Friday, 5 February 2010

Cabbagetown in Norway
Many will remember Ingvild who stayed here for several months while working with Free the Children. When she was returning home, she asked us for a flag as a keepsake from her trip and we of course agreed. She sent us this amazing picture taken in the mountain region in southern Norway near her parents’ cottage. She’s now getting in shape for a 54 km race later in the winter. She tells us that all Norwegians are “born with skis on their feet.” Lovely picture – thanks, Ingvild.

Valentine’s Day Weekend
Red roses are the true symbol of love. At Simmons Flowers (540 Parliament), there’s a bouquet waiting just for you.
This year, Simmons is open on both Saturday and Sunday (from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm) to prepare your orders. A word to the wise – if you need delivery service, order your flowers well ahead of time during the week in order to fit into Simmons’ delivery schedule.
Merion tells us that roses have long been a romantic gift and today, the world can’t produce enough roses to meet the annual Valentine’s Day demand.

Stay at home, who knows what’ll happen…

St Jamestown Steak & Chops
Every year, Mark’s chocolate dipped strawberries are a big success. He’s getting them ready right now. If you’re staying home, enjoy some oysters, beef tenderloin or lobster tails for a really special meal. (516 Parliament)

If you really want to be lazy
Daniel et Daniel can handle your whole dinner for you. Find out why they’re consistently called Toronto’s best caterer. Visit the food shop (248 Carlton) and place your order. While you’re there, grab a cookie that says “Kiss me” and take it home for an early start to the weekend.

Cake from Sweet Creamery
Heart cakes with chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries are just waiting for you at Sweet Creamery (521 Parliament). Don’t worry about the calories – we’re talking mood, romance… In fact, throw in a nice helping of Kawartha Dairy ice cream to finish your desserts nicely.

Homemade from The Epicure Shop
Baci, in Italian, means “Kiss” and Patty has lots of Baci chocolates ready for you. She also has a lovely selection of Chocolate Clare’s new candy. Pair them up with her heart-shaped gingerbreads and shortbreads and her chocolate Valentine cupcakes. Wrap up everything in special Valentine’s gift bags. (473 Parliament)

Valentine’s is more than just chocolate and wine. Sharon has Israeli silver rings, broaches, and other jewellery and lots of beautiful sequined and beaded clothing. While you’re there, Portia can sing for you. (503 Parliament)

Fair Trade Jewellery
Do you want a last-minute ring for your true love? Sorry - Fair Trade (523 Parliament) can’t help you. This is a custom order establishment, an atelier where your jewellery is crafted specifically for you. There’s no standing inventory, just various work-in-progress items. You can, of course, order now for next year.
On the other hand, Ryan does have an intriguing service – a loaner ring! If you want to propose a marriage and need a special symbol for your beloved, just borrow one from Fair Trade. Skip all the hassles with your in-laws and your beloved’s best friends trying to learn sizes, preferences, stones, designs. Just borrow a ring, make the proposal and then bring your betrothed to the shop when you return your loaner and settle in for your own custom design.

But you insist, let’s eat out…
Here’s a quick list of some of your choices. More info coming next week as well.

Ben Wicks (424 Parliament)
Two-course meal at $30 and three-courses at $35. Fri Feb 12, Sat Feb 13 and Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – chicken livers, beer and aged cheddar soup, greens with fresh milk cheesecake and blueberry balsamic preserves, or beets and orange with spring greens
Entrees – chicken breasts, baked halibut, NY sirloin or vegetable lasagna
Desserts – chocolate bread pudding, mixed berry pie and ice cream or lemon pudding cake

Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament)
Three-course dinner at $29.95. Sat Feb 13 and Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – lobster bisque or baby green salad with strawberries
EntrĂ©e – Rowe Farm beef tenderloin
Dessert – flourless chocolate cake with fresh strawberry whipped cream

Cranberries (601 Parliament)
Three-course meal at $34.99 per person. Two sittings: 5 and 8 pm, Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – Borsch soup or smoked chicken mousse with tiger shrimps
Entrees – poached halibut, stuffed chicken breast with lobster and sun dried tomatoes, or beef tenderloin
Dessert – poached pear with French vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis

PearTree (507 Parliament)
A la carte selection from the special Valentine’s Dinner Menu
Appetizers – 10 choices of salads, seafood and soups
Entrees – Beef tenderloin, NY strip loin, sea bass, lamb chops, stuffed chicken breast, Cajun jump fry and vegetable angolati pasta, all at $19.99.
Dessert – chocolate mousse cake, apple pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, pecan pie, cherry cheesecake, carrot cake and chocolate raspberry cake – all at $5.99

Stonegrill (51B Winchester)
Three-course meal with a bottle of red or white Italian wine, $150 couple. 5 pm to midnight, Sun Feb 14
Appetizers – lobster bisque or spinach salad with strawberries and sesame seeds
Entrees – salmon, swordfish, scallops, tiger shrimp, AAA tenderloin of beef, roast lamb, ostrich or chicken supreme served with butternut squash and sage and goat cheese ravioli
Dessert – chocolate cake with strawberry coulis.

Neighbourhood news...

Starbuck’s Coffee Seminar
On Sunday February 7 from 3 to 4 pm, Starbucks (492 Parliament) hosts the latest in their series of coffee seminars. Guatemala Casi Cielo (or “Almost heaven”) is the featured blend. Experience a coffee journey with Yury. No charge.

SuperBowl at the Ben Wicks
Who needs an excuse to drop into the Wicks (424 Parliament)? But the SuperBowl is a nice event and the big screen television gives stunning pictures. David and Robert have a traditional selection of gourmet snacks and football meals ready for you – chili, beans and hot dogs, sausage on a bun, ribs and baked potato, wings, nachos and even a Philly steak. Sounds good already.

Haiti fundraiser
Big Mamma’s Boy (554 Parliament) raised $1,600 for disaster relief in Haiti at their January fundraiser. Combined with the government’s pledge to match these funds, that means that $3,200 is on its way to help that stricken country. Congratulations to Heather from Big Mamma’s Boy, Simon from Great Lakes Brewery and Deb from Proud FM for your efforts.

Our Candidates’ Debate
Of course, the byelection is over and we want to congratulate Glen Murray for his victory. We also want to offer our congratulations and thanks to Cathy Crowe, Stefan Premdas and Pamela Taylor, each of whom made a difficult sacrifice to stand as a candidate in this election and whose ideas and platforms made sensible alternatives for us to consider. It isn’t easy to be a “politician” and to run for public office – but these four people did the job skillfully and offered us impressive choices on election day.
Our debate on the last Sunday of the campaign was a success. Over two hundred people showed up. The speeches were impressive. The questions and the answers shed light on important issues. The BIA is very pleased to be one of the host groups for this event along with our neighbours at the Aberdeen Ave Residents Group, Cabbagetown South and the Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association.