Summerlicious & Open Roof Festival

With too many festivals and events to count, my love for Toronto grows every summer.  This week marks the start of Summerlicious and the Open Roof Festival, festivals celebrating two of my favourite things: food and movies.

If you live in the city and/or read this blog , Summerlicious is nothing new to you (you can check out our picks for the past Winterlicious here).  Nearly 200 of the city’s top restaurants feature three-course prix fixe menus at cheaper than usual price points ($25-$45 for dinner).  For us, it’s an excuse to try new places we wouldn’t normally frequent and a fantastic way to rationalize the need for brunch at the likes of Sassafraz.  Although the festival doesn’t actually start until July 5th, reservations open June 20th (today for Amex holders!).   If you’re a ‘Licious veteran, then you’ll know that many of the same restaurants participate year after year, but before you proclaim to being over it, check out some of this year’s new additions: the trendy NYC import Momofuko Daisho; Bosk at Toronto’s new boutique hotel, the Shangri-La; Yorkville’s Cafe Boulud at the Four Season’s Hotel; the funky Dundas West establishment Bent (from the spawn of chef Susur Lee); and Mark McEwan’s ONE at Hazelton Lanes.

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Once you’ve bit the I’m-too-cool-for-Summerlicious bullet and called to place your dinner reservations, check out the line up for this year’s Open Roof Festival which kicks off this Thursday with a gala party and live performance by the Sheep Dogs.  If you haven’t been in previous years, here’s what you need to know about the festival: outdoor movie screenings (often of indie-esque films and fun documentaries), opened by a live musical act, accompanied by pop-up food vendors and served with beer!  Sounds good right?  It is, and rumour has it that a lot of this year’s films are set to sell out.  We’ve got our tickets for Gimme the Loot and the Toronto Film Festival’s How to Make Money Selling Drugs is already sold out.

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Eat, watch & enjoy, then tell us about your favourites!

 

I made this: Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Kebabs

The heat is seriously upon us in Toronto and I’m loving it!

Last night I spent the night outside at the Open Roof Festival watching Fat Kid Rules the World (Mini Review: Amazing. I laughed, cried, dug the punk way of life the main character learns to embody and sympathized with each character in a different way. Please see it if you get the chance!!).

Before the movie, my friend and I whipped up a delicious dinner that is worthy of sharing. While we intended switch up the recipe and grill the Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Kebabs, we ran out time getting everything together and opted to bake them instead.  The whole dinner came together quickly – I’d recommend soaking the skewers in water before you bake/grill them.  The Kebabs were perfectly sweet and spicy, just as you’d expect from reading the recipe.

To save some time, I stopped by my local grocer and asked them to peel and core a pineapple for me, which I’d never requested before and they kindly obliged! The recipe was just perfect, and we paired it with a greek salad of sorts, using fresh basil from the garden.  The whole night made for a lovely prelude to the weekend! Happy Friday!