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Are You Free For a Date?

 

For many, this year has been the longest cumulative time spent with a significant other. For others, this year has been an entirely new challenge; navigating the single seas during a global pandemic. This time spent together or apart can be easily paraphrased: it’s been the best of times; it’s been the worst of times.

 

No matter your marital status, if all the time together (or apart) this year has taught us anything, it’s that small gestures of love go a long way and sharing blissful moments together are precious.

 

The shift into orange phase was a very welcome piece of good news, and YES many of our favorite downtown restaurants are planning special menus and taking reservations. But with limited spaces available, I thought I’d offer up an alternative way to celebrate love, in all its shapes and sizes. I’ve curated an experience that will have you celebrating the smaller moments together and help you create a memorable day!

 

Start by selecting a recipe, it can be a tried and true classic or a new recipe you’ve had your eye on. (Not coming up with a recipe… I suggest peeking at Clos’s Instagram for some drool-worthy inspiration.) Now that you know what you’re cooking it’s time to head downtown and enjoy an afternoon of collecting your ingredients and exploring downtown. 

Co pain

Co-Pain
Artisan bread company
98 Bonaccord Street

 

When I think of a classy restaurant I think of fresh bread and fancy oils arriving at the table as we chat over candlelight. There’s a big chance I’m romanticizing it, but who doesn’t love a fresh French baguette ripped into pieces and dipped in oils as an appetizer!

 

This is one of my favorite places in the city for sourdough bread (yes, the hype is real) and fresh crunchy-on-the-outside-pillow-soft-on-the-inside baguettes. I highly recommend also picking up a coffee and a sweet treat to-go. Their schneck pastry is my personal favorite.

Dolma

Dolma
Food market
251 St.George street

 

I was recently introduced to Dolma as a great place to buy fresh local meats however it has quickly become one of my favorite go to places for unique pantry finds and fresh veg. I recommend grabbing a basket on your way in and filling it up with all the ingredients you’ll need for your main course! 

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Experience by ANBL
Find the perfect bottle of wine
55 Queen street

 

If you’re like me and hate buying a new bottle of wine only to open it and discover it’s not quite to your taste, then Experience by ANBL will be your new favorite spot for candy store feels! 

 

Now that we have the entrée and main courses sorted out, it’s time for drinks! Experience by ANBL has professional sommeliers who make wine and spirits suggestions based on your taste that will pair well with the recipe you’ve chosen; while keeping your budget in mind. 

Les Gourmands 2

Les Gourmandes
Cheese shop
529 Main Street

 

I LOVED discovering this shop. They really are true to their slogan “we easily find other gourmands”. Their display cases are filled with drool worthy cheeses and delectable chocolates. The shelves on the walls have everything from spreads and oils to stuffed olives and artisanal crackers. I dare you not to love the brie layered with truffles (the mushroom not the chocolate).

 

So for dessert, and your final stop, browse around and select a few cheeses and chocolates to plate later tonight. If the mood also strikes, consider picking up a few olives and oils to pair with your bread for the entrée!