Friday, March 19, 2010

St Patrick's Week at The Ceili Cottage

Ok, maybe 5 days of St. Patrick's was a bit over the top to attempt for the first time out of the blocks for a new Irish Local. But, If a guy can't have fun at his own pub, then what's the use? From Saturday the 13th to Wednesday the 17th, The Ceili Cottage put on a bit of a show, all things Irish. - go to the link on the Facebook page to see some pictures!

Saturday - St. Practice Day was a great start to the week, despite the foul weather. Actually, it was near perfect Irish weather just a wee bit colder.

Sunday - Post Parade Family day played to a host of Children pounding about the place, and eventually getting their face the evening we had a great visit from the Fire Department - after their parader march, and before they were off to NYC to do the same - Hope you all had a great time!

Monday - Ah yes, Industry Night, and the soon to be famous St.Patrick's Open Oyster Shucking Contest. What a format! Head to head, on the floor for all to see! We had 11 shuckers, and in the end Philp Ho (Philip shucks at The Cottage Thurs. to Sat. nights) finished the 24 oysters in 2:40 minutes & very clean (Lawrence David of Starfish was the cleanest of all) to win the newly coveted St.Patrick's Staff Trophy - it will reside at The Ceili Cottage, and the winner gets to carve their name in the staff!! In all we went through 500 oysters, free for the audience to enjoy! Thanks to all for a wonderful Monday night. Now, I have to add that the evening wouldn't be the same without the sounds of The CeiliGrass Band - Bluegrass at it's finest! I look forward to having the boys play again for us VERY soon!

Tuesday - Session night - as always, another wonderful, Trad-Music session, hosted by Ena O'Brien. The frenzy of St.Pat's was felt as everyone was getting ready for the next day. Thank you Ena & friends for the calm before the storm!

Wednesday - March 17th - St. Patrick's Proper. Now, In my mind, to do St. P's proper, you need a few things. The Setting, The Friends, The Music, The Food, and las but not least, The Drink.
The Setting - The Ceili Cottage, is already set to feel, and look like you are away in a place, small and comfortable, about 50 yards from the Atlantic, off of a Connemara drive.
The Friends - 120 of your closest friends, and 150 of your in-laws waiting to join you as soon as they could be allowed. I thank you all for the two hour waits, the suggested dismissal at 9pm (so that you can still enjoy the evening) and 1pm as I had to close the tent then.
The Music - The Mere Mortals 1-4pm, a local group of the Beaches/Leslieville area and Celtic Cross 9-close kept the people dancing where they could thruought the evening! You will see them soon at the Cottage! To be Sure, to be Sure.
The Food - Kyle Deming, Chris, Sean, and Greg all helped out on this over the week, but in the day proper, Kyle Deming making "Guinness-aged farmhouse cheddar" (thanks to Afrim of the Cheese Boutique) Grilled Cheese Sandwiches - and served them to the folks in line!! Now that is class! Thanks Kyle, and I hope your fingers grow back, after they gobbled your 'wiches,
The Drink - what can I say - 5 days - 35 kegs of Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's, and Kilkenny. Not the mention the other beer we serve. But St. P's would not be the same without the support, and drive from the Diageo (Guinness Group) folks! Thanks for spinning this out of control!

I would like to thank my staff at The Ceili Cottage for making this possible. Without yourselves, I could not do this on me own - it is a Team Effort, and I could not ask for a better team!

I would also like to thank the patrons - you. Yes, you. You and all who attended managed to pay $10 at the door that went to the Gilchrist-Canavan School of Irish Dance, and after all of the debauchery that happened, you managed to drain 35 kegs, 8 bottles of Bushmills, and broke only 6 pint glasses. That shows a great respect for the product, and the establishment you are in. You are the best group of patrons a proprietor could hope for! Keep up the good work - and don't tell everyone, only tell the friends that you like about The Ceili Cottage!

Shuckingly yours, Paddy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentines Day

V-Day is coming. Are you ready? In some minds, Valentine's (V-Day) should be everyday - time to express your love for someone should not be left up to one day out of the year, but celebrated at least for one moment of every day.
That being said, it is a nice little treat to pay attention to that special someone just a bit more than normal. One of the special treats lots of folks tend to flock to this time of the year is the Oyster.

Historically speaking, the Oyster has always been considered as an aphrodisiac - something eaten to increase the libido - wink,wink... Casanova was reputed to enjoy over 50 oysters a day to keep himself at the ready. There are many different reasons, why this might work as an aphrodisiac, but as with most love potions, if you believe it will work - shazam!

On the other hand, there are scientific reasons as to why "oysters work". The main reason is the Zinc. Oysters have the highest levels of naturally occurring zinc in any food source. Zinc, as you know, not only boosts the immunity in the human body, but also helps release testosterone in the system, and that my friends, drives the libido. Testosterone is present in both boys and girls, but in differing amounts, which is why the Oyster may "help" boys more than girls.

Not to be left out ladies, there is one other item in the oyster that may hold aphrodisiac qualities for yourselves. There is a report out that indicates the smell and taste of cucumber helps women get the heart racing. The Pacific Oyster has a flavour range of sale, sweet-cream, melon and cucumber - which means the west coast oysters may have a double whammy for yourselves!

Now however you want to take your aphrodisiacs this Valentines day, I can definitely make a couple of recommendations. Book your reservation early, book any day but Valentines day (I'll back you up on this one boys - very busy, and you want a little more romantic joint...), and enjoy your oysters while gazing into each others eyes. This may do the trick to spark a little romance, but no guarantees - I just shuck oysters, I'm not a miracle worker..

Shuckingly yours, Patrick

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Dinky Rink at The Ceili Cottage

When the patio closes in the fall, what do you do with an area of 25'x30' in front of your pub? Just tarp over the tables and chairs, and hope for an early spring?

Heck no! Embrace the winter, and build an Ice Rink!

Well, that's what I thought anyways. I built a 2x6" wall around the patio, not taking into consideration the grade for allowable drainage. Added a tarp, to keep the water in the patio, and flooded as soon as the weather dipped below 0°C.

Who would have thought that I would have spent the next 35 days hoping for colder wether than what we were given. Don't get me wrong, this has been the best winter you can hope for as a human being, wandering around downtown toronto.

But if you are trying to make an ice rink, it was a little difficult at best. It was like i Lost the recipe for ice, as I kept filling the cement pond, it kept leaking away, drop by drop - like my salty tears...

Well, I found the recipe again, and the rink is last.

Folks are invites to use the rink as long as they wish. We open at 5 on the weekdays, and 12 noon on the weekends, but if you want to skate or play before that you are most welcome, we just ask that you keep your enthusiasm to a dull roar, in respect of the neighbours, and let the kids play through. Rules are posted

The added treat of the Rink, allows us to offer a small version of curling to be played whenever you wish. I have junior rocks, from the Royal Canadian Curling Club, and on Wednesday evenings, there will be a host from the Club to offer lessons on the fine art of "Hurry hard!!" See you soon, Paddy