Wow a year has flown by since superfoodies’ wedding last June 1st! So the question of how to celebrate was unexpectedly upon us. I would have been content with a fabulous dinner on the home front with a special wine selection, but we decided to go a bit bigger than that, and why not? After some brief discussion, we decided to head back to a place we had stumbled upon on an earlier trip to Toronto and make a night of it. A reservation at Pravda Vodka House for June 1st was booked. Vodka, perogies and A LOT of red Russian decor was the order of the night. As was rain…ugh… just like last year.
First stop in Toronto however, was a rushed visit to the St. Lawrence Market, since we were running late and it was going to close soon (which means the stands start putting away stock and closing up). It is not open Sundays, so going on our way out of town was not an option. We grabbed a big tub of cilantro pesto, some sea bass and some veal chops plus a few other interesting odds and ends. Before leaving, we quickly shared a delicious lobster roll and fries from Buster’s Sea Cove, then stuffed all the perishables into our portable electric cooler and checked into the hotel.
Onto Pravda! Made it there with only a half hearted attack by the rain. A warm greeting and a short walk to a comfortable table near the street side window, and we were ready for our vodka number one… of many… I won’t go into all of the specifics, but bacon and cucumber vodkas were among the crowd. We shared a tasty charcuterie board and ahi tuna with perogies. All hit the spot (good flavour, well presented) and went well with the various vodkas. A nice change from our usual wine accompaniments.
A highlight I would like to mention though, was the exceptional service. They struck a perfect balance of engagement and leaving us to ourselves. I don’t think our glasses were ever empty. They gave us a little tasty bite to sample when we had our first drink (trout tartare on a cracker with beluga lentils and crispy trout skin). Surprisingly good when stuffed in all at once, and a lovely glass of champagne at the end to celebrate our anniversary. I really recommend this place for an overall enjoyable experience.
Which brings us to “shmaltz”? “schmaltz”? I know there are other variations of the spelling and meaning, as I had a look around the internets on this one. We had 2 kinds on the weekend: some sappy love stuff and of course some delicious chicken fat, as delivered by Caplanski’s Deli! Toronto’s answer to Schwartz’s in Montreal.
With some lasting effects from the previous night’s beverages, we were anxious to get some solid, meaty, fatty foods into us… and to finally see if we had a great smoked meat sandwich closer than 5 hours away in Montreal. Place was busy, but no wait, excellent service also. Had regular smoked meat sandwich, fries, a smoked meat knish (first time trying, wow what a rich, gravy laden treat), slaw (agreeably one of the best ones that L and I have ever tried) and lots of pickles!!! Absolutely great! It deserves it’s reputation. However, we felt that the regular smoked meat was just lacking a bit under Schwartz’s. So after cleaning our plates, we ordered one more sandwich, full fat. That was the ticket! On par with Schwartz’s, just needed the extra level of fat when at Caplanski’s. They make a mean caesar too or two :) hair of the dog works almost every time. We will definitely be going back there.
So that’s our year one celebration! Oh and of course L recreated “cake face” when he happily defrosted the piece of year old wedding cake that had been hastily thrown in the freezer. Same face… same taste. Now lets see where year two takes us.