Last night, Akemi and I went out with our friends Jeff and Barb who are in town for a few days to enjoy all the snow, subzero temperatures, and blistering wind that Toronto has to offer.  Last time Jeff was in town, we took him out to one of my favorite restaurants: Buca.  For his return visit, we decided to take him and Barb somewhere completely different: Bar Buca, sister restaurant to Buca.

February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Jeff and Barb – all smiles. As usual.

What did we eat?  Well, a lot.  All told, over a dozen plates.  I don’t know. Whenever I order, I always think I’m not ordering enough while everyone else – especially the waiters – feel just the opposite.  I suspect I need to start listening to everyone else.

A few of the culinary highlights:

February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Salt baked beets, stracciatella spuma, pistachio, sea buckthorn berry
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Beef tongue, buffalo yogurt, pickled mushroom, turnip, radish
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Baby octopus, soppressata, crema di patate
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Porches on focaccia: roast tuscan pork, mascarpone, apple mostarda, agliata
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Smoked bone marrow, lampredotto, agliata
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Rolled eggplant with ricotta and prosciutto, tomato, stracciatella

It was great catching up with Jeff and Barb.  Their presence was presents enough. But so were the actual presents they – and blog regular Sylvia – surprised us with…

February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Second Christmas!
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Akemi’s new hot chocolate mug.
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Socks! I can never have enough!
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Lulu was eyeing this little guy when we got back to our place.
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
Sushi socks! Just in time for our Sock of the Day feature!
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
At 16, I guess Jelly’s old enough.
February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!
A bottle of Ardberg which Jeff describes as “On the smoky side”. Perfect. I like peaty. And, best of all, my writer partner doesn’t so I won’t have to share.

A big thank you to Jeff, Barb, and Sylvia.  Merry Second Christmas!

19 thoughts on “February 22, 2015: Second Christmas!

  1. That looks like a great meal, and so cool to see Jeff and Barb visiting again. A great time for all.

    Speaking of snow, we had another 15cm last night and today, but it’s hard to even tell anymore that there’s more added to the snow banks. It did warm up a lot though, so there was a bit of rain with it. And flooding in the city. Extreme cold warning for tomorrow night!

  2. It was fun and thank you again for the fine evening! I still can’t believe I ate baby octopus 🐙. That one will go down in the books for me. 😊

  3. The food all looks good except for those poor baby octopus. How can you eat those cute little things?! Or that bone marrow (yuk!), or the beef tongue (yuk, yuk!), or beets for gosh sakes!

    Cute socks! Can’t wait to see them on you and Akemi, drinking your smoky Ardberg out of Akemi’s mug while reading Jelly her book, as Lulu tears up the stuffed pug in the background.

    Hi JeffW and Barb.

  4. Geez…I’m really falling down in the blog buddy department. 😛

    And Ardbeg? Geez. I’ve been looking all over for that but it’s not available here. I hear it’s the best Islay single malt out there. I am very jealous.

    das

  5. @gforce:

    Yep…super cold is on the way here (Toronto) too. Not too much different from Chicago at the moment, so weather wise we’re not out of our element, but it sure was a shock just coming from Vancouver!

    @Ponytail:

    Hey I was raised in the country on crabs, pickled pigs feet, pickled watermelon rind, and ham-bone marrow (St. Patrick’s Day), so the above menu selection was not really outside my comfort zone. If you want to try edgy, how about pickled pigs feet where they forgot to shave the hog hair first? Now THAT’s an interesting texture combination!

    The best part of last night was Barb ate a baby octopus! I can’t get her to eat crabs with me, so that’s a first!

    I had to laugh at your all inclusive gift scenario! For some reason I pictured Joe wearing Mr. Roger’s cardigan and sporting a pipe while he read the Pugs Guide to Dating to a rapt audience of Akemi and the furry kids.

  6. I saw that JeffW & Barb were in Toronto. I was hoping you had time for a meal with them. Wow! What a feast!

    Careful going back home! Thanks for sharing with us. 😃

  7. @Joe:

    I just tried the white chocolate bark (thanks for that!) and I didn’t realize it had pop rocks in it. It took me a couple of moments to understand what was happening since we were watching a Netflix movie at the time and I thought the download was glitching.

  8. Sounds like a fine gift. The closest I have come to something like that is Lagavulin. It is like having one of those markers shoved under the nose, but it does go down smoothly and very good neat.

  9. Ardbeg is excellent. Definitely on the smoky side. My son describes it as “sort of like drinking a campfire.” Delicious with dark chocolate.

    Das – if I ever get out there to visit,now I know what to bring you!

  10. @Das:

    I don’t know where in New Jersey you are, but maybe one of these is close enough? If not, they ship:

    http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/16344?wine_id_F=2692394

    http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/15010?wine_id_F=2692390

    http://www.liquoroutletwinecellars.com/sku14366.html

    For the Ontario readers, the LCBO is more than double for what you can buy Ardbeg Corryvrekcan for in the states. Better to go for a long weekend in the US and buy two instead!

  11. Hey JeffW and Barb. Glad you had a great time.

    Hey Joe, didn’t realise how many posts I had to catch up on…sorry, February… 4 birthdays… work…. work…. yeah.

    Today was the highest of highs, then a crushing blow… I feel like such a fool. Hoping tomorrow is a better one.

    Looks like Dark Matter is going well. That is awesome. We have SyFy in Australia so I hope we get it.

    Currently there’s a SyFy mini-series being filmed in Melbourne. How cool is that? Even cooler, Stargate’s Mark Savela and John Lenic, are down here working on it.

    How is everyone else? What have I missed?

    Take care… I have a few things to send you Joe & Akemi. I’ll try to send it to the studio in the next week or so.

    Cheers, Chev

  12. Wow, such beautiful plates, they look too good to eat! The bone marrow looks so delicious, I can almost taste it slathered on the toasted bread. I’m perfecting my skills in making DIY gummy bears from sugar free Jello, and managed to scarf the latest batch faster than the last. And the almong-coconut scones came out amazing and disappeared just as fast. I enjoyed Stephen Kings A Good Marriage on ntflx, very creepy but I wish it had more scope to it, it was like a creepy one act play.

  13. Looks like a wonderful time. Great presents!

    I may have tried the beets, but ugh, I would make a terrible dinner companion. I would make a wonderful dessert companion, however. LOL.

    I forgot to mention that instead of colorful hats, perhaps colorful socks would be different.

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