The index to Travelblogue: Toronto 2011 for Theatre and Dining.
This lists the posted stories for my two week stay in Toronto, Ontario. I check out the restaurant and summer theatre scene including the Summerworks Festival, and also visit Stratford for more theatre and dining.
After seeing a 2 PM show of Richard III at the Tom Patterson Theatre we took a slow stroll back towards Rundles restaurant and bistro.
When I made the reservation I was not sure of the running time for the play and so had made a dinner reservation for 6 but we were out of the theatre by 5, and even with a pleasant walk along the banks of the Avon river, we were at the restaurant by just after 5:30. But no problem, we were politely welcomed and seated at once.
Down the Street Bar and Restaurant
30 Ontario Street
We spent the morning exploring the town and around noon, found our way to Down The Street. It's a small narrow restaurant and at my request we were seated in the back at a table next to a window, where the light was good for photography.
We decided to share an appetizer and with minimal discussion agreed on the chicken liver mousse with baguette toasts and sweet and sour cippolini onions. The mousse came in a little round dish with a layer of chicken fat protecting the contents. We removed the fat layer and savoured the creamy rich pate below.
After seeing Hosanna at the Studio Theatre we had a little time to go back to our hotel room and freshen up before heading off to dinner at Bijou, and then get back to the Studio Theatre for The Little Years.
Bijou features a dinner menu written on a chalkboard. As one who could never write in a straight line at school I admired the exquisite handwriting, although it was hard to read from our table and I had to join a couple of other guests at the board to read all the items.
101 Wellington Street,
For our two night stay in Stratford we were booked into The Parlour Historic Inn and Suites. Breakfast in the Parlour Restaurant, was included in our itinerary for both days of our stay.
We drove in to Stratford from Toronto on Thursday morning and were scheduled to see our first play, Hosanna at 2 PM. I had decided to make a lunch reservation for noon at The Parlour Restaurant. The drive took us about two hours so we had time to check out where the theatres were before lunch.
The Little Years by John Mighton
Directed by Chris Abraham
Stratford Festival 2011
July 13 to September 24, 2011
Stratford, ON: Looking down at a pristine white floor with four large white spot-lit circles, I sensed that this was going to be a unique theatrical experience. And indeed The Little Years is my favorite so far of the plays I have seen during this Toronto/Stratford trip.
White Biting Dog by Judith Thompson
Directed by Nancy Palk
Soulpepper Theatre Company
Michael Young Theatre,
Young Centre for Performing Arts
August 18 to Oct 1st , 2011
Toronto, ON: Two years ago I became a Judith Thompson fan when I saw Palace of The End performed in Vancouver by Alexa Devine, Russell Roberts and Laara Sadiq. I called it "a stunning theatrical experience" and the three monologues still rank in my mind as among the most compelling dramatic writing I have experienced.
White Biting Dog was written much earlier; it won the 1984 Governor-General's Award for Drama. Having also appreciated other earlier Thompson plays, The Crackwalker, and Lion in the Streets, I was eagerly anticipating this show.
We were looking for somewhere to have lunch In between Summerworks shows on a hot Toronto day. We were in the King Street West area so I checked out UrbanSpoon and Open Table, and found a listing for Wabora in the Thompson Hotel.
After leaving the Factory theatre area we walked to the restaurant. The cool interior was very welcome, and our server graciously brought me a damp napkin to mop my bright red face.
Even though I come from Vancouver, which probably has more superb sushi restaurants per square mile than Tokyo, I was intrigued by the unusual selection of rolls - quite inventive. We could not resist trying two; the crab dynamite roll and the South Beach roll.
20 College Street,
We were looking for a restaurant for a late breakfast before heading back to the Summerworks Festival to see a play at noon.
Fran's Restaurant , an American style diner, was close by and we thought it looked perfect for brunch.
We both had coffee and declined juice. Amidst the several omelette offerings the menu listed a "build your own omelette" option. Starting with three eggs, you can add a variety of fillings such as various cheeses, bacon, ham, onions, peppers, sautéed mushrooms and salsa.
I picked whole wheat toast. Michael had rye toast. Both omelettes came with a pile of the most perfectly cooked hash brown potatoes. The were so good that I got our server to remove my plate so that I would not eat the whole pile.