Photo Friday: Summer Lovin’

Oh, the hot, hazy days of summer! While many of us moan and groan about the humidity (and the frizzy hair that comes with it), we can’t help but love summer: drinks on the patio, fun fashions and, of course, a drastic increase in shirtless hunks

Today’s Photo Friday rounds up a few of our favourite (summery) things, which are sure to be eye-candy once the temperature dips below zero. 


























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Rave: Piola Aperitivo Italiano

The holidays, with their unending parties and gift-buying obligations, may be long gone but that doesn’t mean we want to sit at home twiddling our thumbs until spring arrives. With our wallets and stomachs on diets these days, our social activities tend to err on the lighter side. Thankfully, Piola has heard our prayers and launched their Aperitivo Italiano this month at their Toronto location.

Piola is the new kid on the Queen West block, having recently opened across the street from the Drake Hotel in early December. Their menu centres around light, homestyle Italian cooking with a strong emphasis on their signature thin crust pizzas. The Aperitivo Italiano is the latest tradition they’ve imported from Italy. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, Piola treats guests to a delicious assortment of complimentary traditional finger foods while they enjoy drinks at the bar and unwind after a long day’s work. Piola’s Aperitivo Italiano features a variety of light and tasty nibbles, offered for free (!) to bar patrons.

Aperitivo Italiano is a common ritual in Italy, particularly in the northern region where Piola was founded. “Aperitivo” refers to the custom of enjoying drinks and snacks after work, allowing guests to open their palate, socialize and relax before dinner.

The base for the delicious Villa Hibiscus cocktail – a beautiful hibiscus blossom.

Nosh on Italian pinwheels, Caprese salad skewers, mini-calzones, brie polenta squares and Italian breadsticks with a variety of dips. Paired with a glass of antioxidant-filled red wine or a light cocktail (such as the Villa Hibiscus – Prosecco-infused with a hibiscus flower), the Aperitivo Italiano is the perfect place to meet a friend for a quick drink before heading to the gym (or staying for a pizza – we aren’t judging).


Piola is located at 1165 Queen St. W. Follow them on Twitter: @PiolaToronto

Yum, Yum: Lazy Days Lemonade

It’s HOT outside (obviously). On the Fourth Floor, we’re always looking for ways to cool down that also include tasty beverages (preferably to be enjoyed outside). Enter Lazy Days Lemonade, which is a perfect summer cocktail made from a refreshing combo of white wine, vodka and lemonade. This light drink is great to sip pool side, on a dock or even just on your apartment front porch.
Image source.
Lazy Days Lemonade

1 750 mL bottle of white wine (we like Pinot Grigio)
1 26 oz. bottle of vodka
1 package of Crystal Light lemonade
A splash of lime cordial
1 bottle of club soda

Mix all together in a large jug or punchbowl. Garnish with a slice of lemon and add ice to each glass before serving.

This recipe works best in a large juice jug for multiple servings and multiple friends. We love this one from Crate and Barrel for $49.95.
Image source.

What’s your favourite summer cocktail? Tweet us @rockitpromo.

Cheers!

Rave: Patio Season

All of us here on the fourth floor live for patio season – and thankfully it’s just around the corner. (May is going to bring nicer weather, we know it). In celebration of the return of our favourite warm weather activity, we want to share some of our top patio picks from across the city, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Enjoy!

EAST END

The Ceili Cottage, located at 1301 Queen St. E., is a cute Irish pub/restaurant in Leslieville. The patio seats up to 60 people, and with its street-side location, it’s just the right spot for conversation, people watching, and enjoying the weather!

Archeo is a lovely little restaurant in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District at 55 Mill St. Its classic patio is a sheltered oasis with foliage, flowers and cobblestone underfoot. We love this spot best for a Sunday brunch with friends and family. Afterward, take a stroll around to explore art galleries, shops and stunning historic buildings.

NORTH/WYCHWOOD

The Rushton is a cozy, neighborhood-oriented, French-inspired bistro at 740 St. Clair Ave. W., with a sweet little side patio. Such a lovely, intimate spot for a romantic date night. Enjoy wine and fresh cuisine on a warmer summer night here.


Safari Bar Grill located at 1749 Avenue Road this restaurant boats one of North Toronto’s largest patios – and it’s fully heated with retractable awnings and surrounded by beautiful flowers. Known for delicious food, specialty beers and an outstanding wine list with over 150 premium wines, this patio is a perfect place to go for a weekend lunch or dinner with family or friends.

WEST END


The Drake Hotel, of course. As you may know, we are lucky enough to have The Drake Hotel as our client, and they have THE coolest rooftop and ground patios in the city. These patios are fun for brunch, after-work drinks or a late night out on the town. Try out one of their seasonal menu items – they are constantly changing, but always delicious!


Vivoli is a classic Italian restaurant located in the heart of Little Italy at 665 College Street. Vivoli has three patios (one rooftop and two street side), making it an amazing spot to head for a pitcher of sangria and tasty authentic Italian pizza, straight from their wood-burning oven. Planning a birthday dinner? Definitely call to book a reservation here!

MIDTOWN


The Bedford Academy is a classic pub, tucked away in the heart of the Annex at 36 Prince Arthur Ave. The patio is divine since it’s located in such a beautiful neighbourhood, with lots of trees and lush green around you. They also offer five types of Caesars! Yum.

Victory Cafe is an Annex classic, at 581 Markham St. VC is always happening and filled with people enjoying the finest in Canadian flavours from local microbreweries. The service is friendly and the atmosphere is laid-back, making it a perfect destination for an after-work dinner and drink date with friends.

Tell us what your ideal spot to take in some sunshine and delicious drinks with friends in Toronto. Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below. 


Don’t forget to wear your sun block – or a stylish hat – to protect yourself from the rays while lounging around in the sun. It’s coming soon, we promise.