Toronto Weekender: December 8 through 11, 2011

We’re a couple weeks away from the city-wide lull that puts the Toronto scene on a brief hiatus, so this weekend we’re looking to take advantage of the few new spots that just popped up on our radar…

Tonight, hop on over to LOCO for LOCAL at Naxo Gallery on Dundas West. This endeavour, brought to us by the twin duo behind Muttonhead Collective, sees local designers, artists, and the like coming together for a weekend-long, market-style shopping event.

Next, make a stop into the newly opened Ascari Enoteca on Queen Street East (check out our review here). The new rustic Italian spot/wine bar – enoteca means wine repository in Italian – boasts a beautiful menu with colourful dishes and a superb vibe. A perfect start to your weekend.

On Friday, take a little jaunt over to the Auld Spot Pub on College West, which celebrated its two-year anniversary on Tuesday night. The pub grub is excellent if you’re looking for an after-work pick-me-up, and the beer list, while small, boasts a great little selection. Definitely a great spot to start your night.

You’ll want to score tickets for radio station The Edge’s Jingle Bell Rock, featuring K-OS and Bedouin Soundclash, at Sound Academy Friday night. Partial proceeds from this concert goes to support the Daily Bread Food Bank, so you’ll be rocking out while helping out…how notable is that?

On Saturday morning head out to the good ol’ Roncy neighbourhood and grab a seat at the recently reopened Ace Restaurant for a relaxing brunch. The little joint is diner chic and brings the funky atmosphere through to their menu offerings.

Saturday afternoon can be an interesting one, if you so choose. The Toronto Motorcycle Show rides into the MTCC, showcasing some awesome hogs. (Fitting for Hogtown, non?) There will also be a UFC autograph session hosted by Harley Davidson, just in case you want to test the fighters’ recovery from their incessant concussions…

Shop Cats is hosting the 2nd Annual Wandering Winter Crafts Show at the Gladstone Hotel from 11am through 5pm on Saturday, featuring hand-made mementos galore. (You can stop into the Melody Bar there for a midday libation, too!)

For dinner, make your way north a bit to the brand-spankin’-new Terroni location in midtown. Ah Terroni, you know we love thee, right? Okay, so maybe it’s not the absolute best Italian in the city – Campagnolo and Enoteca Sociale easily beat it – but Terroni can always be counted on for a delicious meal in a trendy and hip atmosphere.

And if you’re in the mood for a resplendent evening of respite, march yourself over to BarChef on Queen West for some amazing cocktails apres-nosh. Grab a few from your crew and order up the Brandy Punch Bowl for holiday-style sharing.

For Sunday brunch go to Origin at King and Church and pull your seat into some french toast with walnut brittle or steak and eggs with smoked hollandaise. You’re almost always guaranteed a delectable meal at this downtown chic haunt.

Afterwards, if you’re feeling a little, shall we say, exuberant, you might want to check out Toronto AnimeCon at the MTCC. It’ll definitely be a sight-filled experience, replete with costume-donned anime lovers and comics galore.

One of our favourite holiday traditions is on Sunday afternoon. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 12 Days of Christmas flitters on flutes into Roy Thomson Hall for what is always an epic concert of classical proportions.

For dinner, Milagro on Mercer is a merry way to end your weekend. This Mexican ‘restaurante’ has various ceviches that pair nicely with their extensive margarita list. Ah, a spicy end to a jam-packed weekend. Could there be anything better…?