Welcome to BoBo Feed

BoBo is a French expression, short for Bourgeois Bohème, and it pretty much describes who we are.

Bobo Feed will be sharing things that inspire us or please us-
from the worlds of architecture & design, fashion & styling, food and drink, travel, urban living, whatever...

We hope you enjoy.


Friday, August 31, 2012

friday frequencies...Rat Pack Edition

We're off to Wonderful Winnipeg for the long weekend. No trip there is complete without a visit to a very venerable institution- Rae and Jerry's Steakhouse. This marvel is as frozen in time as the perfect icy slush barely there on their spectacular martinis. It is a fully functioning icon of the Rat Pack era, a little piece of the Palm Springs desert holding its own year after year in the the cold white north. Oh, and they know how to grill a mean steak. We'll take ours with creamed spinach and a side order of plump garlicky sauteed mushrooms!
In honour of our visit to Rae and Jerry's tonight, here's a little Sammy to set the mood!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

App-licable Advice...Camera +

We recently read about a great app to boost the quality of the camera on your iphone. It's called Camera +.

We've always hated the fact the the phone camera wasn't quite up to scratch for all the pointing and shooting we do. Sure, the images are just fine for sharing with your friends on Facebook, but once you open them up on the big screen they always disappoint. For that reason we've rarely used phone shots here on the blog, and it's why we've continued to lug our trusty little Nikon Coolpix around with us along side our iphone.

Camera + promised to boost the quality of our phone camera's images while also giving us functional and cool editing capabilities. We liked the sound of that. So for $.99 and with glowing recommendations on the web (like this one from Lifehack) it was a no- brainer to give it a whirl.

We're just starting to fool around with it and have barely touched all its features (for instance we've yet to try the onscreen simultaneous focus and exposure control), but already we're impressed.

If one thing drives us crazy it's an unintentionally crooked picture. We like Camera +'s overlay grid on the screen which allows us to compose shots in proper alignment right off the bat, something that we always thought was a bit hard to accomplish on the phone's screen using the onboard photo app.
While the zoom is impressive in its reach the clarity still isn't there, but on the other side of things we find the close-up focus to be great.
Storing and editing is done in the "lightbox" menu, and it's taking a little getting used to, but it has some cool features, from exposure editing to cropping, to special effects and borders. 

All in all, we're giving this app 4 thumbs up.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Looking Up...Exhausted Old Building

This is the south side, facing Stewart Street, of the brickpile 
at the southeast corner of Bathurst St and King St W.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Travels...Madrid Reposted: The Ladies and Gentlemen Who Lunch

This is a re-post of a piece from October 3, 2010, when we spent two amazing weeks in the Spanish capital:


The Circulo de Bellas Artes is a venerable institution on the Madrid arts scene and as its name suggests (Circle of Fine Arts) the place has a clubby atmosphere about it. We had seen a few photos of its elegant cafe and decided that a post gallery-viewing lunch was in order. The weather was spectacular and the streetside terrace gracious and inviting, but we could not pass up the opportunity to dine in the grand salon.
The crowd was largely of the Ladies (& Gentlemen) Who Lunch set, of a certain age and well established  members of cafe society. No doubt there were individuals amongst them who took their lunch here, alone, every day.

There was a surprisingly strong representation though by the business lunch crowd, and of course there were those like us who were visitors to the institution. And finally, most endearingly, "real artists" (!), those grungy, wiry, well-pierced young folks in their torn up, paint stained black tee's & black jeans. Here in the Circle of Fine Arts the artists were welcomed with arms as wide open as those for the ladies with pearls and cashmere.

The menu decidedly favoured the principal patrons- Old Lady Food one might bluntly call it- but it was executed with classic competence.

One of the many charms of Madrid is the Menu del Dia, a lunchtime offering of first course, entree, beverage and dessert or coffee for a highly affordable price. We have taken to making this our main meal of the day and today was no different. For 12 euros we started on the one hand with an excellent gazpacho, served with finely diced condiments (peppers, cucumber, etc) and on the other, a vegetable paella which in itself could have constituted a main course. 

We followed with sliced roast beef in a lovely port reduction sauce, served with classic vegetables and piped potatoes mixed to within an inch of their lives with cheese. See, we told you it was Old Lady Food!
Oh, and did we mention that the beverage that's included in the price is as much as you care to drink of the bottle of wine placed at your table? One could get very used to this! Two people, two substantial courses, a coffee and most of a bottle of vino tinto for about $35CDN. This three hour siesta thing is really growing on us!

