Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tom's Dairy Freeze

To go to one of the best soft serve ice cream places in Toronto, you'll have to leave the downtown core.
Tom's Dairy Freeze (open since 1969) is located on the Queensway in Etobicoke and draws crazy crowds in the summer months.
What's important to note about Tom's soft serve is that it is made with real cream - making it thick, rich and oh so delicious.  Get it in a cone, with sprinkles, dipped in chocolate, in a sundae formation with butterscotch - the options are endless, but really anyway you order it, you will not be disappointed.
They also offer burgers, hot dogs, steaks and fresh cut fries.  Do what we did and relax in the sun on one of the picnic tables out front, while dipping your fries into some ice cream.  Sounds weird, tastes amazing.

(Henry is clearly a fan) 


Monday, May 20, 2013

De Kas - Amsterdam

There is something special about eating dinner in a refurbished 1920's greenhouse.  At De Kas that special feeling starts when you catch your first glimpse of the restaurant through Frankendael park.  It continues inside as you walk into the dining room where light streams in through the large glass windows.
Chef Gert Jan Hageman creates wild curiosity and excitement for his visitors who discover the three course menu upon sitting (it's not posted online and costs 49.50).  By letting his crew come up with inventive dishes using the seasonal vegetables and herbs grown literally next door to the kitchen, Mr. Hageman is able to keep the menu fresh changing it week to week.    

On a chilly night in late April, after settling in, snacking on some olives and hearing the menu from our server, we quickly learn there are no cocktails at De Kas, so we say yes to wine pairings. 
Two starters arrive at the table family style - cannelloni of buffalo ricotta with chard, spinach, young garlic, creme of egg yolk, shallots and caramelized walnuts, and lamb ham with a deliciously creamy salad of new potatoes, turnip, mint and fenugreek mayonnaise.  We also individually receive a glass of smoked heirloom beet root soup with horseradish creme fraiche, crispy fried chorizo and roasted fennel. 
The most tender and fresh hake fillet comes next, marinated in olive oil with gnocchi, radish, and celeriac in a beurre blanc sauce with salted anchovies, orange and rosemary.
After the optional cheese course (we declined), dessert - an extremely decedent chocolate nemesis cake with caramelized hazelnuts and pear and thyme sorbet.  But it doesn't end there. Homemade cookies, meringue and gummies are brought out with the bill and when you leave, apples for everyone.  

Because of how popular De Kas is, it's best to book in advance and easy to arrange by email.  The staff is prompt, friendly and courteous.