Toronto Weekender: March 14 through 17, 2013

The weekend is upon us, so let’s get down to business, YPs. Here’s your weekly rundown of what’s hot to trot in a city that’s still chillin’…

The Guild Restaurant has finally opened after months of anticipation, and don’t wait any longer to check it out. Located at 1442 Dundas Street West, The Guild’s decor features reclaimed woods and a beautiful tin ceiling alongside some kitschy elements. Chef/Owner Mani Binelli’s menu focuses heavily on modern techniques, as witnessed on his twitter feed with all those shots of sous viding.

Tonight, celebrate the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day early at The Lucky Ball in The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West). This fundraiser – in support of the Fort York Food Bank – sees an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, music and a DJ set by Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene fame. Mix and mingle with the city’s top tier at this inaugural ball.

With a lineup of pedigreed owners – their experience includes owning or working at establishments ranging from Riverside Public House to The Lakeview to Wrongbar – Samuel J. Moore opened recently in The Great Hall (1087 Queen St. W.) Chef Alexandra Feswick mans the kitchen in this classically-styled tavern. Check out this new hotspot Friday night.

It was a short run for Sazerac Gastro Lounge on King West… but it’s not totally over. After months of analysis, the owners have decided to pull the space in a new direction. CABAL officially opens Friday night in Sazerac’s wake, and there’ll be drinks, dancing, and oohs and awing galore. Check it out to be one of the early adopters.

From the peeps who brought us West End cocktail and spring roll bar, we now have Northwood, a bar/cafe that’s currently focusing on breakfast style items like pastries, soup and brunch. Though, in the near future they plan to open a licensed patio and break into a full dinner menu, for now, you can catch the ambiance at Northwood at 815 Bloor Street West. Check it out Saturday morning.

Running this weekend through the 24, visit the National Home Show and Canada Blooms at the Direct Energy Centre in Exhibition Place. Featuring dozens upon dozens of exhibitors and demonstrations, the National Home Show is the perfect foray into the Spring season where you can learn about the latest trends and pick up the hottest in home products. Spend the day springing into the new season.

Saturday (or Sunday), head over to Ontario Place for the ultimate celebration of St. Patrick: Budweiser Presents St. Party’s Day. With two days of beer-fueled fun, St. Party’s Day is a mass celebration of the Patron Saint of Ireland. This event fills to capacity with the young and hip, who are treated to Irish music and dancing, DJ sets, and the official Bud Big Rig.

The day is upon us. St. Patrick’s Day is taking over our fair city on Sunday, and we couldn’t be more excited for this day of debauchery, drinks, and donning some green glory. Here are a few spots to check out for the most authentic Irish experience…

P.J. O’Brien’s has been serving up the luck of the Irish for years. It’s always boisterous inside, especially with the after-work crowd. Traditional stews, fish ‘n chips, and pies abound, and you’ll never be hard up looking for a Guinness or Kilkenny. Similarly, the Irish Embassy, P.J. O’Brien’s sister, is a bit more of a classy spot, where you’ll see suits lining the bar daily looking for a stiff pour of whisky. The food is treated with more finesse here, and the service is always on-point.

You could also venture over to long-time Danforth gem, Allen’s – an ode to the Irish saloons of yesteryear. Allen’s has a scotch and whisky list that’ll make any parched palate quiver with glee.

In the east-end you’ll want to check out Ceili Cottage – the hearth of Ireland in Toronto. Shucker Paddy sends oysters out the kitchen at lightning speeds, while the rest of the cooks send forth plate after plate of gourmet takes on staples.

We also adore Murphy’s Law. The food is always solid insofar as pubs are concerned, and the drinks are always free-flowing. It’s a bit of a trek for any Downtowners or Westenders… but it’s worth the trip over the DVP.

Photo courtesy The Guild Restaurant