Friday, 8 February 2008

Our Valentine's Special...

But first, for news about our neighbourhood, click here:

Bob Rae visits the BIA On Thursday, Bob Rae dropped in at the BIA office to talk to several members of our Board of Management. We were able to give him our perspective on Cabbagetown and get his assessment of the way that Ottawa can help with our issues. The discussion covered a wide range of topics: federal money for cities, urban poverty, social housing, gun control, education for immigrants, the Island Airport. Several members of the BIA Board said later that we had talked about serious questions with a leader who will do something positive for us.

Valentine’s Evening
Squeeze your sweetie in Cabbagetown. Romance, great food and plenty of atmosphere will be everywhere that night. Here are a few of our listings. Be sure to check your favourite and book your table.

Cranberries – one of Cabbagetown's most comfortable restaurants has a three course special dinner featuring appetizers, sautéed salmon, herb crusted chicken breast and beef tenderloin, and desserts. $34.99. Two seatings (5:30 pm and 8:30 pm). 601 Parliament St, (416) 925-6330

Big Mamma’s Boy – the regular menu featuring organic and gluten free menu along with gourmet pizzas and two Valentine dinner specials. Dancing starts at 10 pm so bring your iPod and plug in your personal favourites. 554 Parliament St, (416) 927-1593

Cobourg – chocolate, wine and jazz. Tena Palmer is singing songs for lovers. 8pm. No cover.533 Parliament St, (416) 913-7538

Stonegrill on Winchester – as always, here’s a menu to match a beautiful room. Appetizers include chevre cheesecake and warm duck salad. Main courses include pasta, pheasant and beef tenderloin. For dessert, try the poached pears. $50. 51B Winchester St, (416) 967-6565

Peartree – individually priced specials on an enticing menu in this well-established Cabbagetown favourite. Appetizers, main courses (beef tenderloin, striploin steak, seafood classic, French lemon chicken, vegetable ravioli and much more) and a selection of unforgettable desserts. 507 Parliament St, (416) 962-1222

House on Parliament – expect a great crowd and very good atmosphere. Final menu details are still being settled so check during the week. 454 Parliament St.

Ben Wicks/Left Door – three courses starting with appetizers, then arctic char, chicken supreme cacciatore and Rowe Farms striploin, and finishing with your choice from four scrumptious desserts, $30. 424 Parliament, (416) 961-9425

Piccolo – a beautiful menu including salmon cakes, roquefort trifle and wild mushroom broth as appetizers, entrees like double rib lamb chops, black cod and linguine del mare, and apple galette, espresso mousse and chocolate truffle for dessert. $50. 226 Carlton St, (416) 944-3738

JAM Café - has won rave reviews from Cabbagetown diners since opening last Fall. For Valentines, the menu includes salad or shrimp bisque as appetizers, then chicken supreme, gnocchi or striploin of Orr Lake elk followed by chocolate torte, lemon tarte and crème brulee. Two sittings, 6 and 8:30 pm. Price for two people: $90. 195 Carlton St, (416) 921-1255

Are you staying home?
Daniel et Daniel
has a special Love Hearts Menu – roasted red pepper soup, spinach salad with shaved fennel and pomegranate, grilled beef tenderloin, pave de gratin dauphinois, winter vegetables, heart shaped raspberry and passion fruit mousse cake. $39.95 per person. 248 Carlton St, (416) 968-9275
St Jamestown Steak & Chops has chocolate dipped strawberries. 516 Parliament St
Epicure has Dufflet pastries, homemade gingerbread hearts and imported Baci chocolates. 473 Parliament.

Simmons Flowers, 540 Parliament, and Patty’s Flowers, 589 Parliament, have (surprise!), flowers.

Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre – Company Auditions

Dancers aged 8 to 20 are invited to audition for membership in the company over the next year. CCDT’s dancers benefit from advanced-level entry to university dance programs, secondary school credits, subsized technique training, free performance training and paid performance experience. This is a chance to work with internationally recognized choreographers in more than thirty stage productions. Auditions are open to dancers who have a minimum of one year of dance experience in either ballet or modern dance.
Sunday, February 17, 509 Parliament Street. Times vary for dancers in different age groups. Please call (416) 924-5657 or visit for the details.

Theme Weekend at the Gestalt Institute This weekend, the Gestalt Institute offers day-long workshops in their personal development program led by fourth-year Institute students. Saturday topics deal with financxial (and other) stress, letting go when you’re hanging on to things that no longer work, and juggling too many balls in the air. On Sunday, three workshops include a session on disappearing in relationships, indecision and intimacy.
Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10: 9:30 am to 5 pm each day. Fee - $25 per day or $45 for the weekend. Gestalt Institute of Toronto, 194 Carlton Street, (416) 964-9464,

Big Mamma’s Boy – two new events
Tuesday and Sunday are big days at Big Mamma’s Boy. “Bring ‘er” Comedy takes place on Tuesday nights at 8:30 pm with Russel Roy. New comics are welcome.
On Sunday afternoons at 3 pm, jazz events happen weekly. On February 17, musicians from Harry Conick Jr’s band will appear.
Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament), 416-927-1593

