Fave Five: Brunch

Ah
brunch. If there is one thing the 416 and the 905 can agree on, it’s that brunch is bliss.
Persistent scorn for frigid February – and the accompanying lament: why am I
still living here? – melts away to reveal a fondness for the winter wonderland
we call home when we’re cozied up at one of our favourite joints crunching on
bacon and buttering scones. It’s more difficult to choose a top brunch spot in
Toronto than whether we want a coffee or a Caesar with our eggs benny so, heck
lazy-Sunday-lovers, we’re not gonna do it! 


Here are five faves. We’re open to
suggestions for our next post (tweet us @rockitpromo) and maybe a mimosa too…

Celebrating its ninth birthday next week (with a kick-ass To The Nines bash), The Drake Hotel is a neighbourhood staple. Offering comfort food with it’s signature casually opulent flare, we love everything on the menu. Bonus points for the larger-than-average seating area (with a choice between casual café, lounge and dining room) and extended serving time (brunch goes until 4 p.m.). Must try: warm scone share plate.
1150 Queen St. W.


Only a couple years ago this bright, cheerful locale – where coffee is served in romantic china tea cups – was a dingy, dark illegal after-hours club. We’re glad a passion for food and elbow grease (thanks Orwell?) led to the operation of L’Ouvrier by Angus Bennett. The menu is modestly sized, but contains something for everyone, from the health nut to the heart-attack-challenger. Must try: potato rosti, smoked salmon, crème fraîche, arugula, fried shallots, and capers.
791 Dundas St. W.


Somehow Saving Grace comes off as cozy rather than tiny. There is no arguing the fact that elbow room is at a premium but the large windows and potted plants make the space bright and welcoming. The food is spot on and specials vary daily, just be prepared for a wait to get in. Must try: French toast with caramelized bananas.
907 Dundas St. W.
Welcome to a less complicated time. Aunties and Uncles is unpretentious (we love the retro décor!) and operates on the fresh-is-best mentality. Inexpensive and a reliable hangover cure we can’t imagine the brunch scene without this old standby. Must try: omelette of the day.
74 Lippincott St.

Not all our Sundays are lazy. And when we’re looking for a little excitement we turn to the cultural hub of downtown: Toronto’s Soho House. They pair extravagant, healthy brunch spreads with event programming. It’s a members-only club, so if you haven’t got a membership, cozy up to someone that does. It’s well worth it. Must try: to die for croissants.
192 Adelaide St. W.

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#TIFF12: Our fave parties and events

The endless parade of
Starbucks entering the building is slowing and the cases of Red Bull are nearly empty, and what we have left are the memories of an exciting, busy and hectic TIFF. As we’ve said before, this is
the busiest, yet most exciting time of year for us on the fourth floor. We had the opportunity to attend some
pretty awesome parties with our clients and wanted to give you the run-down of our faves as TIFF 2012 comes to a close.


Getting things started off right was the opening night party
at Maple Leaf Square. The red carpet party was attended by some great Canadian stars including Saad Siddiqui, Charlie Carrick, Charlotte Sullivan, Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Jian Ghomeshi and
Matt Sadowski. There was great dance music, delicious food and a definite energy in the air as TIFF was officially kicked off.


The first day of the Tastemakers Lounge began at 6
a.m. at The Intercontinental Hotel. Excited for a segment with CP24 Breakfast, we got down to business with interviews from Saad Siddiqui and Charlie Carrick. Then
we were thrown off our game when we were asked to be part of the show’s Friday
Morning Dance Party. A little bit of Duran
Duran’s Girls on Film never hurt
anyone!  You can check us out enjoying (embarrassing?) ourselves on live TV here.


We heart the motto this year at the Tastemaker’s Lounge.
Rac Boutique’s Bazaar, part of Fashion’s Night Out on the sixth floor of The Burroughes
building was super busy.  Still in the
office, we could hear the sound of heels clicking up and
down the stairs as Toronto’s most stylish shopped and sipped champagne.  Oh right, and hung out with Adrian Grenier
who also attended and left with a pair of Sully Wong shoes and an Altea tie.

The Drake’s Overdrive Party was a great time. With a long
line and a packed house, it was definitely a place to be last Thursday night. There was great music, great cocktails with clever names (James Dean and Steve McQueen – can you get any cooler?) and a mobile tattoo parlour by Sailor Jerry offering free tattoos and haircuts.  What else could you want? Oh right, a celeb sighting! Adrian Grenier swung
by later that night to hang out, adding even more excitement to an already-exciting party.



The amazing Sailor Jerry Airstream trailer, where party-goers got free tattoos!

Friday morning at the office was full of excitement when some
of the girls reported back about the Soho House Looper after party.  In their
most stylish get-ups, our girls were in the presence of the city’s most talked
about stars: Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who were out
celebrating their opening night film. 
There was much buzz about gorgeous Emily Blunt and her adorably funny husband
John Krasinski, better known as everyone’s fave Jim Halpert on The Office.


Image Source.
Saturday’s HELLO! Hollywood party at The Ritz-Carlton was also a highlight. Our
Rising Stars , Charlie Carrick, Connor Jessup, Tatiana Maslany and Charlotte
Sullivan were hanging out with Love It or
List It’s
Hilary Farr, CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi, the Drake Hotel’s Jeff Stober and actors Jonas Chernick and Emily Hampshire. There was a huge crowd and lots of mingling and industry chit-chat that took place in the swank Ritz ballroom.

