Iron Chef Susur Lee

Have you ever truly fallen in love with the experience of eating wonderful food in the perfect atmosphere? Have you ever wished you could do it again as soon as you left? That’s what we did. Yup. We went back to Lee Lounge the next night because it was just that awesome. We were completely enamored with the food, the attention to detail, and the service, but all of that was made extra special by the Chef.

 Thank you to the lovely Laura Caravaggio of Lola & Gigi for introducing us to this amazing restaurant! It was the perfect place to get caught up on some business and lots of girl talk too.

Susur Lee Iron Chef, Top Chef Master multi-restaurant  owner AND a really nice guy too. He not only came over to our table for a photo the first night we were there, he also recognized us the second night and said hello again. We were a bit star stuck but what impressed us the most was how he looks you in the eye when he speaks to you, rests his hand on your arm, and truly connects with you. His restaurant was full and that included Steven Segal and his entourage the first night we were there and Maggie Q (Nikita) the next night we stopped in. I know, celebrities, who really cares? Chef Lee was the one who charmed us. The man is an artist and his food is amazing!

 

This is what we ate…..

Chickpea Sweet Onion Fritters with ginger mango and minted yogurt.

 

Top Chef green curry chicken
Sweet pea polenta, butter almondine, spicy tomato jam, oven dried pineapple, chilli mint chutney

Rack of lamb
fried banana, green curry lentil,
chili mint, carrot cardamom
coconut chutney

Garlic tiger shrimp
spicy tomato jam, potato pea croquette, soya bean crumb, cucumber & mango salad

Singaporean Style Slaw 

Singapore Slaw features 19 different ingredients including edible flowers, daikon, tropical ginger, pickled onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, daikon sprouts, cilantro sprouts, toasted sesame seeds, red onion, rice vermicelli, crushed roasted peanuts, fennel and hazelnuts. It’s crowned with a birds nest of taro and tossed with salted plum dressing.

 

The Slaw is what brought us back. It was amazing, tender, sweet, tangy, complex and plentiful. The dishes are meant to be served family style.

Stunning flowers everywhere....
 
 
gorgeous ceiling!

  

A great restaurant should have a pretty bathroom...:)

 

great lighting and atmosphere....

 

Of course we had dessert!!

 

 

If you’re ever in Toronto…

xoBarb


 

Brunch at Mildred’s…

Lovely Laura of Lola & Gigi suggested we go for brunch to Mildred’s Temple Kitchen…..great food, hip decor and more of that fabulous lighting….

 

 Toronto was full of amazing seasonal flowers!

 

Service please.....
 
 
Crows make lousy servers……
 
 
 
My skinny friend...

 

He looks like he wants to eat that squirrel!

 

Corner vingnette...
 
 
A great spot to linger over coffee.
 
 

 

Mmmmm….Huevos  Rancheros and Smoked Salmon Benny. Very yummy!

 

A really cool bathroom always adds to the resturant experience....

 

No boys and girls rooms here just a beautiful bathroom lobby with private rooms for discretion.

 

More fab lighting...and Barb looking cute in her Cherry Velvet namesake dress in the "Dotty Chic" print!

 

What a great introduction to some of the fabulous restaurants Toronto has to offer!

 

XO Cherry Velvet

 

Christina Hendricks, Winter Roses, and a Sneak Peek of the Cherry Velvet Holiday Collection

Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame is without doubt a curvy bombshell.  Named “the sexiest woman in the world” in 2010 in a poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine, Christina has been on our fashion radar since her debut in the new Mad Men series. With recent appearances both on and off screen in red rose prints, she’s also behind the inspiration of one of our new Holiday 2011 styles, the “Peggy” dress.  We just received our sample of this style, and couldn’t resist dressing up and taking it for a spin!  Here’s your sneak peek into Holiday 2011…

Gorgeous no? Wintery floral prints are so hot this season, we can’t wait to unveil the other colours!

xxx Cherry Velvet

Yer salty and fickle…

Everywhere we went in Toronto, the lighting was notable and fabulous…..

the bar at our hotel

 

 

 Setting out along King St. heading west…..

