Notes From The Other Road
Toronto batting 2 for 2
We happily fled the Rochester Hyatt Monday afternoon and headed to wonderful Toronto. I never understood why people from the States made fun of Canada. Clean, civilised, polite, national health care? What’s wrong with that? Nothing. I’m always very pleased to return to Canada and especially with two nights off.
The last time I was here in 2015 with Mark Knopfler, we had a spectacular dinner at Ristorante Sotto Sotto in the Yorkville area of Toronto. This time I thought I’d do a bit of showing off and take a few of the boys there to flex my gourmet muscles. Reserving a table at Sotto can be tricky particularly late in the day but a very helpful Concierge secured a booking for 6 at 8 o’clock. Dinner did not disappoint, it was everything I’d remembered and then some, from starters to dessert, cocktails to wine. A winning evening made all the better by the Diamond’s joining us.
The following day off in Toronto was cloudy, cool and rainy. I put in a hard push at the gym in the morning, worked on some music I’ve been writing and ventured out for a walk before the damp and cold drove me back inside for an afternoon beer in the welcoming bar here at the hotel. Neil kindly invited the entire crew and band out for a fab dinner at Harbour Sixty Steakhouse, taking over the entire upstairs of the restaurant. I can’t speak for the other tables but a tower of shellfish arrived at ours. Lobster, crab legs, the largest shrimp I’ve ever seen in my life, oysters and crab salad, all stunning. That and a martini was far and away enough food but wait, there’s more. Salads and globes of the most delicious Amarone, a sturdy, inky Italian wine perfectly suited to steak. I ordered a 10 oz. filet mignon that was perfectly broiled to a turn, the most tender and juicy steak I’ve had in a long time. The wine always topped up and the waiter talked us in to a monstrously good coconut cream pie riding on a thin pool of dark chocolate syrup with long, thick shavings of white chocolate on top. A serious meal to remember. Both Sotto Sotto and Harbour Sixty are highly recommended.
Back at the hotel, my old pal and great piano player in the band Tom Hensley broke out a Spike Jones DVD of live television broadcasts from the mid-‘50s and we marvelled at how brilliantly staged the mayhem was along with their musicianship but mostly we laughed ourselves sick.
Two great nights in Toronto and we haven’t yet played the show.