I attended Dixonlicious on March 1st at the Daniels Spectrum located in the newly revamped Regent Park area. It was a night of fun, food and live music all in support of the community’s vital food programs. Attendees could donate to the Fund-A-Meal program where proceeds go to delivering meals to seniors and providing healthy meals and snacks to the city’s homeless or youth in summer camps.
Some of Toronto’s hottest restaurants were serving up signature dishes and snacks with recommended beer and wine pairings (nice touch). Biff’s Bistro was pairing pork schnitzel with homemade sauerkraut with Batch 1904 dry cider. Hawthrone Food and Drink offered a unique coffee chicken salad with Red Ale from Lost Craft. Want some desert? Head over to the Paintbox Bistro’s table to make your own sundae with strawberry coconut or chocolate balsamic ice cream. You could tell the venues were having fun with their dishes. One that really surprised me with just how well it worked together was the gnocchi poutine from Daniel et Daniel. It was made with pulled braised short rib, white cheddar curs and gremolata. Everyone was going back for seconds.
If you’re a fan of wine, you had so many to choose from. I have a special place in my heart for Prince Edward County and enjoyed sipping on a rose from a winery from there called Karlo Estates. It was smooth and dry. A beer I loved pairing with pretty much everything was the red ale from Lost Craft. It had tasting notes of caramel, apple and toffee and with easy drinking.
After a little mixing, mingling and keeping an eye on the silent auction bids (we ‘won’ the bid for a suite to see Hall and Oates at the ACC this June, score!) Farah Nasser, host for Global News played MC, introducing local students from the Dixon Hall to play classical guitar, or play original songs. They were so talented and it was a real joy to watch them perform.
A woman named Ester came up to the podium to talk about her experience with Meals on Wheels. She suffers from scoliosis and was having a hard time preparing all her meals on her own with limited mobility. She spoke about how much having the extra help from Meals on Wheels impacted her life and made things a little easier for her. It was very touching and everyone was happy to be able to donate to this cause that helps improve so many lives in Toronto.
A friend of mine happened to be performing at the event as well, which was a real treat since he’s just so talented, Matt Morgan of the Matt Morgan Trio. They’re a great cover band playing everything from Neil Young to John Mayer. They really attributed to the fun ambiance of the venue
The night ended with a live auction. Items from paintings to Air Canada Vouchers to private jazz concerts created a bidding war between patrons. It got pretty intense (all in good fun) and as hard as I tried for those Air Canada vouchers, I got outbid (Darn!) but that just means more money was raised for a great cause!
You could tell just how much the volunteers, venues and Dixon Hall cared about the event and the charity behind it. It was so nice to see the community coming together for a great cause. They made it a really magical night for everyone in attendance and I wish I knew about the event sooner. I was told this was the 4th annual but it was only my first time attending. Now that I know about it I’m sure it will be something I look forward to every year.
Many thanks to Natalie who told us about the event and even hooked us up with tickets. If you’re in Toronto and love craft beer or consider yourself a foodie I would highly recommend checking out her Instagram page and blog. She’s so much fun to follow and a great way to find out about events like this and the newest eats in Toronto. (Insta : @Cooking_quidnunc , website www.cookingquidnunc.com)
For more information about next year’s event keep an eye on www.dixonhall.org .
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.