The InterContinental’s SkyLounge patio is now open (and serving a recession-busting grill menu)

The InterContinental’s SkyLounge patio is now open (and serving a recession-busting grill menu)

Hot off the grill: steak burgers, chorizo hotdogs and pulled pork sammies (Photo by Karon Liu)

When the publicist said the biggest name who had RSVP’d for the InterContinental’s SkyLounge patio opening last night was Rick Campenelli, we expected it to be a long evening—especially when said ET Canada host failed to show up.

No matter. The shindig gave us (along with a bevy of networking industry types and unnaturally tanned, unnaturally blonde recession/fashion/style-istas) the opportunity to sample the TIFF hotspot’s new recession-friendly Thursday grill menu.

Jian Ghomeshi surveys the crowd (Photo by Karon Liu)

Served straight off the barbecue, the protein-heavy selection consists of small plates ($3–$4.50) of skewered shrimp, wild boar burgers and lamp chops, along with a few veggie options, including grilled asparagus and vegetable brochettes. An heirloom tomato and watermelon salad was a refreshing accompaniment. We quenched our thirst with a good cause: Ernestine’s Elixir, a fruity Hpnotiq-lychee liqueur concoction ($1 from every cocktail purchased this summer will be donated to the Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter).

We did spy Jian Ghomeshi in his trademark graphic tee, blazer and jeans, chatting away about books and his favourite Keith Richards quotes, but that’s where the quasi-A List sighting stopped, folks. It was straight to the end of the alphabet from there.

But, who needs stars when there’s mixed grill to be had? The privacy of the courtyard patio (don’t let the name fool you, it’s not on the roof), the affordable menu and noble fundraising efforts (though alcohol isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to helping an abused women’s shelter) makes the SkyLounge an ideal post-work oasis.