Year after year I have heard advertisements for the Food and Wine Expo, yet never attempted buying tickets. My curiosity and eagerness to attend was at its peak this year, so I decided it was time. Jonty and myself ventured down to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this past weekend to sample some incredible wine, and of course, food.
Since it was Saturday night, the venue was quite packed, as we presumed. However, I think this added to the ambiance of an exciting, fun filled evening. Hundreds of booths filled the room, ranging from wine, vodka, beer, whiskey, and different cuisines.
To start things off, we chose a brisket sandwich from Barque Smokehouse. It was incredibly sweet and smoky. We polished it off rather quickly.
After this, although very similar, we chose the Prime Rib slider from the Windsor Arms Hotel. The sweet BBQ sauce, paired with tender meat, red cabbage and horseradish was a wonderful way to get our taste buds going. To be honest though, Jonty and I both commented on the overload of horseradish which was a little too overpowering.
Next we moved onto Food Dudes, a Toronto based food truck which is all the rage these days. The white wine mac and cheese with lemon zest panko and smoked tomato ketchup immediately caught our eye. It was so creamy and cheesy with the perfect amount of crunch and lemony zing that we went back for seconds later on in the evening.
Maritime Lobster caught our attention next. Simple, yet mouth-watering and extremely fresh, we wolfed down a shrimp skewer, and some lobster pieces smothered in butter.
The trendy Kultura restaurant was serving up some delicious dishes, and we chose the Mushroom Orecchiette with Pinot Noir Pear Chutney and Aged Cheddar. It was soooo tasty that I think I barely left any for Jonty. The sauce was sharp and creamy with a hint of sweetness from the pears which made for a delightful dish. We also made a second stop here a little while later to try some of the other dishes they were offering. The Tuna Cornets seemed light, which is what we needed between all of the food and wine. Tuna sashimi, mayo and avocado mousse all sat in a nori shell, which is another word for seaweed. It tasted exactly like sushi, without being too fishy, which was a nice light bite. The lamb shank also looked too yummy to resist so we got just one to share. I couldn’t get over how tasty it was. Cooked to perfection, with a hint of sweetness, this lamb shank was on the top of my favourites list of the night.
Every time we visit the Mad Italian, it is always for gelato. However we have been itching to try the Zazzu pizza cones. Lucky for us, they were being sold at this event, so we naturally picked one up. We chose the simple Margherita Zazzu with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, tomatoes, tomato sauce and basil. It was just as tasty as we had imagined.
As for the wine, we sampled a variety, and had an incredible time doing so. Neither Jonty nor I are wine experts, so we just enjoyed wandering freely while tasting a bunch of different wines and having a lovely time together. I also sampled a few different vodkas, while Jonty tried some whiskey. After about five hours, YES FIVE HOURS, we decided to call it a night. It was an enjoyable and out of the ordinary way to spend a Saturday night instead of just going out to a restaurant like usual. I plan on attending the Food and Wine Expo for many years to come!