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Josh's Reviews: Alphabetical by restaurant

Josh JosephsonEach link includes the first part of the review. Many of the reviews also include pictures of the individual dishes.

This list is under construction. It only goes back to July 2011. For earlier reviews, please use the links on the right.

Paris Part 2: Two Highly Important Paris Restos: Sur Mesure; L'Abeille
Thursday, June 28
L'Abeille at the Shangri-la Hotel
L'Abeille is the new resto in the fabulous boutique hotel, Shangri-la, a reno of a mid 19th century former home of a member of the Bonapart family. The theme of the bee had always been a part of the decor of the home. The chef de cuisine is Philippe Labbe and the chef patissier is Francois Perret.

Acadia Restaurant, Toronto
Tuesday, March 6
The dishes at Acadia are quite complex in presentation, flavour and texture and the chef contrives his innovative details in such a meticulous way. I did not find the detail superfluous. So, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.


Actinolite Restaurant, Toronto
Sunday, January 20
Actinolite is a lovely neighbourhood resto in the north part of the now very popular Ossington Avenue neighbourhood. Everything is made in house, from the bread, cured olives for purees, to the ice cream. Herbs are harvested in their backyard and dried (when out of season). This is a resto I would definitely return to for a very satisfying meal.


Ethiopian Food in Toronto: African Palace, Lalibella

Wednesday, December 5
African Palace
On this plate, Lamb cooked with carrot and potatoes in tumeric sauce; cole slaw; kitfo (raw hand chopped beef with clarified butter and berbere (garlic, ginger, chili, fenugreek, dried basil and salt, all in powder form) seasoning which adds a bit of a bight) with collard greens and as typically sided, with fresh cheese; spinach with carrots, cooked with onions and ginger; split peas with onion, garlic, cumin and tumeric; beef tibs with onion, tomato, peppers and awaze sauce (honey, ginger, berbere spice, olive oil)


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier

Monday, November 14, 2011
Agape Substance***
This restaurant came recommended from a good number of my serious resto friends. Please see the comments below (***) that I wrote at the conclusion of this meal. We were advised that the menu below, was only "hints" of what may come.


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier

Monday, November 14, 2011
Allard
Allard is one of the oldest existent restos in France. It's cuisine is almost timeless, with such offerings as cepes sautees, saucisson chaud Lynonnaise, foie gras de canard, jambon persille, terrine de lievre, frogs legs, sole meuniere...

Paris Restaurants, Part 1, The Informals: Le Comptoir (Relais St. Germain Hotel), AOC, Le Grand Pan, Restaurant Dali at Hotel Meurice, Sardegna e Tavola, Benoit
Monday, June 25, 2012
AOC Restaurant
This is a wonderful resto serving very well sourced rustic food. Definitely worth the journey.
Roasted bone marrow with fleur de sel and toasted Poujaran bread rubbed with garlic.


Atlantic, Toronto: Mastery of a Symphonic Range of Flavours
Tuesday, January 8
I delight in revisiting Atlantic restaurant, from time to time, to enjoy chef Nathan Isberg's command of a symphonic range of intriguing flavours that are not a part of the routine, typical food lexicon. The following images are from 3 different dinner events I enjoyed at Atlantic. The range of dishes presented is a compendium of my impressions of a chef not noticed enough in this fair city. Chef Isberg's reptoire of ideas is truly extensive. Atlantic should be on any local food lover or visitor's map of the best restaurants in Toronto.


Visiting Atlantic Restaurant, Toronto, Again
The Exotic Flavours of Atlantic Restaurant
Monday, June 18
I visited Atlantic restaurant a while back (I am behind in some of my blogs), but this restaurant is so worthy of my repeat visits, I feel that I should share my good time experiences. The chef's sensibilities often produce a "wow" with my guests and I.


Atlantic Restaurant, Toronto, One of the Best Meals I Have Enjoyed in the GTA
Friday, March 9
Atlantic is located on Dundas west, just west of Dufferin, a part of the city that is slowly gaining significant restaurant traction, with many of the chefs presenting some of the most interesting, unpretentious cuisine in the entire GTA.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Baldessano Hotel Restaurant: Brunch
The Baldessano is a very attractive, modern and cleanly designed hotel that is so respectful of a natural habitat. I ate outside on a lovely, clear skied, sunny morning.


Banh Mi Boys, Toronto
Wednesday, December 26
This sandwich shop has been around for quite some time. Typically, I don't do lunch when I am in Toronto. But, I finally made it to this great sandwich shop. It is indeed worth the journey and the line-up. Ten bahn mi sandwiches are on offer and I could have tried all 10...


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Barbacoa
This is Chef Jamie Oliver's attempt at BBQ, and a very credible one, for a European resto, indeed. Generally speaking, meat is smoked for 6-12 hours over a combo of hickory and apple wood, depending on the meat and the cut. The beef is hung on sight and dry aged on premises for 5-11 weeks.


Boston Restaurants: Clio; Uni; Rialto; Sportello; Barking Crab; Durgin Park
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Barking Crab
Barking crab cakes with red pepper aioli. Very tasty but a little too finely chopped resulting in less appealing texture.


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
Bella Gelateria
This place has the best gelato I have tasted anywhere in the world with the exception of one place in Milan......and, it may even be a touch better. The flavours of each variety are intense and made from the real food flavours, no substitutes, fillers, or shortcuts in making this gelato!

Paris Restaurants, Part 1, The Informals: Le Comptoir (Relais St. Germain Hotel), AOC, Le Grand Pan, Restaurant Dali at Hotel Meurice, Sardegna e Tavola, Benoit
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sunday at Benoit
This year is the restaurant Benoit's 100th anniversary. It is my go to resto for Sunday night as it is a wonderful resto in itself and has classic and reliably good cuisine. It is extremely difficult to find a good resto in paris on Sundays. Multi-star chef Alain Ducasse bought out the original owners and has maintained a high standard of the classic Benoit dishes as well as some new ones.


Bestellen, Again: The Suckling Pig!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
There are extremely few restos in Toronto that will do a suckling pig if ordered in advance. Bestellen is a welcome participant in this ritual.


Bestellen Restaurant, Toronto
Thursday, May 3, 2012
What a wonderful experience, walking into a resto that dry ages their own beef and offers other unusual good things seen in the windows of their fridge (below). This kind of presentation, to me, bodes well for things to come.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Bistro Jeanty, Yountville, California
This casual bistro owned by chef Philippe Jeanty is where one can experience classic examples of well prepared, rustic, French influenced cuisine with a contemporary twist. The cuisine also well represents local produce and a good selection of regional wines.


