reel eats

Reel Eats is how to do dinner and a movie in Toronto

Reel Eats hosted their third edition of their popular movie themed dinner party this week featuring the classic Johnny Depp flick Chocolat. Equal parts spoken word, tasting menu and social congregation, Reel Eats is constantly evolving and changing the definition of dinner party.

Brainstorming over dim sum one day, Mary Luz Mejia and Mario Stojanac, Vanessa Yeung and Domenic Ubaldino and Sang Kim - all brought their creative food related talents to the table and imagined hosting a (soon to be) monthly tasting menu with a film focus that engages and entices diners in an entirely new fashion. Tickets are $75 for 6 courses, and wine is BYOB, or Sang can provide pairings for $25.

Finding the location proved to be a bit tricky, but we knew we had arrived when we were tempted by the wafting smells greeting us at the door. The room is all exposed brick and soaring ceilings, with the cluttered open kitchen in the back corner facing guests to watch the rotating chef produce course after course.

Movies are silently projected onto a white wall, letting the spoken word speakers to surround guests with their verbal storytelling. Dinner begins promptly at 7pm, and guests are seated at communal tables. If you aren't terribly social or outgoing this format might not suit you, but we had a lovely experience with our dining mates and felt the content of the spoken word and silent movie gave us ample conversation starters.

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On the menu? Frisee salad with bacon strips, sauteed pine nuts (in cacao butter no less) and tiny chunks of unsweetened cacao; a shallot and lentil cream soup; bean cassoulet and Toulouse sausage with a touch of milk chocolate; Burgundy beef stew, fries and dessert.

It was a splendid evening and I'd certainly love to attend more unique events like this. There were some lulls at some points; I suppose when you have so many products donated by sponsors you owe them an audience for their spiels. Next up for Reel Eats is an evening based on the movie Monsoon Wedding, with an all vegetarian menu.


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