It was sometime last year, that I noticed these fabulous plates while visiting my sister-in-law at The Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. I later learned that these beautiful creations were individually hand painted by Jacqueline Poirier, a toronto based artist. She paints everything from food and pets to people and city street signs. Her attention to detail is incredible as she transforms a simple dinner plate into a one of a kind treasure. Custom orders are available. Contact Jacqueline for a quote.
About the artist:
Jacqueline Poirier offers unique hand-painted charger plates, inspired by her love of art and penchant for individuality. Choose from her current collection, or custom-order your own personalized designs and portraits. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, corporate and special events – plate art is the perfect gift for any occasion! The colourful and eye-catching designs are also a unique and decorative addition to any restaurant interior or formal table setting.
Poirier is currently on display and in collaboration with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Toronto, in one of the city’s newest fine dining establishments, TOCA Restaurant. Her work can also be seen in various locations throughout Toronto and New York City, and has been featured in publications such as The National Post, the Globe and Mail, and Now Magazine. A graduate of the esteemed Ontario College of Art and Design, Poirier specializes in custom and commissioned art works – and she shares her love of “plArt” with you!
iPhone APP: Jacqueline Poirier
Brick Works Farmers’ Market
The farmers’ market at Evergreen Brick Works offers so much more than produce shopping. Saturday morning visitors are treated to music, kids’ activities, and special tastings and information sessions, all while they feast on an organic hot dog or sugar-free lemonade. The vendors offer everything from knife sharpening to naturally raised meats, with a focus on heath for body and environment. A foodie paradise from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dufferin Grove’s farmers’ market wins big points for accessibility. It’s easily accessed by various forms of transit, open all year long (moved inside the rink house during the winter), and perfect for weekday nine-to-fivers. The market is held each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., offering shoppers the opportunity to pick up some Georgian Bay fish or local organic beef on the way home from work, and sheep’s milk ice cream cones to enjoy while they shop.
St. Lawrence Market North
The farmers’ market at St. Lawrence Market North is known for great samples, great variety, and great conversations with knowledgeable local vendors. Seemingly always up for a chat, you’ll certainly get to know just what went into your Mouton Rouge cheese or gluten-free bread is you go ahead and ask. Open every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wychwood Park/Wychwood Barns
Technically called “The Stop’s Farmers’ Market,” but known colloquially as “that awesome market at Wychwood Barns.” This is another market that is open all year round, and usually packed with 30 or 40 vendors and operating each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Market favourites include Kurtis Coffee, Sugar Mammas Mini Donuts, and Bizjak Farms.
Sorauren Farmers’ Market
Operated by the West-End Food Coop, the Sorauren Farmers’ Market is somewhat no-frills, but definitely offers all of those farmers’ market staples. You’ll find a mix of vendors here including those known to make the farmers’ market rounds (ChocoSol, Ying Ying Soy Food), as well as smaller operations (Baba Link Farm, deFloured). The market is hosted in Sorauren Park every Monday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Leslieville Farmers’ Market
A newbie to Toronto’s farmers’ market scene but already drawing huge crowds to Jonathan Ashbridge Park. The Leslieville Farmers’ Market has dozens of vendors offering everything from produce to meats to prepared foods, with a couple of familiar Leslieville faces (Hooked, LPK’s Culinary Groove, Canadian Pie Company) setting up stalls for the Sunday event. Activities for kids, and the odd cookbook swap, too. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Junction Farmers’ Market
From newbie to newest. The Junction Farmers’ Market may still be in its inaugural year, but it has already garnered the attention of some 20ish vendors and plenty of west-end residents keen on local foods. Operating out of a Green P parking lot at Dundas and Pacific, the market is stocked with farm-fresh foods, specialty honeys, sustainable seafood, and handmade charcuterie. This one’s a popular one, so come early. Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market
At the northwest corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park, this market is somewhat small compared to others on this list but still manages to keep all the food basics covered. Ali’s Fish Shack and Monforte Dairy Co. and definite stars here at the market, but so too is St. John’s Bakery (a treat for Queen West) andBona Fide Bean Coffee. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies as well. Hosted each Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
East Lynn Farmers’ Market
Five years and counting, the East Lynn Farmers’ Market is a favourite summer attraction for the Danforth and Woodbine community. While the kids seem to flock straight to the face-painting tent (and can you blame them?) the food-minded focus in on the farm-fresh fruits, organic veggies, and freshly cut flowers. And meats, of course. The market has also started to feature prepared foods by area business owners. Each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Etobicoke Civic Centre Farmers’ Market
Etobicoke, too, has its own lineup of farmers’ markets, and the Saturday event hosted at the Civic Centre is perhaps best of them all. The space is swarmed from market onset in June to its close in November, packed with people looking for farm-fresh eggs, meats, and produce. Fruits and veggies make up the bulk of the spread, but natural honey and maple syrups don’t go unappreciated. Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Recently relocating to June Rowlands Park at Davisville and Mount Pleasant, AppleTree Market has been offering the farmers’ market experience to midtown Toronto for the last several years. Hosted spring through fall Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the market is packed with more than 30 vendors offering organic, naturally raised, and sustainable foods, as well as also plans to feature a new food truck each week. That’s right; Ontario grown strawberries, and deli meats from a truck.