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
La Brasserie
La brasserie food cart, on Georgia, offers the Brass chicken sandwich, beer brined rotisserie chicken in gravy, topped with crispy fried onions, on a buttermilk bun. This is a tasty very juicy sandwich, but the chicken, although good, the sandwich is not exceptional. But, it is good for at least 1 lunch if you are there for a few days.


For Beef Lovers: Bryan's Fine Foods, Corta Madeira, California (No, you don't have to go there!)
Friday, December 30, 2011
Bryan’s Fine Foods is a wonderful location to shop on line for products that are shipped overnight, to any location in the continental USA. For my Canadian readers, if you are fortunate to rent or own a residence in the United States for a time, and love to cook, Bryan’s is for you!!


Mugaritz Chef Andoni Aduriz: Buca Restaurant, Toronto, Entertains
Monday, May 14, 2012
When the chef of the #3 Resto in the world comes to your city, where would you choose to take him? That was THE MAJOR question dangling on everyone's mind. Here is a chef with impeccable visual and oral aesthetics, at the top of his game. We decided to entertain him at Buca restaurant where chef Rob Gentile creates dishes that are both rustic and sophisticated ethnic representations of his roots and travel experience. Rob Gentile is a talented, fastidious perfectionist whose execution of a range of rustic dishes makes a strong impression on his diners.


Pizza at Buca, One of My Faves
Monday, September 24, 2012
One of my 2 fave places to enjoy pizza in Toronto, is Buca. I ask for a well done crust, although they do that frequently without being asked. The crust, as I prefer it, is thin and crispy enough to pick up slabs which are cracker-like in stiffness (the pieces don't flop, at least when first served). The pizzas also have interesting, delicious flavours. The toppings for this one consisted of a rich base of tomato sauce (so often bland at other pizza serving restos) with basil leaves, zucchini flowers, sliced zucchini, cherry tomatoes and perfectly (under) cooked shrimp. The tradition is to cut the pizza with scissors provided.


Buca Restaurant, Toronto, New Impressions and Worth Revisiting
Tuesday, April , 2012
I just returned from New York and Milan, having experienced some wonderful restos, many reflecting regional Italian inspirations. Now I am in Toronto, having enjoyed a truly wonderful meal at Buca. This restaurant keeps evolving, getting better and better.


The Best Quick Lunch Experience: Burgers or Sandwiches?
Burger Priest
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Lucy Waverman, Alison Fryer and I decided to go exploring to some typical (and atypical) haunts.
Next on our list, Burger Priest, one of the most talked about burgers in the city. I requested my burger medium rare and it arrived perfectly done, on an ordinary, white bread bun. I had the following toppings: mustard, pickle, tomato and onion


Palm Beach Restos, The Continuing Saga: Chez Jean Pierre, Pizzeria Oceano, Buccan

Monday, January 16, 2012
Buccan
Buccan is a relatively new resto in Palm Beach. It is very noisy and no matter where you sit it is very hard to hear what your friends are telling you. However, the food is pretty good, in general.


Buster Rhino's BBQ, Oshawa, Ontario
November 5
There has been a lot of talk, in the food community and among BBQ aficionados about Buster Rhino's BBQ so we decided to journey west of Toronto to experience this resto first hand.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Oxbow Market: C Casa and Pico Pico Bar
My friend Jim White, now a native of Napa, highly recommended a sojourn to this market full of different food a craft purveyors. At certain times of the week there is also a farmer's market that I did not make.
C Casa
C Casa specializes in creatively made tacos with very wholesome, tasty ingredients. I just had to order 3. I began with a rotisserie duck taco with baby spinach, orange wedges, goat cheese, cilantro and serrano salsa. This delicious taco went down quickly!


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
Cafe Artigiano
Cafe Artigiano may make perhaps the best cappuccino in Canada, great taste and great presentation.


Cafe Belong, Toronto
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Located in the Toronto Brickworks and no sign, Cafe Belong is bit hard to find, but, it is worth finding. One is greeted by a very open, spare but warm room. It is a lovely space during a wonderful sunset.


Vancouver's Best Restaurants: Hawksworth; Cafe Medina; Cin Cin; Cioppino's; Cibo; Tojo's
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Cafe Medina, Brunch
So many friends and acquaintances who visit Vancouver suggest Cafe Medina for brunch or breakfast, and justifiably so.


Cafe Polonez, Toronto
Friday, April 27
This Polish resto has been around for YEARS, but, I have not been for YEARS, so revisited. Very good beef tripe soup. Polish sausage topped with fried onions and served with crispy crunch fries dusted with bread crumbs, grainy mustards and garnishes.


What's New at Canoe
Monday, October 31, 2011
Canoe restaurant has undergone rather extensive renovation. It feels lighter and more open. The service is invariably impeccable. But, how was the food? We had the good fortune of being cared for by the # 2 chef, John Horne, a gent who seems well assured, attentive, observant and very good with the execution and fine tuning of the concept of a dish. We worked with him planning an event for the Chevalier Du Tastevin (Burgundy Wine Society).


Carisma Restaurant, Toronto
Friday, March 16
Carisma is the restaurant that Mike and Margie Pagliaro opened downtown after they sold their highly successful restaurant on Eglinton Avenue. They have fortunately kept some of their very good service staff and chefs.


The London Restaurants (3): Hix; Racine; Cassis; Cheyne Walk Brasserie
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Cassis Bistro
I came to Cassis to try their bouillabaisse. It was served, as traditional, with rouille and gruyere cheese. The stock was rich tasting and presented with mussels, clams, an some whitefish. However, once again, the soup was not as good as the one I enjoy at Pastis. Further, the rouille was disappointing with the unpleasant consistency of dense mashed potatoes making it closer to a skordalia rather than a rouille. All of the fish and shellfish were perfectly cooked.


Annual Groundhog Day Event at Cava
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Groundhog day at Cava restaurant is an annual opportunity for some of the best Toronto region chefs to compete in making pig focused dishes that are judged by the resto attendees and 3 "professional" judges, this year Dick Snider of City Bites Magazine, Andrew D'Cruz of Toronto Life and Malcolm Jolly of Good Food revolution. The dishes must be at least 50% pig. The winner gets to keep the Groundhog trophy for a year and a gift certificate from The Cookbook Store. It is a fun fest for the chefs and patrons. 


