Yet again, Toronto proves itself as the place to binge eat incredible food outdoors. On Sunday, August 7th, we attended Almanac Island. Needless to say, there was no shortage of delicious food or drink.
After boarding a privately chartered ferry, taking in sights of Lake Ontario, we walked through a forest to Artscape Gardens, where we were led to the third annual Toronto Island Cookout, Almanac Island presented by Provisions TO and Pass the Table. Guests were seated at picnic style tables and eagerly awaited the anticipated clambake and cookout using Ontario’s finest, ethically raised meat.
With a roster of eight of the city’s best chefs, including chefs Victor Barry (Piano Piano), Marc Thuet (Petite Thuet), Dustin Gallagher (People’s Eatery), Nate “Tasty” Middleton (Home of the Brave), Robbie Hojilla (The Harbord Room), Jeff LaPointe (Nomad), Charlotte Langley (Scout Canning), and Kevin Castonguay (Provisions TO), we knew Almanac Island would not disappoint.
Tickets to the event were $125 and all of the proceeds went towards supporting Artscape and their local initiatives. “Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. Since its beginning in 1986, Artscape has become recognized as an international leader in creative placemaking, a practice that leverages the power of art, culture and creativity to catalyze change, growth and transformation in communities.”
Now on to the good stuff: the food, drink, and entertainment! Diners enjoyed four courses, each paired with beer, wine, or cider, all while live music played in the background.
Upon entering, we were greeted with a cold Steam Whistle Pilsner or, one of my favorites from the night, Drops of Juniper: The Botanist Gin with cold-pressed watermelon, ginger, beet, lime juice by Galt Juice. Then, there was the clambake, served with Samuel Adams Rebel IPA – this part was insane. All of our meals were served family-style, meaning there were endless amounts of seafood and soup, which we dipped our Boulart bread in.
The second and third main courses included a Fingerling Supreme; lobster mushroom, short rib and fingerling potatoes, and Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc, followed by a whole smoked pig and West Avenue Gold Dust Cider.
Next was dessert, definitely the highlight for me with not one, but two options! The first option was grilled sourdough topped with raclette and charred peaches.
The second was a summer berry bread pudding wrapped in prosciutto – YUM! This paired extremely well with the Trail Estate Unoaked Chardonnay and a little more of that West Ave Gold Dust Cider.
One last thing: we cannot forget to mention how this whole event came together. We want to give a big thanks to Pass The Table. If you haven’t heard of Pass The Table, they connect diners with unique, off-menu culinary experiences – if you’re a foodie like me, you definitely need to check them out!
What do you think looked best at Almanac Island? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.