More on the Circulo de Bellas Artes in a future post.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Seen...Yonge's Bikes Bedecked

We assume this odd installation of tricked- out rides chained to lamp posts on the east side of Yonge Street is part of the Celebrate Yonge festival running until September 18th. They made us smile!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seen...or not seen

found glasses, Kensington Market

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Seen...Jezebel Burlesque

across from The Lakeview, Dundas and Ossington

Monday, August 20, 2012

seen...Go, Habs!!

Bar Richelieu, 2000 rue des Cascades, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Friday, August 17, 2012

friday frequencies...French Lesson

We've spent the last few days posting about our recent visit to La Belle Province so let's finish up cette semaine with a little French lesson. Here's one of our favourites, "je ne veux pas travailler" from that cheeky group, Pink Martini.
Try not to work too hard this weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Travels...Marché Saint-Hyacinthe

A broad fertile plain sweeps from west to east on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River beyond the bedroom communities of Quebec's largest city. Although there are centers of gastronomie scattered throughout the Monteregie region, the indisputable agricultural capital of the Rive Sud is Saint-Hyacinthe, a city of 50,000 that lies approximately 40 kilometers to the southeast of Montreal. Home to one of Canada's premier veterinarian colleges, as well as a huge annual fair focused on all things farmed, Saint-Hyacinthe has long been a commercial centre for the buying and selling of food.

On a recent visit we engaged in a little of that commerce ourselves, stopping by the old market at the heart of downtown to sample the early August bounty. Things were a little quiet mid-afternoon on a Friday, but the selection was terrific and the vendors friendly.
Inside, the building is arranged as one long narrow aisle lined on each side with permanent shops- butchers and charcuteristes, fish mongers, a patisserie, and the usual dry goods and spice purveyors.
Outside, of course, is where the seasonal farmers' market activities take place, and at this time of year the vendors are numerous. We love the building's wide eaves, constructed with beautiful arching rafters, which provide shelter from the elements. Beyond those eaves are awnings with translucent panels, which keep the place from feeling claustrophobic.
The selection of locally farmed food was excellent. We picked up some amazing strawberries, the best tomatoes we've tasted so far this year, and some of the delicious corn that seems to be growing everywhere in the fields surrounding the town.
It's no secret that we love food and travel in equal measure, so it's always a treat for us to discover a thriving local market when we visit a new place. That a small city in the Quebec countryside can support one as charming and vital as this is very satisfying.

Marché Saint-Hyacinthe
rue des Cascades entre avenue Saint-Simon et avenue Saint-Francois

Monday, August 13, 2012

Buca, di nuovo

A recent birthday was all the excuse we needed to pay a return visit to one of our favourite Italian eateries, Buca Osteria/ Enoteca in King West. On previous occasions we'd found it impossible to pass over the pizza, and had always sworn that next time we'd try the pasta, for which they're quite renowned. As luck would have it, we'd indulged in our own home made pizza the evening before, so on this night we were both game for some noodles.