Sunday afternoon brought along the Annual Canadian Film Centre barbeque, which celebrates the “independent creative spirit” and is always one of our favourite TIFF events. We love the casual vibe and delicious smell of grilled burgers, which makes for a nice change from the dim party lights, high heels and fancy passed appetizers we’ve been seeing all week.  There was even a Jason Priestley sighting which brought us back to the great “Brandon vs. Dylan” debate (we can’t wait for his turn in an upcoming Canadian Stage production – stay tuned!).

Another fave of ours is Festival Music House which ran for three nights this week. The MOD club held intimate concerts by
 Adam Cohen, Wintersleep, Yukon Blonde, Young Empires and Down With Webster. We made some new musical discoveries, loving the sets that Humans, Monster Truck and Hey Ocean! brought. Although these are big names in the music scene, the whole event had a very different vibe.  It was an intimate
setting where we got to rock out in a really chill venue with film industry peeps.



Shawn Hook sings his heart out, Down With Webster’s drum solo, part of our FMH crew, and Monster Truck rockin’ out – #FestivalMusicHouse memories.

In between all of these amazing events, and little cat naps,
we are excited to see our city buzzing with excitement.  We’ve been out and about and feeling
Hollywood in the air.  The bright lights
of T.O. are providing us with endless amounts of energy that we’re hoping will
last take us through the last few days of the festival.








JetSet: NYC

A few of us have been travelling quite a bit lately, so thought it would be fun to introduce a new blog category called JetSet. We’ll share our tips, ideas and insider info about restaurants, hotels, bars, attractions and anything else awesome we stumble across in our journeys!


When a Porter seat sale comes through our inboxes, we like to take advantage. One of our favourite weekend jaunts is to the Big Apple. New York City is just a short flight away, and there’s always something to do, plenty to eat and endless sales to check out. It was genuinely hard to narrow it down to a few, but here are some of our fave places to stop by while in the city that never sleeps. 

Where to eat
If you’re in Brooklyn and have a sweet tooth, we highly recommend you swing by DOUGH –
a doughnut shop with delicious, fresh creations including nutella, lemon meringue and hibiscus.


Café Cluny  in the West Village is a great place to stop in when you need a break between Maje and BookMarc. The cute French café/bistro is great for a light lunch or a glass of wine. Bonus: on occasion you can spot some celebs grabbing a bite. 


If you’re like us, food always tastes more delicious when it’s a little bit hidden, and totally unexpected. You know, like Mexican food from a basement restaurant marked only with Vietnamese signs in a Chinatown alley. Sounds random, but Pulqueria is all that and more. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation. Their taco selection and margarita pitchers, not to mention their tower of salsas, make this an awesome spot to have dinner with friends. 

Expect the unexpected in NYC.

Rosemary’s, also in the West Village, has a slightly higher price point, but delicious Italian food (with ingredients from their rooftop garden!) and a good vibe. Be sure to start your meal off with prosecco, for the true Italian touch.


Where to party
Le Baron is the NY incarnation of the Parisan hotspot, located in Chinatown. It boasts three floors and has banned photography (sorry, no instagramming) – but you can tweet at them here: @LeBaronNYC.

To get into the ever-popular Jane Hotel, be sure to make a reso or get on the
guest list. Otherwise you risk being among the masses huddled outside – consider yourself warned.


Swanky hot spot, The Jane.

Honourable mentions go to the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hoteland if you’re a member, Soho House for poolside drinks and dinner. 
Where to shop
While Soho
is always a fun place for wandering, we recommend going on a weekday if possible, as weekends are a bit crazy. A few good starting points are Barney’s Co-Op, Neiman Marcus and the TopShop on Broadway to check out the sales. 

When in Brooklyn, stopping by Catbird is a must. Their adorable housewares, including an in-house line of candles, and beautifully curated jewellery makes this tiny shop a must-visit every time we’re in NY. 


For clothing, Bird in Brooklyn (no relation to Catbird) carries some great lines and does a great job editing which pieces are carried in-store. 


We highly recommend spending some quality time at Stella
Dallas
 a wonderful vintage store in Williamsburg. Bonus – there’s a houseware
store right beside it which is pretty neat, especially if you’re in the market for unique linens or blankets. 

There’s a reason we can go back to New York again and again and again, it’s because the city has endless things to offer. These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, so don’t be surprised to see us update you with our newest NYC discoveries. 

Fashion-able: Power Ball street style

Last week, we headed to the always-fun, 14th annual Power Ball, a vibrant and original contemporary art party in support of The Power Plant gallery. 


Being the 25th anniversary of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the theme was Quarter-Life Crisis. The theme brought out some great outfits, unique accessories and an excuse to party like we’re 25 (best year of partying ever, right?).  We started the evening at the VIP event sponsored by Soho House and Grey Goose where we enjoyed delicious food, cocktails and an awesome performance by Dragonette. 


Following the cocktail, we made our way over to the Power Plant for even more food (a massive roasted bison) by Mark Thuet, art installations and a whole lot of dancing. Below we’ve compiled a few of the unique looks from the night that topped our favourites’ list.

Dragonette takes the stage in a delicious watermelon top.


Leather, blue & a choker.


Chain vest adds a little oomp to any outfit. 


Watercolour dress – fitting for the waterfront venue.


We’re still digging pantone orange.
Pops of colour and pretty smiles accessorize well with Thuet’s party eats. 
We love a good short suit. 
The only people who seemed to be truly creative with their outfit. Approved.
Photo from Post City.

We’re firm believers that shoes can make an outfit. 

Pink tips + mint = love. We’ve talked about these On The Fourth Floor before