Toronto

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Toronto Eats

When traveling to a city as big as Toronto, food choices are overwhelming. Restaurants live on every street. The sound of cocktails being shaken vibrates out doors. And fogged up windows are damp with dinner conversation. If you’re only visiting a city for a short amount of time, a taste bud tingling feast isn’t something to gamble with. You can’t take chances by walking into just any restaurant with a grumbling stomach.

Here are our picks for dining in Toronto…

The Black Hoof

928 Dundas Street West

Their speciality is meat… Tongue on Brioche, Bone Marrow, and Pork Belly and Cappuccio are just a trio of items listed on the short menu. And they make their own rules… closed Tuesday and Wednesday, no credit cards.

Bar Isabel

797 College Street

Under heavily seductive red lights, Bar Isabel could be located in a small Spanish town. The din of College Street and the lights of Toronto are forgotten with each minute spent inside the intimate enclave.

Hudson Kitchen

800 Dundas Street West

Gaining notoriety for being the only restaurant to host both Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (separately, of course) during TIFF, Hudson Kitchen has made it their mission to reinvent food by making each dish an adventure.

Czehoski

678 Queen Street West

Serving the kind of meals that warm every inch of your body, Czehoski is the perfect place to hide on a winter’s night with friends or solo.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Bar Isabel (via Toronto Life), Czehoski (via Blog TO), Hudson Kitchen, The Black Hoof (via Up Magazine).

A Celebration of Cinema Hits Toronto

A festival that sees hundreds of red carpets unrolled every September on Canadian soil has now come to a close. The Toronto International Film Festival, an event that shows more than 300 films, is one of the most lauded film festivals in the world – possibly even rivaling the Cannes Film Festival.

This year showed such strong cinematic stories as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Third Person, Can a Song Save Your Life?, August: Osage County, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Enemy, and Dallas Buyers Club. A selection of films that are sure to be listed at awards shows in the coming months.

While films are the main draw and purpose of the grand celebration, the 11 days are also swirling with fashion, food, and parties. From Soho House to the roof of the Thompson Toronto to the Variety Studio at Holt Renfrew, storytellers were everywhere… dancing, drinking, schmoozing, and celebrating their films.

The highlights…

  • Harvey Weinstein bought Can a Song Save Your Life? at the film’s post-premiere gala making it the most expensive party at $20 million.
  • Jason Reitman once again brought his live reading series to TIFF this year with Boogie Nights. Jesse Eisenberg played the part of Dirk Diggler. Prosthetic not in attendance.
  • Michael Fassbender dances. And dances and dances. Find him on the d-floor.
  • To raise funds for Artists for Peace and Justice, Maria Bello dived into Michael Budman’s pool fully clothed for $20,000 at the charity’s yearly lunch.
  • Some talent do TIFF in multiples… Daniel Radcliffe (Horns, The F Word, Kill Your Darlings), James Franco (Third Person, Child of God, The Director, Palo Alto), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County), and Olivia Wilde (Rush, Third Person) dominated the festival with their portfolio of films.

TIFF may be over now, but preparation for next year’s fête is already underway.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images from left to right, top to bottom: Adam Levine and Keira Knightley at Patria (via Toronto Life), Carice van Houten and Benedict Cumberbatch at Soho House (via Toronto Life), Mario Bello at Artists for Peace and Justice (via Fashion Magazine), cast of August: Osage County at Soho House (via Getty Images)