I love this art deco chandelier, upper left...

 

 

Curtians on the outside?

 

 

Pretty soon we came upon this amazing shop called Soma Chocolatemakers. As soon as you walked in, you knew it was different.  They made all the chocolate right on the premises from the bean and it’s got to be some of the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten….

Handmade wooden chandelier...
 
 

 We’re officially on the chocolate anti-oxidant diet….:)

Flavours like dark chocolate with balsamic vinegar....
 
 

 To die for hot chocolate…..just like the movie Chocolat…

 

 

 

More treats….

 

 

The very best things in my opinion were the “Starry Night” salted chocolate and the juicy Seville orange slices dipped in dark chocolate….

Gifts to take home....ok.....some might not make it home...:)

 

While I may be ‘salty and fickle’….do try some salted chocolate…..Lindt makes one, and Starbucks has a Salted Carmel Mocha…it’s delicious!

Cherry Velvet XOX

Day & Night, Here’s How To Wear Your Cherry Velvet Dress this Fall

Just because it’s Fall it doesn’t mean you’ve got to pack away anything and everything with a short sleeve or a lighter fabric. With the leaves starting to fall, and a definite chill in the air, we’ll show you how to wear your Cherry Velvet dresses this season—for day and for night…

 

Our day outfit features the floral Black Zelda dress.  This look will keep you feeling cozy and looking smashing whether you’re leading a meeting at work, grabbing lunch with a girlfriend (or boyfriend!), or running errands on the weekend. The trick here is layers, layers, layers! A pair of opaque tights is the perfect fall accessory and looks great with ankle boots, while a trench and cardi are versatile basics and appropriate for anything life throws at you. The pop of red is right on trend, and looks oh-so-chic with crisp neutrals.

Get the Look:

1. Cherry Velvet ‘Barbara Dress in Black Lace Bouquet’

2. Torrid ‘Red Satin Rosette Cardigan’

3. Old Navy ‘Long Wool-Blend Trench Coat in Camel’

4. Aldo ‘Shoyer Leather Ankle Boot in Black’

5. Aldo ‘Vink Stacked Metal Bracelets in Midnight Black’

 

 

 Dazzle in the dark with this moody night ensemble.  Our Sugar Skull Damask dress gets glammed up with sequins, studs, and touches of animal-inspired accessories, while the medley of jewel-toned colours adds a touch of the mystical and mysterious. We’ve balanced the edgier dress and heels with a soft, luxurious wool coat and luminous feather hair clip.  The jeweled snake ring adds the all-important sparkle, and is sure to be a conversation starter. Who knows, you may just charm a tall dark stranger…

Get the Look:

1. Cherry Velvet ‘Barbara Dress in Sugar Skull Damask’

2. Claire’s ‘Feather Hair Clip’

3. Rachel by Rachel Roy ‘Blue Snake Skin Ring’

4. Igigi ‘Taylor Coat in Forest Green’

5. Sam Edelman ‘Lorissa Peep-Toe Pump’

 

 xxx CherryVelvetPlus

 

 

 

The Cherry-Lemon Summit

I met the ferociously fabulous Ms Lemon this balmy Friday after work, at the new Acme Cafe.  Located right beside the landmark store for slutty shoes—Model Express—the café happens to be central between my work and hers. If you’ve never been, Acme has that classic retro diner feel that fits in with the changing character of the area, elevating the neighborhood with its shiny, squeaky clean newness.

The menu is choc-full of updates on classic comfort foods like mac n’ cheese, meatloaf, and eggs benny—all the things we crave—and at fair prices too!  To my delight they had gluten free bread (YES!), so of course I had to have the ‘High-falutin’ Grilled Cheese’, something I haven’t been able to indulge in for a long time!  Dream with me here: cheddar, swiss, brie, and cranberry-Grand Marnier relish…Delish!

