Toronto Weekender: May 3 through 6, 2012

We’re always on top of the restaurant game, but this past month saw a ton opening that we want you to check out. Note it now, ladies and gents, Toronto’s restaurant scene is totally and fully reaching the apex of it’s renaissance.

Start your weekend early with drinks at SPIRITHOUSE. This new spot (at Adelaide and Portland) has some of the city’s best cocktails done with flair and precision. You’ll also find a number of amazing dishes, inspired to pair with the cocktails, and a chic almost gentlemen’s library feel.

But for a proper dinner, head to the Storys Spanish pop-up restaurant. The long line of Spanish tapas menu items is price $10 or less per, and there will be a range of cocktails and Spanish wine – all reasonably priced as well. Deliciousness will ensue.

Vices and Virtues is the theme for NABS’ (National Advertising Benevolent Society) annual gala, tonight’s big event at the Atrium of the CBC Building (250 Front Street West). A spectacular evening of sinful indulgences and heavenly treats awaits guests at the gala in support of one of our favourite not-for-profits.

Niagara Street Cafe recently closed, and has been reborn with new owners and a new name: Edulis. Stop in here for a sweet dinner inspired by classic dinners with a sophisticated modern edge thanks to haute cooking techniques. PS They have a Carte Blanche menu for $50 which puts trust in the chef to decide your courses…something that can truly enhance a restaurant experience.

‘Hey, Tequila!’ will likely make more than one appearance on the speakers during the Tequila and More show, which showcases the best and brightest tequilas and mescals, and the cocktails and drinks made from Mexico’s most famous export. This year, the Liquid Chef makes a Toronto appearance, and sharing the stage is a summer fashion show and lots of authentic dancing. The perfect way to prep for Cinco de Mayo.

Saturday is Cinco de Mayo! The Drake Hotel is hosting a wicked fiesta, with local crafts, cilantro Caesars, and tons of tacos. Monarch Tavern will be celebrating all day with huevos rancheros, tequila and more. And Milagro Cantina Mexicana (as well as pretty much any other Mexican restaurant), will be hosting some specials and celebrations as well.

Osteria 55 – the new incarnation of The Bowery – opened a couple weeks ago. Check in here for a late lunch on Saturday before getting on with your day. The homemade pastas are pretty on-point, and you can’t go wrong with a little Italian mid-day.

So, America’s Next Top Model Live is at the MTCC this weekend. Why, we’re still unsure. However, apparently you can check out the models from ANTM All Stars, see ‘celebs’ like Danny Fernandes, Jeanne Beker, and Karl Wolf, shop fashion and beauty products, and essentially have an afternoon of what those in the biz call ‘fabulousness’.

For Saturday dinner, head north to Dupont and Dufferin and check out the opening of Kitch, a place for ‘eats and beats’. Trendy comfort food – mac n’ cheese, tacos, nachos – and a loud (visually) space are all part of Kitch’s kitsch. The 2,800 sq. ft. space is sure to impress, and can host gaggles of groups.

OCAD U’s 97th Annual Graduate Exhibition ends Sunday, with the class of 2012, an eclectic mix of more than 500 graduating students working in twelve undergraduate programs, exhibiting work from a broad spectrum of disciplines, ranging from drawing and painting, printmaking, photography, criticism and curatorial practice, integrated media and sculpture/installation in the Faculty of Art; to advertising, environmental, industrial and graphic design, illustration and material art and design (jewellery, fibre and ceramics) in the Faculty of Design. This year’s show will transform the university’s main building and the acclaimed Sharp Centre for Design into the biggest exhibition of the year.

For Sunday dinner, head north of Christie Pits to The Bristol Yard. This British comfort food restaurant is a darling little spot, with pot pies to make you weep and even some Indian-influenced Brit fare. It’s a great place to close down your weekend and get that last bit of bliss for manic Monday.

Photo courtesy Edulis Restaurant