February 2011

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Relax: Victory Cafe going nowhere

Ever since the word got out that Victory Cafe changed ownership earlier this month, fans of the Mirvish Village stalwart have been a little jittery that impending changes would mean the end of their favourite pub. We even caught wind of a rumour on Twitter that the new owner planned to transform it into a sports bar. The reality isn’t quite so drastic – at least for now.

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Meet Jennifer Huether, Canada’s first female master sommelier

There are currently around 180 master sommeliers in the entire world, just three of which are from Canada. Toronto’s Jennifer Huether is the latest addition. She earned the distinction earlier this month, becoming the first female in the country – and one of the very few in the world – to do so.


Cacao and coffee join forces at Toronto café

It’s not uncommon to find espressos served with chocolate at many of Toronto’s craft coffee bars, but how about pure cacao beans? Starting Monday, espressos at Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters will be served with roasted cacao beans that have been flavour-paired with the coffee blend. “I used to be a sommelier,” says co-owner Peter Adamo. “I’ve never seen a pairing as dramatic as what I’ve seen with cacao and coffee.”

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New Rogers "channel" is all chicken, all day

We're pretty sure that April hasn't arrived, so we were surprised to find what seemed to be a prank making its rounds on the webosphere today: a story about Rogers Cable's new “Rotisserie Channel,” starting Feb. 28. Well, it's not a prank, and the channel features (you guessed it) chickens roasting on a spit over the fire, 24/7 (for ambience, of course).


Toronto gets serious about mocktails

Pregnant women, alcohol abstainers and under-aged diners rejoice! No longer shall you be slated into the same, lackluster beverage categories when you go out to eat: fresh, tasty non-alcoholic options that don't contain alarmingly high levels of sugar or aspartame are sprouting up citywide in the form of mocktails, The Globe reports.


Sardine connoisseurs to vastly increase by 2050

Get ready to start eating lots of sardines. According to an American Association for the Advancement of Science panel meeting, predatory fish like tuna and grouper will be virtually non-existent by 2050, while smaller fish like sardines and anchovies will be in abundance. The news isn’t all bad: at least something’s going to survive the apocalypse of 2012.


First look: TOCA, Canadian bounty at the Ritz-Carlton

After spending 10 years in the kitchen of the highly acclaimed Canoe, Tom Brodi has hit the upper echelon of chefdom as the top dog at TOCA, which opened at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Wednesday. A lot of faith has been put in Brodi, and with good reason: this is a chef who’s paid his dues. Once, he showed up as an eager neophyte at North 44, his knives on his back, and worked a 17-hour trial shift to get hired. Today, that keenness has gone absolutely nowhere.


Coming Soon: Hot Beans, vegan comfort food in Kensington

Make room for the latest munchies to hit downtown’s affordable food hub, because vegan takeout joint Hot Beans is opening in Kensington Market next week. The collective vision of chef Scott McCannell, Ross Corder and Madeleine Foote, the upcoming spot at 160 Baldwin will serve up a compact, approachable menu of Latin-inspired vegan delights.

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Beer: helping athletes recover since 1862

Toronto may soon forget Gatorade as a post-workout elixir if a non-alcoholic beer from Germany catches on here. Erdinger Brewery, best known in Ontario for its wheat beer, is marketing its Erdinger Alkoholfrei as a healthy athlete’s brew. Impossible as it may seem, it turns out that beer may be even more useful than we thought.


Pizza Gigi shut down; huge drug cache found on premises

Harbord Street's popular pizza joint Pizza Gigi has been shut down after police found a plethora of drugs there, including $1-million worth of marijuana, the Star reports.