Revisiting Cava Restaurant, Toronto
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The unerring palate of chef Christopher Macdonald and creativity and cooking skills of executive chef Doug Penfold make for a wonderful eating experience at Spanish influenced Cava restaurant.


"Groundhog Day": A 7 Chef Competition at Cava Resto, Toronto
Sunday, February 19
Groundhog Day is a competition of invited chefs for the best pork dish of the night. The annual competition has 2 prizes, one, a trophy and the second, a $250.00 gift certificate to The Cookbook Store. The present competition had the following chefs: Ted Corrado of Compass Canada, formerly chef at C5 of the ROM; Teo Paul of Union Restaurant (www.union72.ca); Ryan Donovan of Marben Restaurant (www.marbenrestaurant.com); Ryan Crawford of The Stone Road Grill (www.stoneroadgrille.com) Niagara on the Lake, Ontario; Mark Cutrara of Cowbell restaurant (www.cowbellrestaurant.ca); Guy Rawlings of Lucien restaurant (www.lucienrestaurant.com); Albert Ponzo of le select restaurant (www.leselect.com).

Cava Restaurant dinner highlighting Spanish wines
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Cava is an outstanding restaurant to experience regional Spanish flavours influenced by highly acclaimed chef Christopher Mcdonald and his partner and co-owner chef Doug Penfold.


Another Amazing Meal At Centro Restaurant
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Centro's chef Jason Carter is so in tune with current cuisine. A friend and I were going to a local cinema. We thought we would go to Centro for a simple meal. Just a steak, a good glass of wine and go. However, after we arrived, the chef came out and suggested a simple starter and their veal cooked sous vide. So, we went with the flow.


Chantecler
April 10th, 2013
Chantecler now offers a "tasting menu" only two days a week. The rest of the week there is only a set menu of "street food",  mostly consisting of lettuce wraps.  


Chantecler Restaurant, Toronto, One of the Best
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I consider Chantecler, one of Toronto's best restaurant experiences. The hallmark of the restaurant has been interesting flavours and textures, simply assembled, without pretension. Below, is a dinner typically held during the week and following, the Sunday dinner "Lettuce Sunday".


Chantecler Restaurant
Thursday, May 10
My experience at Chantecler was quite special. There is excitement in this kitchen that is tangible. The exec chef/co-owner is Jonathan Poon (formerly of Woodlot, Delux and Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner). The hallmarks of this cuisine are harmonious, ethereal and complex flavours. The cooking was perfection in every dish. The chef has the flavours and textures nailed! This is a disciplined, highly organized, efficient kitchen that is also focused on cleanliness. Table service is very professional, client oriented and staff work well together.


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier
Monday, November 14, 2011
Charbon Rouge
Sausages: gaucho, chorizo and morcilla (no photo). Roasted split Marrow bone(no photo).


The London Restaurants (3): Hix; Racine; Cassis; Cheyne Walk Brasserie
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Cheyne Walk Brasserie
Cheyne Walk Brasserie is a place for simple comfort food and easily accessible to the Chelsea crowd. It is only open for dinner and is always full. The fowl and meats are grilled over an open charcoal fire. On my first occasion there, I was the guest of a good friend who lived close by. It is his family's "go to" spot for a simple good meal.


Palm Beach Restos, The Continuing Saga: Chez Jean Pierre, Pizzeria Oceano, Buccan

Monday, January 16, 2012
Chez Jean Pierre
Chez Jean Pierre has become one of my go to restos here in Palm Beach, particularly for their wonderful filet of sole. They fly the fish in weekly from France and simply pan fry it in a bit of butter....but, to perfection. You would be hard pressed to find sole done better anywhere in North America.


Vancouver's Best Restaurants: Hawksworth; Cafe Medina; Cin Cin; Cioppino's; Cibo; Tojo's
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Cibo
The menu at Cibo is inspiring for anyone who enjoys eating hearty, rustic cuisine. However, we began with a rather uninspiring serving of squishy bread with an uninspiring and uninteresting topping of tomato and herbs, which did not bode well for what might follow. However, we were delighted by the rest.


Vancouver's Best Restaurants: Hawksworth; Cafe Medina; Cin Cin; Cioppino's; Cibo; Tojo's
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Cin Cin

We found that the general service was haphazard and disorganized. The wine service was fine. Bread, accompanied by a side of oil and tapenade, was initially brought....cold. It could have been great if warmed and crisped in the internally acclaimed wood fired oven. Instead it was rather tasteless, insipidly soft, "white bread" with no "crust" at all. The strange thing was that we were brought an order of the same bread later in the meal and it was crusty, hot and perfect!


Vancouver's Best Restaurants: Hawksworth; Cafe Medina; Cin Cin; Cioppino's; Cibo; Tojo's

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Cioppino's

I came to this restaurant to eat food prepared by a former Toronto chef who in my expereince was highly accomplished with his creations. The menu selections, I found, were not as adventurous or avant guard as the menus that Chef Pino Postararo would prepare at his former restaurant inToronto. But, it was good to see old friends. His brother Celestino was there making sure all the clients were cheerfully well cared for.


Boston Restaurants: Clio; Uni; Rialto; Sportello; Barking Crab; Durgin Park
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Clio
Clio is the main restaurant owned by very talented chef Ken Orringer. For me, this was by far, the best restaurant in Boston that I visited this trip. It may be their best resto, period!


Paris Restaurants, Part 1, The Informals: Le Comptoir (Relais St. Germain Hotel), AOC, Le Grand Pan, Restaurant Dali at Hotel Meurice, Sardegna e Tavola, Benoit

Monday, June 25, 2012
Le Comptoir Restaurant, Relais St Germain Hotel
The owner chef is Yves Camdeborde, a highly regarded chef who was formerly the senior in a 2** resto in Paris. He creates traditional, regional French cuisine. I have tried to get into this resto several times, but the lineups can be intimidating so I had never eaten there until I happened on my friend Jeanne Beker walking out of the adjacent hotel.

Breakfast at Le St. Germain, in Le Comptoir (Guests Only)
An amazing breakfast is offered daily at Le Comptoir, for hotel guests at Le Relais: coffee or hot chocolate, fresh orange juice, baguette, croissant and pain au noix from Gerard Mulot (!), confiture and artisanal honey from Maison Curtelin-Marseille...

