Busy weekend! So much to blog about.
Steve and I went out for a fantastic meal on Friday night. We had a gift certificate for a free dinner for two (appetizer, entree & dessert) at Tundra Restaurant at the Hilton Toronto. Although the chef that made the restaurant famous was no longer there, we were treated to an exquisite meal. On top of that, our waiter was perhaps the best waiter I have ever encountered in Canada. I wish I remembered his name because I would totally call the restaurant manager to sing his praises! Most servers, if handed a coupon for a free meal wouldn't work so hard but this guy was incredibly attentive. He described the menu in great detail, making excellent recommendations and knew exactly when to check on us to make sure we had what we needed. Knowing that we were on a time line, he made sure that our meal arrived in good time, had us order our dessert before we finished our entrees and offered us coffee to go so that we would get to our concert on time. He definitely earned the tip we left.
So what did we eat? I started with the Caesar salad. The lettuce was crisp, the dressing not too heavy and the Parmesan shaved in large, thin pieces. Delicious! Steve had the crab cakes and they were fantastic! The just melted in your mouth with a delicate sweetness. We ordered the same entree, since we are both suckers for a good steak. The fillet Mignon was like butta! This may have been the best restaurant steak I have ever had. And the roasted root vegetables and fritters that accompanied it were fantastic. For desert, Steve had an incredible molten chocolate cake and I dove into a trio of creme brulee, cinnamon, chocolate and vanilla. Heavenly! I can't forget to mention the wine! The Fielding Estate Cabernet Franc was excellent! (unfortunately, I can't remember the year) If I remember correctly, Steve's first reaction was "well smack my mouth!" Yes it's a bold wine, with hints of leather, ripe berries and chocolate. We are definitely planning a trip to Fielding Estate to sample some more.
After dinner, we headed over to the University of Toronto Faculty of Music to hear a concert. Any concert at the Faculty is special for me because I work there. As difficult and as stressful as my job gets, seeing the students on stage performing is such a rush. This concert combined our three choirs, the MacMillan Singers, University Women's Chorus and Master Chorale with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra in a wonderful performance of Bruckner's Te Deum. I must admit, I got emotional even before the concert started. I know how hard these kids work. I know how stressful this point in the school year is for them. I know what it takes for them to get to the moment of performance. No matter what else is going on, they always rise to the occasion. They sang and played there hearts out and the audience gave them the love they deserved.
After the intermission, the orchestra tore into Mahler's Symphony No. 1. Once again, they did not disappoint! They played their best and the audience loved it. I grinned and applauded like a proud parent. That's always how I feel when I see them perform. It doesn't have to be perfect. They're students, they are still learning. But to see all of their handwork pay off is so incredibly rewarding. And it reminds me why I still work there.