The only thing greater than the food was the company; animated, cheeky, full of expression—Dani Lemon is a bombshell and the archetype CherryVelvet gal.  Blogger, actress, singer, lawyer (with her own firm!)… She is the perfect example of a strong, independent woman. Passionate about helping small, savvy businesses reach their full potential, Ms Lemon specializes in “licensing, technology, Internet, e-commerce, media and communications law,” and has some major experience under her belt. As many a small business owner would agree, running your own business can be expensive and exhausting…but so rewarding when you can operate how YOU want to.  

“I want to take away all of the excuses small businesses have for not seeking legal advice when they should.”

 I think Danielle Lemon Law Group is onto a great thing. It’s a company filled with passion and, in true Lemon style, ‘Fresh Advice’.

 So what do two business owners turn to when the shop-talk is over? Why, dessert, dating and dresses, of course! (Ms Lemon has already put first dibs on our latest frock that hasn’t even hit the stores yet…the Barbara dress in the limited Black & White Polka dots)  We obviously saved room for pie—that carb-laden, sugar bomb of retro deliciousness! Two plates, two forks, one key lime slice, one lemon meringue…swirls of creamy, fruit filling. Puffy meringue, custard, flaky melt-in-your-mouth crust!

Heaven. It’s pie at Acme Café.

xox CherryVelvet

Fashion For The “Other” You?

I have a confession to make. I have an alter-ego. By day and during the week I am a sales agent for pretty plus-size fashion. My personal style varies from tights, tunics and Chuck Taylor’s to dresses, cardis and flats. I love dressing up and I love dressing down in jeans, t-shirts and boots. It’s all good and I’m lucky that I can dress for how I feel from day to day, no dress code for me. My alter-ego though, she’s a little more complicated. Her style icons are Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. She’s all big hair and false eyelashes. She wears cowboy boots with dresses and skirts and orders western shirts from Southern states on the internet. You see, my alter ego is a country/honky-tonk singer in an all male band. In a week or so I will be heading to a little town in a valley carved by the mighty Thompson River. This is true cowboy country. The people who live here are ranchers, farmers, hunters and fishers, artists and musicians. They are also some of the kindest and most welcoming folks I have ever met. This music festival is set in front of a backdrop of some of British Columbia’s most amazing scenery. The climate is semi-arid desert, hot and dry. What’s a girl to wear?

I’ll be leaving the wigs at home because there’s nothing warmer than a hair hat. False eyelashes, if I can get them on right. Cowboy boots? Maybe, but probably too hot. I’m thinking my Polka Party Cherry Velvet dress and bare feet. This vintage inspired dress just works for so many occasions! Do you have yours yet? What will your alter-ego be wearing this summer?

xoBarb

(aka Ms. BarbaraJane)

Dancing with Polka Dots

When I think of polka dots, these are the words that first come to mind: retro, vintage, Lucille Ball, Minnie Mouse, and 50’s dresses.

While polka dots were showing up on clothing well before the 1950’s, it’s a dance craze from this era that gave the pattern its name. Some say the dots gained their ‘polka’ because they resembled the dance’s steps; however it’s more likely that the name ‘polka dots’ resulted from the coinciding popularity of the print and the Polka (dance).

At CherryVelvet, we love us some polka dots. The words we associate with this lovely little print provide the perfect summation of CherryVelvet style. Retro-inspired with a cheeky side, flirty and sweet, these are the qualities we embrace when planning our dresses. So of course we couldn’t cook up a batch of these frocks without throwing some polka dots into the mix!

A vintage flare and fun to wear, this black & white polka dot dress is a true classic.

(PS.  This little looker will be available exclusively in limited quantities at the CherryVelvet Online Boutique! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out when the store is launched…)

XOXO CherryVelvet