Growing up in Toronto, it’s almost a given that one knows about Mariposa Cruises. Being first generation Canadian, born to Polish and German parents, our own Mariposa boating experience was often talked about in our High Park household. My mother always took my sister and I on fabulous adventures and this was one of my most charished childhood memories.
But now I’m older and time is moving at a faster pace (right?). From the heart of Toronto’s newly revitalized waterfront, Mariposa Cruises kicks off its 28th season of sunset dinners, cocktail cruises and unforgettable special events on theToronto harbour. Canadian owned and operated, and docked in a prime location along Queens Quay, Mariposa Cruises’ fleet offers a unique selection of vessels, including the two largest ships in Toronto’s harbour. With a new chef, modernized menus and a new cocktail program in tow, this year’s cruise programming features Mariposa’s famous weekend brunch, a weekday “Sip & Sail” (think happy hour on the water), signature special events, as well as a revamped scenic dining experience that boasts DJ’s aboard their gourmet dinner cruises.
I don’t envy chef Damien Wlodarczyk’s challenge – every evening on the water he has to satisfy his patrons, with a limited kitchen and tight quarters and time frames. His solution is a menu that’s part mass appeal, part foodie and he mostly succeeds in both – hats off to him! Tonight it’s the aroma of Creole that is especially satisfying.
The riverboat is loud, music and chatter fill the area like a cloud of smoke. We move to the breezy second level to escape the crowd, but the place was plainly full. People are dancing in the moonlight – but it’s alright with us, the point of going on a cruise is to feel immersed in the scene.
So here we have it: mixed green salad, spicily spiked macaroni salad, Caesar salad, carving of Cajun spice-rubbed roast beef, flat ironed blackened chicken, Louisiana-style mussels and shrimp, ‘dirty’ creole rice, market fresh vegetables.
Sweet endings: chocolate fountain, brownies, cakes and cookies.
All in all it was a fun and food filled evening that brought back some great memories and introduced me to a hardworking waitstaff, talented chef, and a dedicated crew – I’d definitely recommend Mariposa Cruises for visiting travelers and Torontonians alike, it’s an amazing outing and promises fantastic food too!