World Cup of Dining in Toronto 27-29: Netherlands, Spain, Italy

All three of my outings in the past week were with rowers. So we talked of rowing, and rowers. But managed to choose meals not on the basis of caloric merit.

Netherlands: last Tuesday’s evening downpour made Zee Grill (zee is Dutch for sea) a fitting locale. Although the name (and the owner-chef) are Dutch, there wasn’t anything particularly Netherlandish about the seafood menu. I may not be a foodie, but my meal was easily in the top three well-executed of the World Cup. A ceviche served inside half an orange. Ahi tuna with baby bok choy and slivers of mango. Exotic and tasty. I’ll go again.


Spain: into Kensington Market’s Torito, for tapas on the back patio, and started things off with mojitos.  The wait staff (reassuringly Spanish) brought on a succession of sharing plates including avocado fries, (more) ceviche, chorizo sausage, octopus skewers, and a paella with rabbit. For dessert a sort of Spanish donut. Food sharing is something we should do more of – it enhances the sense of shared experience. Below, pro-grade images by one of my guests.


Italy: on the day the Azzurri were defeated by Costa Rica, I met my friends at Bar Vespa in the new neighbourhood of Liberty Village. There was actually just one rower. But she brought her sister, who brought her husband, who brought his friend. My goat cheese and fig pizza wasn’t memorable, but I drank Prosecco to make up for it. After dinner, we crossed the street for night-time espressos outdoors, while the CN tower shone in the rainbow colours for Pride Week, and a drunk guy tried to make friends with a Rottweiler and the dog’s very tolerant owner.


Ecuador-Honduras on screen at Bar Vespa.

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