Dinner at the Fifth – take two

Sometimes things don’t go as well as you expect. And it really did start out as a first world problem: I was the high bidder on a bunch of restaurant gift cards and experiences at a fundraising event for the National Ballet School.

One of the experiences was a dinner for four at the Fifth Grill & Terrace. I had heard such great things about the food and it turns out Toby sang at an event there once! So we invited a couple of friends to come with us at the end of October last year. And after a welcoming start, nothing went well.

When we got there we were asked for any allergies and how hungry we were. We all replied enthusiastically! We were also asked whether we wanted just a “meat” menu or just a “seafood” menu or a mixture of both. Three of the four of us said a mixture and one said meat. It was a fairly involved conversation.

The first dish was lobster bisque. It was very nice. But we had no idea what it was. Two servers came, put the bowls down and walked away. The same happened with the salad. No description, we had to wave someone over.

Then I asked what beers there were and had to explain to the server that “Granville Island” was a brewery that made several beers and he kept saying the beer was called “Granville Island.” I asked him to go get it for me. You get the idea.

So I emailed the restaurant a couple of days later and set out everything and, after a bunch of emails back and forth, we were invited back to try again. We were all a little nervous but game to give the Fifth another chance. And we are so glad we did!

We went back the other night and the entire evening was amazing; everything you’d expect a chef’s tasting menu to be! The food was fantastic – from a delightful amuse-bouche to that wonderful lobster bisque to an amazing steak tartare with a fried quail egg and possibly the best beef cheek I’ve ever had. And, amazingly, they also added wines to each course for us and accommodated my red-wine aversion with aplomb. In fact I really need to figure out which white Burgundy they gave us. I _need_ that wine.

The service was wonderful, the room is beautiful and the food incredible. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for a special evening out.

“A” is for… January?

I’m almost 45 years old and there are a few things I know about myself with absolute certainty:

  • I prefer my coffee black.
  • I love Toby and Q <3

My guys

Where was I? Oh right, things I am sure of:

  • I like hoppy beer. I’m not fond of stouts.
  • Whisky is good. So is bacon.
  • I work best with a plan – no matter how weird or loosey goosey.

Sometime in December it occurred to me what my next “plan” would be – I’d follow the alphabet! So January = A, February = B, March = C and so on. And yes, I know it’s weird. And January has been fun.

I had somehow got it in my head to read All the President’s Men. That was amazing. And my big takeaway was basically plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! I also got the movie but as of today (January 31 no less) I still haven’t watched it. Maybe on the weekend.

I watched Apocalypse Now. I don’t remember watching it before and it’s one of the “greatest movies ever” according to a bunch of lists so I watched it. Weird doesn’t begin to cut it. And the making of it was possibly even weirder! (grave robbing, an overweight Brando, a drunk Sheen…)

Toby also got me to finally watch The Accountant, which a friend described as a “total nerdgasm with eye candy” lol. And my big lesson from this is that I should listen to Toby more often when he says he has a movie I might like (the last one was John Wick!) Violence, math and a mystery! Woohoo!

One of our new friends Andy, who himself could be an A for January but for the fact that we met on Christmas Eve, suggested this awesome song to listen to: Flatbush Waltz – by another Andy (Statman).

And I thought I was done…I was hoping to squeeze in a quick Agatha Christie read (And Then There Were None if you’re curious) but none of the local library branches had it in. Instead I found The Alienist. I’m only about 80 pages in so there’s no way I’m finishing it in January but so far it’s awesome. I had no idea it was also a new show. Hmmm It’s going to have to wait! I’m out of time.

Oh and of course there was LEGO: at a stretch the Apollo Saturn V (as opposed to having to wait until July 2019)

there’s a quarter in there for scale

What’s next? Why B of course. My boss suggested Beowulf. And it turns out the Toronto Public Library has an English-to-English translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic! And a couple of friends have suggested movies: Brave and Brigadoon, neither of which I’ve seen so I’m starting there. Let me know if you have any other ideas!

Happy Monday – weekend craziness

Happy Monday all! We had a wonderful, warm weekend – but the kind of weekend that feels like you need a weekend to recover from it!

