HOW TO SLACK YOUR WAY THROUGH HOLIDAY HOSTING
Asthe holiday season bears down on us, you, hapless holiday host, are agonizing over the upcoming title fight between you and a plucked 12-pound bird, a sack of potatoes, three cans of cranberry sauce and whatever the hell goes into stuffing. This year, give yourself the ultimate gift – and make this season as easy on yourself as humanly possible. First off: outsource the eats. No, lavish catering won’t be in the cards for many athome holiday events – but if your play your cards right, you could outsource your meal for not that much more than you’d end up dropping at the grocer’s. If your party plans call for hors d’oeuvres or canapés, call on some of Toronto’s pro chefs (or, more realistically, your neighbourhood chain grocery store) to deck out your snack table. As for the booze, just dump a few choice ingredients into the nearest punch bowl, then supplement with a couple of topnotch bottles. Read on, intrepid host, and be sure to save some of those cocktails for yourself.
2198 Dundas West, 416-532-7700, barque.ca The bad news: Roncey’s favourite BBQ spot’s catering menu isn’t a fit for smaller parties, clocking in at $32 per person with a high head count minimum. The good news: instead of being stuck with just turkey, you get to pick three selections from the smokehouse’s array of meats.
WHAT YOU GET Chopped kale salad or Caesar; two of: cornbread stuffing, grainy mustard slaw, herbed potato salad, mixed garden pickles, smashed potatoes, Cajun mac ’n’ cheese, brown butter green beans; three of: chicken thighs, smoked turkey breast, pulled pork, smoked pulled lamb, smoked beef brisket; one of: cupcake jar or fresh fruit ($32/person; 20-person minimum). ORDER 48 hours in advance
REHEATING NECESSARY Available hot or cold DELIVERY Yes (charges based on distance)
DOUG McNISH’S PUBLIC KITCHEN
561 Marlee, 647-341-1736, dougmcnish.com McNish’s specialty is vegan, gluten-free dining, and his holiday menu is among the most inclusive in town. Beef up your dinner (figuratively speaking) with inexpensive addons like butternut squash apple sage soup or baked apple crumble with a rolled oat, cinnamon and coconut sugar crust.
WHAT YOU GET Caramelized onion and squash lentil/millet loaf or red wine-herbDijon seitan roulade stuffed with mushroom and garlic spinach duxelles, wild rice and roasted apple stuffing, caramelized winter vegetables, creamy roasted garlic mash, roasted portobello mushrooms, gravy, cranberry sauce for $80 (feeds up to three people) or $150 (feeds up to five people).
ORDER Meal only available December 22-24; short-notice orders okay REHEATING NECESSARY Yes DELIVERY Yes (fee depends on distance)