t miss in The Distillery. Sun yourself alongside a margarita amongst the bright yellow lamps on the heated patio or stay awhile under the large scale murals and comfy benches inside over Mexican inspired fare. It’s our pick for a date in the area.

2. SOMA Chocolate
SOMA has been known as the best chocolate maker in the city and it’s a treat to visit its original location in the distillery (just past El Catrin). Taste test a truffle (or ten), savour the gelato, or sip on SOMA’s famous drinking chocolate on the back wooden stairs. At this location, you can also watch the chocolate-making process through the glass windows. Of course, this is one of the best places to get a “Made in Toronto” gift. Closer to our downtown locations is SOMA’s second King Street location.

3. Events Year round, The Distillery District provides ambiance with its open area in the main square for performances among its cobblestones and unmarked green doors. Stroll for fresh produce and other made in Ontario products at the Sunday Summer Market; Lounge in the main square during the numerous festivals like the TD Jazz Fest; Art Fest is a more unique festival in September; and the most famous event–rounding out the end of the year– is the Toronto Christmas Market, ideal to find unique gifts and warm up under the fire with some mulled wine.

4. Pikto When is the last time you pDistillery Districtrinted a photo? Professional services still exist and Pikto is the place where photography enthusiasts and the pros get their prints and photobooks done. Peruse the photobooks, sign up or inquire about a photography workshop, or even print your instagram photos.

5. Soulpepper Theatre Though the Distillery is known for its art galleries, tucked in the back of the district on the east side, you’ll find this treasure trove of a theatre. Watch a new play or check out their concert series when in season. The theatre is a strong supporter of youth and has many free programs and initiatives in this area (great for your child who has a creative or dramatic streak).

There are so many other reasons to visit the Distillery District. Not too far from your furnished suite in Toronto, we hope that you check out the Distillery when you are in Toronto. What is your favourite thing in or about the Distillery District?

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Holiday Events, Lifestyle talk

Best Restaurants for Groups in Toronto

October 22, 2015

Group DinnerThough we think that the best place to have a group dinner is at your furnished apartment rental in Toronto, sometimes, it’s nice to take your friends out to a meal.  The trouble can be finding a restaurant that caters to large groups or groups, in general. Here are our top five restaurants for groups in Toronto. Also ideal for small work holiday dinner parties and team outings.

1. Momofuku Daisho. It can be difficult to find fine dining for a large group and Daisho excels in that. One of the three restaurants at Momofuku in the Shangri-la Hotel (close to your short or long term rental apartment or suite), Daisho specializes in large format menus with a niche in one item. (You can also order off the a la carte menu for more variety). If you want to celebrate a special occasion with 10 people, this is the place. Reservations are required.Restaurants for Groups in Toronto

2. Bestellen. If you want a casual atmosphere but upscale dining experience, Bestellen is a good bet and known to serve menus for groups. You can get a whole roasted suckling pig with all of the fixings, for a minimum of 8 people (and you must give 72 hours notice); or you can choose between a 3 and 5 course tasting menu. A Sunday night chicken dinner is another option for $25 per person. A great option in the Dufferin Grove/College area.

3. Wvrst. Located in the heart of the King Street West district and a short walk from our downtown short and long term rental properties, the modern beer hall is a casual stop, whether it’s after a baseball game or if you want to socialize late into the night over long, picnic-style benches. Various types of sausage are on offer as is a curated selection of craft beers. Don’t forget those duck fat fries!

Restaurants for Groups in Toronto4. The Sultan’s Tent. Transport yourself to the souks of Marrakech at this Moroccan restaurant. One of many ideal restaurants for groups in Toronto, every table is inside a tent, and on weekends, you have a choice of a 3 course prix-fixe menu. The highlight of the meal will be to test out your dance moves with the belly dancers who dance for and with you in the evening! This is a popular choice for bachelorette parties on the weekend.

What is your favourite place or recommendation for a restaurant for a group in Toronto?

Fitness and Health, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Easy Make-Ahead Dinners When You Are On the Go

August 28, 2015

Easy Make-Ahead DinnersOne of the major advantages to staying in a furnished rental in Toronto is that you will be able to use the kitchen to prepare your own meals, which will save you a lot of money because you won’t have to pay restaurant prices for your meals every night. However, making meals when you are travelling will bring with it a unique set of challenges – as you might be short on time and you might not have all of the ingredients that you have at home.
In order to make cooking in your furnished condo as easy as possible, here are some easy make-ahead dinners that you can  heat up when you need them. Some of these recipes require a slow cooker but if you don’t have one where you are staying, you can always let them simmer on the stove for a while instead.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
This is a deliciously creative twist on chili and the flavour of pumpkin really enhances the dish. Start by heating up a pound

Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

of cubed round steak on a large skillet in oil, simply browning the pieces lightly. Transfer the meat to a five quart slow cooker and leave the oil on the skillet. Use the oil to saute onions and yellow peppers until just barely tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Add to the slow cooker one can of pumpkin, two cans of black beans, two cups of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, dried parsely flakes, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cumin and salt. Cook on low for five hours.

Spiced Braised Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
A comforting stew that freezes well, this delicious dish is easy to make and delicious. Start by combining 1.5 pounds of beef cut into chunks, 2 sweet potatoes cut into half-moons, cumin, onions, apricots, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon and one can of tomatoes in a slow cooker with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a half cup of water. Cook the ingredients on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. Right before serving, add a can of chickpeas to the mix and let them cook until they are heated through, for about 2-3 minutes. Serve the stew along with cuscous and spinach.Easy Make-Ahead Dinners

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole
This is a tasty kid-friendly favourite that you can make in advance and keep in the fridge or freezer. Start by cooking the rice while also simmering the chicken until it is cooked through. Cook two chopped leeks until they are brown in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until the liquid has been released and evaporated. Add sherry and increase the heat to high and cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, then stir them to coat. Add milk and then simmer the sauce for one minute before adding parsley, sour cream, pepper and salt. Line an old baking dish with cooking spray and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Spread the rice in an even layer in the baking dish, then add the chicken and the green beas – pouring the sauce over top and sprinkling with almonds. Bake in the oven until the casserole bubbles and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Do you have favourite easy make-ahead dinners that you turn to? We’d love to hear about them!