“Why your aunt has so many pictures of Justin Bieber?”asked Akemi.

“That isn’t Justin Bieber,”I told her.  “That’s my cousin Jake.”

Akemi scanned the photos on the shelf, then cast me a dubious look.  “Sure?”

“Yeah,”I said.  “I’m sure.”

We’d just returned from a fantastic dinner at what is now my favorite restaurant in Toronto: Buca!  Too bad it took me six months to find it.  Highlights of the night included…oh, everything.  Cured pork belly, crispy smelts, crispy prosciutto-wrapped brains, stuffed zucchini blossoms, dandelion greens, gnocchi, lobster orechiette, sweet corn-filled pasta with taleggio, pork blood pasta with parsley and rapini, pork blood and chocolate tart, goat’s milk yogurt and vanilla panna cotta, tiramisu, and milk and honey gelato.  Exemplary service led by Giuseppe Marchesini who thoroughly charmed my 84 year old aunt.

Apparently, this is one of Jewel Staite’s fave Toronto eateries.  Why the heck didn’t she tell me about it the last time I saw her in the gym?

Auntie Antoinette prepares to chow down.

When we dropped off my aunt, she insisted on loading us up with fruit.  Akemi was, of course, thrilled.  Between the fruit, the necklace Fondy had given her, and the special bento box Carl’s wife, Karen, had prepared for her, it was a pretty sweet day for Akemi…

Carl presents Akemi with her very own bento box. And now the hunter becomes the hunted!
Akemi receives her very own bento box, Karen-style.
Yatta! Purezento!
The contents: a veritable smorgasbord of swag.
Akemi appreciates the thought. And - even more - the stuff!

Maximus’s last radioactive road trip tomorrow.  Wish him luck!

50 thoughts on “September 7, 2011: My new favorite Toronto restaurant! Akemi’s awesome day! Maximus!

  1. All the best, Maximus! Soon you’ll be home in your Vancouver backyard sniffing all the good smells of home.

    Akemi always look so sweet. You’re a lucky man, Joe.

  2. Looks like a nice time was had by all. Tell Akemi that looked like some cool stuff. Good luck to Maximus tomorrow!!!

    Have a great night!!!!

  3. What a great celebration for Akemi. She looks just delighted in trying all the stuff and modeling too! Is this a happy birthday? or other? Whatever the reason, Akemi deserves all the nice attention.

    Max has the look – pondering on tomorrow.
    Thinking good thoughts for him.

  4. No need to tell you, I’m sure, but Akemi’s adorable. 🙂 Good luck to Max – we’ll be thinking of him!

  5. Max,big hugs for you, best of luck tomorrow.
    Nice haul Akemi, was it your birthday? cool stuff.
    Glad you got to have dinner with your auntie, she looks like fun!

  6. Awwww…your aunt looks so sweet! 🙂 Love the bento box Carl’s wife made Akemi. Very cute! 🙂

    Hugs and kisses for ((((((Maximus)))))). I hope and pray that the cancer goes away. 🙂 Go Maximus! 😉

  7. Your Aunt sure is pretty! Carl has such a sweet smile when he is giving gifts. Wow, Akemi really made a haul. “bellies, brains, pork blood…” That does not sound so good. Maybe pictures would have made it better.


  8. I love days like that. Glad you had one, Akemi.

    Good thoughts go with you & Maximus. Hard to believe it is going to be Thursday again.

  9. Hahahahhaa, I laughed so hard at the Justin Bieber thing! Awesome Akemi did it again :>

    Best wishes to you, Akemi and Maximus!

    If I ever come back to Vancouver I will check out Jewels whole blog and those restaurants you guys always write about. They obviously must be good. Btw… I’m hungry..

  10. Good luck maximus, looking very distingusihed with the grey, i like it. JUST FINISHED WATCHING AIR parts 1,2 and 3. Now that was some sci fi!!!

  11. I’ve been reading Jewel’s “reviews” on Buca. It sounds WONDERFUL!

    Very sweet for Mr. Binder to give Akemi a Bento box.

