Friday, October 23, 2009

Caplansky's and Kalendar

I've always been one for celebrating birthdays instead of keeping them secret like some people. In fact, not only do I celebrate on my birthday, I start a week early and have at least two birthday weekends.

This year would be no different so today, a week before my birthday, we started the celebration with a trip to see the Vanity Fair Photo exhibit at the ROM, followed by lunch at Caplansky's. I had heard about Caplansky's and have read about them in a few reviews so I was looking forward to going. The food was good. Really good. The atmosphere very relaxed, that of a deli. We sat in the back, in a booth by the meat carving station. I had the 7 oz pickled tongue sandwich (on rye) and my friends had the smoked turkey and burger. We all agreed that the food was good. An hour or so later, after twice turning down our server for third helpings of booze we decided it was the clue to move on. Since I still had much celebrating to do I was not ready to go home. A friend who happens to live just down the street from Caplansky's and therefore is familiar with the area suggested we go to Kalendar, this really gorgeous, cozy place two blocks west (I think). So on to Kalendar we went, sampling their apps and drink selection. There were hot drinks, both alcoholic and non, and also a separate section for winter drinks with offerings of mulled wine, mulled cider to which you could add rum for an additional charge and they also had a hot toddy. They also had a good spread of brandy, armanac and cognac and a few choices of scotch. They had a lovely variety of beer and moved away from the standard pub fare (although I am sure they had those). There was a dark beer with a 9% alcohol content, called La Fin du Monde. My friend had that and encouraged me to try but as I was knocking back Jim Beams I didn't want to mess myself up. Later into the night, those drinks whetting my appetite we tried a couple of their apps, right there at the bar. There were the nanettes one through five, of which we had the third (essentially they were pizzas on naan bread), and there was also an appetizer of smoked trout, served with naan, pickled ginger, a few pickled pearl onions on the side and something I couldn't identify but felt mushroom-y. I ended the night with a bottle of Tankhouse (a Mill St. Brewery beer), I think alcohol content was 7.2% but I have had much to drink that night so I could be slightly off about the percentage.

If there was one disappointment today, if we could call it that, was that after spending so much of my time on College Street I was unable to move on to the Black Hoof that night. I'll have to leave it for another day.

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