Dinner and Art with Meghan

peros platter at peros ethiopian restaurant bloor street west toronto

In addition to having compatible mindsets in general, my friend Meghan and I share an interest in visual art. That being so, almost all of our get-togethers include checking out some sort of art exhibit or show. Oh, and there's also usually some food and drink involved too!

Our recent outing began with us meeting at one of her favourite restaurants -- Pero, on Bloor West near Ossington. They serve Eritrean-Ethiopian cuisine, which typically involves a savory stew served over-top and alongside large crepe-like things called "injera". The food is eaten with your hands, using the injera to scoop it up.

Pero is clearly arranged with the comfort of their customers in mind, with a couple of areas perfect for lounging, as well as standard tables. Since our six o'clock dinner was a relatively early for a Friday evening, we got to choose what looked to us like the best seat in the house -- a table within a tent, moodily lit by a lovely chandelier and candles, and whatever light seeps through the large adjacent window.

looking towards tented area

tent area at front of pero restuarant

toronto eritrean ethiopean restaurant pero bloor street west


at pero restaurant toronto eritrean ethiopian bloor street west

The friendly server suggested we share a mixed platter, so we took her up on that. Not only was it delicious, it was fun to eat too!

mixed platter at pero restaurant eritrean ethiopian food toronto

We were so cozy ensconced there in our tent that we almost didn't want to make our next move. The incessant cold drizzle that fell beyond the window did little to motivate us.

me 1


pero restaurant toronto bloor street west near ossington

details 1

details two

bowl of warm water to clean hands pero restaurtant toronto

Evenutally, we rinsed our fingers in the flower-strewn bowl of warm water that was offered for that purpose, said our goodbyes to the very welcoming staff, and set out on the 20 minute walk westward, that took us to the contemporary art gallery, Mercer Union.

at pero restaurant

looking outside

pero restaurant eritrean ethiopian food toronto bloor street west

mercer union art gallery sign toronto bloor street west

We were there to attend the opening reception for a show called "A Magical Substance Flows Into Me", by Berlin based artist Jumana Manna.

The exhibit included a feature-length film that depicts the varied musical traditions of the multitude of communities living in and around Jerusalem.

Sat upon a set-up of carpet covered boxes in the middle of a large room, the audience watched the beautifully shot movie on a large screen in the corner. Unfortunately, this being a reception with drinks and such, people were understandably talking throughout, so we couldn't hear a single word of it, and didn't really understand what was going on. But, as previously mentioned, it's a beautiful looking movie which piqued our interest. We hope to get back to the gallery to watch it in full another time.

a magical substance flows into me art installation film at mercer union gallery toronto

still from film a magical substance flows into me by Jumana Manna at mercer union gallery toronto

still from film a magical substance flows into me by Jumana Manna mercer union gallery toronto

mercer union gallery for contemporay art gallery toronto jumana manna show opening reception

In a second room, there was this shelf holding a series of plaster sculptures, some shaped like body parts. According to Manna “Listening collapses the division of self and other, or of singular and plural, or inside and outside. This idea of the body as a medium and as a place of resonance has been something that has followed me throughout the making of these works. The sculptures are vessels, similar to our bodies, that may be filled with fluids, air or sound; sound is taking place in space but is also spreading within us.” [Quote taken from Mercer Union's description.]

meegs looking at sculptures

a magical substance flows into me by jumana manna at mercer union contemporary art gallery toronto

sculptures by jumana manna at mercer union gallery of contemporary art toronto bloor street west

Thanks for checking out my blog. It being Easter weekend, I believe that tomorrow is a holiday for many, so I hope you have a good one!

xo loulou

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4 Responses to Dinner and Art with Meghan

  1. Vix says:

    You eat, visit and hang out in some amazing places!
    My brother was raving about Ethiopian cuisine, he ate at a couple of restaurants in Berlin. Your photos prove he was right.
    The exhibition looks fascinating and I do love your jacket! x

  2. I’ve never had actual African food before and there’s nowhere, anywhere, probably for hundreds of miles to get it. I didn’t know that Eritrean food was a thing! I mean, all culture have their signature foods, but I’ve never heard of Eritrean being a theme. So awesome.

  3. Julie says:

    Oooh, now I want to try out Pero, that looked amazing!! And the Mercer Union exhibit looks so fascinating.

  4. Hena Tayeb says:

    very interesting.. looks like a great night.

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