Lunch At Le Comptoir
Gelee of herring caviar with mousseline of haddock. This sublime dish is one of the great ones served at this resto and should be a selection everyone should try at least once.


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier
Monday, November 14, 2011
Le Comptoir
Yves Camdebord, at the moment, is perhaps one of the best known young chefs in Paris. Le Comptoir is located in the Relais St Germain.


County General, The Best Burger Under 13 Bucks, and More
Saturday, December 3, 2011
County General is Chef Victor Barry and Sommelier Carlo Catallo's effort (both co-owners of the fabulous high end Splendido Restaurant), on Queen Street. Resident chef, Garth Legree has a knowledgeable hand with rustic cuisine. This is a fun place, featuring great meats supplied by Cumbrae's, one of Toronto's top 3 butchers. It also has a very good bar.

Offal Dinner For L'Ordre Mondial Des Gourmet Desgustateurs at Cowbell Restaurant
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Cowbell is a terrific local restaurant in the west Parkdale area of Queen Street, Toronto. The chef, Mark Cutrara butchers all of his meats himself and well knows the subtle anatomical areas that make for interesting and tasty eating. I consider chef Mark to be among the best chefs in Toronto. He especially shows his stuff when he is challenged to do a significant meal for small groups. His regular menu does not often get into the esoterics, except by special request. The Ordre Mondial is a small unusual group within the Chaine Des Rotisseurs, that loves to enjoy fine wine and cuisine, and when it comes to experiencing exotic cuisine, their attitude is "damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead".


Daisho at Momofuku, Toronto
Saturday, October 6
The New York chef, David Chang's Momofuku "complex" in Toronto, Daisho, the Noodle bar, Shoto (the tasting room) and Nikai (the bar) is very well designed. Daisho's all glass multilevel exterior wall takes advantage of the terrific view overlooking university Avenue.


Dhaba Indian Resto, Toronto, A Special Event Dinner
Thursday, September 27
This was an arranged dinner with a specially created menu by chef PK, my favourite Indian food chef in Toronto.
The chef's version of street food, house made crunchy papdi semolina wafer, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans and avocado, topped with house made tamarind flavoured yogurt chutney and dressed with "street spices" and on the right side, a thin skinned crunchy semolina gol gappa puff.


Why I Love Didier Restaurant
Saturday, February 16
Chef Didier is the Toronto area master of classic French cuisine. Nothing fancy, here. Just great french classics perfectly executed and where indicated, classically great, silken, sublime reductions (sauces).


Les Chevalier du Tastevin At Didier Restaurant, Toronto
Wednesday, February 22
Les Chevalier Du Tastevin, Toronto chapter chooses fine restaurants to enjoy the best cuisine with fine burgundy wines that come from the cellar of the group. This night, the event was at Didier.


Lunch at Didier Restaurant
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Every Christmas I get together with some friends to drink fine wine and enjoy the good food of Didier Leroy. Didier's and fine wine, are a match!


London, UK (post #1), Dinner Restaurant
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Dinner Restaurant has been anxiously awaited by the food community for quite some time Dinner, developed by Chef Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck, resurrects the culinary past of English cuisine. Each dish is listed on the menu with the date of it's origin, ranging from the late 14th century to the early 19th century. Blumenthal and his long time executive chef at The Fat Duck, Ashley Palmer-Watts (now in charge of the London restaurant), have used contemporary techniques and devices to update each dish to give them a current spin.


A Visit to Dolce Lucano Salumeria, Woodbridge, Ontario
Friday, July 29, 2011
Our little fun group, Joe Bersani, owner/chef at Cantine restaurant and Annie Sibonney, host of the popular Food Network show From Spain With Love, Joanna Sable, owner of Bumpercrop pickled and preserved products and myself, were invited to taste some of the products produced at Dolce Salumeria. Dolce is owned by the husband and wife team John and Paola Zagaria. John is a second generation butcher and hand crafter of the artisanal products produced by Dolce. Tony Cohan, owner of Tony's Cheese and Provisions was there to supply us with some complementary cheeses for the tasting.


Domaine Romanee Conte: An Extraordinary Dinner at Splendido
April 12, 2013
It is indeed an extraordinary lifetime experience for any wine lover, when one can taste so many DRC wines all together, at the same time. Splendido restaurant was the venue for this esteemed occasion and chef Victor Barry's take on the food to match the wines, made for an event itself.


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
Dougie dog
Dougie Dog has many varieties available. It had better crunch and tasted better than the Japadog.


Dr. Laffa, Iraqi Food
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Dr. Laffa is a small enterprise offering certified kosher, Iraqi (this may seem like a misnomer) food, on the side a factory building located at 40 Magnetic drive, unit 44-3, North York. It is not easy to find. Being this kind of kosher, it has no meat or milk products in it's food. The hours are Sunday to Friday 9:30am to 7pm. They are closed Saturday. Don't let any of these cultural statements inhibit or discourage you. The people there love you to indulge in good eating and enjoy yourself.


Boston Restaurants: Clio; Uni; Rialto; Sportello; Barking Crab; Durgin Park
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Durgin Park
One of the 2 oldest restaurants in the United States and still going strong. For years, when I would come to boston, I was always committed to at least one meal at Durgin Park and would always start with the steamed clams (no photo), then have the biggest rare piece of roast beef. Both dishes are still terrific and the perfectly cooked roast beef sensational.....tender and tasty!


Edulis Restaurant, Once more: a Wonderful Gustatory Experience
Tuesday, March 12
I have written about my Edulis Experiences, more than once. And here I am writing about my experience again. But, each experience has proven to be so pleasing and so special, I feel obliged to give credit where such credit is due and to share my pleasure with those who might soon come to enjoy this restaurant. See for yourself. NB, Some of these dishes must be pre-ordered a week ahead.


Chef Michael Caballo, Edulis, Toronto
Thursday, December 13
Edulis is one of Canada's very good restos, a resto that keeps bringing me back. Wonderful comfort food flavours, simple but intriguing twists on prime, elemental ingredients, with echos of some of the very best of Spanish rural, regional influences. The resultant dishes are cooked to perfection. Where else, for example, could I enjoy better herring. Now, for many who read that, they may say, "so"? But it is indeed, with such simple endeavours, that chef Michael Caballo excels. Two other exceedingly simple dishes executed to perfection, his arroz caldoso con bogavante (Spanish lobster rice) and chantecler chicken baked in hay. Keep in mind that some dishes must be ordered in advance and that the menu changes depend on the products that inspire the chef.


