Eat, Drink

HOW TO SLACK YOUR WAY THROUGH HOL­I­DAY HOST­ING

NOW Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - By NATALIA MANZOCCO

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.

BARQUE

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)

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