    Das: yes, it is nice getting “real” letters.

    Lisa R: The p.o. lost a package of mine once and when I called the person said “Oh, it’s probably at Bed, Bath and Beyond in Southaven (MS). For some reason packages up end there.” It did make it to my house for two more weeks later. I hope they find your son’s textbooks soon.

  12. Go, Max, go!

    Happy Akemi Day, whatever the occasion may be!

    Your aunt has a lovely complexion, very striking.

    And I think you throw in some of those dishes to see if we’re paying attention.

  13. All my best to Maximus!

    Auntie Antoinette is lovely!

    Akemi is adorable in her oversized sweater!

    Authentic Mexican dinner last night, complete with Mariachi band! Lots of tooting this morning, and I’m not talking about trumpets!

    A very busy day ahead, gotta run!

    At least I’ll get things done quickly, seeing as how I’m jet propelled!

    das…rhymes with gas. 😀

  14. I lurk rather than post, but I have to ask, did you mis-type your aunt’s age? 84, really? She is lovely. Akemi’s Bieber comment is funny. Nice swag, Akemi. My best to you all, with a special thought for Maximus. Good luck, Maximus!

  15. What a happy blog entry, Karen’s bento box is gorgeous! What kind of body splash is that in the pink bottle? And is that Beautiful hand lotion?

    Your Auntie Antoinette looks so elegant and beautiful! Those are some good genes, you are lucky Joe.

    Hugs and kisses to Maximus aka Baby Seal. Glad that it’s the last treatment, poor lil’ fella.

  16. whoa … pork blood and chocolate tart? No foolin’?

    Happy Akemi day, and best wishes, Maximus!

    I’m having a good day, too. I just found that missing library book.

  17. @PBMom: Just saw the pics of your arm on Twitter and got a bit dizzy. Feel better soon!

  18. Great swag Akemi, congrats!

    Best wishes to good guy Max.

    Joe I have a tin of opossum meat I need to send you!

    Just completed 2011 fantasy draft/luncheon, I got the last pick this year 🙁

    15 man roster, 10 teams, single division (yay)

    My team- StarGateKeepers
    QB- Big Ben, Sam Bradford
    RB- MJD,McFadden,Hillis,Ronnie Brown, CJ Spiller
    WR- Colston, Austin, Boldin, Plax, Simpson
    TE- Lewis
    K- Bironas
    Defense- The Pack

    My worthy opponents-
    Lucky Luciano’s Looters
    Hudson Hornets
    Team spanky
    Lil Reds

    Good luck all!

  19. @Lou Zucaro
    How many people ate all that food?!

    What a dumb question, really. Do you READ this blog? Your question should have been “Okay so that was your food— what did everyone else eat?” (JK!!!, tho not about the real question)

    Sending best hopes for Maximus!
    Kewl presents for Akemi. 🙂

  20. Yeah Max! Cute picture of him.

    Is anyone affected by the coming hurricanes?

    Sorry for weird grammer day, Mr. M.

  21. May Maxhave an easy raod trip and continued recovery.

    May Akemi and Auntie Antoinettehave many more awesome days and dinners.

  22. Joe,

    I met a Ford engineer yesterday, who turns out to be a long-time Stargate fan. I was wearing a Stargate Atlantis jacket that I got at the Chicago Stargate convention for winning the Centerpiece Constest with my daughter Jackie:



    We started talking about the show, the jacket, the convention and so on when I also found out he is a reader of your blog. Seems like you have quite a following among my fellow electronics engineers…

    Ron, if you’re reading this do you post here too?



  23. Sorry Joe; I realize that only you post here…should have said comment 😉

    Although the wordpress button does say “Post Comment”…

  24. I remember this Aunt as the one who could pass for the Queen of England. 🙂

  25. Be a really good boy Max and trust your Joe, he loves you and wants the best for you. Our prayers go with you sweetheart.

    Aunt Antoinette is indeed a handsome woman. I’m sure she enjoyed a lovely dinner.
    Yay Akemi!
    Very nice photo of Carl.

    good night all,

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