in the speakeasy

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI just came back from class.

Full disclosure: my boyfriend organizes/teaches these beer classes, so I may be wearing rose-tinted glasses (or just beer goggles?). But I have to say objectively (or at least, I’m aiming to!), that these are pretty wicked sessions for anyone who wants to learn more about beer, enjoys drinking neat stuff, or just wants to do something cool on a Tuesday night.

But, I actually sat down at my laptop to write about an entirely different occasion in the speakeasy – Sunday’s Supper Club. Started by Union 613’s Jamie Martyniuk, the Supper Club brings different chefs into Union 613’s speakeasy once a month for a unique dining experience. The second supper club took place this past Sunday, and featured Chefs Marc Lepine from Atelier and Briana Kim from Café My House. It was a real treat. A 24 course menu that was a little weird, a little whimsical, and totally delicious; it was certainly a memorable meal.union 613 (2) Continue reading

so gouda

cheese at homeHappy Cheese Lover’s Day! (There are food “days” for every day of the year now, I think. But this looks official enough for me.)

I did a little research in the name of spreading the good cheesy word — you can go learn about some of Ottawa’s top cheese authorities and their favourite cheeses over at Ottawa Magazine. Continue reading

on sundae

vanilla ice cream with balsamic syrupThe old aphorism “opposites attract” probably best describes this pairing. The slightly acidic tang from the balsamic syrup with the softly sweet vanilla is a winning combination. Elegantly simple. Vanilla pairs perfectly with so many things that we made the ice cream our vehicle for taste testing several different flavoured balsamic vinegars. Fig, black cherry, chocolate, pear…just a few of the versatile vinegars from the Unrefined Olive, and all delicious. David Lebovitz’s recipe for vanilla ice cream has been my go-to. I was so excited to get a double batch done while family was visiting (so that we could have our balsamic tasting experience!) that the second batch might not have been completely frozen…I tried to pass it off as soft serve. Continue reading

wine weekend

One night when I was around 11 years old, I heard a steady knocking coming from our basement as I got ready for bed. I don’t know what spooky things I was expecting to find, but I do remember holding my breath as I tip toed down the stairs.

It was just my dad hammering some DIY-wine bottle racks together; nothing frightening (although, I guess Dad with a hammer could be a bit of a scary sight). Thus my first exposure to wine appreciation was at home—kid-Katie thought white wine was pretty tasty, but red was revolting. Am happy to report that my taste buds have evolved.

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Beach Riesling

lake ontarioNHAfter sleeping through alarms and a later than anticipated start, we arrived in Prince Edward County in time for lunch at Norman Hardie’s.  We snagged a seat in the shade, and pizza hot from the wood oven arrived soon after with some cold County Chardonnay. The winery was hopping for a Monday. Amidst the soundtrack of clinking glasses and wine chatter, we mapped out our next stops in the county.  With only a short day to get away to one of our favourite places in Ontario, we planned to squeeze in as many wineries and breweries as we could before hitting the beach.  But we never made it past Norm’s. Continue reading

Coffees & Curios at CC’s Corner

CC's Corner (6)In January, I asked Tristan to come with me to check out a new coffeeshop I had heard of in Richmond, in rural Ottawa. He made fun of me for suggesting a coffee spot that was more than a ten minute drive away, but he’s since become a proud member of their caffiend club and we’re both big fans of the quirky spot. I wrote about Cameron and Savannah, and their winning combination of coffee and curios at CC’s Corner over at Apt613. Continue reading

Adventures In Your Own Back Yard

chinatownWhile I think Ottawa has something to tout for every season (then again, I’m pretty into championing my hometown), signs of summer definitely breathe new life in to the capital. The arrival of warm weather after a chilly start to spring is especially exciting; it seems like everyone in the city is thrilled to be outdoors. Jacket and scarf have been shed in favour of a sundress and sandals. It seems cliché, but it’s hard not to get caught up in all the weather talk when the seasonal transitions seem to happen so quickly, and the transitions are so beautiful. A perfect time for adventures in your own backyard.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI spent the last week living in Ottawa’s Chinatown, while I house/cat sat for my cousin (thanks, Anne!). While I’m no stranger to the area, it was swell to play house outside of the burbs and we had a great time acting like locals (and posing in front of murals like tourists). I think I consumed just enough pho and ramen to turn in to a bowl of Asian broth–all things in moderation?adventures in your own backyard (4) Continue reading