Elise Stanley at Ben Wicks/Left Door Whenever the staff here at your Newsletter want to party, the evening always somehow includes The Ben Wicks. This will be especially true now that Elise Stanley’s work is hanging on the wall – once again, the Wicks offers up a great mix of fun and art. Her show will appear there from March 11 to April 21. Not surprisingly, there’ll be a launch party. Book this date: March 11. We’re giving you plenty of advance notice so you’ll be able to save your pennies, budget ahead and buy plenty of art.
Ben Wicks, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425

Thrive Spa’s Extravaganza – Skin Bar
Patrick Fredericks is having a special day at 1 pm on Sunday, February 10 at his Thrive Spa (503B Parliament). You’re invited to sample, smell, feel and touch Dermalogica products just as they’re meant to be experienced. Call (416) 473-8588.

Greater Mind International
A new program has just been unveiled at Greater Mind International (250A Carlton) including a raffle, an Integrated Health Forum (February 18, 7 pm) and a full calendar of daily classes and presentations from February 12 to 27. The raffle on Valentines Day will include prizes like a one-hour full-body massage, a life journey consultation, an integrated health consultation, a month free Vibroslim Pro, a bio mat treatment and a lot more. The prizes are worth between $30 and $100 each and tickets for the raffle cost only $1. For information about the raffle, the Forum and the classes, call (416) 922-7203

Saturday, 2 February 2008

This week, we're starting our Valentine's frenzy. But first ...

Cabbagetown Flags
For the third time in recent memory, our flag is flying proudly in the United States. This time, it’s part of an architectural design study at Lawrence Technological University near Detroit. Others are flying in Atlanta where another Cabbagetown district flourishes and in Ohio as part of an annual Coleslaw Festival.
When Spring rolls around here, you can buy your own flag ($25) at the BIA office – 237 Carlton Street.

Don’t forget –
There’s more news about our Cabbagetown neighbourhood at

Don’t get depressed

Yes, winter’s really here. But you know that Spring is on its way when Home Hardware (485 Parliament) starts to sell seeds. It’s as reliable as a listing in the old Farmer’s Almanac.

And, The Epicure Shop (473 Parliament) is Beating the February Blues
There are new specials for you all through the week. On Wednesday, pop, water or coffee are free with every Lunch Special. On Friday, buy one brownie and get a second one free. On Saturday, spend $40 and get a flavoured oil free. And, on Sunday, buy one pound of Reunion Island coffee and get another pound at half price.

Restaurant news

“Bring ‘er Comedy” at Big Mamma’s Boy
Tuesday nights are again the time for Big Mamma’s Boy ever-popular comedy cabaret. On February 5 and February 12, Russell Roy gives you a great evening of laughs. New comics are welcome. 8:30 pm. No cover. Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament).

Another Sunday jazz event
Big Mamma’s Boy is joining Cabbagetown’s jazz bonanza on Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 pm. Jazz Buzz offers Juno award winners and jazz greats from Toronto, New York and New Orleans. (Each week, these performances will be listed in our Newsletter in our right hand column.) Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament) 416-927-1593.

Chew Chew has arrived

A spiffy new diner has just opened at Carlton and Bleeker Streets. We’ve all seen their building with its new mural featuring an old-fashioned freight train. Inside, Tasho Vassiliou’s dining room has been completely refurbished and is bright, clean and welcoming. The food is just as good and straightforward in the classic diner tradition: all-day breakfast, the Big Tracker burger and a variety of pastas. Licenced for beer and wine service. Open from 7 am to 8 pm daily.

The Town Grill’s time with Colin Gallagher has ended. Earlier this week, a sign was posted that his restaurant is now closed. We wish him well in his future endeavours and thank him for the fine quality that the Grill gave its customers and community while he was its chef. Future plans for this site are now under consideration.

You’ll want to be ready when Valentine’s comes round again. To help you out, here’s the first of two listings that we’ll give you (next week, we’ll give you restaurant listings in detail to help you finalize your plans.)

Start at Simmons Flowers
(540 Parliament, 416-920-6580)
at Patty's Flowers
(589 Parliament, 416-964-0164)
These are the basic necessities. ‘Nuff said - both deliver.

Daniel et Daniel
(248 Carlton). Heart shaped cakes are now available: devil food cake, frasier and raspberry passion fruit mousse cake. A full Valentine's menu will be available in the coming week. Killer stuff.

St Jamestown Steak and Chops
(516 Parliament)
Strawberries dipped in chocolate. A perennial favourite – it sells out, for good reason.

Epicure Shop (473 Parliament)
It’s all pastries and desserts here for your deepest chocolate yearnings. Dufflet Valentine Cake specialties, homemade gingerbread heart cookies, Valentine cupcakes and heart cakelets, imported Baci chocolates and special chocolate-covered espresso beans.

This week on the neighbourhood Bulletin Board
The Winchester Dance Theatre, by-election announcements, crossing guards and lots more.
Check it out at