Of course, one can't visit Buca without first rewarding Chef Rob Gentile for all his hard work in the house salumeria, so we kicked things off with a couple of glasses of lovely prosecco and a 5 Salumi Platter. The platter, as always, presents an array of cured meats ranging in texture, fattiness, spiciness, and of course, flavour. And we dare any of you to remember the names of the salumi a day after your visit (no stealing of menus allowed!) Here's our best effort:
  • salsiccine- dark, hard, spicy, delicious bits
  • sopresetta- you know this one- elongated cross section, firm and pliant, picant, and delicious
  • something round, smaller, softer in texture, moist yet seemingly less fatty,...and delicious
  • something prosciutto-like, a bit pale in colour, melts in your mouth, delicious
  • something else prosciutto-like, darker in colour, doubly delicious
The platter also serves up 3 condiments to compliment the cured meats, in our case a very red pickled radish dice, tiny slices of pickled asparagus, and some paper thin rounds of pickled scape. Each is served in a wee bowl, each has its own distinct ratio of brine to sugar, and each in its own way magnifies the deliciousness of the already delicious salumi! Did we mention that everything was delicious?!
Photo of 3 salumi platter courtesy Sifu Renka on Flickr
A wine we'd enjoyed on a couple of previous visits is no longer on the list, so our server helped us find a suitable alternative that would pair nicely with our dinner choices. His suggestion was Mutro' from producer Val di Neto in Italy's southern Calabria region. It proved to be delightful.
 Image courtesy diekonkreteutopie.de
On to the pasta! Jay chose the daily Orecchiette: on this night a bowl of house made pasta "ears" served with cherry tomatoes, crispy fried zucchini blossoms, a huge portion of chunked Nova Scotia lobster, and finished with Ottawa Valley butter and summer herbs. Light yet sumptuous, this dish was superb!
 Orecchiette (with different ingredients): photo courtesy Sifu Renka on Flickr
Bee opted for the Bigoli, which it turns out is Buca's signature pasta dish. It features house made pasta (made using duck eggs!), duck ragu, mascarpone cheese, venetian spices (cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg?) topped with a fresh basil leaf. The texture of the pasta was incredible and the mascarpone, while somewhat rich, was not overly so, and it allowed the ragu to adhere to the noodles. The spicing added an exotic touch, but never overpowered the dish's finely tuned balance.
Bigoli photo courtesy Sifu Renka on Flickr
Buca was, of course, very busy on the Saturday night of our visit. We had a late-ish reservation at 9:30, so we watched the place transition from its earlier comfortable dinner crowd of married downtown couples into a later night assemblage of King West scene-sters, many appearing to have driven in to the city for the evening. A curious highlight was a foursome of visiting Italian gentlemen who sat down beside us late into our meal. They spoke to each other and to their servers only in their native tongue (all the staff at Buca seem to be fluently bilingual in Italian and English), ate and drank with gusto, and generally had us feeling by the time we left that perhaps we'd been magically transported overseas for a brief while.

Speaking of servers, our one and only quibble comes on this front: Patrons are attended to by a plethora of staff, and it can lead to some confusion on both sides. Our first waiter offered drinks. We discussed options with him, then he left to look after an adjacent group. A second waiter approached to discuss the dinner menu, and asked in passing if we had been offered drinks. We had to admit that we weren't sure whether an order had actually been taken, and upon checking he informed us that nothing at the bar was destined for us. Throughout dinner service various combinations of runners and waiters brought dishes, cleared dishes, and attended to wine and water. In short, Buca's service aspect is lacking in personal attention. Sure, you're well looked after, but there's no sense of commitment. Maybe it's an old-fashioned concept, but when you're dropping a few bucks it's nice to feel at least a little bit doted-upon.
Distractions on the service front notwithstanding, Buca is one fine osteria. If a restaurant could be a person, this one would be the full package: sexy, smart, and with impeccable taste!

604 King Street W.
(416) 865- 1600

Buca on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Seen...Get a Room!

Tidy Lodgings, Ste-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Friday, August 10, 2012

friday frequencies...a sorta rediscovery

To be quite honest we kinda missed the whole Tori Amos thing a few years back. Sure, we were aware of her in our peripheral cultural vision, but anything that rose up in front of our eyes seemed a little too intense. We suppose this song, "A Sorta Fairy Tale", is really no exception (especially if you watch the official video featuring Tori and Adrien Body) but a recent listen intrigued our aural taste buds and this live version pumps up the rhythm just enough to keep it from stagnating. It's a beautiful song and it's made us take a closer look at this diva of the aughts. Here's a link to the official clip, which is at a minimum worth the listen and if you like weird music videos and early glimpses of future movie stars well worth the viewing, and here's Tori Amos live with A Sorta Fairy Tale:

Wishing you a weekend that's more than "sorta" good!

Monday, August 6, 2012

seen...the burden of honesty

"The Truth Shall Make You Free"
Victoria College, University of Toronto

Friday, August 3, 2012

friday frequencies...Buenos Aires bound

Yes, it's true...we're heading to irresistible Argentina again. Unfortunately we have two and a half months to wait, but just like a good tango, there's nothing wrong with a little delicious anticipation!

Astor Piazzolla was a brilliant composer. Many of his best tangos are hauntingly melancholic and stunningly beautiful pieces of music. Here's a favourite, "Oblivion"

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Looking Up...Buca bright

The iphone contemplates the ceiling while Bee and Jay relish their recent dinner at Buca.