July 20, 2019: I’m thankful to be invited on this year’s walking tour again to preview some of the restaurants that will be participating in this year’s The Feast of St. Lawrence “Dinner under the Stars” event, a six-course sit-down feast for 250 people with wine, beer, and whisky pairing right on Front Street in downtown Toronto in support of Second Harvest.
Tickets are on sale right now for the Friday, August 9, 2019 event (6 to 11 p.m.) for $200 per person at FeastofStLawrence.ca. You can also call 416 410 9242 for tickets.
In addition, on Saturday, August 10, 2019, there is a free admission event: The St. Lawrence Market Street Celebration where there will be outdoor food stalls, FEAST for Kids sponsored by TD Bank Group, and live music at the AUDI east stage. You can find more information about this event also at FeastofStLawrence.ca.
Now about the media food tour:
The first stop of the day was at Hawthorne Food & Drink (60 Richmond St E) at 12 p.m. where we sampled the Sous vide local trout with Ontario saffron velouté topped with caviar. It was a light sample to start off the tour. I liked the saltiness from the caviar and how the ingredients were delicately placed on the spoon. There were orange-infused water and cucumber/mint infused water stations for us too.
The staff at Batch gave out samples of the Creemore Springs beer, which was a bitter kind of beer perfect for fried wings, spicy food, and the like. Here, we were served the Korean beef tartare with pear, sesame, kimchi, and a popcorn served on a prawn cracker. This was delicious! I love beef tartare, and this was prepared beautifully with a touch of Korean flavour. The beer went well with it as well.
The third stop was The Omni King Edward Hotel (37 King St E) to try the main course, Lamb with buttered charred leeks, sweet pea purée, andouille, pea leek andouille fricassée, and gremolata foam. I loved this dish. This year, they were incredibly generous, and we each had a large long rib of lamb with a small slab of meat on the side too. I love lamb and especially so when it is done so perfectly, lightly salted, with some fattiness on it. It was drool-worthy!
We next went to Cantina Mercatto (20 Wellington St E #1). I had never been to this restaurant before, and their interior space is gorgeous! They serve brunch, so it is definitely a restaurant I’d love to return to.
Upon arrival, we were warmly served with freshly prepared Rosé Spritz. It had rosé, vodka, lemon, and hibiscus in it. It was perfect for the heat wave we were experiencing at the time as it absolutely quenched the thirst.
We took a seat at the tables adjacent to the open concept kitchen and enjoyed a sample of the Cavatelli with chanterelle, smoked corn sugo, and pea shoots. I loved the cavatelli! It was al dente with a very unique and fresh corn sauce and fresh pea shoots. I loved this dish.
The fifth stop was to Farm’r Eatery & Catering (140A The Esplanade) for a light and refreshing Grilled peach and quinoa salad with mint, arugula, feta, and toasted almonds. I like how they plated all of the salads on individual plates for us this year. I really enjoyed how refreshing this was. The local feta cheese was perfect with the toasted almonds, juicy peach, and arugula. I also liked how quinoa wasn’t the star of the salad here. Yummy!
Our final stop of the day was to Cirillo’s Culinary Academy (118 The Esplanade) (their newest location) where we got interactive and made the Grilled octopus with chickpeas, tomatoes, and arugula salad! This was very fun as we didn’t just get to try the feature dish but had a hand in making it ourselves! We were put into four small groups and donned aprons.
Chef John Cirillo guided us through the process of making the octopus salad with pre-measured ingredients like the pre-cooked and marinated Moroccan octopus (it’s marinated for over 90 minutes!). Our tasks of the day were to make the vinaigrette, toast the tomatoes, mix all the remaining ingredients together, and plate it all together. All four teams were judged on the way they plated the salad. There were four different plates from which we could choose from to plate our own.
After the winning dish was picked, the Chef revealed the plate of how he would plate his dish. We all got to try the octopus salad from our creation. I liked the salad overall but actually wanted to try the dish made personally from their kitchen instead.
What a great full-filled walking tour it was! I loved that we were invited to six different participating vendors this year to try not only their featured dishes but their drinks as well! I really appreciated the generosity of all the sponsors. Thank you so much for having me! 🙂
Don’t forget to get your tickets from FeastofStLawrence.ca/tickets if you want to take part in this year’s Dinner under the Stars!
FTC Disclaimer: Although The Feast of St. Lawrence reached out and invited me to the event as a media guest, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the organization or businesses.
(For fun, you can view the blog post I wrote about last year’s media walking tour for the 2018 event. )