Friday Night was all about gazing into the eyes of gorgeous women.
First, I adore my girlfriend Sara who, despite being engaged to studly Nic, still indulges me the occasional Friday night to escort her to dinner and a movie. The last time I blogged about a meal we shared tete-a-tete was when we strolled through her neighbourhood at Yonge and Eglinton, ending up Grazie for a chowdown and laughter. Here's a link to it.
This week we decided to catch dinner and a movie at Yonge 'n Bloor. I adore Yonge 'n Bloor...it's the gateway to our own city's version of Millionaire Mile where Bloor Street is chock-a-block full of all the swank retailers, while Yonge Street celebrates its trashy side with a few strip clubs (on Friday's there's always a limo full of screaming women or teetering men exiting into one of the clubs the night before a wedding), loads of mom and pop eateries, plus a whole lotta everything. If you want to grab a bite and catch a flick, this is a great destination for convenience. First, it's located at the axis of the city so it's an easy commute for everyone given the two major subway lines meet at this intersection. Plus for those who drive the Manulife Centre - which holds one of our favourite cinema's - the spacious renovated Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinema - contains the city's most amazing underground parking facility with it's bright lighting, immaculate white walls, piped-in classical music and a discount parking rate for movie-goers.
Pretty much for anyone grabbing a bite to eat before catching a show, there's that whole concern for time. Yes we had two hours to locate a restaurant and enjoy a meal but on Friday night that can still be a crap shoot. Rifling through the extensive list of restaurants and cafes embedded in my memory, I pulled out nearby Wish Restaurant and Cafe on Charles Street East as my first pick. I dined there some years ago when I took my sister and a darling friend to the BlueMan Group which was playing around the corner. I remembered how much we enjoyed the experience, in particular because we dined at table 33 which is a charming corner banquette plump with cushions and blankets. It's located in one of the more intimate dining rooms (they have three) with a great sight line for people watching. A quick phone call to the super pleasant Hostess and, by serendipity, table 33 was reserved for us.
From the moment we arrived at Wish our dining experience was a vision of twinkling lights (see above), a concoction of soft comfortable surroundings, and an engaging staff who were as attentive as they were eye-candy. It was totally melt-in-your-mouth sweet. In this comfortable shabby chic neutral palette the drinks and food take centre stage, with a brilliant cocktail list of flavourful libations becoming the perfect pairing for a menu of comfort food. We ramped up drinking some very memorable cocktails called Delilahs - vodka, raspberry sourpuss, cranberry juice and lemon & the Modern English - gin, pear nectar, goldschlager, maple syrup and lemon juice. For dinner I enjoyed a Grilled pork chop with mash and dijon chive cream sauce, while Sara had the Piri Piri roast chicken with an eggplant confit and rapini. We completed our meal with warm apple crumble and hot chocolate with vanilla vodka and baileys. Yum! Well-worth the $100 tab. Here's some pics:
An here are some rather bright interior photos from an October 2007 On Decorum blog post:
The total bonus? Our server was attune to the time and paced our meal with precision. We caught our movie with moments to spare. Thanks Wish!
Wish Restaurant, 3 Charles Street East, Toronto, 416-935-0240
Back to staring in the eyes of gorgeous women, there were two more pairs beyond Sara's that caught me in a spell Friday night. Now yes, I'd already caught the grumblings about how terrible the movie 'Burlesque' is, starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. However, despite the dreadful dialogue Sara and I found it extraordinarily entertaining. And why not? It's a Musical with a capital M people...with shades of 'A Star Is Born', 'Chicago' and 'Moulin Rouge' dripping in glitz, glam and more costume changes than a Bangkok drag queen show. It was a bit of a campy car wreck...the kind where you can't help but slow down and stare looking to see the damage...you feel badly you're doing it but you also can't resist. Plus I couldn't stop staring with fascination at how flawless Cher's face was while wondering how much surgery it's taken to accomplish such contrived perfection. And for you guys whining about having to take your girlfriends to a 'gay chick flick', it's phenomenally babe-a-licious with lots of sexy bodies strutting about. Call it Soft Porn if you will. What made the movie even more enjoyable was the unexpected audience participation. The dialogue was so obvious random movie-goers would shout out the line even before the actor on screen had said it...and the droll predictability made the movie-goers accuracy nearly spot-on. The collective laughter and groans made it a hoot. This was worth the price of two big screen tickets. Here's a movie review from The Daily You that critiques the movie perfectly!
All in all, this was one Dazzling Sparkly Friday night! Thanks Sara!
For more eats near Yonge n Bloor click here.