It was a hot August morning and I was bolting down Bay Street on my new bicycle bound for Toronto’s landmark CN Tower. I was greeted at the entrance by the towers PR rep and Rebecca, the Director of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance. The CN Tower is a finalist for this years Ontario Culinary Tourism Awards. As judges, Val Howes and I were sent to tackle the adrenalin rush of the Edge Walk prior to lunch at 360 Restaurant.
In New Zealand I proved myself as a dare devil while sky diving over Lake Taupo and bungee jumping in Queenstown. I didn’t expect the Edge Walk to be that scary and to be honest barely even thought about it that week. It wasn’t until I was standing over Toronto that my hands started to sweat and I began to clench my jaw. Hilarity from the experience can be enjoyed at my expense in the video below.
Once safely on solid ground we quickly changed out of our gear and were then escorted up the elevator to 360 restaurant. My mother took my sister and I up to the 360 for lunch when I was just a little kid, maybe in Grade 5. Even though I was so young, I will never forget how magical the experience was: watching the room spin and staring out over the city which already seemed so massive to me from the sidewalk.
We were seated by a window and greeted by the restaurants Chef Peter George who welcomed us to the table and talked of his passion for sourcing local, fresh food. I love the fact that Peter sources the herbs used in his dishes at an herb garden located on one of the towers terraces. When we arrived at the table there was a bottle of Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut, one of my favorite bottles from Niagara.
During the course of our meal our view shifted from the downtown core to a spectacular view of the Islands. Chef Peter George’s food really is fantastic and a far cry from the food that was being served when I was a little guy back in the 90′s. His enthusiasm for showcasing local farmers and producers on his menu offers an exceptional dining experience for the adventurous culinary tourist whether they are bicycling from Yonge and College or flying in from Japan, Spain or Timbuktu. Highlights included a perfectly cooked pork chop followed by three desserts which celebrated Ontario blueberries, the Canadian butter tart and a tower of chocolate lovin’. After our meal we were given a quick tour of the 360′s famous wine cellar. Officially the Guinness World Records highest wine cellar it offers a wide range of the finest wines and cognac’s from around the world.
The CN Tower offers Edge Walk thrills and a fantastic dining experience. Don’t forget to take your little ones. They are certain to remember their first experience for the rest of their lives. I know I did.
Summer Tomato Salad with Black Pearl Olives
grilled halloumi cheese, organic baby arugula, fresh oregano vinaigrette
Roasted Beet and Orange Glazed Duck Spiedini
spinach and leek tart, organic greens and petals
Niagara Prosciutto, Melon and Arugula
kozlick’s triple crunch mustard vinaigrette
Willow Grove Farm’s Pork Rack Chop with Sage, Apricots and Honey
pole beans, fingerling potatoes, natural jus
Supreme of Chicken with Roasted Garlic, Rosemary and Asiago Cheese
mashed potatoes, wilted swiss chard, sundried tomato jus
Linguini with Wild Canadian Mushrooms
our garden’s thyme, smoked benedictine cheese
Sweet Potato Fries
Dark Chocolate Tower with Summer Berries
raspberry coulis, vanilla creme anglaise
Mrs. George’s Butter Tart
maple walnut gelato
Lemon Meringue Cake
blueberry and blueberry ice cream