New local dining club wants to help tourists not eat like tourists.
Ever flip through one of those Toronto guidebooks at the big bookstores and wonder if the writers who make those restaurant recommendations even live here? (Seriously, go check them out, some of them are pretty hilarious.)
Butter and Egg Road, a new dining club that launched last week, aims to make travelers feel like locals by creating culinary events in various cities (New York, Toronto, Montreal and Chicago for now) and steering them away from tourist-trap restaurants—a bit like the Social Feed, which also launched in Toronto earlier this year. Founder Ivy Ackerman go the idea when she was eating by herself in Paris years ago and wound up dining with the two adjacent couples and the restaurant staff, who provided her with local-knowledge restaurant recommendations.
Wanting to recreate that feeling like a local in a foreign city, Ackerman came up with Butter and Egg Road (named after a road in the Muskoka Lakes region), wherein members sign up for an event in a given city and then are treated to a special dinner prepared by a local chef as well as a mini-tour of the city’s landmarks. To demonstrate what could go down at these events, last Thursday Ackerman hosted a launch party at Massey Hall where we: had a pizza in the concert hall’s Green Room; got to stand on the stage; learned about the history of the building; heard from Steve Jordan on how he found the Polaris Music Prize; and then caught a performance by Justin Rutledge in the basement bar, where we learned the piano near the entrance was donated by Leslie Feist after her recent show.
Membership to Butter and Egg Road is $600 a year, or $400 for those that just want to attend events in a single city. Upcoming events in Toronto include a Roncesvalles crawl at the end of March, tours of farmers markets in May and a late night Chinatown and Kensington snack binge in the summer.