Toronto Weekender: May 31 through June 3, 2012

It’s the first weekend of June, which for us essentially means it’s now acceptable to wear short shorts and muscle tees. Not advisable, just acceptable. The city’s scene is gearing up for the hot months, and we couldn’t be more excited… 

Hit up Prohibition Gastrohouse in Leslieville for dinner and drinks. This spot is always packed with locals, clamouring in for the awesome beer prices, delish gastropub-style food, and the sweet light switch to get a server’s attention! Best of all, the atmosphere is one-part pub, one-part sports bar, one part wine bar.

Try to get a seat on Grand Electric‘s new patio for dinner. If you’ve tried to go/gone, you’ve likely had to wait over an hour for a spot at the 40-seat restaurant. With the addition of the patio, seating capacity has increased an extra 60, meaning there’s a much better shot at getting some taco-licious goodness and your brown booze fix.

For the 8th consecutive year, Waterfront Blues continues to speak one language only – The Blues! When the event started it was positioned as Metro Toronto’s only genuine Blues festival and remains just that. Yes there are some of the siblings of Blues represented – Soul, Funk, and R&B – but it’s all essentially Blues. And in an era when the genre has been marginalized, Waterfront Blues continually breaks through with the best in the Blues today. These offerings include both those universally celebrated as well as undiscovered gems – all on one stage.

Steam Whistle is an active supporter of independent Canadian musicians and the microbrewery’s UNSIGNED concert series is now in its fifth year running. The June 1st show will be hosted in the Toronto Brewery’s Beer Hall and will feature the local talent of the Wilderness of Manitoba, Amos the Transparent, and Doors open at 8pm and tickets are only $5 at the door with all proceeds from ticket sales going back to the community through the Artists’ Health Centre Foundation.

On Saturday and Sunday at the MTCC, celebrated best-selling author Robin Sharma is presenting his outstanding Remarkable Entrepreneur Superconference. Learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and how to take your business to sky-breaching levels, and discover strategies and growth models that multi-billion dollar companies us, all in the span of two information-packed days.

Lil’ Baci‘s latest outpost – Lil’ Baci Taverna – opens this weekend, bringing an Osteria-edge to midtown Italian dining. Head here for a huge selection – there are over 50 menu items – of sharable plates, perfect to enjoy with the crew, a date, or the family. Bonus: it’s from owner Marc Bacci and Chef Larry Santos which means you can expect top quality at a great price.

The DTour Festival of Art + Music is a fundraiser in support of motionball – a charity that raises funds for the Special Olympic – and boasts this summer’s largest communal outdoor patio, replete with relaxing by the fire bins while enjoying S’mores, drinking brews, chowing on BBQ, schmoozing and whisking away a hot summer night at Brick Works.

One of the best kept brunch secrets in the city is at Smith Restaurant. From 11am through 4pm each weekend, you can treat yourself to one of nine staple dishes that are culinary works of brunch art. The homemade buttermilk scones with preserves; the challah French toast with caramelized bananas; or baked kale with poached egg and quinoa. All are delightful and all need to be devoured.

The Feasting Room is taking over the Orbit Room on College Street, setting a prix fixe six-course blind tasting of dishes featuring a different animal each week. Maybe it’ll be the cow, maybe a pig, or even a lamb. For $65 it’s a steal, and the wine pairings bring it to an even $100 for a head-to-tail dinner replete with gastronomic perfection.

Photo courtesy Lil’ Baci