After two-and-a-half years Daniel Boulud closed his Toronto outpost, Café Boulud in the Four Seasons Hotel. Reviews had been alright, but clearly business wasn’t as brisk as expected. After a whirlwind seven-week renovation it reopened today with an entirely new look and retooled food programme. It was a very special treat for me to interview chef Daniel Boulud over lunch at the new Café Boulud. The rest of the First Look is here.
Call it gentrification, revolution or a slow progression, it’s clear a change is afoot in the budding ’hood of Bricktown. Unofficially known as Little India (and more officially known as the drab-sounding Greenwood-Coxwell), this east-end region surrounding Gerrard Street East and Greenwood Avenue has long been the place to find T.O.’s best Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food, but the last year has brought a brilliant diversity of rule-bending restaurants to the area. Head over to Postcity.com to read the rest of my Gerrard Food Crawl.
A food and drink critic should have no absolute aversions. Short of an allergy or potentially poisonous pufferfish, if it’s on your beat, you should be willing to put it in your mouth. As Jeffrey Steingarten wrote in 1996, while reflecting on his own food phobias, “I feared that I could be no more objective than an art critic who detests the color yellow or suffers from red-green color blindness.” Beers with chilies are my yellow. The rest of this week’s First Draught is available on PostCity.com.
Beer is more than just its buzz. So, it follows that it must be possible, at least in a vague, theoretical way, to create a de-alcoholized beer that is worth drinking. Supermarket-brand near beer proves that theory does not always translate to practice. The stuff is awful; hopped up on artificial flavour and sweeteners. The rest of this week’s First Draught can be found over on Postcity.com.
By choosing Mikkeller, Denmark’s second-best-known brewery, for their current feature, the LCBO seems to have earned a tentative thumbs-up from Ontario’s beer geek community. More than anyone, that’s who the brewery feature is aimed at. These are six unusual, wacky beers that will only be on shelves for a single season. The k:rlek American pale ale is my favourite from the lot. The rest of this week’s First Draught is over on the the Post City Magazines site.