JORDAN JOHN: Bier Markt Queensway Grand Opening

I am a sucker for live music. Having been to a fair share of concerts, finding a good gig is tough. It’s especially hard to find a fabulous live show that you can enjoy over a yummy meal.

If you’re a music fan, you have to jazz-out with JORDAN JOHN.

Yesterday, Bier Markt Queensway had a grand opening where I had a tremendous time dancing and listening to the ridiculously talented and humble Jordan John rocking out with his band and special guests including ALANA BRIDGEWATER, who has an incredibly powerful and soulful voice (she’s also a sweetheart), and a prominent blues musician, HARRISON KENNEDY. The restaurant was packed. There were a number of international food stations accompanied by an impressive beer selection. To me, the music was certainly key. The powerful sound that a band including one guitar, bass, drums, keys and horns exudes is irresistible. The vibe between the band members is also something to experience. You should see these guys loving every split second of being on stage, performing, doing what they were destined to. It’s like nothing else in the world mattered but making the sweet sound of music. Everyone in Bier Markt was tapping their feet, snapping fingers and nodding heads. What I don’t understand is why don’t people dance anymore?

Jordan has a pretty busy schedule. You can catch him regularly at numerous Bier Markt locations, which I would highly suggest. On another note, catching at least one of JORDAN’s sets before he permanently begins hanging out with MR. DAVID FOSTER is also a good reason to get out there asap. Yup, Jordan signed a 5 album record deal with the music producer tycoon after Mr. Forster saw footage of Jordan’s opening act for ARETHA FRANKLIN! Need I say more?

COLDPLAY @muchmusic

I was lucky enough to go to a free Coldplay concert at 299 Queen St. W. Apart from not having to wait in a huge line, the best part was the concert itself. The Coldplay boys put on one great show! I can’t wait for Mylo Xyloto album!!!

MOMENTUM DANCE TORONTO

Momentum Dance Toronto (MDT) is one of Tdot’s hidden treasures. This fantastic non-profit dance company launched in September 2010, and they have been working VERY hard since to prepare their premiere performance and production, TEMPORADA.  If you are a fan of dance, enjoy supporting local talent, or need to get out of the house, I would highly suggest attending MDT’s premier show April 27th through to April 30th 2011 at the Winchester Street Theatre.  

MDT is a collective of passionate, artistic and professional individuals who have all studied dance in various forms throughout their lives. Many of its dancers have chosen to pursue dance as a career, while others dance for personal joy and self-expression.  Momentum Dance Toronto has provided its members with a creative outlet to keep dance in their lives, while still accommodating their busy schedules.

Their production, TEMPORADA, uses the four seasons as a means to depict the seasons of life, and will feature original works of choreography from a variety of artists, along with special guest performances in their shows.  TEMPORADA celebrates what it is to be human; the joy, the love, the challenges, the loss and the inevitable hope that gives the tempo of life meaning, rhythm and momentum.

Performances run April 27, 28, 29 & 30 at 8 pm, with a matinee performance onApril 30th at 2 pm, at the  Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester Street, Toronto).  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online, by phone: 416.556.5449; or at the door. 

MDT offers dance classes, and if you’re a dancer who through no fault of your own, decided to pursue a different career but want to DANCE, join MDT and continue your passion.

SNAKES & LATTES

 Combine a coffee shop with more than 1500 family board games, a liquor license and long hours of operations and you have Snakes & Lattes – heaven for university students, hipsters, geeks and anyone who’s fun.

I would definitely suggest a cappuccino with Baileys and their Queen B fruit milkshake, although I’m sure all their drinks are delicious. If you’re interested in spending hours playing games with your friends, you get access to all the games for $5. The coffee shop is set up ideally for large groups and will also accommodate couples in for a quick warm up.

My favourite part about Snakes & Lattes is that it has a liquor license. I have always said that coffee and liqueur is a match made in heaven!

Located west of Bathurst St. on the north side of Bloor St. ENJOY!

Real Sports Bar & Grill

I am surprised it has taken me such a long time to write about Real Sports Bar & Grill – voted #1 sports bar in North America by ESPN. I have been there numerous times in the past few weeks. I can honestly say that it’s one of my favourite places to go with friends, and I can’t get enough of it.

Firstly, the food is the best that you can ever have at any sports bar, thanks to Toni Glitz – the Executive Chef. Secondly, the service is sparkling and perfect, and let’s hope it stays that way. Thirdly, everywhere you look there is a teli staring back at you – a perfect ‘tune out’ from a mind-numbing conversation (a bad first date maybe?). It’s also a perfect place for a party, as the upstairs is equipped with the most comfortable leather chairs and the 39 feet in diameter TV is certainly a conversation starter.

Even if you’re not a big sports fan, going there with a group of friends will most certainly create great memories. Real Sports Bar & Grill is located in the Maple Leafs Square (15 York St. right across from the ACC).

Il Gelatiere

                                                                                                                                    Best authentic Italian gelato joint in Toronto, even the plastic spoons are imported from Italy. The gelato is homemade and comes in many different, amazing flavours that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. I seriously can’t get enough!