Sunday Lunch at Edulis Restaurant, Toronto
Monday, August 13
For me, any meal at Edulis, is a special treat, so I decided to try the Sunday Lunch. On Sunday, the lunch I am about to describe, is prix fixe $40.00, and wine is HALF PRICE! There are no choices, the meal selection is fixed.


Edulis, Toronto, A Noteworthy Canadian Resto
Monday, May 28
I have eaten twice within a week (exceptionally rare for me) at Edulis and I must say that those 2 meals have been among the most satisfying restaurant meals I have eaten in Canada. This is a cuisine for those who truly enjoy eating, that speaks to your soul, representative of farm and sea, crafted in a humble, respectful, knowledgable way.


Elle M'a dit Restaurant, Toronto
Monday, February 6 , 2012
Elle M'a dit is a very small resto on Baldwin Street where the food is prepared by Alsatian chef Gregory Furstoss. I found the menu inspiring so of course, we had to graze most of it, but we could have ordered more.


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Elway's
Steak taco app was good: small tender, very flavourful beef chunks with guacamole, salsa and soft tacos.


Enoteca Maialino Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday, February 4, 2012
The warm and friendly attitude one experiences in this small, charming restaurant puts one in a pleasant frame of mind to enjoy the good food. We ordered drinks and wine and we were presented with their complementary salumi board with 2 types, one spicy and a bit gamey and one mild, and a cheese board with toasts and a blood orange, onion compote. Reviewing the menu I found a strong Sicilian cultural influence.


Enoteca Sociale, Toronto
Friday, March 23
This was my first visit to this restaurant in quite some time. I have been frequently out of the country and only here for short intervals. Invariably when I have tried to reserve this ever popular resto, it was booked. Grant van Gameren, the former chef of the popular Black Hoof restaurant is now the resident chef.


Pizza, Pizza: Some New Wood Fired Pizza Restos in Toronto
Tuesday, August 2
Falasca
Wood fired pizza restos have become more and more common, not only in Toronto, but in cities all over and even in the more remote regions, like locally, the Muskoka countryside. In theory, it is the way to go. A good wood fired pizza is often thin, with a firm but flakey crust and very mild, pleasing smoky flavour overtones. But the makings of the crust, not just the kind and source of flour, but crust ingredients and the toppings all play a major roll in the enjoyment of really good pizza.


F'Amelia Restaurant, Toronto
Friday, March 2
This Cabbage Town resto, in a part of old Toronto, has a comfortable interior filled with young families and boomers enjoying the casual environment. I came for the pizza made in their wood burning oven.


The Fat Duck, Bray, UK
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Fat Duck is Heston Blumenthal's masterpiece. The chefs he works with share his passion and dedication. He also has 2 pubs in Bray and I highly recommend the one closest to his restaurant. The Fat Duck is about a 50 minute drive from London, depending on traffic and well worth the journey. Heston Blumenthal is also the owner of the London restaurant Dinner (recently reviewed in our blog), where his former executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts is now executive chef. This was my second visit to the Fat Duck and the experience was as good or even exceeded the first experience. We also received an intriguing tour of the lilliputian kitchens.


Fishbar, Toronto
Monday, July 25, 2011
Fishbar recently opened on the Ossington strip, a street of several interesting and very good restaurants. Toronto has a very limited number of truly good fish centric restaurants such as Josos, Malena, Starfish and Rodneys.


Frederikshoj Restaurant, Aarhus, Denmark
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Aarhus is Denmark's second largest city. Drawn there by a business meeting, I was taken to what is considered that city's best restaurant. It did not disappoint. Clearly, the chef, Wassim Hallal, was influenced by both the Nordic food trends as well as the very current Spanish innovations in cuisine.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The French Laundry, Yountville, California
The French Laundry is on any serious eater's hit list and probably the number one on anyone's list of important restaurants to eat at in North America. Finally, I made the list of reservations! There are only 2 menu's, one having everything including meat and fowl, the other, "a tasting of vegetables".


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier
Monday, November 14, 2011
La Galzetta
This resto is a hot spot with a very young heralded chef, Peter Nilsson, a Swede who emigrated to Paris. The menu is strictly limited to what the chef is preparing that day.


Dinner at George, Toronto
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Chef Lorenzo Loseto is one of Toronto's most acclaimed chefs. We were here to plan a dinner revolving around Burgundian wines.


George Restaurant, Toronto
Sunday, September 4, 2011
George has been a highly respected establishment in Toronto, with chef Lorenzo Losetto at the helm. What makes the experience at George particularly enjoyable lunch in the garden during the lovely summer months.


Geranium Restaurant (Bocuse D'Or Winning Chef), Copenhagen, Denmark
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
It was with great expectations that we arrived at Geranium Restaurant. The chef and co-owner, Rasmus Kofoed had just won the the Bocuse D'or. However, Michelin granted Noma, another Copenhagen restaurant, 2 stars and the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best granted Noma #1 resto in the world status. Geranium only has a single "rising star" in the Michelin guide, not an official one star. The decor of this spacious restaurant is classically beautiful in a spare Scandinavian way.


London Restaurants (2): The Ledbury; The Gilbert Scott
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Gilbert Scott
The Gilbert Scott Restaurant is in an historic, visually spectacular landmark building. It is a restaurant owned and supervised by one of london's great chefs, Marcus Waring. The menu is composed of dishes inspired by the comfort food that originated in the late 19th and early 20th century and given a current touch.


A Spanish Experience at the Gilead Cafe, Toronto
Friday, July 13
Jamie Kennedy always delights. He is a serious, culturally well rounded chef. This event had a Spanish theme in honour of an olive oil that was being featured at this dinner.


Grand Electric, Toronto, A Terrific Taco Spot
Friday, September 21
This is another one of those "no reservations" pesky line-up spots! Arrive 20 minutes before they open and you should get in no prob. The NOISE is overwhelming, but the tacos worth it. Probably better to sit on the less noisy patio. The staff is very friendly and highly accommodating. The tacos are wonderful and what makes them particularly enjoyable are the quality of complex and interesting flavours brought to the filling.


