Review, Dinner and a Show: A Rocky Horror Pasta Vino

My boyfriend’s aunt is a big playgoer. I am a big Rocky Horror Picture Show fan. So naturally, when she found out that the Sudbury Theatre Centre was putting on a Rocky Horror Picture Show play, she gave me a ticket for my birthday. I was ecstatic obviously.

What’s for Dinner?

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We started the night off with a lovely dinner at locally owned Italian restaurant Pasta e Vino.  Pasta e Vino is a quaint little eatery a hop, skip and a jump away from the Sudbury Theatre Centre.  I had never eaten there before so was excited to try something new.  The building itself is in a small house that was turned into a restaurant.  923545_760436907313470_1121628469_nThe inside of the restaurant is well laid out, and the tables are spaced well away from each other so as to avoid unintentionally eavesdropping on other tables’ conversation.  My only thought on the restaurant itself is that it is too brightly lit. While I wasn’t really looking for a romantic, over the moon, stars in your eyes kind of night with my dinner companion, I will say that if I had gone with my boyfriend, I would have liked for the lighting to be a little more… dreamy.  Perhaps lower lighting and more candles would have contributed to the mood a little better.  Another issue I had was actually finding any form of online presence for the restaurant.  They had no website and an outdated Facebook page with incorrect business hours.  I have a big problem with this. I’m that annoying customer who likes to look up the menu to a restaurant before I go. I don’t like surprises. I like to know what my options are and I like to have an idea of what I might like to try. I enjoy doing research on a place before I go. The Facebook page did have a picture of the menu, but I had to zoom in substantially to see the options and I wasn’t able to read the descriptions.  Since most of the menu items were in Italian and my Italian is a little rusty (and by rusty I mean I don’t speak it at all) I could only make out the more obvious items.  I also think that an online menu is so important now because of dietary restrictions and health concerns.  My dinner companion doesn’t have kidneys, and because she is a dialysis patient, she is limited to what she can order. It would have been nice for her to have access to a menu beforehand.

The service was really great, and our waitress was really friendly and helpful.  When ordering entrees rather than pasta dishes, the menu specifies no substitutions, however they do allow you to substitute the roasted potatoes and vegetables for a half order of pasta, it’s just a little more expensive. I decided to go with that option, and order Veal Marsala with a half order of Rigatoni alla Burina, which was rigatoni noodles in a white sauce with broccoli, bacon, hot peppers and garlic. The meal was nice and hot when I got it, which for some reason is not always the case when I order a pasta dish, and it tasted amazing. All their specialty pastas (i.e., tortellini, ravioli) are actually made in restaurant. The veal was very tender and the pasta dish was nice and creamy without feeling too heavy. Because of this, I had room for dessert.

The dessert menu was limited, but my eyes spotted cheese cake and I immediately ordered it. Unfortunately, they didn’t have cheesecake that night which was a little disappointing. However, they did offer me an off-the-menu dessert item, ice cream wrapped in a crepe and drizzled with strawberry and raspberry sauce.  I’ve had a similar dessert before at a wedding, so I was excited for a warm crepe stuffed with cold ice cream. Unfortunately, the desserts while likely made at the restaurant, are done beforehand, and instead of a warm crepe I got an ice cold, extremely hard crepe-wrapped ice cream tube.  The dessert still tasted great, but I was expecting a different texture so was a little disappointed.  Despite this, we had a good experience at Pasta e Vino and I would be very happy to go back.

Come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab.

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MUSIC, LYRICS AND BOOK BY RICHARD O’BRIEN
25 SEP TO 18 OCT 2014

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Theatre has always been exciting to me, ever since I was a kid and saw The Lion King in Toronto. It’s much more interesting than going to a movie, and feels like such a special occasion.  I’ve been a Rocky Horror fan since I was a kid. My parents loved the movie and let me watch it when I was possibly too young to get what was really going on, but I just loved the singing and bright colours. See the STC description of the play below:

 “A comic musical salute to B Horror Movies, The Rocky Horror Show is one of the most popular musicals of all time. One dark and stormy night, the newly engaged Brad and Janet find themselves in the castle of Doctor Frank N. Furter who believes he has discovered the secret of life. Will the muscular science experiment Rocky Horror live forever? Are Brad and Janet’s lives in danger? Let’s do the Time Warp again!”