Located south of  Ave. and Mt. Pleasant Rd. (647 Mt. Pleasant Rd.), Il Gelatiere is a must visit if you have a sweet tooth.

THE SPORT GALLERY: Celebrating the Art of Sport

It’s rare for a man and a woman to walk into a boutique and go “wow” with more excitement than a 5 year old in a candy store. Believe me, such a place does exist! It’s called The Sport Gallery, located in the Distillery District (55 Mill St., Building 32, Suite 103 Toronto). Even though, I visited the boutique with my friend Sue, and both of us were in absolute awe, the guys that were in there were literally in heaven!

I fell in love with The Sport Gallery for couple of reasons. 1. It is based on a unique and novel idea of a boutique specifically dedicated to high quality, historical sports photography from the SPORT magazine. 2. It also carries vintage inspired sport clothing including jackets, jerseys, hats, runners, and shirts (mostly for guys but ladies soon to come also). 3. It is one of the best organized and presented stores I’ve ever seen in Toronto, all the products are in sight, and it has an authentic look and feel to it. 4. The manager and the mastermind behind all this is a very pleasant and beautiful young superstar, Cayleigh Parrish – yup, guys, it is a lady!

I have already referred a few of my guy and girl friends to visit The Sport Gallery as it’s the perfect boutique for presents for any sports fan, or just yourself.  Check out the web-site (links) and make sure to visit the boutique, you’ll love it!

MoRoCo Chocolat

MoRoCo Logo and Truffles

The true beauty of Toronto is that it has plenty of unique spots that let you escape from North America to make you believe that you’re in a completely different city, country, and continent. MoRoCo Chocolat (99 Yorkville Ave.), is a luxurious multi-purpose boutique and lounge that enables you to escape from Toronto into a sophisticated Parisian café with delicious food and desserts, spectacular atmosphere and luscious décor. 

 MoRoCo is a truly unique place. It is a multi-purpose hideaway that serves high-tea, brunch, lunch and dinner; has a chocolate boutique with delicious truffles, macarons and other chocolate goodies; has a luxurious dinning room and a bar as well as a bright and spacious outside sitting area. Overall, it’s a perfect place for anything from a breakfast business meeting to a birthday party, to a night out. It is difficult to decide what I enjoy most about MoRoCo, but its location is certainly exceptional. It’s hidden from the daily hustle of Yorkville. This lets you enjoy the company you’re with in addition to the great food and treats served there. The dark sipping chocolate is must try, so are the liquid salted chocolate balls from the chocolate boutique, they are to die for! You will also have to taste one of their macarons – it’s impossible to walk into MoRoCo and not get a macaron.  

 Ladies, MoRoCo is a perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping. Gentlemen, an ideal spot to take your ladies for a treat is MoRoCo Chocolat.  

LITTLE NICKY’S COFFEE

Little Nicky's Cappuccino and Donuts

 

For a delicious, creamy cup of Cappuccino and mini-donuts (with a choice of cinnamon or cocoa sprinkles) made right in front of you, head over to Little Nicky’s Coffee on Peter St. and Queen St. West. 

The name and the logo are inspired by Renee’s, the owner, love for her Chihuahua, Nicky. Everyone who works at Little Nicky’s are Renee’s immediate family, and they do a fab job at creating a friendly, authentic Queen St. West atmosphere (which is almost absent from that area now). After ordering 6 mini donuts with our cappuccino, my fried and I decided to get an extra dozen and did not regret it at all! I swear that the calories are worth it. Daily sandwiches, fresh squeezed juices and an array of coffee drinks are also offered at Little Nicky’s. That in addition to the 1930’s inspired atmosphere with pleasant customer service makes Little Nicky a hit in my books. I can’t wait to go back! 

Fresh Donuts at Little Nicky's

The Grilled Cheese: Kensington, Tdot

The Grilled Cheese Menu July 2010

 

To open a restaurant that serves only grilled cheese sandwiches is pretty gutsy. Firstly, not everyone likes grilled cheese sandwiches. Secondly, as a business owner, you’re limiting your options. Thirdly, making a profit must be difficult because of the first two.  That said, The Grilled Cheese, a restaurant in the heart of Kensington that’s appropriately named after it’s one and only dish, is a gem.  

The Beast

 

The Grilled Cheese restaurant was put together from scraps of wood and lots of hard work, and it reminded me of an old, comfy cabin rather than a Tdot restaurant. There were ten different grilled cheeses to choose from and a soup of the day, but because it was extremely hot and being Kensington market air-conditioning is rare, soup of the day wasn`t appropriate. My friend Amy and I decided to split THE BEAST – a grilled cheese sandwich with jalapeño havarti, cheddar, bacon, turkey, spinach, tomato, and onion – served with half a pickle and crisps. And what a delicious beast it was! It wasn`t as greasy as I expected, and it tasted fresh (the sandwiches are made from ingredients bought every morning at the Kensington Market)!  

I have to admit that I prefer a grilled cheese to a hamburger, and would return again for an unhealthy lunch option. Worth mentioning is the fact that everyone who left The Grilled Cheese was very satisfied, and let the chef/ owner know that.  

The Grilled Cheese is located at 66 Nassau St, Toronto in Kensington.  It’s worth checking it out.