Friday was all nostalgia, as I went back to high school! I took a slightly longer route to get there so I could walk down the street I used to live on and see the house I spent the first 13 or 14 years of my life in. It seems like they added a nice deck to the back but the front looked a lot like it did 35 years ago.

On the street where I lived

I was on the left even as a child

I went and found my grad photos (yes, photos, I actually kinda love saying “when did I graduate? Oh, 1992. And ’93” lol)

Grad ’92

Grad ’93 – Harry Potter specs long before HP 😉

It’s such a great entrance too!

Saturday involved getting Q to drama class and me cross-stitching while waiting around. Then hockey school and a pit stop for ice cream afterwards

First he ate his

then he ate mine

Toby took Q off to gymnastics in the afternoon and then, with my folks in charge of Q for the night, Toby and I went off to the west end for a pub night for the high school. So lovely to see everyone that I did see but I missed a lot of people too because, well, I was volunteering Sunday morning!

Sunday is usually the day we have nothing so that we can recover from the week and the usual Saturday madness but instead I volunteered with EGALE running some water tables at the Scotibank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and then headed out to the wilds of Etobicoke to help my mom, an uncle, and a couple of cousins work in my babcia’s garden. Whew. 

I’m hoping for less craziness this weekend but I dunno!

 

NOTE: yea, I know, this went up on Tuesday but only because I couldn’t get the photos to upload on the blog. The very helpful admin for my host fixed it all overnight for me – well overnight for me, day time for him, he’s in the UK.

And it all works out in the end…

To be added to the “it works out in the end” file….

I was half-joking about never having any money ever again thanks to Q’s activities and the house and wanting a new piano etc. And _then_ Q says that he wants to try hockey this year.

Captain Zoom before a Marlies’ game last season

I put off buying equipment. Avoided it for a bit. Especially over the summer when he grows like a weed. And also trying to figure out how to budget for equipment he’ll grow out of in a year. Sigh.
So imagine my delight when I receive the following e-mail:

Hello Parents

I am happy to announce:

    The … Hockey School programme, has been lucky enough to be selected this year to partake in The Maple Leafs Grass Roots Skating Partnership.  What that means for you, is that among other benefits, your child will be fitted for and supplied with Full Gear (this does not include jock/jill or neck guard).  This programme is open to all first time registered Hockey School participants.  Full details regarding the programme along with details regarding equipment fitting dates and location will be provided shortly. You and your child must attend!

    The Executive … are thrilled to be able to offer this program to you at no cost.  Please join us in thanking the Maple Leafs for bringing this awesome and terrific program to our community!

EEK! We’re going to go this Friday to get Q all kitted up. I’m a bit excited. And extremely grateful to the Maple Leafs Grass Roots Skating Partnership. (Not sure where actually to link to so that’s the MLSE Foundation link)

Considering Q still half thinks I’m the goalie for the Leafs this is just adding to the legend.

hey! that’s me!

It’s been a week

So let’s see – first ever (written) submissions made to a particular court; spent the night at my grandmother’s house probably for the first time since I was a child; had a wonderful house guest; reorganized the craft-area part of our room; also at least four loads of laundry and practised piano every day except the day I wasn’t home. Whew.

And yet I still am not sure I did everything I wanted to do. It turns out lists can be pretty helpful eh? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep that up on here but it seems as though it’s a big help for me so there you go. That’s the only incentive I need.

It’s a long weekend in Ontario this weekend:

I have a love/hate this with holidays that move. In this case, Victoria day is the Monday before May 25. Regardless of the actual day – which can be anywhere from the 18th to the 24th – it’s sort of known as the “May 2-4” weekend. A 2-4 being slang for a case of beer as well. And it’s kinda funny as Queen Victoria’s actual birthday was May 24th. And it’s one of only three holidays in the Federal Holidays Act.

I’m trying my best to rest this weekend. To just chill.  To eat ice cream and drink beer and knit and spend time on Monday planning out the upcoming week or two, including getting back on the keto-wagon.

Have a great weekend all!