event

Lobsterfest - Saturday, July 8

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 12:00

Lobsterfest is alive – our beloved QCYC tradition will take place even in the year of the flood: a day of fantastic food, good cheer and great music. We’ll make this Lobsterfest the best ever. See what we came up with:

The food

More than all our other events, Lobsterfest is our opportunity to celebrate food - and we put a lot of thought into this one. A great dish gets even better with great sides, and a memorable dinner is a composition. This is the score:

Oyster Cash Bar

Let's start with an oyster cash bar. We'll get Beausoleil oysters from Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick, a light, subtle oyster that makes a perfect starter. These are tray grown in cold water, just below the surface in summer and near the bottom in winter, to ride out the ice. That makes them clean, and very uniform (sorry, probably no pearls), and with their mild and slightly briny taste they are a great first experience in case you've never tried raw oysters before. Whether for taste or passion, oyster shucking is fun, and we'll enjoy showing you how. Pair this with fresh baguette, and the Restaurant's Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio IGT, from the Veneto region in Italy, surrounding Verona and Venice. Pinot Grigio is the drier, "Italian" type of wine made from the Pinot gris grape. It is not as fruity as the French or German types and thus does not overpower the subtle oyster taste, and its acidity is perfect for a summer day. So let the time come, to talk of other things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax ...

The Lobsters

Feast on a whole, fresh cooked 1.5 lb Lobster. We get them from Caudle's Catch Seafood since we were happy with last year's quality. Expect Canadian - but I'll update the page once we know where exactly our lobsters come from. Eating a whole lobster from tomalley to tail is an art, with all those succulent pieces hidden away in hard to get at places, so take your time and we'll provide some helpful notes. I asked one of our members with Atlantic connections: do you remember the best lobster dinner you ever had? And what made it the best? She did not hestitate a moment: "I do - and it was the drawn butter and the garlic!". We can do that! It will be right there for you.

The Steaks

Should I have lobster and steak? That might be overdoing it - but listen: 12 oz AAA NY striploin steak is already not bad. We're getting them from The Butcher Shoppe and we liked their quality last year. But our Restaurant had this idea that we could cook them sous-vide! Done to absolute perfection. The way they do steak in restaurants that I can't even afford. Right here at QCYC. I'm pretty excited about this.

Salad and Sides

Great, fresh salad is a delight! Tasteless lettuces would be a shame. So we are getting the salad from Ponesse Foods in St. Lawrence market. You may know them, they are in the Northeast corner of the market hall. And we are adding a bit of arugula to the spring mix, I think the slight peppery flavor with a hint of mustard is a great accent for both the lobster and the steak. Salad dressing for seafood should be light: a yoghurt dressing will be just right. Simon, our restaurant chef, will add pixie dust, we will add chives. We'll boil potatoes! New potatoes. We'll butter them. We'll sprinkle some parsley (thanks, Gail, for suggesting the parsley!). They should be from Ontario and I'll update here once I know who grows them. Finally: bread. We'll need some for the oysters already, but it's indispensable to mop up the juices of the lobster (or steak). So who makes Toronto's best baguettes? I asked a Francophone member - and the answer was clear: Blackbird Bakery in Kensington Market. They make beautiful 400g loaves that just fly off their shelves every morning. Actually getting them was one of the trickier parts of the logisitcs: they need to adjust their sourdough batches two days in advance. I'll have to have the baguettes ordered before 7:00 in the morning on Thursday. Totally worth it.

Vegetarian Option

If you think it's already hard to choose between lobster and steak, there's also this: Homemade Summer Squash Ravioli tossed with Garden Basil Pesto and English Peas. From our Restaurant. I hope I'll find that on their menu from time to time - it sounds too good to miss.

Kid's Meals

A bit more conventional - but done with great care and great ingridients by our restaurant: Beef Burger, Vegan Burger, Hot dogs, or Chicken Fingers Served with Fries. Fries. Of course fries.

Dessert

Dessert is tricky. It depends on the weather, the dish, the wine - just like with a musical symphony: the final note has to match the whole piece. We need something light, and something stimulating. So we decided to have a dessert option on separate tickets: Ontario strawberry shortcake or lemon tart. We'll add Chantilly cream. And we'll serve coffee. But here's the best part: Baron Otard VSOP Cognac. Just look at the bottle! That’s Chateau De Cognac. Where they know Cognac. I bought my ticket yesterday.

Wine

Michael from our Restaurant is studying to become a somellier. And he chose a perfect wine to match it all - steak, lobster and ravioli: a Mas des Bressades Cuvée Tradition Rosé 2016. Mas Des Bressades is a small estate in the Costières de Nîmes region of the Southern Rhone valley. Please remember that our grounds are not licensed for liquor consumption, and if you bring your own wine to our Restaurant, there will be a corkage fee of $20.00. All beer upstairs must be purchased from the bar.

The Music

Lesley Heathcote has booked "The Black Pearls", well known to the club. Nick Cianciotta will make sure it all sounds great. And I'm collecting some hand-made Atlantic tunes to accompany us through the afternoon and over dinner. I'm thinking of Stan Rogers, the Wicked Tinkers for a more modern approach, the amazing historic 1956 album “Folk Music of Nova Scotia”, Kirkmount, Inishowen ... Any suggestions? Let me know!

Come Rain or Shine or Flood ...

Actually, the way things are going it won't be "or" flood, flood's still a given. But not to worry. If the weather allows, we'll be on the Rapids Queen. We'll bring some "Off" in case we have mosquitos. And if you want to enjoy wine or beer, we'll have space in the Great Hall set up. If it rains a bit, we can hang tarps. But if there's a storm, we'll be inside. It'll be cozy. Just to remind: if we are inside - remember what I wrote about Wine and Liquor Laws and corkage fees above.

Tickets

All ticket prices include tax!

  • Lobster Dinner: $36.00
  • Steak Dinner: $36.00
  • Vegetarian Dinner: $24.00
  • Kids Dinner: $10.00
  • Dessert: $10.00

Ticket prices can be applied against minimum billing. Tickets are on sale in the office if you come in person, or by phone 416 203-0929. Ticket sales end Wednesday, July 5. No extensions, because we have to order the food right away. Don't miss out - pick up the phone now.

Contact

Any other suggestions? Let us know. We are your Lobsterfest Organizers: Boris Steipe and Gail Smith.

Volunteers

Being part of the team is all the more fun! Hone your oyster shucking skills, learn about steak finishing and lobster cooking from our restaurant chef, Simon. Lend a hand to crack lobsters, squirt butter or haul bread and potatoes from the city to here. And we’ll schedule things so you too can enjoy your meal. And you’ll get work hours in the funnest way! To join the team just send an email to Boris Steipe, or grab me when you see me at the Club.