I had my first limo ride ever this past Sunday. At around 4pm, 16 of us gathered at the foot of Church Street to hop into to white stretches for the TIFF themed Ride and Go Feast. Here’s a primer for ya in case you haven’t heard of this endeavour: We started Ride and Go Feast in July with Chef Scott and the Culinary Adventure Co., having similar ideas about doing a food tour on a bus. (You can cover a lot more ground that way!) We take 24 food-lovers to four mystery stops for a course at each one, all going along with a theme. (Check out what went down during the first Ride and Go Feast, themed a Hogtown Adventure.) All the profits from this event go to support the Daily Bread Food Bank – a favourite initiative here at View the Vibe.
Anyway, back to Sunday. As we rode along in style to our first locale, we passed around truffle popcorn courtesy Culinary Adventure Co.’s Chef Shahir and Nicki comfortably got down on her knees to tackle the task of popping some champers.
After a li’l glass of bubbly we’d arrived at Stop #1: the Toronto Temperance Society. Cocktails ensued (a lavender concoction whose flavour got more potent and delightful the more you sipped and another whose name currently escapes me that was all booze, all balance) as did some tasty hors d’oeuvres (ooh, the gnocchi spoons!) from Sidecar. I won’t go into too much detail about this stop, because as the TTS’s house rules go: “Members are asked not to discuss events at the Toronto Temperance Society with members of the media.”
Another 15-minute limo drive landed us squarely in-front of Hotel le Germain, and Stop #2: The fantastic Victor Restaurant. Now this was only my second time being here – the first but a week or so earlier for a beer and apps with Nicki – and I can’t wait to pop by for a full meal. These guys know what they’re doing. (I suppose it doesn’t hurt that Top Chef Canada alumni Chef David Chrystian helms the kitchen.) For the appetizer, we had the Chili Rellenos from the Toronto Tasting Menu. Damn was this ever good! Full disclosure: I apparently didn’t hit record as Nicki was giving her spiel about the mouth-watering Mexican flavours, the fact that she’d never usually order something like this but thanks to it being a food tour she got to test it, and that the dish itself was wholly beautiful. So to Victor restaurant (and you watchers of our vlogs), I give my sincerest apologies.
Now, we couldn’t have a TIFF food tour without stopping at Festival Tower, right? Chef Jason Bangerter greeted us as we piled out of the limos, and had a feast of epic family-style proportions waiting on the patio at CANTEEN. I mean, he really out-did himself for us. We tried the Grilled Beef Short Ribs with glass noodles, the Citrus Cured Tuna, the Vegetable Tagine with chickpea fritters and quinoa, and the list just keeps on going. Paired with some Stratus white (thanks so much guys!), this was the perfect feast for Stop #3.
Of course, throughout the entire night, Chef Scott had is trademark boisterous personality on-point and entertaining everyone. Stop #4, The Drake Hotel for a preview of their TIFF Overdrive cocktails and dessert, was no exception. As we sat down, his larger than life bellow filled the dining room, beckoning for the projector to play us a film in the background. (There’s a story involved in getting the movie there, and of course, everyone was having too great a time to even watch it.) Ah well, c’est la vie…
The next Ride and Go Feast: Goin’ Southern, is on slate for September 30th. Here’s what’s in store for you, or rather, y’all…
We’re gon’ load 24 of ya into the Good Food Bus for some tastes of Southern comfort. (The food, not the bourbon…though you never know…)
On September 30th, we’ll haul ass on the streets to four finger-lickin’ good spots, all with some Southern flare. As spicy as Blanche Devereaux is she ain’t got nothin’ on this here food tour. We’re talkin’ brown liquor cocktails, BBQ flavours that’d shock your mama, and some much needed heat for the fall.
All profits (that’s right, all of ’em) go to support the Daily Bread Food Bank. We’ll get ya liquored up and stuffed full of the flavours of the South West while helpin’ out your fellow man. And don’t worry, we’re bringin’ along our down-home Southern hospitality to boot.
It all goes down September 30th, and spots are limited so be sure to book your seats early, ya hear? That’s all for now folks.