Paris Restaurants, Part 1, The Informals: Le Comptoir (Relais St. Germain Hotel), AOC, Le Grand Pan, Restaurant Dali at Hotel Meurice, Sardegna e Tavola, Benoit
Monday, June 25, 2012
Le Grand Pan
Milk fed lamb for 3, with lamb liver, chorizo, and beans with bacon (panchetta). Forgot to take photos of terrific lamb, it went so fast! The terrific beans, devoured quickly too, I was able to shoot before gone.


The Grove Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday, March 6
The Grove is a hot new restaurant. Jacob Richler, writing for Macleans magazine, named it the best new restaurant of 2012. The Grove was remarkably featured in part of a recent article concerning English cuisine, that was a feature in the New York Times. The English influence was present, but not overbearing, but, don't hold that against chef Ben Heaton. This was simply good cooking.


Gusto 101 Restaurant, Toronto
Monday, April 30
One of the kitchen elements that make the food at this resto potentially more interesting, is their Tuscan wood fired grill.
Fried calamari, somewhat crispy (could have been crispier) but a bit oily, were served with cucumber giardineria (pickled cucumber), jalapenos and roasted garlic aioli.


Harbord Room Restaurant, Toronto

Sunday, September 2
The Harbord Room gets a lot of buzz. I had not been for a long time and my daughter wanted to take me there. The house made burger is often commented about, quite positively. It was listed "#1" on the Toronto Life "25 Best Burgers" web site.

Hashimoto Restaurant: a Kaiseki Extravaganza
Saturday, April 20
This meal was selected by special arrangement with myself and chef Masaki Hashimoto, and is not the standard kaiseki meal provided by the restaurant. This meal is the epitome of kaiseki cuisine, made available to a patron, long knowledgeable, to the chef. This meal is a selection of the most exceptional ingredients of the moment, mostly imported, fresh from Japan.


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Hawksmoor
This is a very loud, male bastion of meat centric food. The ambient noise was off the charts. This resto is for folks under the age of 40 as no one older will be able to discriminate the sounds of conversation.


Vancouver's Best Restaurants: Hawksworth; Cafe Medina; Cin Cin; Cioppino's; Cibo; Tojo's
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Hawksworth
I was told by so many acquaintances, you MUST go to Hawksworth. Perusing the regular menu, I found the selections superficially unchallenging and not particularly interesting. However, some of the dishes on the tasting menu got my attention. My waiter told me, in no uncertain terms, no mixing of dishes was allowed between the regular and tasting menu. Either you have the tasting menu or the menu ordinaire. So, I ordered from the regular menu. I was truly surprised by the exceptional result.


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Hedone
Hedone has been open for about 1 year and was just awarded a Michelin star. It is a bit out of the way, close the Chiswick underground stop, west of central London, but, I felt it was worth the journey.


The London Restaurants (3): Hix; Racine; Cassis; Cheyne Walk Brasserie
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Hix
Heirloom pork crackling with Bramley apple sauce, a flavourful crunchy nibble to begin. "Heaven and earth" blood sausage with mustard horseradish gravy, simmered slices of apple and potatoes. This was a very good dish for lovers of blood sausage.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Hurley's
We began with lightly breaded crisy mix of calimari, rock shrimp, red onion and cauliflower florets accompanied by a caper remoulade.


Hvrati Bar, Toronto
Friday, August 10, 2012
Hvrati bar is a restaurant/ bar combo, serving Croatian food, one of my favourite ethnic cuisines. One of the wonderful features of this bar is that 50 (!!) different beers are available.


Jabistro, Superior Japanese Food in Toronto
Monday, February 11
Jabistro offers a superior Japanese food experience. I found the sashimi to be very fresh. The torched sushi (a new experience for me, despite several trips to Japan and top resto experiences there) in the form of oshizushi, pressed rectangular shaped sushi, was quite a gustatory experience.


A Steak Tasting at Jacob's Restaurant, Toronto
Wednesday, June 13
Jacob's is known as one of the best steak restos in Canada. I have been there but recently, I have experienced inconsistent results, once great, once good and once a disappointment. One of the most inconsistent variables is the degree of doneness.


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
Japadog
Japadog is a very talked about venue and has had loads of press in food mags and travel publications. The hot dogs themselves are good but not great, but the toppings, some of which are not bad, to me, are merely a novelty.


Karelia Restaurant: Finally, Smorrebrod in Toronto!
Sunday, January 27
Since the closure of the Copenhagen Room at Bay and Bloor, the GTA has been waiting patiently, for years, for a good resto to provide the community with smorrebrod, Danish style, open-faced sandwiches.


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Kelly Liken
Crispy celery root chips with a sweet and sour beet mousse and a honey crisp apple slice.


Kenzo Ramen, Toronto
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Kenzo Ramen is one of a several noodle restos in the greater Toronto area. I will be on a mission over the next little while, to see whose ramen experience is best. In North America, my "gold standard" is Ippudo, in New York.


Keriwa Restaurant, Toronto
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Both organic unsalted butter and seasoned pork fat were presented with very tasty, house made bread made with red fife flour.


Kingyo Izakaya
Wednesday, March 6th
Kingyo is a Toronto branch of the Vancouver restaurant, Kingyo, that serves refined Japanese comfort and bar food.


Kinton Ramen
Thursday, September 13
Kinoton Ramen offers pork bone soup stock in 3 concentrations: light; medium and rich. I tasted the mild broth, which had nice flavour but was a bit too light and frankly, uninteresting for me. But, the "rich" broth was an amazing experience and closely resembled my North American gold standard, Ippudo, in New York City.....maybe even better!


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Koffmann's
Pierre Koffmann owned London 3* restaurant Tante Claire, which he eventually closed when he decided to "retire". Koffmann has come out of retirement, opening the resto, Koffmann's, a relaxed brasserie in the Berkeley Hotel, where he cooks in the Gascon style from the memories of this mother's and grandmother's kitchens.


Koiyoi Izakaya, Toronto
Tuesday, August 7
One of my favourite experiences when visiting Japan, is to go to the unpretentious but very good izakayas, kind of like the Japanese version of a pub with their version of local comfort food. Koiyoi is a very simple unpretentious resto with very authentic Japanese comfort food that appeals to me.


La Societie Bistro, Toronto
Monday, August 20
Well, I finally made it to this resto that many friends and acquaintances were talking about, but fewer are today. I have no real excuse. It is well located in the city's main shopping district close to Bay and Bloor Streets. The decor (something I never get into into in my blogs, because as I always say, one can't eat atmosphere) of this bistro brings back memories of some of the grand bistros of Paris.


