July 2013 Archives

My Week With the Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

After Patrick at Hyundai handed over the keyless starter to me before I set out on my test drive of the 2013 Genesis 5.0 sedan, he pointed out some of the cooler features (literally, there is a driver-side seat cooler) and said I will really notice the car's performance when I hit the highway. We strapped in the carseat and set out for Hamilton on the first day. The Genesis is a luxury sedan, but it's as parent-friendly as my Equinox. The latch system made it very easy to install the carseat, and there was ample room in the back for another two passengers.

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With little man happily strapped in with plenty of legroom, it was time to test the 429 horsepower 5.0-litre V8 engine. This car accelerates fast, smoothly and quietly, and handles turns so easily. My husband drives a CTS and was surprised at how quickly the car responded to sharp turns, and had to admit it handled better than his car. This is high praise. I liked how easy it was to do U-turns (my 2006 Equinox is sort of sluggish and protests these) and being somewhat direction-challenged I am a frequent U-turner, always when it's safe and legal of course. And speaking of safety, I'm really going to miss the rear camera and navigation screen, which made me less of a menace on the streets while parallel parking.

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I received lots of feedback on the Genesis while driving around the city. A couple of people asked me what make of car it was, and were surprised and impressed when I answered "Hyundai". A car enthusiast in a parking lot commented that he thought "it looked just like a BMW." Lots of neighbours wandered over and admired the look of the car; it really is a head-turner, all sleek with its fancy grill. I liked how it felt really substantial to ride in, but was so light and easy to maneuver. This car seats five comfortably, and the trunk is huge. I was able to throw the stroller in no problem and there was still room for grocery bags.

This is a comfortable, gorgeous-looking high-performance car that is an ideal choice if you are considering your first luxury vehicle but still have to tote around a kid or two and need space. Pricing starts at $53,499 for the 5.0 and $39,999 for the 3.8 litre engine. For more information on the Hyundai Genesis click here. Rosie :)

McLobster in Toronto

The first trip my husband and I ever took together was to Halifax and Cape Breton Island. It was so incredible, and the food was outstanding. We still talk about two things: our amazing meal at the Press Gang, and the lobster sandwiches we would eat everywhere. You could get gorgeous looking ones at the Halifax Seaport Market, or simple ones on Wonderbread at the side of the road in Cape Breton. We also thought it was hilarious you could get them at McDonald's, which we did, and they were pretty good. We forgot about them until recently when we saw that the McLobster was making its debut in Ontario. Of course we had to pick some up. Here it is, looking about as good as anything mixed with mayonnaise can look in a bun. It's $6.79 plus tax. They are pretty tasty and brought back some lovely memories. Rosie :)

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Nota Bene | Queen St. West: NOW CLOSED

**Update: Nota Bene closed in December 2018 after ten years in Toronto.**

Some chefs may phone in their Summer/Winterlicious menus, but not Nota Bene's David Lee. The 2013 Summerlicious lunch was excellent. This wild salmon sashimi starter had delicious bursts of chili, apple and lemon grass, and was plated beautifully.

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The butter-milk fried chicken "club" was topped with maple bacon, arugula and lemon aioli. The bun was so light and the fries were perfect.

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The strawberry sorbet with rhubarb compote such a refreshing way to finish lunch, and the sugar cookie on the side was a lovely sweet touch.

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It's no surprise Nota Bene has received so many accolades, including being named Canada's best new restaurant by Toronto Life and Air Canada's En Route magazine. Not only is the food great, but its location on Queen West just steps from Toronto's theatre and business district makes for a hip and buzzy atmosphere. Rosie :)

2013 Hyundai Genesis Sedan: What I Love So Far

I'm on day four of my week-long test drive of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, and it's awesome. Fast, super-smooth and SO comfortable. Driving it is completely effortless, which I love. Some other features I'm quite enjoying include the rear camera and navigation screen which lets you back into the scariest parking space without fear of taking off a mirror on a concrete pillar:

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The perfectly organized dash and satellite radio coming at you through a 17-speaker audio system:

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And the cooled driver's seat. I've had a heated seat, but never a cooled one. This has been particularly lovely during the Toronto heatwave.

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I'm also quite impressed at how good it is on gas after three days of both city and highway driving, and how fancy it looks. I've always had a thing for silver, or rather, Titanium Grey Metallic, cars.

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Check back in a few days for more thoughts on the car, including input from my men, both the big and little one. Rosie :)

Mimico Memorial Park in Etobicoke

When it's this hot out, you want to find the Toronto parks with splash pads. One of our favourites is Mimico Memorial Park.

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What's lovely about this park besides the great splash area is all the green space to run around and the massive beautiful trees. It's tucked in a leafy area off Royal York, right across from Mimico Baptist Church. My little man is a big fan of this playground, which along with the requisite swings and climby-stuff has a really cool jumpy-table that he always drags Daddy right over to.

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I clearly snapped that pic when it was a little chillier out, which shows you how great this park is that we are there even when the splash pad isn't open. Mimico Memorial Park is located at 74 Hillside Avenue, east off Royal York Road, south of QEW, between QEW & Lakeshore. Rosie :)

Free Movies in Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square

What in the hell's diversity? Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship. If you recognize those lines from one of my favourite movies of all time- Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy- then you are probably excited for the sequel, and you even may feel like rewatching this gem. You should know then that there are free film screenings in downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square on Tuesdays in the summer, and the next movie scheduled on July 16th is none other than this hilarious and ridiculous 2004 hit.

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This summer the City Cinema theme is "Cult Classics" and the upcoming flicks include Napoleon Dynamite and a Spaceballs and Serenity double feature. The shows start around sunset and are cancelled if it rains. Follow the Yonge-Dundas Square Twitter account @ydsquare for cancellation alerts. Click here for the complete list of movies scheduled for summer 2013. I don't know what we're yelling about! Rosie :)

Terroni | Trinity Bellwoods

The original Terroni on Queen West is great. I love their 'no modifications, no substitutions' policy. Just order your food and eat it. Their pizzas are truly the stars of the menu; here is one covered with prosciutto di parma:

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A tuna special crusted with sesame:

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And a pretty perfect bolognese.

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Due to the large amount of white wine that was consumed with this meal, I forgot to take a photo of the Funghi Assoluti, our favourite salad of baked oyster mushrooms, parmigiana and bread crumbs. It is only available at this location. Next time. Rosie :)