Toronto Weekender: September 20 through 23, 2012

It’s the first weekend of Fall! Time to dust off your seasonal clothes – or just go buy new ones, like we prefer to do – and get into the harvest season. Take some time this weekend to relax and unwind, because fashion, gala, and fundraiser season is right around the corner. But until then, enjoy some of the best the city has to offer…

Downtown’s got a brand new ramen joint. Continuing the city’s trend of Japanese cuisine, Sansotei Ramen recently opened up at 179 Dundas Street West. Its industrial design – light woods, greyed walls, sea rope hanging from the ceiling – is a beautiful contrast to the vibrancy of the ramen dishes being served, like slow-cooked pork belly with hard boiled egg, or miso or shio varieties. Pop on by for a delicious bite pre-weekend tonight. 

Gallery Hop Gala and After Party are on tonight down at the Carlu. In support of the Canadian Art Foundation, this event features art galore and even more in store. The after party, featuring a Ty Ku Sake bar, open bar and late night snacks, special one-night-only performances by DJs Luis Jacob and Geoffrey Pugen, dancing, silent auction, special performances and more is one of the hottest tickets in town… so snatch one up for tonight’s festivities.

25 Liberty recently opened up in Liberty Village (surprise, surprise). This chic spot boasts leather ‘power’ chairs (you know, the ones with the gold button detailing?), bright windows, and sly pops of orange contrast. The food is fine dining, like truffled risotto and rack of lamb. Pop on in for a taste that will liberate your senses.

Steam Whistle Brewery‘s indie music series, UNSIGNED, is back Friday night, and takes over the brewery for an evening of bodacious beats. UNSIGNED #23 is tonight at Steam Whistle’s Toronto headquarters, and features Odonis Odonis, Indian Handcrafts, and Young Mother playing the mini concert. Bonus, there’s plenty of Steam Whistle to go round. Doors open tonight at 8pm.

Are you ready to PLAY? This new nightlife experience is holding its grand opening Friday, and you’ll find it at 1032 Queen Street West. Dress to impress at this new club, which features mash-ups of favourite music styles spun by DJ Rouge, a high energy, and a young and hip crowd all ready to party through to the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Forgo your typical brunch today and head to I Went to Philly for lunch instead – a new Philly cheese steak joint that recently opened up at 462 Yonge Street. After going, not surprisingly, to Philly last year, the family who opened this QSR decided to bring back the traditional delicious sammies to downtown. Try the Original for a classic taste, or go all out with The Works. And order some Cheese Steak Fries on the side. 

The Fall Home Show is on this weekend at Exhibition Place, bringing with it vendors galore to help you curtail that summer stuffiness and breath fresh life into fall… at least in your domicile. Design, style, and renovate your home life all under one convenient roof. Now that’s notable. 

Did you hear that ladies and gents? It’s the roar of the rich. Why? Momofuku Noodle Bar has finally opened in the Shangri-La Hotel. David Chang’s high-end line of Asian bistros has finally made its way to Canada, and the early buzz is that the dishes on offer – like milk buns galore and ramen aplenty – are absolutely sublime. See if you can get a dinner reservation. We dare ya… 

For brunch, why not make it a Tall Boy? Tall Boys Craft Beer House, that is. This new west-end spot (near Bloor and Crawford) is an ode to… well… craft beer. But they’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen too. Brunch sees offerings like Acadian French Toast with peanut butter and banana, and eggs benny with bacon-wrapped asparagus. The perfect brunch to end your weekend.

Word on the Street Toronto Festival is today, and it’s a non-profit organization that celebrates Canadian reading and writing, and champions literacy through this free, annual outdoor festival. Taking place at Queen’s Park, this one-day lit. fest features Scotiabank Giller Prize bestsellers giving readings and Q&As, a Great Books Marquee where you can nab some of this year’s hottest titles, the This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage, and so much more. Catch it Sunday afternoon.

Photo courtesy Momofuku Noodle Bar