Ethiopian Food in Toronto: African Palace, Lalibella
Wednesday, December 5
Lalibella
Kitfo (freshly minced, very lean beef, mixed with mitmita (an orange-red powdered seasoning mix that typically contains ground African birdseye chili peppers, cardamom seed, cloves, cumin and salt), butter flavoured with kaseret), fresh cheese, collard greens, salad, berber spice.


Langdon Hall: An Extraordinary Fall Special Dinner event
Tuesday, November 13
I have to say, that although I have had enjoyable meals at Langdon hall, the 2 special occasion dinners that chef Jonathan Gushue created for me, with a few friends, over the last 14 months, have been the finest meal experiences that I have enjoyed in Canada, a large range of symphonic flavours. Call chef Gushue and ask him to create an event like this and he will rise to the challenge and provide you with the most remarkable experience. Be prepared to spend the entire evening and be prepared for wonderful, novel flavour surprises.


A Chef's Tasting Dinner At Langdon Hall
Monday, August 8, 2011
Jonathan Gushue is gifted. The meal that unfolds below made that obvious to me. This chef possesses a terrific ingredient memory of the many food minutae in his rural environment and from his personal experience. His talent for composing taste and memory is demonstrated by his ability to orchestrate disparate and far ranging flavours into a harmonious uncomplicated dish, taking locally found ingredients and transforming them into heavenly cuisine. He may not exactly duplicate this experience in his dining room where the regular menu is more accessible in a familiar way to diners, but the tasting meal described below reveals his potential and will hopefully serve as an inspiration for an extraordinary private meal for those who truly enjoy and can appreciate such a gustatory experience.


Drinks at the Langham Hotel Bar, London, UK
Friday, October 19
The Langham Bar is a lively locale where one can order some delightful small plates, which include some very good Lebanese snacks. But, the drinks list is extensive and worth reviewing.


London Restaurants (2): The Ledbury; The Gilbert Scott
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Ledbury
The Ledbury has developed a world wide reputation and I must say that after this experience, I agree it is well deserved. Head Chef and co-owner Brett Graham comes from Australia but has lived in the UK, for the best part of his life.


Leslieville Pumps BBQ, Toronto

Tuesday, August 28
What convenience! Get gas, easy parking and good grub available night and day: BBQ during the day and later, at night, Indian food. I was there for the BBQ.


The Little Dog, Toronto

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The Little Dog is a small shop that only serves 3 kinds of meat hot dogs and a veggie dog. It also serves fries and poutine. I did not try the veggie dog. My favourite was the Montreal hot dog, good flavour with a nice crunchy skin. My least favourite was the Chicago 58 hot dog. The flavour was very commercial and for me held no redeeming qualities. The Nathan's dog had fairly good flavour (not as good as the Montreal dog) but lacked a crunchy skin.


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Locanda Locatelli
Locanda Locatelli was first brought to my attention by my Roman gourmand friend, Armando Manni, maker of the very best white truffle oil in the world and perhaps one of the 2 best olive oils in the world.


Lou Dawgs BBQ, Toronto
Wednesday, April 25
This branch, on Gerrard Street, is an offshoot of the original King Street location. The brisket sandwich with house made baked beans. Unfortunately the taste of the brisket was overwhelmed by the sauce. I should have requested the brisket without sauce and added my own. The brisket had a pleasant smoky flavour but, because of all of the sauce, it was hard to tell and may have been a touch on the dry side.


Luma Restaurant at The Bell Lightbox, Toronto
Monday, July 16
The Toronto International film festival is held at the Bell Lightbox. The Oliver Bonacini Group (Canoe, and other well known restos) operate this restaurant franchise. The "high end" restaurant at the Lightbox is called Luma and the executive chef is the very capable Jason Bangerter. We planned this meal around a coming event for the Chevaliers du Tastevin (Burgundy wine society), but the wines for this small group were supplied by the attendees of this planner, some shown below. I have also mentioned some of the thinking that went into the final selection of courses.


Toronto Resto Revisits: Pangaea; Malena; Torito
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Malena
We began with a mix of warm olives with herbs and citrus.
Sea bass perfectly seared, presented with a leek ash sauce, a dash of olive oil, caramelized celery, mini fingerlings, dill and a dab of yogurt.


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
Mangal Kiss BBQ
My very favourite street food location, located on the back side of the Vancouver art gallery, on Georgia, is Mangal Kiss Mid East BBQ. The food is Iranian inspired.


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Matsuhisa
Oyster shooter: Saki, ponzu, raw quail egg with scallions and a raw oyster. Good for what ails you!


The Best Quick Lunch Experience: Burgers or Sandwiches?
McDonalds
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Lucy Waverman, Alison Fryer and I decided to go exploring to some typical (and atypical) haunts.
Next up, we decided, against our better judgement, to see what makes the public love the McDonalds rib sandwich. First I must shell shock all of you!!


Michael's Restaurant, Toronto
Thursday, February 14
Michael's is not just a very good place for steak. It is a steakhouse, but it also has a very well rounded, well executed menu of a range of salads, pastas and seafood. For example, there are very few restaurants in Canada that offer wild salmon (and if they do, it is usually Copper River....not my fave), and michael's offers wild Irish salmon!


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Moe's BBQ
Chicken was very moist but had a barely smokey flavour. Pulled pork was very moist with a very pleasant smokey, porky flavour.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Mustard's Grill
We began with a very tasty tomale made with sweet creamy corn, wild mushrooms, and accompanied by pumpkin seeds and a terrific tomatillo, avocado salsa.


Ninki Izakaya, Toronto
Monday, February 25
Another new Japanese izakaya for the Toronto scene. If they good improve on certain aspects, Ninki could be a good pre-ballet/opera dinner destination.


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Nopi
Nopi is Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's reservation style resto. There are 4 other wonderful no reservations, very popular take out/eat in cafes, scattered about central London. The hallmark of their cuisine is how they bring together an incredible, unique symphony of disparate flavours, fragrances, textures and colours, in every dish.


Nota Bene: Suckling Pig Wednesdays
Sunday, March 25
Suckling pig is the Wednesday special. It is served with napa cabbage braised in the juices of the pig. Not only is this an extraordinary dish, but, for me, it is as good as suckling pig ever gets, anywhere I travel. I can't wait to come back for more! Juicy, wonderfully flavoured meat, delicate, but crispy skin.....a masterpiece!


