Plenty to do // The Docket

It's the season of plenty. From great television and new restaurant openings to runway fashion, we've plucked the best of the fall harvest

By Chelsea Murray

On Thursday September 15th, 2011

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FOOD & DRINK

Extreme Beer
Dimitri van Kampen, legal director at financial company D+H, wanted to create something unique when, this summer, he launched Spearhead Brewing Company, one of Toronto’s newest craft breweries. Instead of brewing the same lagers and ales over and over, Spearhead will release a variety of changing and unusual concoctions. Spearhead’s first beer is a light but slightly bitter pineappleinfused “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. It’s on tap at just under 50 bars and restaurants in Ontario, but not available at the LCBO — yet. “The extreme beer movement [read: punchy, full-bodied beers incorporating unusual ingredients] in the U.S. was our inspiration,” says van Kampen. Find out where Spearhead is sold downtown at spearheadbeer.com.

Pre-Game Dinner Made Easy
The Miller Tavern is a much loved steak and seafood restaurant in Toronto’s chi-chi Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood. A second Miller location opened downtown — near the ACC at 35 Bay — in September. One half of the spot, tucked into the bottom of a condo, is a gastropub called the Fox; the other is the downtown Miller dining room. At the Fox, after-work professionals and condo-dwelling locals knock back pints of Augusta Ale and wolf down nachos topped with pulled pork in cozy booths. Next door, finishing touches are being put on the upscale Miller. The owners are gunning for an opening this winter. Here, the menu gets sophisticated with offerings like swordfish with mango salsa, making it a good spot to take a high-rolling client before the game.

TV

The Good Wife
More prime-time soap opera than courtroom law drama, CBS series The Good Wife (rumoured to be partly inspired by the Eliot Spitzer scandal) returns this fall for a third season. After quitting her career as a litigator to raise kids, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is forced back into practice to support her family, following a sex and corruption scandal that puts her prominent lawyer husband, Peter (Chris Noth), out of work. Its from-the-headlines plot makes The Good Wife timelier and more compelling than other crime and legal dramas (ahem, CSI, Law & Order), but it’s still a by-the-numbers TV drama, albeit one with powerful performances from Margulies and Noth. On Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on Global.

Dragons’ Den
This fall marks the start of the sixth season for CBC’s investment reality show Dragons’ Den. While the show has become a Canadian staple, it’s the first time Toronto-based corporate law firm Wildeboer Dellelce LLP has worked with the Dragons — taking care of the legal details for each deal. If you’re hooked on watching naïve entrepreneurs get shot down, and a few good ideas get off the ground, the upcoming season won’t disappoint — 233 business ideas will be pitched in the Den this year and 70 deals will get inked. Since 10 percent of Wildeboer Dellelce’s business comes from start-up and early stage companies, co-founder and managing partner Perry Dellelce says the firm was well equipped to advise the Dragons. “And it’s always fun to see your name in lights.” On Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on CBC.

RUNWAY TO REALITY

Topshop/Topman
U.K. retailer Topshop will finally open its first Canadian store in the Bay’s Yorkdale location this October. The brand tested the Toronto market at Ossington shop Jonathan & Olivia and at the Bay on Queen all summer, but stopped selling there once they moved in permanently uptown. Spread over two floors in the Yorkdale Bay, the boutique has a wide selection of men’s and women’s clothes and accoutrements. While most of the pieces are far too trendy/short/ scandalous for the office, the label’s bold, glam-rock-inspired ensembles (Kate Moss designed a collection with the shop) are perfect for after dark.

Bustle
With Toronto’s LG Fashion Week starting on October 17, Bennett Jones partner Ruth Promislow and former lawyer Shawn Hewson (who was also a judge on Project Runway Canada) are busy getting their men’s sportswear label, Bustle, ready for show. Promislow says the line — available at Toronto boutiques Gotstyle, Antihero and Jacflash — is inspired by street style, from teenage fashions in Tokyo to men in their seventies strolling through Toronto’s Little Portugal. Their spring 2012 collection follows classic Bustle style: “Each collection has sharply tailored classic suits and shirts,” says Promislow. “But we always add unique details that make them stand out from the rest.”