Toronto Weekender: May 9 through 12, 2013

We’re gearing up for May 2-4, so this weekend’s all about getting your groove on and hyping yourself up for the fun coming next weekend. But that doesn’t mean you should sit idle while the social scene passes by; here’s what you can look forward to…

Taking over the space left by The Bellevue in Kensington Market is Valentina, a new Latin-American restaurant boasting vibrant Aztec flavours from Mexico. With a great front patio, Valentina will be a hotspot (literally) this summer with delicious Mexican cuisine alongside some excellent contemporary cocktails. Test it out before the masses take hold.

Head to Vegas tonight at UNIUN Nightclub. The new near-King West hot spot is hosting some major talent with DJs Lil Jon and Lema, Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity and more from the City of Sin. Get your swagger on and join the festivities with the crew.

Now is a good time to rediscover Marben on Wellington. This farm-to-table resto has ditched the charcuterie stylings that made them famous with a new menu crafted out of excellence. Gastronomy is king here, and the new menu reflects a look towards innovative cuisine that is Toronto Restaurant Scene 2.0.

There’s a hot new bar mixing up some fancy cocktails over on Dundas West. Montauk recently opened and already has some hot buzz surrounding its bartenders. Staying on point with the current aesthetic, Montauk is industrial shabby/chic. It’s a perfect spot to get your drank on this Friday. 

On Saturday afternoon at Roy Thomson Hall, join discerning palates as they sip and savour their way through the Spirit of Toronto. This haute gala features whiskys, fine spirits, cocktails, master classes, live entertainment, jazz and more. It’s a gentlemanly event (for the ladies as well) that will enhance your flavour profiles and let you embrace the world of fine spirits. 

In the old Gooderham House now stands Osteria dei Ganzi, an Italian restaurant and aperitivo bar. With a massive patio, it’s the perfect time for Ganzi to be opening. Focusing on classic Italian dishes with contemporary twists, the menu is great for sharing. The cocktail list is also impressive, with a mix of classics and newfangled concoctions. Check out it on Saturday night. 

It’s Mother’s Day, which means Sunday is all about taking mom out and getting her pampered. For brunch, there are a few great options to check out. BOSK at the Shangri-La, DYNE in Yorkville, Sen5es at the SoHo, and the Melody Bar at the Gladstone all have awesome Mother’s Day offerings so you can treat your parental princess to only the best. 

Looking for something a bit more interactive? Find Rock.Paper.Sistahz Artscape Wychwood Barns, a 12-day fest of events that launches on Mother’s Day. This pre-fest day is a picnic for mom with great live performances and shows. Rock.Paper.Sistahz’s twelve events are spread over the festival days, each representing a “dating experience” induced through intimate artistic collaborations and explorations.

Top photo courtesy Marben