Riverdale Farm Farmers’ Market
This market gives new meaning to the words “farm fresh” (though, of course, the spread comes from elsewhere…nevermind). Riverdale Farm hosts its own farmers’ market just outside its main gates on Tuesday afternoons. There you’ll find plenty of preserves, a good assortment of plants and flowers, and lots of organic Ontario-grown produce. Held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays during the season, extending farm operating hours.
The Leslieville Flea takes place one Sunday a month from 10am to 4pm!
It is made up of a variety of vendors selling one of a kind items, furniture, hand crafted designs, antiques, vintage clothing, designer pieces and more.
Toronto is a beautiful city of history, multiculturalism, great music, fabulous art and delicious cuisine. It can be difficult to choose the perfect restaurant for a romantic evening with that special someone. Have a look below at a full list of the most romantic tables for two in the city.
What: Jacob’s Steakhouse
Where: 12 Brant St. (King and Spadina)
Romantic vibes: Low lights, sink-into-and-stay-there banquettes and arguably the best steak in the city
Price point: Let’s just say — there’s a 25 oz. T-bone on the menu for $93
Where: 354 King St. E. (King and Parliament)
Romantic vibes: Heavy curtains, blink-and-you-miss-it location, gourmet comfort food
Price point: Dinner for two for $80 easily
Where: 116 Avenue Rd. (between Davenport and Bloor)
Romantic vibes: Candles on every table, curtains allowing for privacy, tables tucked into nooks
Price point: Three-course meals for $50 per person
Where: 1560 Yonge St. (north of St. Clair)
Romantic vibes: Well-separate tables, low lighting and plates meant for sharing
Price point: Dinner for two for around $130
What: Frank’s Kitchen
Where: 588 College St. (between Bathurst and Ossington)
Romantic vibes: Intimate tables and a hard-to-get reservation means you’ll have tons of privacy
Price point: $120 for dinner for two with wine, tax and tip, according to the Globe and Mail, though it’s probably closer to $160
What: Donatello Restaurant
Where: 37 Elm St. (Yonge and Dundas)
Romantic vibes: The three rooms of this spot provide plenty of options — not to mention an ideal place to eat if you’re heading to the theatre after
Price point: Four courses average about $45 per person
What: Five Doors North
Where: 2088 Yonge St. (between Davisville and Eglinton)
Romantic vibes: The patina and dim lighting of this spot make this a more casual, sexy dinner
Price point: Dinner for two can be had for $80
Where: 111C Queen St. E. (Queen and Church)
Romantic vibes: There’s a lot of tables, but also, a lot of space between them — and the decor is simply swoon-worthy.
Price point: Three courses will run each person a pricey $60 each; five-course tasting menus starting at $80.
Where: 546 College St. (College and Bathurst)
Romantic vibes: Decor that combines wood and glam, an accessible (read: delicious but original) menu and cozy booths
Price point: You could easily have dinner for two for $110
What: La Palette
Where: 492 Queen St. W. (east of Bathurst)
Romantic vibes: Dim lights, French food and a real love for champagne
Price point: A very filling three courses for average of $50 per person; three-course prix fixe for $35 a person
What: Auberge Du Pommier
Where: 4150 Yonge St. (Yonge and York Mills)
Romantic vibes: Wood-burning fireplaces, dining room chairs that feel more like armchairs and the general ambiance of a French country home.
Price point: Three courses (including dessert) average $75 per person.
