Mar 16, 2012

Experience Toronto Fashion Week like an ELLE editor: Where to dine

By: Ava Baccari

Allison Woo Author: Elle Canada Credits: Allison Woo

Mar 16, 2012

Experience Toronto Fashion Week like an ELLE editor: Where to dine

By: Ava Baccari
Taking our lifestyle cues from literary great Virginia Woolf—who once said “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”—we’re bringing our sense of fashionable intrepidness to the table, by scoping out the best dining hot spots for the Toronto Fashion Week crowd. We’ve consulted our expert panel of ELLE Canada editors for their favourite joints for a quick bite, evening cocktail and morning-after brunch in between the runway shows.

Fashionably late breakfast
The scene: L’Ouvrier Kitchen Bar, 791 Dundas St. W.
The vibe: Stark white minimalist walls centered around a 12-seater bar. Hot pink accents (tables, aprons) break up the monochrome aesthetic.
The look: Sharp lines—think an all-black or white suit ensemble—with a bright yellow or orange clutch for a poppy burst of colour.
The dish: Fried egg sandwich, aged cheddar, house-smoked bacon, fries ($13)
Final word: “I love to catch a quick brunch at hipster hot spot L'Ouvrier, where it's perfectly acceptable to wear your Ray-Ban Wayfarers over French-press coffee and scones. –Alannah O’Neill, associate editor.

Pre-show cocktail

The scene: O&B Canteen, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 330 John St.
The vibe: Traditional marketplace fare with an upscale twist; the bustling sounds and bright lights of the outside King West strip add to the urban ambiance.
The look: Studded heels—did someone say Alexander McQueen?— paired with a sleek blazer.
The dish: Baked goat cheese ($11) and a glass of Pinot noir ($11)
Final word: “Last season, I grabbed a pre-show bite and glass of vino with ELLE Canada editor-in-chief Noreen Flanagan at Canteen in the TIFF Lightbox building, which is just a short walk away from the tents.” –Alannah O’Neill.

Grabbing a late-night bite during Toronto Fashion Week? Read on for our favourite hot spots... 1-OBCanteen-AllisonWoo.jpg

Casual post-show eats

The scene: Cheesewerks, 56 Bathurst St.
The dish: Original grilled cheese—Balderson aged and double-smoked cheddars between two slices of cracked peppercorn sourdough bread ($7)
The vibe: The celebrated indulgence of this childhood staple served with the artisanal delicateness of the joint’s cheese connoisseur-owners, lends to its urban, foodie cred.
The look: Black leather leggings, oversized silk blouse, wedge booties.
Final word: “I’ll head straight to this low-key Toronto hot spot from the runway in my bright blue vintage YSL pumps. I like to stand out!”— Noah Lehava, web editor.

Late-night dinner
The scene: Blowfish, 668 King St. W.
The dish: Spicy tuna roll with rock shrimp ($18) and a Ginger grapefruit saketini ($15)
The vibe: Bathed in hot pink and cobalt blue lighting, this swanky sushi joint is the ultimate post-runway hangout.
The look: Anything loud: bright, colour-blocked outfits, leopard prints and bold, red lips—all at the same time.
Final word: “Even though I'm not a big sushi person, I love the tempura and hot plates at Blowfish. Plus nothing beats good sake!” –Jennifer Weatherhead, senior web editor

The scene: TOCA Bar at the Ritz-Carlton, 181 Wellington St. W.
The dish: Thunder Oak risotto ball with truffle mayo ($3) and a Bitter Bombay Bee ($16)
The vibe: This chic watering hole for the after-work crowd maintains its fashionable edge (and luxe cocktails) late into the night.
The look: A mix of Michael Kors-uptown—the ultimate Upper East Side Gossip Girl—with the elite downtown stylings of Tory Burch and Opening Ceremony.
Final word: “I love a hotel bar for its constantly evolving—and often surprising—mix of people. In that way, it’s a lot like Fashion Week! The Bitter Bombay Bee is a carefully crafted mix of gin, bitters, lemon peel and honey. Beyond delicious.”—Laura deCarufel, executive content editor

Read more:
Toronto Fashion Week: Lucian Matis, Fall/Winter 2012

Toronto Fashion Week: Joe Fresh, Fall/Winter 2012
Experience Toronto Fashion Week like an ELLE Editor: What to wear
Fashion accessories: Good luck jewellery
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Experience Toronto Fashion Week like an ELLE editor: Where to dine