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Ontario

Curbside Cookbook Takes Street Food from Truck to Table

EL GASTRÓNOMO VAGABUNDO CHEF ADAM HYNAM-SMITH’S CURBSIDE COOKBOOK FEATURES INTERNATIONALLY INSPIRED RECIPES FROM ONTARIO’S PIONEERING GOURMET FOOD TRUCK

Curbside Cookbook Adam Hynam-Smith El Gastronomo Vagabundo Food Truck

Chef Adam Hynam-Smith’s Curbside cookbook features recipes he’s perfected on his El Gastrónomo Vagabundo food truck, as well as at pop-up events (photos: Whitecap Books)

Political and bureaucratic roadblocks have conspired to stifle a Toronto street-food scene that not long ago seemed ready to explode. But that shouldn’t stop you from sampling some delicious food truck eats. Just pick up a copy of Curbside: Modern Street Food from a Vagabond Chef, the debut cookbook by Adam Hynam-Smith, chef and co-owner of El Gastrónomo Vagabundo, generally acknowledged as Ontario’s first gourmet food truck. Though he’s now based in the Niagara region, Australian-born Hynam-Smith has also cooked in Morocco, France, England and Thailand: these global influences pervade his dishes, from crispy cod tacos with smoked pineapple and habanero to braised pork hock steamed buns to son-in-law eggs. (The book also includes a smattering of dishes by guest chefs who’ve inspired Hynam-Smith’s cooking.)

Part of Curbside’s appeal is that its recipes, naturally, have been adapted for serving at home. If you just have to have the real deal, too, follow Hynam-Smith, his wife Tamara Jensen and their ever-popular truck at elgastro.com (and on Twitter @elgastronomo) to find out where they’ll be serving next. Or if you’ll be in Toronto on May 4, book a seat for the Curbside kickoff dinner at Bestellen, where chef Hynam-Smith will serve up a five-course prix fixe, including lager-steamed mussels, a scallop and zhoug ceviche, and braised pork belly with green papaya salad. The $90 meal also includes a copy of the Curbside cookbook.  —Craig Moy

Adam Hynam-Smith’s Curbside: Modern Street Food from a Vagabond Chef is now available for purchase online and in bookstores throughout Ontario.

Weekend Events: April 24 to 26

THESE WEEKEND EVENTS AND PERFORMANCES ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR TIME IN TORONTO EVEN MORE MEMORABLE!

Toronto Weekend Events Eifman Ballet

The Eifman St. Petersburg Ballet performs Anna Karenina this weekend at the Sony Centre

THE MAIN EVENT
One of literature’s most famous love triangles is depicted with arabesques, jetés, grand pas’s and chassés on Friday and Saturday as the Eifman St. Petersburg Ballet presents Anna Karenina. At the Sony Centre, Leo Tolstoy’s 19th-century aristocratic chronicle about a restless socialite, her husband and her noble lover is passionately narrated through demanding dance routines choreographed by Boris Eifman and set to a Tchaikovsky score.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar for April 24 to 26

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Papillon brings her moody folk-pop songs to Raw Sugar Cafe on Saturday night.

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Papillon brings her moody folk-pop songs to Raw Sugar Cafe on Saturday night.

Friday, April 24

At PoutineFest, various food trucks from around the region bring unique and tasty takes on everyone’s favourite Quebecois comfort food. The toppings go beyond mere cheese curds and gravy — think bacon, mushrooms, pulled pork, and so much more. The festival runs until April 26 on Sparks Street. Admission is free, but you pay for what you eat.

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The Leslieville Flea is Worth a Look

THE POPULAR LESLIEVILLE FLEA HOSTS ITS LAST INDOOR MARKET OF THE SEASON, BEFORE HEADING OUTDOORS FOR THE SUMMER

Leslieville Flea Toronto

APRIL 26 In the market for vinyl records? What about some handmade aprons or jewellery? The Leslieville Flea brings more than 45 vendors to the Distillery District as part of a curated market with antiques, vintage and salvaged merchandise, and handcrafted goods like colourful afghans from Shop Betty, glassware and ceramics from Woo-Hoo Home Decor, crinoline skirts from Inspiration Vintage, and elaborately adorned belts from Belle Boutique. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  —Linda Luong

• Leslieville Flea, Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery District, 28 Distillery Ln.; leslievilleflea.com

The Sweet Stuff: Holland’s Cake and Shake

(Photo: Erica Filippelli)

Holland’s Cake and Shake specializes in artisanal mini cakes, delightful pastries, and hearty themed sandwiches. (Photo: Erica Filippelli)

Dessert lovers will feel right at home at Holland’s Cake and Shake. Although the menu changes weekly, you can expect to see cakes inspired by such culinary delights as cinnamon buns and popcorn. For a few bucks extra, you can have a cake of your choice blended into a milkshake; those with formidable stomachs may be tempted by the Overlord, a 16-ounce shake topped with a cake, a cookie, and a brownie. Brown bag lunches are also available; they include a hot or cold sandwich, a drink, and a treat.
•229 Armstrong St., 613-695-3311, cakeandshake.ca

Anthropologie on Queen Street Brings Boho-Chic Downtown

A NEW ANTHROPOLOGIE ON QUEEN STREET CATERS TO THE CHAIN’S TORONTO ACOLYTES IN A RESTORED AND RETROFITTED 19TH-CENTURY CHURCH

