In February 2011, The Ritz-Carlton opened in Toronto. Located in the heart of the downtown core and at the crossroads of the financial and performing arts districts, this hotel brings a new level of luxury to the city.
The Ritz-Carlton Toronto’s five-storey glass podium at the base of the guestroom tower, contains the public areas of the hotel and features the grand foyer lobby with its striking glass bridge, restaurant, bar, lounge and upscale meeting and conference facilities and the city’s largest luxury ballroom.
There are two sets of ballrooms at the Ritz-Carlton, on the 2nd and 4th floors. The main ballroom on the second floor can be accessible either by elevator or via stairs.
The cocktail area of the main Ritz-Carlton ballroom on the 2nd floor is right outside the ballroom and spans from the north side to the east side of the building in an L-shape. There are mobile bar areas throughout and also a grand piano in the corner.
The 7,400 square foot Ritz-Carlton Ballroom can seat up to 600 guests. For smaller groups, the ballroom can be partitioned into four separate areas. The chairs they provide are standard banquet size and should fit most chair covers. Walls are padded for increased acoustics. There isn’t a bridal room, however the Ritz-Carlton provides a complimentary hotel room for couples who host their reception with them, and can dually serve as a changing and makeup area for them.
Similarly, on the 4th floor, there is an L-shaped cocktail area encompassing the Wellington ballroom. The Wellington ballroom is 3,000 square feet and can seat 325 guests. Like the Ritz-Carlton ballroom, it too can be partitioned into four separate rooms. In addition to the Wellington ballroom, there is also a smaller Gallery that can seat 140 guests.
Individual meeting rooms are also available including the Executive Boardroom and the Park View Room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Wellington Street West and Metro Hall Park. Spacious pre-function space with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks Metro Hall Park and Roy Thompson Hall.
The Ritz-Carlton also offers an unrivalled dining experience with signature restaurant, TOCA by Tom Brodi. The interactive restaurant includes an open-concept kitchen, walk-through pastry corridor, in-kitchen chef’s table, glass-encased cheese cave and extensive wine cellar with a focus on Canadian wines.
For more information on the Ritz-Carlton and to find out if this is the right venue for you, visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Toronto/Meetings/Default.htm.
On Summer Luving Day, Bier Markt tempted guests with Radler samplers and fresh oysters, free alongside their new shellfish menu. May 20th was an unusually hot day and patios were filled with sun and seafood worshipers.
Summer Luvin Day promotions mark the arrival of Bier Markt’s annual Shellfish Feastivül from May 16th until July 1st, at all three restaurant locations in Toronto.
By chance some representatives from Toronto City Events attended two of the three Bier Markt locations on that festive afternoon.
10:30 am Sunday morning and the first person outside on King St W location is the hostess putting out the sandwich board signs to tell passers-by about the restaurant. The King St location is tucked away pretty good, but it has a sun-baked western exposure patio along Portland St, and a large cool downstairs eatery inside.
We were parched after our morning bike ride, and smiled with enthusiasm when James, the manager at the King St Bier Markt offered us a free sample of Radler. This is a signature summer drink at Bier Markt and quite popular with urban professionals that prefer low calorie and lower alcohol by volume beverages. James related to us the origins of the drink, and the ingredients, and how it got its name. He started by complimenting us on riding bikes instead of driving, and segued into how after WWI bicycle riding was popular in Europe, particularly so in Germany. The word Radler is another name for cyclist in German. The creation of the drink is attributed to Franz Xaver Kugler, an early 1900s innkeeper with a tavern in Deisenhofen up in the mountains near Munich. After the Great War, when bike riding was gaining popularity, Kugler arranged for the construction of a bike trail through the forest from Munich straight to his establishment. It was a big success. Too big, for on a big race day he did find himself overrun by 13,000 cyclists demanding beer. Kugler didnt have enough brew on hand, and so he had to dilute the ale he had with lemon soda, which he had in plenty, to make the stocks last. A talented spin doctor, Franz Xaver Kugler presented the beverage on that day in June 1922 to his thirsty customers as a special creation he had invented in their honour, with lower ABV to help ensure they made it safely back down the trail. And so was born the Radler.
Shellebration Boil is the Centerpiece of the Shellfish Feastivul Menu
The Shellebration Boil at $59 is the biggest ticket item on the menu during Shellfish Feastivul. It satiates two hungry people and transports them to the seaside for half an hour. The menu also mentions that the meaty flavours in this marine dish are perhaps best paired with Leffe Blonde Ale.
The Shellebration Boil is composed of Canadian Lobster, Blue Moules, Littleneck Clams, Black Tiger Shrimp, braised fennel, fingering potatoes, Ontario corn, tomato and palm ale broth and is served with grilled bistro bread. The dish is spectacular to behold and smell and taste.
In accordance with the challenge of consuming shellfish, a plate full of strange looking utensils precedes the arrival of the hot dish at the table. The unusual metal cutlery includes tongs, pry bars, scoops and crackers. Its an adventure just using these tools and digging into the bowl to find something new to try alongside the taste of your beer, and your friends’ beer. We found the flavorful meat was excellent and cooked perfectly, but dipping the crusty bread into the tasty broth was the best part of the whole meal.
Amid much laughter and suntanning we tested the theory that shellfish are best enjoyed with cold beer and we were all pleasantly surprised by the taste experience.
And yes of course we sampled the appetizing free oysters that were served to us before and after the entree. They were delicious both times!
The Shellfish Feastivul menu was created by Bier Markt Executive Chef, Michael Cipollo who designed each dish to offer restaurant patrons a fresh assortment of shellfish perfect for the patio, sharing and pairing with one of Bier Markt’s more than 100 biers.
The Schlurpin and Schmakken Shellfish Feastivul is occurring simultaneously at all three Bier Markt locations in the GTA including: • 58 The Esplanade • 600 King St. West • 7 O’Neill Road (Shops at Don Mills) until July 1st 2012.
Here is the patio at Bier Markt on Esplanade at around 1pm.
Inside the front door to the patio there was a young lad playing acoustic guitar and singing soulful Led Zeppelin covers.
Summer is here and the seafood is in season at Bier Markt!