What: Mogette Bistro
Where: 581 Mount Pleasant Rd. (north of Davisville)
Romantic vibes: Lovely plating, plenty of room for couples and a decor reminiscent of (what else?) a French bistro
Price point: Two can dine for $100
Where: 66 Wellington St. W., 54th floor (just west of Bay)
Romantic vibes: A view that literally no other restaurant in the city can compete with
Price point: Dinner can easily cost $180 per couple
Where: 1185 King Street West (at Dufferin)
Romantic vibes: It’s hard not to feel romanced by the fireplaces, cafe-style chairs and flowers on each table. There’s a reason it’s also a popular (small) wedding venue
Price point: Dinner for two for $110
What: Lola’s Kitchen
Where: 634 Church St. (at Bloor)
Romantic vibes: Lots of space for pairs, and lots of space between tables makes for intimate dinners
Price point: Dinner for two for $75
What: Local Kitchen & Wine Bar
Where: 1710 Queen St. W. (at Roncesvalles)
Romantic vibes: Chalkboard menus, cozy tables, incredibly good pasta
Price point: Mains between $20 to $30, according to Toronto Life
What: Pic Nic
Where: 747 Queen St. E. (east of Broadview)
Romantic vibes: Say it with us — wine bar. That, plus cozy tables and great sharing plates make this an ideal date spot.
Price point: Dinner for two for $65 — though it all depends on how much wine you drink
Where: 202 Davenport Rd. (at Avenue Rd.)
Romantic vibes: Filled with the owners’ art and music (which yes, features plenty of naked women), this classic spot seems built for couples.
Price point: It’s easy to spend a lot (like $80 a person a lot) for dinner
What: The Fifth Grill & Terrace
Where: 225 Richmond St. W. (Queen and University)
Romantic vibes: A great view, a wood-burning fireplace, and for such an expansive room, a surprisingly intimate feeling
Price point: Dinner for two can easily run to $140
Where: 72 Ossington Ave. (north of Queen)
Romantic vibes: Dining in a couple but still want a crowd? Union always suits pairs without needing to get all dark and cozy about it — and there are plenty of shareable plates
Price point: Dinner for two for approximately $110
Where: 420 College St. (at Bathurst)
Romantic vibes: Lighting via stunning Persian lanterns, jewel tones and food that truly satisfies
Price point: Dinner for two for $70
Right next to Christie Pits Park in what looks like it could’ve been a 7/11 many moons ago, Banjara keeps the local populace happy by churning out incredible food. The butter chicken is soft, delicate, and just plain yummy and goes incredibly well with Chef Raj Veerella’s all organic naan. The portions are large and get even larger when you do takeout. No wonder it’s numero uno.
An empire in the making with its 7 locations from food courts to elegant restaurants and a line of sauces and naan available at Pusateri’s, McKewans, Longos and Metro alike, one would expect quality to suffer, but boy does it not. The colour of sunset, the aromatic cinnamon hits you first, but the taste is wonderfully layered, delicate and complex. Magical.
On Queen West for the last 8 years, this family business is a mainstay that got a wicked redesign in 2008 by Commute Home. Chef Parveen Singh’s butter chicken is beautifully presented and has a rich creamy burnt orange colour and knock-out deep flavour that perfectly complements the long grain basmati rice you won’t find anywhere else.
Currently tearing it up in the Junction (although it’s been here 9 and half years), the colourful decor and spice dictionary that greet you are immediately supplanted by the incredible smells emanating from the open kitchen. The butter chicken recipe is a secret Chef Anant Singh won’t share but is straight from the neighbourhood in New Delhi where his family grew up. So if you want authentic, here’s a good bet.
Chef and owner Avtar Singh has been serving up his incredibly loyal clientele some of the best and biggest butter chicken around for the last 15 years. Using 35% cream, no butter and adding potato to the mix the only improvement one might make (and it’s his suggestion) is to mix a little of his mint chutney in with the butter chicken adding another layer of flavour and the tiniest touch of heat. Namaste.
With the ambiance of an English Colonial library this Annex resto has a decidedly upscale feel, a wonderful solarium and lots of vegetation that really sets the mood for a sub-continental meal. The butter chicken has a fabulous consistency that’s creamy but retains the taste and texture of the tomato base. Combine the sauce with juicy chunks of all white chicken and a hint of ginger and you have a winner.
One of 2 Bayview reps on the list, Kamasutra is a large open space with a huge bar and patio. It’s grain fed chicken is not tandooried, but baked and finished North Indian style with fenugreek, house masala, butter, light cream, and all local Ontario tomatoes. With 90% of all customers ordering it, something smells good!
Chef PK is a man who loves his food and it shows. Using organic chicken that’s been marinated for 24 hours in garlic, sundried fenugreek, and 5 spice mix, it’s then sealed in the tandoor and finished 3 different ways using blanched and ground tomatoes, cream and love. Topped with garlic chives and strawberries that add a wonderful splash of acidity, it’s an elegant dish that’s complex and ridiculously tasty.
Open for two years, this cavernous space on Augusta is one of the few that uses butter when finishing the dish. Chef Kishore uses nice big chunks of all white meat along with bay leaves, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, cardamom, chilli powder, salt and sugar for his red sauce that’s a little less creamy than some, but no less tasty. Best in Kensington, hands down.