College Street

Public – The Perfect Friday Night

As if the fate angels were playing a little game with me, I started this blog and then 3 months later I found myself relocating to College/Bathurst for a new job. Could it get any better?
My first week is over and in between the alcohol stocked cabinets, Friday company lunches and co-workers dogs running around the office, I’ve embarked on what will more than likely be a very fun and interesting journey. The best part is that the World Cup is in full effect and I’m right smack in the middle of one of the areas that has some of the most passionate and dedicated fans known to man. Given that the owner of Café Diplomatica had a hand in getting Toronto the 10am drinking license, you can be sure to be running into some interesting characters on the street throughout the day.

After a successful first week, the girls (Meets, Nuv and Tee) came down to my new stomping ground to take in some of the sights and more importantly some of the drinks and food – all resulting in the perfect Friday night.

The weather was doing a good job of holding up for us, so we decided to take advantage and sit on one of the handfuls of patios. Drinking Tip #1: Bar Italia has Martini Madness every Friday night ($6 for 2oz Martinis). No better way to start a Friday night then with a little buzz 😉 We then made our way to Public the newly opened resto-lounge which from the outside and inside has a very sleek and high class look and feel. The inside is adorned with black furnishings, chandeliers, couches and black/white wallpaper setting them slightly apart from the typical small and cozy College street eateries. We were seated on their patio which faces Clinton Street and provides the perfect sights for my other hobby – people watching. As always we decided to eat family style because there were too many options to choose from and we always want a little bit of everything. On the menu:

Pitcher of white wine sangria
Stuffed mushrooms with goat cheese
Wild mushroom Crostini
Seafood Linguine with shrimps, mussels and scallops in a black Zambuca and garlic sauce
Stuffed chicken with ricotta and spinach with a side of potato salad

The food was OKAY. Service was hospitable and friendly, and at times humorous, but the food definitely lacked in something to make you want to come back. Atmosphere and décor definitely ranked high but overall would not be in my top places.

Address: 596 College Street
Cuisine: Italian
Parking: If you can get there for 6ish you’ll score street parking otherwise there’s a Green P a block away
Price: Affordable
Ambience – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Food – 6/10

Next up we headed to The Big Chill to channel our inner children – literally, just keep reading. On the corner of College and Manning, you can’t miss this place a) because of the multicolored walls and seating area and b) for the constant line up of customers outside the place. As soon as you get up to the front you are overwhelmed by the intoxicating smell of fresh waffles being made inside. And much to our pleasure we discovered that the smell was also because they HAND MAKE their waffle cones. Fresh waffle cones?? SIGN. ME. UP. Their ice cream selection isn’t huge but the flavors they do have range from classic, to extraordinary and hard to find (I finally found my coconut ice cream!). They also have Belgian waffles, sundaes and fresh cupcakes. The retro, 70’s diner like feel inside with cow-inspired decorations just adds to the uniqueness of this place.

There was no sharing going on here so we ended up with Coconut, dark chocolate peanut butter, vanilla brownie toffee and pralines and cream. Along with discovering this gem of a place, I also realized that I will never ever laugh at a little kid when they drop their ice cream. Being the 4 year old that I am, my craved-after scoop of coconut ice cream FELL. I did get a replacement scoop but the look on my face was just sheer disappointment. Glad I could make you ladies laugh your heads off though! 🙂

Address: 367 Manning Street
Cuisine: Ice Cream – and other baked delights
Parking: If you can get there for 6ish you’ll score street parking otherwise there’s a Green P a block away
Price: Affordable – cash only!
Ratings: 10/10


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