Anthropologie on Queen Street

Devotees of boho-chic style who pray at the altar of Anthropologie can find rapture at the U.S. chain’s newest Toronto flagship on Queen West. The two-storey shop is housed in a 19th-century church, and retains some of the building’s historic details—the facade, stained glass windows, and a carved fireplace and mantle. (Accenting the space are some new finishes made to look old, such as the reclaimed wood staircase and floors.) A full-time team of visual artists is employed by the nearly 7,000-square-foot store to create inventive vignettes and displays of the its housewares, linens, stationery, ladies apparel, footwear, accessories and more. Open daily.  —Linda Luong

• Anthropologie, 761 Queen St. W., 416-603-0445; anthropologie.com
Map and reviews 

Quick Pick: Vibrant Rain Gear for Drab April Days

THESE FUN AND COLOURFUL RAIN GEAR OPTIONS WILL HELP GET YOU THROUGH GREY APRIL DAYS IN TORONTO
Rain Gear Toronto

Trout Rainwear men’s bull jacket, $550, Holt Renfrew

2 Hunter women’s original asymmetric colour-block boots, $210, Capezio

3 Pasotti Stewart tartan umbrella, $165, Raindrops

4 Bogs kid’s rainbow stripes rain boots, $50, Kol Kid

—Linda Luong

Clementine’s Carries Vintage Designer Dresses & More

VINTAGE LUXURY IS THE STOCK IN TRADE OF CLEMENTINE’S, A NEW MIDTOWN BOUTIQUE OPENED BY A FORMER HOLT RENFREW IMAGE CONSULTANT

Clementine's Toronto Boutique

Christina McDowell knows a thing or two about Toronto fashion. For more than a decade she was an image consultant and spokesperson for haute department store Holt Renfrew. Now she’s ventured out on her own to open Clementine’s. The Summerhill luxury showroom carries “like-new” dresses, coats, footwear, jewellery and handbags from coveted labels like Marni, Helmut Lang, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Rick Owens, Valentino, Etro and Brunello Cuccinelli. But be forewarned: many of the items are one-offs. If you like a piece, pick it up; chances are it won’t wait around for your return visit. Tuesday to Sunday.  —Linda Luong

• Clementine’s, 1260 Yonge St., 416-966-2662; clementinesluxury.com
Map and reviews

In the Spotlight: April Theatre

The story of Baby and Johnny, made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in the movie of the same name, comes to life on the stage. (Photo: David Scheinmann)

The story of Baby and Johnny, made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in the movie of the same name, comes to life on the stage. (Photo: David Scheinmann)

From comedies to dramas, to tragedies and Broadway musicals, we bet you’ll have the time of your life at one of Ottawa’s many stages. The National Arts Centre hosts two productions throughout the month of April, including the timeless classic Dirty Dancing, which follows the love story of Baby and Johnny at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. On from April 14 to 19. From $39.
•National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787. nac-cna.ca
Map and reviews

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5 Must-See Toronto Art Districts

EXPLORE THESE TORONTO ART DISTRICTS TO DISCOVER EXCELLENT GALLERIES AND SOME OF THE BEST CONTEMPORARY WORKS FROM CANADA AND ABROAD

Toronto art district olga korper gallery

Olga Korper Gallery, just south of the Junction Triangle Toronto art district (photo: Olga Korper Gallery)

Think Toronto’s renowned public museums offer some cool views? Numerous commercial galleries have equally striking artworks to ponder—and purchase, if you like what you see. There are dozens of great galleries downtown—from edgy indie outlets to venerable fine-art dealers. Make the most of your browsing time by heading to these five Toronto art districts, which boast a significant collection of exhibitors within close proximity to one another.

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Second Skin: ça va de soi on Sussex Drive

The family owned ça va de soi designs cozy, lightweight knitwear.

The family owned ça va de soi designs cozy, lightweight knitwear.

The family-owned ça va de soi specializes in natural fibers, including Egyptian cotton and Merino wool, and the knitwear they produce is tasteful, timeless, and cozy. Simply stopping in at the boutique to browse is an experience in and of itself. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, so don’t be surprised when they spend an hour helping you choose the products that are best suited to your body type.
•459 Sussex Dr., 613-789-2828, cavadesoi.com
Map and reviews

Quick Pick: 3 Fish-Focused Lunch Counters

CHECK OUT THESE TORONTO LUNCH COUNTERS TO GET A QUICK (AND DELICIOUS) SEAFOOD FIX.

Seafood Fish Lunch Counter Market Street Catch Toronto

A few of the fresh ingredients available at Market Street Catch

Junction-area fishmonger and lunch counter Honest Weight offers unique options for your midday meal. Try the okonomiyaki, a Japanese fish pancake, or just choose a fish from the display case and get it grilled to order. 2766 Dundas St. W., 416-604-9992; honestweight.ca

A quick-service spot from the owners of acclaimed restaurant The Chase, Little Fin serves up a smattering of sandwiches on distinctive charcoal-coloured buns. Larger appetites can also get a half or whole lobster dinner. 4 Temperance St., 647-348-7000; littlefin.ca

No matter your craving—be it fried halibut, barbecued octopus, an oyster po’ boy or lobster poutine—the diverse menu at Market Street Catch is sure to have you salivating. 14 Market St., 647-391-8140; marketstreetcatch.com

—Craig Moy