Toronto Weekender: November 29 through December 2, 2012

Can you believe it’s the first weekend of December? Nuts, right? Well, it’s time to start getting holiday plans in order… but that doesn’t mean you have to kick your social life to the curb. Case in point: the following hot spots this week… 

Booming Leslieville just got a whole lot cooler with the opening of Skin and Bones Wine Bar. Chef Matthew Sullivan – formerly of Malena and L’Unita restaurants – heads the kitchen at this new joint, with a heavy focus on wine and the restaurant’s food showcasing Italian influences on Canadian cuisine. Test it out Thursday night for dinner and drinks perfection. 

Santa Baby… hurry down the chimney tonight. Alright… tonight it is. High Society dancers are descending on Nyood Bar for Diva Girl and Chic-a-Boom’s Santa Baby Cabaret Show. Yuletide vixens will be grinding and grooving for tonight’s show, so get there on time and check out what these snow bunnies have put together.

John and Sons Oyster House – you know, the one that opened a few weeks ago on Balmoral – just opened a downtown location on Temperance Street. (Dang these are busy restaurateurs!) Show them some love and shimmy on over to their new location to grab some oysters on the half shell and other fantastic seafood delights. 

The Distillery Christmas Market launches tonight, with operatic performances, the lighting of the massive Christmas tree, and artisans galore. This is one of the best holiday events to check out, bringing a European aesthetic to the downtown area. Not to mention, some of the best food vendors will be out to showcase their goods, as well as craftsmen (and women, naturally), and we’re guessing some outdoor beer setups courtesy Mill Street Brewery.

Ever since Chef Anthony Rose left the Drake Hotel awhile ago, everyone’s been watching and waiting to see his next move. We got our answer with last week’s opening of Rose and Sons, his first new venture since leaving the cultural hotbed. Rose and Sons is currently doing gourmet breakfast and lunch, and will start an exciting dinner menu in the coming weeks. Check it out Saturday morning before the masses take over… 

Don’t forget, this is the last weekend to enjoy the One of a Kind Show. You should totally check it out. Of a kind, it’s only one. Just saying. 

Happy anniversary Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens! All weekend long, enjoy food events – like the cheese grating challenge, meat weight challenge, cupcake beautification challenge and the list goes on – games and entertainment, a 14-foot gingerbread house, and more during the festivities. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have grocery shopping. 

The dude from LMFAO – apparently the one without the afro(?) – is hosting the official launch of Belvedere [RED] on Saturday night at the newly opened UNIUN Nightclub. Happening on World AIDS Day, the RED line of products – now including Belvedere Vodka – helps support AIDS research and efforts internationally. So, it’s drinking for a cause. 

An exclusive pop-up launches tonight at 55 Colborne Lane: John Doe Inc. Saturdays during December, enjoy a carefully curated club experience with hot DJs, food til 2am, bottle service and more. This may be a quiet event, but you better believe the top of Toronto’s trendsetters and tastemakers will be there. Check it out and finish up your Saturday with ONE. 

Grab your crew and meet at newly opened GO Lounge on Sunday late morning. This new Parkdale board game restaurant/lounge officially opened on Nov. 20, continuing Toronto’s love affair with combining food and recreation. Order up a sweet or savory panini and a latte and settle into a comfy seat and get ready to face off in the ultimate game of Trivial Pursuit, or Scrabble, or Monopoly, or whatever your heart desires.

Photo courtesy Go Lounge