Tag: wine

Foodie Swellness: 3 reasons to celebrate the holidays at The Keg (+ GIVEAWAY!)

The Keg cheers

The holidays are all about getting together with friends and family, right? Even though we have all year to get together, somehow we’re all compelled to make the extra effort to reunite this month. I guess we all feel a little more festive this time of year.

If you’re anything like me, you have high standards about where to get together. Throw in just about everyone having some sort of diet restriction, and this can make choosing a place to eat and drink that pleases everyone stressful. And extra stress is not what any of us have on our holiday wish list. Which is why The Keg is a great spot to to celebrate the holiday season–there is something for everyone there.

The Keg bar

I’ve got three reasons The Keg is an ideal spot to get together for your holiday merriment–I even went there for dinner this week with friends to research this (I am thorough, people!):

The Keg crispy cauliflower

1. The menu has so many choices. Yes, the Keg is known for steaks, but there are plenty of other choices, too, such as the pistachio-crusted salmon a few of my friends considered. A few of us wanted escargots to start, but we compromised and got the lobster au gratin special instead, along with the crispy cauliflower, calamari and baked brie (yes, my friends and I have healthy appetites!).

The Keg lobster tails with filet mignon

When it came time to decide, for our mains, we did all end up going with steak (the New York strip loin I ordered was heavenly and cooked perfectly medium-rare). And because two of us were indecisive between beef or seafood, we each added some surf to our steak entrees: I went with king crab (so meaty and delectable) while my friend got the Atlantic lobster tails, which I wanted to grab from her plate, they looked so incredible. You know it’s a good dinner when the conversation lulls because you’re all devouring your food.

The Keg striploin with crab

People with restricted diets can easily find dishes to enjoy, too. The items that are gluten-free are clearly marked (the heirloom tomato and burrata sounds like heaven on a plate); so you don’t have to grill the server about what gluten-free options you have (although they, of course, will gladly answer your questions — we had many about the different cuts of steak and sauce choices). For vegetarians, you’ve got some options, too, but I think the one that sounds most delicious is the cauliflower “steak'; with chickpea and sundried tomato relish and asparagus.

And by the way, if you’re counting calories, those, too, are clearly indicated on the menu.

We also ordered several dessert to share. I was very into the Billy Miner pie (I love mocha ice cream!) whereas my friends really liked the creme brulee, which was incredibly smooth and creamy and which had a slightest hint of salt to balance the flavours.

The Keg desserts

2. Let’s talk about the affordable wine and cocktails at the Keg. No word of a lie, the cost of the wine and cocktails at The Keg had all four of us (1) very surprised, and (2) planning on making it a regular place to meet for drinks. In fact, we ordered a bottle of prosecco to start (which I believe was $26), and then a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy with our meal. I usually only order a bottle if I’m feeling like splashing out but with the prices being so reasonable, it just made sense to order bottles.

The Keg dining room

3. The cozy atmosphere. While I’ve been to other locations of The Keg, this was my first visit to the location on King St. West in Toronto. It’s modern and dimly lit and it just feels cozy inside. There’s the sleek bar closer to the entrance; we sat in the dining room in a comfortable booth. The design aesthetic manages to be both refined and comfortable. I’d also say it’s a touch more masculine in design (the dark wood tones, for example), but it’s definitely a place a group of girlfriends would feel at home in as well. It’s a spot that is entirely appropriate for a client dinner and yet also somewhere you can go with a date or out for a fun evening catching up with friends.

Sold on The Keg yet? Guess I’ll see you there. You’ll find me trying the escargots dish we didn’t end up ordering and sipping on some of that delicious, affordable wine!

(And by the way,  if you’ve got a secret Santa exchange you need to shop for, a giftcard to The Keg is something everyone can make use of — with several locations, and all of the reasons above, it’s a stocking stuffer that I think most everyone would enjoy).

UPDATE: I’ve got a $100 giftcard to The Keg to give away! How to enter to win? Comment on this blog post about what you’d order at The Keg! The giveaway ends at noon E.S.T. on Thursday, December 14th. For additional ways to enter, visit my Instagram! The winner will be chosen at random.

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and The Keg and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.



75 Comments December 5, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Taste Community Grown in PEC (and I’ve got tickets to give away!)


I’m a huge fan of The County (aka Prince Edward County) so when I was invited a few weeks ago to spend the day exploring the area and eating and drinking my way through some of the amazing vineyards and purveyors who will be taking part of TASTE Community Grown (the County’s annual wine and culinary fest taking place September 24, 2016 — this is it’s 15th year!), there was no question I was going to attend. I’d last visited the County last year (and my previous visit was probably a good 10 years ago!) and fell in love with it all over again. (I wrote about last summer’s jaunt for Vitamin Daily).


