Toronto Weekender: May 30 through June 2, 2013

Well, we did it. We made it to June mostly unscathed and unharmed. And we’re calling it: Summer has arrived. If you thought we were able to make your fall/winter/spring weekends hyped up, well, they’re nothing compared to the season ahead. Here’s your first officially unofficial Weekender of summer. Take that, meteorologists!

Call up Bent restaurant and beg for a reservation. Right now, they’ve got an amazing deal on a seafood tasting menu for two. Dubbed ‘BENT-O’, this “box” of oceanic proportions features two types of ceviche, lobster tacos, tuna tartare, pressed octopus and more, and you can nab it between the hours of 5pm and 7pm for only $35. (Or $42 after 7pm.) 

Kampai Toronto is on tonight, and it’ll rock your world. This sake festival features over 100 varieties of the Japanese drink alongside nosh from some of Toronto’s top Japanese restaurants. Part food and bev celebration, part cultural exploration, Kampai Toronto’s second year is sure to be a notable one. 

There’s also a Flair Bartending Competition going on over at Jack Astor’s on Front West. If you’ve never been to one, Flair Bartending is essentially mixology on crack, or as we like to call it, mixology Rob Ford-style. The event helps raise funds for the RJ3 Scholarship. 

The Corona Paint Party is taking over Yonge and Dundas Square Friday night. Experience how to “Live Mas Fina” at one of Canada’s largest paint parties, where the designated paint zone will see hundreds of white-clad folk making the most colourful mess ever, using their whole bodies as paintbrushes and turning themselves and everyone around them into abstract works of art.

There’s a drop-in dinner going down at The Dep tonight, featuring a-mah-zing roasted French herbed Chicken Roulade with wild mushroom stuffing, a dijon white wine glaze, and golden roasted taters. Best part? This uber-gourmet meal is going for a paltry $14. Now that’s a notable deal.

The hottest ticket Friday night is at The Courthouse (57 Adelaide Street East), where you can join hundreds of other young professionals, movers and shakers, and tastemakers at the Red and White (with a Hint of Blue) Ball. Supporting Rethink Breast Cancer and Prostate Canada, enjoy drinks, dancing, and some notable networking while lending your help to two important causes.

Saturday’s the last day you can head to over 64 locations in Toronto to snatch up a $5 burger as part of The Grid’s Burger Week (read on to Sunday to find out about the big finale). Featuring gourmet concoctions at a fraction of the normal cost, these restaurants are beefing up the competition.

Head over to Harbord Street Saturday night and do your bestest to nab a spot at the bar of the newly opened THR&Co. From the same owners as The Harbord Room, THR&Co. is a more accessible version, with a menu that traverses from charcuterie to ‘za (the dough tastes a li’l like pancakes, which is a good thing in this instance) to pasta to beautiful meat and fish dishes.

Ready for some new sensations? Bud Light presents Sensation Canada Saturday over at the Rogers Centre, introducing Canadian audiences to the ‘Ocean of White’. The Ocean of White is a wondrous world of nocturnal sea life where flames shoot from the ceiling, acrobats rappel down from the roof, giant jellyfish hover above the dancefloor and carnival floats part the crowds. Guiding you through the night are DJ talents like Mr. White, 2000 and one, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano, Fedde le Grand, Eric Prydz, Otto Knows and MC Gee. This will be a massive party… you might not want to miss it. 

As mentioned earlier, Sunday’s the big finale of Grid Burger Week. All the participants this year will be gathering at Artscape Wychwood Barns for an all-you-can-eat burgerlicious jour de boeuf. For $30, you can sample as many slider-sized versions of this year’s burgers from some of the city’s top restaurants. Bring a towel to dab up after yourself, we’re predicting a melee of meat sweats. 

The 15th Riverdale Art Walk (RAW) is an annual outdoor art fair, celebration and sale featuring over 125 artists exhibiting painting, photography, mixed media, printmaking, drawing and sculpture. Experience the work of a wide variety of established and emerging artists on Sunday at this dynamic and fun event that gives thousands of visitors the opportunity to discover the “next great Canadian artist” or simply that one artist that connects with you.

Top photo courtesy Bent Restaurant