Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Toronto .
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Toronto you can see these species: Loons, Grebes, Cranes, Plovers, Sandpipers, Larks, Swallows, Tanagers and Mockingbirds.
The Toronto Ornithological Club (torontobirding.ca/) is for serious birders who monitor and educate and provide a list of Hot Spots.
The Toronto and Region Conservation (trca.on.ca/enjoy/activities/bird-watching.dot) lists several birding areas.
Here are your Birding Pals (birdingpal.org/ontario.htm) in Toronto.
Shopping: Toronto has an abundance of shopping opportunities that include: The Eaton Centre, the Bloor-Yorkville area, and the second largest Chinatown in North America.
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Day One: Check out Casa Loma (casaloma.org) – Daily: 9:30-5, 1 Austin Terrace, 647-725-1826.
The former home of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, Canada’s foremost castle is complete with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and beautiful 5-acre estate gardens.
You can see a film “Now Playing Pellatt Newsreel: The Man Who Built Casa Loma Narrated by Colin Mochrie” and visit Sir Henry’s Cafe and the Castle Keep Gift Shop.
Lunch is at Estiatorio Volos – L: M-F, D: M-Sa, 133 Richmond West, 416-861-1211
Share the Grilled Moroccan Octopus with Volos organic olive oil and balsamic dressing.
Then have the mouth watering Moussaka that has thin layers of eggplant, zucchini and yukon gold potato, seasoned beef, kasseri and kefalotyri béchamel or the Braised Lamb Shank with Swiss chard, feta mash and crispy leeks.
Since we are not familiar with Greek wines we timidly ordered the 2010 Xinomavro | Syrah | Merlot “Paranga” Kir-Yianni, Naoussa. It was a good match.
After this exotic and filling lunch we suggest visiting the Metro Toronto Zoo (torontozoo.com) – Daily: 9:30-4:30, 361A Old Finch Avenue, 416-392-5929
Among the “must sees” is a visit to the incredible 10-acre Tundra Trek featuring an amazing 5-acre Polar bear habitat complete with underwater viewing area.
The Gorilla Rainforest is home to the Western Lowland Gorilla troop, and newest addition Nassir.
The Great Barrier Reef and Discovery Zone features a Kids Zoo, Splash Island and Waterside Theatre.
Dinner is at Eduli’s – L: Su, D: W-Su, 169 Niagara St, 416-703-4222
You have to start with the pulled Halibut cheeks with bomba rice, shellfish jus and parsley.
Then the Berkshire pork stew in a sherry sauce or the hen in a wine sauce with turnips and roasted onions.
The 2010 Valpolicella, Villa Monteleone Santa Elena would be a good pairing with this meal.
Day Two: Breakfast is at the Boxcar Social - B,L: Daily, 1208 Yonge St, 416-792-5873
You can order coffee flights featuring beans from Guatemala, Peru and Kenya plus very interesting teas.
Don’t skip the Niagara peach muffin.
Next, a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario (ago.net/) – Tu-Su: 10-5:30, 317 Dundas Street West, 416-979-6648
The AGO collection includes pivotal works by Cornelius Krieghoff, Lucius O’Brien, James Wilson Morrice, Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, David Milne, Emily Carr, Paul-Emile Borduas, Joyce Wieland, and Kenojuak Ashevak.
Masterpieces of European art include works by renowned artists such as Anthony van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough, Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte.
This much culture creates an appetite and we suggest you head for Barque Smokehouse – L & D: Daily, 299 Roncesvalles Ave, 416-532-7700
It’s not an easy choice for a BBQ lover:
Option # 1 is the brisket burnt ends with ginger onion fried rice
#2 the pulled duck tacos with pickled radish, scallions and sauce, or the favorite
#3 Sampler where you choose 3 meats and 2 sides from the brisket, beef rib, Merguez sausage, competition chicken thigh, 1/3 rack baby back ribs
Side choices are fries, sautéed garlic kale, mixed greens salad, sage & smoked provalone pasta, caesar salad, crushed potatoes or pickled vegetables.
Wash it down with the Sols & Sens Côtes du Rhône-Villages Laudun 2009.
After this lunch head for the Ontario Science Center (ontariosciencecentre.ca) – M-F: 10-4, Sa,Su: 10-5, 770 Don Mills Road, 416-696-1000
The Ontario Science Centre is home to interactive experiences with science and technology. Its vision is to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet.
It also has an extremely popular KidSpark designed for children under eight to learn, explore and create.
Today’s wine experience finds us at Reds Wine Tavern – M-W: 11:30-12, Th, F: 11:30-1, Sa: 4-1, 77 Adelaide Street West, 416-862-7337
We suggest sharing the Atlantic lobster rolls with the Old Bay aioli, corn and lime salsa and trying the NV Henry of Pelham ‘Cuvee Catherine’ Rose, Niagara, Canada to accompany it.
Dinner is at Scaramouche Restaurant – D: M-Sa, One Benvenuto Place, 416 961 8011
Share the Truffled Gnocchi Parisienne which is a shredded duck confit with wild mushrooms, kale, foie gras jus and black truffles.
Then, either the roasted sea scallops and beef short rib with smoked bacon gnocchi, trumpet mushrooms and onion soubise or the venison loin with sour cream spaetzle, candy cane beets, leeks, walnuts and a watercress pesto.
The 2008 Meritage ‘Artist Series #8’ Soos Creek would be a nice pairing.
Day 3: Lady Marmalade - B & L: Daily, 898 Queen Street E, 647-351-7645
This is where we suggest having breakfast. They have a big menu with something for just about everyone. Possibilities include: the good morning poutine.
It is baked hashbrowns and aged white cheddar topped with hollandaise or miso gravy.
The huevos migas is 3 soft-scrambled eggs with cheese, tomatoes, scallions and sausage, served with basmati brown rice, smashed black beans, sour cream, pico de gallo salsa and organic corn tortilla chips.
Another choice is the organic tofu scramble with shitakes, bok choy, spinach, scallions, sesame and soy, served with basmati brown rice or potatoes, toast & a salad.
Today’s cultural activity is at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art (gardinermuseum.on.ca) – M-Th: 10-6, F: 10-9, Sa,Su: 10-5, 111 Queen Park, 416-586-8080
The Gardiner Museum is an inviting destination that inspires and connects people, art and ideas through clay, one of the world’s oldest art forms.
The Museum mounts special exhibitions, events, lectures and clay classes to complement its permanent collection. Check out their website for current exhibits and events.
We saved the best for last, and it’s very close by. Walk over to the Royal Ontario Museum – Daily: 10-5:30, F: till 8:30, 100 Queen’s Park, 415-586-8000
It opened in 1914, and instantly became an object of pride for Toronto. Originally ROM was five separate museums: the Royal Ontario Museums of Archaeology, Palaeontology, Mineralogy, Zoology, and Geology.
In 1955, the five museums were reorganized as a single body and in 1968, the ROM was formally divided from the University of Toronto and became a separate entity under the provincial government.
Additions have followed allowing you to see world class exhibitions and galleries. Check out their website to find your area of special interest.
We also saved one of Toronto’s best dining experiences for you. Your main meal today is at George – L: M-F, D: M-Sa, 111C Queen St. East, 416-368-6093
For a starter we suggest sharing the rabbit confit with chanterelles and salsa verde.
A nice pairing with this is a glass of Crémant de Loire, La Giraudière.
For your main we suggest either the Pacific halibut with lobster cavatelli and mint yogurt or the bison ribeye with cauliflower purée and goat cheese.
The ‘07 Château Anthonic, Möulis-en-Médoc would go well with either dish.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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