This time around, I got to check out a slew of places I hadn’t been to before. We made our way early in the morning on a luxe private shuttle from Foley Bus Lines (and I was very much appreciative for the chance to stretch out and catch some zzz’s). We didn’t hit much traffic, though, and our first stop was at Pyramid Ferments where a tasting of their kombuchas and kimchis jolted us awake in the most delicious way. My favourite, though, was these sun-aged lemons, which are beautiful to look at and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. Oh, and btw, their Gut Shots? I hear they’re good as a hangover cure.


Next, we stopped into Three Dog Winery where the dogs weren’t available to greet us but the lovely John and Sacha Squair were, and we tasted wines (my favourite was the Dog House Red), and we nibbled on pizzas (one featuring some delectible Seed to Sausage sausage) on the lovely verandah. I’m definitely adding a stop here to my itinerary the next time I visit as I’d love to take one of Sacha’s yoga classes in the enclosed desk being built; the view of the vineyard during sun salutations will be fantastic (and, well, so will enjoying some wine after shivasana!).


Bellies full of pizza, that didn’t stop us from eating on. We popped into Pink Lunch Pail, where apple pie lovers will need to try their version (I adored the shortbread crust). The bakery is also known for their lemon desserts, and I’m saving my appetite to try this next time.

Karlo Estate

From there, we stopped into two wineries, Karlo Estates and Trail Estate. Karlo Estates is the first vegan certified vineyard in the world (and the grounds are beyond pretty and romantic, check out the beautiful bridge in my first photo on this post).  Trail Estates I enjoyed because their focus is on small batch craft wines, and by small, that can mean even smaller than a barrel; so there’s always something new in the lineup as they’re always experimenting.


OK, so I’m a lightweight when it comes to wine…but the tour continued!


Thankfully (as I was in need of some food to balance the wine), our next stop was at Guapo’s Cantina, which is at Traynor Vineyard. And I think after my trip to Sayulita a few months ago, I’ve become pickier when it comes to my tacos, and I was a very happy camper here because the tacos at Guapo’s Cantina were incredible, and the yucca fries were just the perfect crispness, and the couple behind the cantina (Lance and Ashley) just so fun and friendly. And since we had been drinking wine all day, Traynor Vineyard served up some icy cold cocktails including margaritas, sangria and a paloma. This is a definite PEC must-stop for me.

I know, you’re probably thinking how much more can one girl eat and drink in one day? But we all persevered and visited Keint-He Winery & Vineyards (I enjoyed the balance of acid and sugars in their Voyageur Riesling)  and finally, dinner at East & Main Bistro, where it’s nice and cozy (and we all shared the bison special and a bunch of appetizers as we were plenty full from the day of tasting).

The good news is you can taste from all of these lovely PEC purveyors (along with upwards of 40 others) at Taste Community Grown, and I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away! The prize includes two tickets (valued at $40 each) along with tasting tickets for the event. Taste Community Grown takes place on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Crystal Palace (Picton Fairgrounds). You can get more info on the fest here.

To enter this Taste Community Grown giveaway, which is open to Canadian residents (but you’ll have to get yourself to PEC on the 24th for the event), you can enter once in each of the four entry methods:

  1. Email: Write me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and phone number. Please put “Taste Community Grown” in the email’s subject line.
  2. Twitter: Follow me @healthswellness on Twitter, and then tweet:

I want to #TastePEC at TASTE Community Grown by winning these tickets from @healthswellness and @PECwines! http://bit.ly/2chlCXU

  1. Instagram: Follow @healthandswellness Instagram; like my Instagram post for this giveaway (posted on September 7th), and tag a friend you’d like to attend Taste Community Grown with.
  2. Facebook: Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (at the top of the page), and then leave a comment on the photo of this Taste Community Grown giveaway — tell me what your favourite thing to do in PEC is!

This giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. EST, Wednesday, September 14. 2016. Please note that this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. The one winner will be chosen at random and their name will be announced on this blog post once confirmed.

Cheers and bon appetit! (Wish I could join you at TASTE, but I’m traveling that weekend!)


Leave a Comment September 7, 2016

Foodie Swellness: Limited Edition Vintage Ink Merlot Cabernet

Processed with Snapseed.

Sometimes I shop for wine by reading labels and trying to remember what I’ve learned in various tastings…and sometimes I go by price and pretty label…

The latter strategy has mixed results, but thankfully, this time the pretty label got us a tasty bottle of red, and it’s a limited edition bottle and I love the story behind it.

Six thousand bottles of Merlot Cabernet featuring the Limited Edition Vintage Ink Merlot Cabernet labels were launched last month. Created by Toronto-based tattoo artist Spencer Harrington (his friend Crispin Day has the actual tattoo on his bod), the art won the We Are Made of Stories contest held by the wine brand last year created to find a label for these bottles and allow the artists a chance to showcase their art. At $17.95 a bottle, it fits our wine budget and I enjoy the fruity notes of cherry, blackberry and plum. It’s dry and full-bodied, and is available in Ontario and B.C., so grab a bottle while you can if that’s what you tend to enjoy. Cheers!


Leave a Comment September 4, 2016

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