Toronto Weekender: February 2 through 5, 2012

C’est Fevrier! (What, we can’t linger in our nation’s second language from time to time?) The winter thus far has been rather swell to us, and while this may end up jinxing the good rapport we have with Mother Nature, we at Notable are pretty optimistic about good tidings for the month of love… 

Tonight marks the launch of the highly-anticipated Church Aperitivo Bar. Yes, it’s Italian. Yes, we’ve been malignant about the fact that every second restaurant that opens in the city derives inspiration from the boot-shaped country. But, at least this spot has a few things going for it. First, it’s in an old church, so expect the vibe to be pretty stellar. Second, it focuses on the ‘aperitivo’ aspect of Italian tradition; drinks and share plates with your kin. So, should be pretty rad.

Also tonight is an intimate evening with actress Pam Grier – best known as the iconic Foxy Brown – at Cineplex’s Varsity VIP Cinemas. Hosted by actress/director Sharon Lewis, this night is part of TD’s Then and Now series, and is also in conjunction with the CFC in celebration of Black History Month.

If you work in the Queen/Spadina area, Friday for lunch head over to Come And Get It. It’s opening for maybe six months, and is serving up comfort grub with a little bit of a gourmet twist. For the haphazard gourmand, it is.

At night, head out to Kensington Market, all ye pizza lovers, to sample some of the newly-opened Pizzeria Via Mercanti‘s pies. The duo behind the new spot have had tenure at Queen Margherita, so expectations are rightfully high.

For those lucky enough to have scored tickets before they sold out, motionball’s 11th Annual Gala is Friday night at the Carlu. If you’ve left ticket-buying til the last minute, woe is you. (Maybe someone in your network has a pair and can’t make it?) 

Also Friday night is the debut screening at the Projection Booth of filmmaker Billie Mintz’s The Ponzi Scheme. This doc traces the instances and intricacies behind the plight of thousands who were swindled out of their hard-earned cash. A must-see. 

On Saturday, if you’re in a ‘souper’ mood, get out to Ceili (pronounced Kay-lee) Cottage on Queen East. They’re pumping out two varieties of awesome chowders, one done in-house, one by Riverdale’s Sausage Partners. It’s a championship of epic proportions, dubbed, aptly-so, the Chowder Bowl Playoffs, pitting Manhattan and New England styles against each other.

On the flip side of the Queen Street strip, the Drake Hotel is again hosting the fashion and food fusion brunch in conjunction with the Toronto Fashion Incubator. Great bites, cool clothes, and awesome company. A swish Saturday morning/afternoon. (Various seatings.)

Pink Ribbon Inc. debuts at AMC Theatres this weekend, and is an in-depth look at the business behind breast cancer research fundraising. Is it just a ploy for companies? Does the money go where it should? What do survivors and those battling breast cancer have to say? This film was acclaimed at TIFF and is a must-watch doc for the socially-conscious. 

On Saturday evening, if you’re so inclined, Winchester Kitchen and Bar is hosting a fundraiser for Free the Children. This is a worthy cause and in need of your support. Bonus: The Winnie has some delectable menu options, so you can start and end your night here.

If you’re looking for something a bit more decadent, Toronto institution Colborne Lane is celebrating it’s five year anniversary this month with a whopping 10-course tasting menu. For $149, indulge your senses at this gastronomical wonder, and for an extra $59 you can get the wine pairings to boot.

Since you’re likely to be in a bar or pub all day Sunday, Saturday night head out to Bar Neon in Bloordale for some interesting drinks, or likewise Cold Tea Bar in Kensington is a total hit, with lineups starting to form to get into this hot new spot.

Sunday. Super Bowl. Nuff said. We won’t even touch anything else this week on this ever-so-holy of sports days. Click here to check out our rundown of the best joints to hit up for any discerning YP’s tastes.

Photo courtesy Colborne Lane