Saturday, April 01, 2006


Fine dining made comfortable and approachable is what you’ll find at Boho, a charming restaurant bistro found on the north end of Roncesvalles Ave. If you’re looking to go somewhere with some class minus the snobbery, then Boho is for you.

‘Boho’ is an informal term for ‘Bohemian’ or ‘Unconventional’, which suggests the restaurant’s New York elegance but emphasizes its relaxing atmosphere. A favorite of local young couples and singles, Boho offers a fine dining experience accessible to the proletariat, at slightly more casual prices. The Southwestern flair of the restaurant has been noted in the splashes of citrus and pomegranate that decorate piquant dishes like grilled pork chops or calamari. For a snazzy brunch unlike the normal humdrum of eggs and toast, Boho adds marlin to Eggs Benny instead of ham (unless you’d rather have the ham, of course). Or you could order up a pan-seared trout with lemon pecan butter and sweet potato fries. The restaurant is also vegetarian friendly, and will also cater to a vegan preference. A children's menu (however unused it may be) is also available with fun and healthy choices for the kiddies.

The very trendy thing about Boho is their weekly cooking classes in an open kitchen. Foodies from all woks of life come together in small classes of 10. Hobnob with the chef to learn impressive meals that you’ll be able to make at home. Nibble on some appetizers, have a few drinks, and learn the joy of cooking Boho style!

The backyard patio is complete with lovely lanterns, and the unassuming staff makes every customer feel important and at ease. Boho is a good place to be.

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The Local Pub - My Pub, Your Pub

The Local Pub found at Roncesvalles Ave. just south of Howard Park Ave. is where you want to go. Trust me on this one. The pub can be found next to the Revue Theatre, and has all the charm of a small family owned dining/drinking establishment in some small village in Ireland. It’s a quirky place, full of style and character. The Local has great vibes, and even better food. If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a pint or a bite, head to The Local. They have an extensive menu with nothing over $10 and tons of great beers on tap. Inexpensive fare, priceless ambiance. The Local Pub is one of the best dining and drinking experiences you’ll find on Roncesvalles. Drop in, have a Guinness, and meet some fabulous people. Truly, you’ll find only the fabulous at The Local Pub!

With the comfort of a furnished basement, and dim lighting that is always flattering, The Local Pub always pulls through with a good time! Not part of a chain, you’ll find new and different things on the menu, catering to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Everything is made daily, from scratch with local produce. My favourite off their menu is definitely the Spinach and Strawberry Salad with a bit of goat cheese. Mmmmmm! The Nachos also must be noted as spectacular, as they do not skimp on the cheese.

The Local Pub seems to exude cool confidence and friendly exhilaration. Good conversation is always a byproduct of sharing a few drinks and a few meals with a few friends at The Local. Whether you’re interested in brunch, lunch, dinner, or a drink, or a night of drinking, The Local Pub and can deliver. The mood and the food will not fail at rocking your world and filling your soul with happiness. Seriously, this place has that power. It’s hip in that strength of character sort of way. The staff are laid back, but prompt. And they’ll chat you up if you let them. The Local is like the Cheers of Roncesvalles, except with younger hipper characters… and you can be one of them! So go to The Local Pub, tell them your name, and I’m positive they won’t forget it.

Check it out. The Local Pub

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Freshwood Grill Dining Experience

If you don't live near or around Roncesvalles, than you have probably never heard of the glory that is Freshwood Grill. This place isn't out to impress anybody, because it knows it doesn't need to. It's got the goods, and it knows it's got the goods, and it knows that you'll know it's got the goods once you've tried out the goods... that are quite good. Alright, let's look at atmosphere first. Freshwood is the epitome of self-aware confidence. The first thing you see when you walk through the entrance is the kitchen behind a wonderfully cluttered bar. You see the chef, plying his craft so easily with the flare of an artist, perhaps even a surrealist. It can be hypnotising, but try to keep moving through. Beyond this kitchen pit is the humble seating area and bar, reminiscent of the 1950s cafe ideals we watch on television screens. Their liquor menu(s) hang from the ceiling listing their abundant choices. I recommend the sangria. Or, if you're not jiving to the booze tune, order one of their many freshly squeezed juices (Mango juice is a-okay, let me tell you). Beyond the clutter of chairs and tables (quite movable for any sized party), is the patio. Oh the patio. It's like kicking it in your pal's backyard, all green and sunny. Don't forget your shades if you're going so spend an aft in this green alcove. Apart from the rugged bouquet of fresh yellow daisies that sit on the bar, Freshwood doesn't subscribe to pointless trinkets or other material symbols of status. Other than the giant and wonderfully kitsch swordfish that graces the back wall - since they are known for their sea-food - Freshwood has an interior design scheme similar to... hmmmm... a functional, frugal, yet intrinsically hip Bohemian loft. Also, the servers will always remind you of the person you wish you were, if you were cooler and slightly more attractive. Ha!
And now to discuss the food. FOOD! Mmmmmm. As I've already mentioned, Freshwood is well known for its seafood, as well as its pizza. I, however, recommend an omelet. Their omelets are the all-time hands-down I'd-bet-my-stomach-on-it best omelets EVER. With ingredients like goat cheese, portabello mushroom, and feta, you can't go wrong (especially when the price is so right). Their sweet potato fries are also bang-on fantastic. Don't forget to order some mayo, like their roasted garlic, for dipping!
So all in all, Freshwood Grill will never fail to awe. It's got everything anyone could ever need when strolling down Roncesvalles Ave. on a brisk Spring evening. It is one of the most down-to-earth places this up-to-sky girl has ever had the pleasure of dining. I can only hope that Freshwood will never sell-out, and give itself up to The Man. NEVER!

Check it out.
The Freshwood Grill

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Welcome to Roncy!

Roncesvalles Avenue is hipper than hip. It's true. This small little street is tucked away in the central west end of the city of Toronto, and is quickly becoming quite the hub of all things verging on trendy. It's unpretentious air is the heart of its charm, like some sort of mellow brick road. And I can assure you, this road can be followed all the way to coolness. No heel clicking required. The pubs and restaurants of Roncy are humble and simple, not hiding behind any showy images of minimalist design or uncomfortably elegant furniture. Roncy is truth, I say. What you see is what you get... until you order some food. The food is FABULOUS! I can honestly say I had the greatest omelet of my life on Roncy. No word of a lie. But more on that later.
The architecture of Roncesvalles is also a reason to visit. The homes that line the side streets are beautiful examples of early city building styles, dotted with churches and walk-ups that decorate the lovely Roncy village with classic designs.
As far as the TTC is concerned, Roncy is readily available. It is fully streetcar equipped, extending out of the Dundas West subway station at Bloor and Dundas W. Just hop on the tram, and go from Bloor to Queen, letting you take in Roncy in its entirety. However, I urge you to walk along Roncy. The window shopping is superb, with old fashioned cobbler shops and a revered statue of Pope John Paul II. And if you need a break from city walking, just walk a couple of blocks west and you'll find yourself looking upon the forested walls of High Park. Walk around. Smell some trees. Can't go wrong.
I am lucky enough to live at the top of Roncesvalles, and spend the majority of my free time walking up and down its sidewalks people-watching and strutting. You'll generally always find me having a pint in The Local, catching a movie at The Revue, or sipping a latte in Alternative Grounds. And so, I will spread my love of Rocy and record my wonderful Roncy experiences here. Enjoy!

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