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The play was very true to the movie – from the fishnets to the transvestite main character, the musical performances were phenomenal and the acting was incredible.  The only character that was a little off from the movie was Rocky, who has more of a Frankenstein monster personality in the movie, whereas in the play he speaks more adding a little more comic relief, and I thought it was well done. The actors did very well in portraying their characters.  Special shoutout to David Lopez who played Frank N. Furter, and Joseph O’Toole who played one of the Phantom Characters. Their performances were amazing and to me they really took the play to the next level.  I can’t believe how great of an experience it was to see this play, and I would absolutely go see it again. The play runs until October 18, 2014, so make sure you get your tickets soon!

Kelsey Does a Restaurant Review: The Hour Glass Sudbury

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Sooooo I’ve decided to start doing restaurant and food reviews as a writing side project, and because my bestie was all like “hey, you should do food critiques,” and I was like “okay”. So here I am, doing that.  I snagged the photos below from The Hour Glass Facebook Page and Website; please click them to go to the pages where they are located.

The Hour Glass is probably one of my favourite restaurants in Sudbury. It’s locally owned and has fantastic food. I’ve never been disappointed with the service.  While the food is great, I find myself drawn to the restaurant’s atmosphere: it’s very urban, with brick walls, hardwood floors, and the staff all dressed in black attire. The restaurant is well laid out and you’re far enough away from other tables so that you don’t hear the conversation of the group next to you. This is incredibly important to me, and I actually refuse to go to certain restaurants where I feel I’m toO close to other people. When I go out to eat, I have no interest in hearing about Suzy’s new boyfriend’s sick pickup truck from the girl sitting two tables away, so I appreciate when a restaurant takes that into consideration, rather than squishing in as many tables as possible to maximize profit margins.  The service is relatively quick, but not so quick that you feel like you’re being rushed out, and all the servers I’ve had have always been incredibly friendly.

I really appreciate how many gluten free options the The Hour Glass offers: every pasta dish can be substituted with gluten free noodles, and all sandwiches and burgers have the option of a gluten free bun or bread.  The Hour Glass has a great variety of appetizers, 10686921_10154564775050234_3453984864744133707_nincluding bruschetta and garlic bread, wings and nachos, seafood options, antipasto, and fondue.  We ordered the nachos as an appetizer.  I’ve always been impressed with The Hour Glass nachos for the reason that they’re not your typical cheese and salsa nachos.  They are made on tri-colour corn tortilla chips with melted cheese, feta, and jalapenos, with sour cream, salsa and guac (optional) on the side. My biggest pet peeve with any nachos is that by the time you get to the bottom layer the nachos become soft and soggy, but I’ve never experienced that issue with the nachos at this restaurant, which is why they are my favourite. No one likes soggy nachos.

For my main I ordered the Sriracha Onion Burger, a gourmet burger with garlic and chive cream cheese topped with caramelized Sriracha onions.  Because I’ve ordered a burger at this restaurant before, I knew how large they were and decided to order a side salad rather than fries in case I wanted to try to fit in some dessert. The burger was amazing.  I had never tried cream cheese on a burger before, but since I am a burger lover, I figured, why not try something new? I almost couldn’t finish it, but I managed.  The only issue I had with this burger is that the garlic and chive cream cheese had WAY too much garlic. I quite literally had garlic breath until the next night, even after scoping and brushing several times.  No part of me is exaggerating. So because of that reason, while the taste was fantastic I don’t think that I would order this particular burger again unless they are able to tone down the garlic.  Nobody likes garlic breath.

desertBnrLeftI decided to skip dessert and instead got a fun flavoured martini – I opted for a chocolate martini, but I’ve tasted their cheesecake in the past (which is ALWAYS my go to dessert) and it is fantastic.  All their desserts are make in house and are all gluten free.  Overall I had a great experience at The Hour Glass, and I fully intend on trying every burger on their menu since they seem so different from the average burger. They actually have a burger that has peanut butter on it, another that’s rolled in toasted almonds, and another that has a deep fried cream cheese and jalapeno patty on the top of the beef patty. Can you say foodgasm? I sure can. FOODGASM.