The city is buzzing now with the Toronto International Film Festival under way! It’s truly one of the best times to enjoy what the city has to offer. If you’re like us and love getting swept up in all the action (and maybe spotting a celebrity or two) here are a few restaurants that are all red carpet fun this time of year and what you should order!
Book yourself at one of the coveted patio seats at ONE Restaurant (Hazelton Hotel) and sip on fancy film festival cocktails. “The Lipstick” is a raspberry infused Belvedere vodka topped up sparkling wine that takes glam to the next level. Feeling like you can rock the red carpet? Take on the “Flashing Lights” and don’t be surprised if the paparazzi does a double take. Of course, one cannot live on cocktails alone. The Red Carpet appetizers on the menu are all seriously good. Try the Spicy Tuna Tartare (crisp sushi rice cakes, avocado, kabayaki, nori, pickled ginger) as well as the Sweet Pea Falafel (Dungeness crab salad, citrus compote and mint). The Lobster Spoons are back and everyone is giddy. Eyes open! This is a perfect spot for celebrity sightings. Yours truly spotted Jean Paul Gaultier here just in the past week!
If you’re wanting to be immersed in a “Garden of Wonder” in the theme of Perrier-Joet’s Belle Epoque 2007 vintage Champagne, escape to this pop-up patio (only until September 10) at dbar located at the Four Seasons Hotel. Surrounded by palms and florals sip on the fine vintage champagne and enjoy nibbles created to complement the bubblies. But look up and around at some of the most iconic images from the Festival’s past that are on current exhibition. They are by Toronto-based and international respected photographer George Pimentel.
If you’re down at Festival central of King and Peter streets, then you may want to venture over to Wahlburgers for their TIFF menu special Lobster Poutine. A favourite that has returned after high demand. It’s a great spot and why? Celebrities don’t necessarily always want the fancy foods. Wahlburgers is known for delivering goodness. The Thanksgiving Burger is one of Mark Wahlberg’s favourites (and mine too!). Executive chef (and yes, brother) Paul Wahlberg usually comes to the city during TIFF so you may spot him there. He’s really nice too! Ask if the second floor terrace located in the hotel is open and hang out away from all the frenzy.
Over at LUCKEE located at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, you can expect to find a delicious offering during TIFF — a selection of signature entrees available as dim sum tasting. The Szechuan Kung Pao Shrimp has us drooling again! Available throughout the festival weeks.
There’s a TIFF Truffle Festival happening at FRING’S that includes five unique dish offerings. Try the 5 Mushroom Pappardelle (porcini, cremini, portobello, shiitake, king oyster mushroom, fresh black truffle) and the 2 year old Aged Parmesan Cheese With Turffled Honey, Poached Pear.