December 16, 2010

proof whisky, mcewan, Vol. 11

There are only nine days left until Christmas. Tick tock! If you are hustling to find gifts for your loved ones – look no further. Shops at Don Mills ( not only offers a great variety of boutiques, there are many, many, great restaurants to take refuge from the hostile holiday crowd. We had a blast at mcewan on Saturday where we poured two yummy cocktails in a calm and serene setting. Shopping is supposed to be fun after all! And if it’s not, quick, find a fire and kick back with The Streetcar, this week’s Thursty Thursday recipe. To learn more about our brand visit Become a friend on Facebook and Twitter to get last minute updates on all of our tastings, parties and events.

The Streetcar 
(a twist on the classic sidecar)
This one is definitely a sipper, so easy does it.
1 1/2 oz. proof whisky
3/4 oz. Cointreau*

3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, 
add 1½ oz proof whisky
3/4 oz. of Cointreau
3/4 oz. lemon juice. 
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. 
Garnish with an orange peel.

*Be Contreauversial and check out their sexy website –

At Saturday’s mcewan tasting we served our Crimson Cup and Hot Apple Crisp cocktails (made with Filsinger’s Organic Cider from Ayton, Ontario, paired with the award winning Cape Vessey Goat’s Milk Cheese from Prince Edward Country ( It was a hit! We also served local chips from Family’s Best Organics in Richmond Hill, Ontario (

Everything about mcewan reflects Mark’s distinctive style of cooking which captures the essence of classical cuisine with the nuances of contemporary flavour. Much of the store is devoted to the chef’s delicious recipes made from locally-produced ingredients and neatly packaged for just one or for that special dinner party.  At mcewan, take-out is called “Restaurant Meal Replacement” (RMR), the counter brimming with gourmet pizzas, interesting sandwiches and salads, choice cuts of meat, fluffy pastries, delectable chocolates and so much more.

Naturally, Mark’s signature dishes will take centre stage. Check out the RMR Counter for roasted heirloom carrots with a citrus cumin vinaigrette; braised brisket with pearl onions; fresh horseradish and natural sauce; potted salmon terrine with tarragon jelly; Roxy's meatballs; stuffed quail with corn; wild rice and foie gras; osso bucco shepherd’s pie with pomme puree; and baby octopus salad with tomato jam, chickpeas and lemon confit. Yum!
Elsewhere in the store, check out Mark’s line of soups, sauces, tomato sauces, pickled vegetables and preserves, all packaged in charming mason jars. Sixty-two of mcewan’s 80 varieties of world calibre cheeses are produced in Canadian cheese boutiques. While cooking demonstrations aren’t practical, says Mark, product samplings will be in abundance. He’s working with the LCBO, another Shops at Don Mills tenant, to host wine samplings paired with his cheeses and other fresh food, produce and groceries.  Edo will operate a sushi bar on the premises while Quince Flowers will offer up colourful bouquets of local and exotic blooms.
Store hours of mcewan are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. -8 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. For more on mcewan, visit

And don’t forget to check out his latest restaurant right across the street, Fabbrica (

About five years ago we started a new gift-giving tradition for the holidays. Instead of looking for that under $20 landfill gift idea, we figured out something that people just won’t throw away – and that is good food (and drink :)). Kids aside, we have been swapping unique or over-the-top foods with our friends and loved ones ever since. I am not talking about running to the corner variety store and filling up on Planters and giant Kit Kat bars. We try to match foods to each person’s personality or likes and we go to many lengths to achieve this. (last year we drove to Michigan to buy white gravy mix and real southern grits) We have been known to bend the rules slightly by purchasing a ‘food-related’ item, like cookbook or utensil as long as there is some relevance. In our travels, we have come across many great food shops and with mcewan’s huge tea, chocolate and gift area, this is definitely a great place to start.

The gift that keeps on giving

As part of this new tradition, we also pick one name and make a donation to a food-related charity on that person’s behalf. Here are just a few:,,,,,,,,,,,,,

proof whisky also makes a great stocking stuffer. :) ($19.95 for 500 mL

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of -3 degrees
Sunday: Variable cloudiness and a high of -4 degrees

Happy Shopping!

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