Seventh Annual Game Dinner at Nota Bene, Toronto
Friday, December 7
Steven Latner is a passionate hunter and we are so glad when he shares his bounty with his friends. He gives game talented chef, David Lee, carte blanche, to create wonderful, game based dishes with the best seasonal products, LIKE TRUFFLES!!!!! Steven and each of his guests always contribute fabulous wines for this event. I just wanted to share this wonderful experience, with everyone. It shows what the food possibilities could be in this bountifully blessed restaurant city, Toronto.


An Inspired Wine/Game Dinner at Nota Bene, Toronto
Friday, October 12, 2012
Chef David Lee has a long, inspiring track record of creating exceptional game dinners. This one was another standout enhanced by an extraordinary selection of great wines from fabulous vintages.


Soft Shell Crab at Nota Bene, Toronto
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Seasonal soft shelled crab is such a joy to eat and only available for a few short weeks. I like chef David Lee's crispy fried version with a spicy "slaw" redolent with coriander.


Revisiting Nota Bene, Toronto
Sunday, March 18, 2012
I go to Nota Bene fairly regularly. It is not only very conveniently located to attend the ballet and opera at the Four Seasons Centre, but also, the food and service are reliably very good. But, occasionaly, like this one, the food was just so-o-o-o satisfying!


An Extraordinary Game Dinner, With Truffle Accents and Extraordinary Wines at Nota Bene Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Chef David Lee created an exceptionally rendered game dinner, hosted by a good friend. David is a Canadian gem and although Nota Bene is a favourite resto of mine, David's remarkably creative, high level skills that are so sensitive to the ingredients he works with, were particularly visible at former his haute cuisine resto, Splendido. Nota Bene has wonderful comfort food, but, one must ask David to create a special occasion meal to truly experience David's highest levels of culinary attainment. For this dinner, for the most part, Chef Lee worked with Alba white truffles and Alba, Molise and Burgundy (which have much less flavour and aroma) blacks.


New at Nota Bene Restaurant
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Highly capable and creative, chef David Lee loves to work with new ideas for Nota Bene restaurant. This night, he surprised me with a "tongue and tail" terrine en gelee mounted on arugula leaves and on a fried potato "latke" (pancake). OMG I was in food heaven with this dish. The terrine was accompanied by cornichons, a single radish, and pickled beet and onion. The texture and flavours were wonderful.


Playa Cabana

April 16th, 2013
Much has been written about Playa Cabana, which offers some of the best Mexican food in Toronto. Here is an overview of a recent experience. A most noteworthy item was the surprisingly good burger.


Porchetta Tuesdays at Nota Bene
Monday, July 4
Sometimes, I can't wait for Porchetta Tuesdays at Nota Bene. I began with a very good steak tartar, certainly one of the best in the city. This version was a refreshingly good novelty, with burrata cheese in the middle, especially with a squirt of fresh lemon. As many know, my palate is not a lover of cheese with meat (exception, aged parmesan with carpaccio). This combination was a very good surprise and it was topped with some good shaved parmigiano.


Obika Mozzarella Bar, Toronto
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Obika restaurant centers its offerings on mozzarella di bufala campana DOP. The freshly made cheeses are flown in weekly from Italy.
A plate of 3 cheeses: stracciatella di burrata; mozarella di bufala DOP classica; mozzarella dibuffala campana DOP, affumicata, hay smoked for about 4 min. The cheeses rested on raw spinach leaves and was accompanied by cherry tomatoes and black olives.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Oenotri, Napa, California
Oenotri has an ambitious menu and that attracted me to try the restaurant. The menu is rustic but sophisticated.


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier
Monday, November 14, 2011
L'Olivier
If you feel like a break from French food and want something light and flavourful, consider L'Olivier restaurant. The food is in the good hands of an accomplished chef.

London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Ottolenghi
The food at Ottolenghi is served in a small cafe with very limited seating and no reservations. The array of mostly vegetarian salads and vegetable service, along with the mouth watering desserts, is truly daunting when you walk in. This spread is mostly for takeout but is also well represented on the menu of the day.


The Oxley, Toronto
Thursday, May 17
The Oxley is a pub located in the heart of the Yorkville area of the city. This is a clean, well lit, comfortable "pub". At the back is a lovely family style "French provincial" dining room table that comfortably seats 8 people.....perfect for a group of friends or a family style dinner with the kids. Jamieson Kerr, a partner in the very popular Queen and Beaver on Elm Street, known for good food, is also one of the owners and managers of The Oxley. A good start.


A Wine Dinner at Pangaea Restaurant, Toronto
Monday, June 11
Pangaea is one of my go to restaurants for special wine dinners. The chef, Martin Koupre and his chef de cuisine, Derek Bendig are easy to work with and very creative. This meal revolved around rare American chardonnays and cab or merlot blends.


Toronto Resto Revisits: Pangaea; Malena; Torito
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Pangaea
Pangaea has a very pleasing new menu so we were excited to try some of the new additions.
Chicken and mushroom sausage with white wine braised cabbage, chicken skin "crackling" and Pommery mustard jus. What a lovely range of complementary flavours, particularly the cabbage and sausage complements. The texture of the sausage was perfect, slightly coarse. I also loved the crispy crackling which was placed over top of this presentation.


A Late Dinner at Pangaea Restaurant, Toronto

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Pangaea is conveniently located at Bay and Bloor and I was able to dash in and be served a terrific late (for me) meal and then I was quickly on my way home. I regret that my battery was too low to allow a flash so the photos are not up to their usual quality and I do not have photos for 2 of the dishes.


Paradise Farms Cafe
Tuesday, September 18
Paradise Farms Cafe has lofty aspirations for providing high quality healthy burgers for it's clients. Black aberdeen angus, Scottish Highland beef ( a lean grass fed cow with high omega-3 fatty acids), Italian chianina and wagyu breeds are humanely raised on the Cafe owner's farms and not fed chemical additives for inducing weight gain. High aspirations indeed.


The Odd Bits Dinner With a Group of 7 Chefs at Parts and Labour Restaurant

Friday, February 10, 2012
This all offal dinner, at Parts and Labour restaurant honoured chef/author and James Beard award winner Jennifer McLagan. The participating chefs were Scott Vivian of Beast restaurant, Bertrand Alepee of The Tempered Chef Caterers, Chris Brown of The Stop, Rob Gentile of Buca, Mark Cutrara of Cowbell, Matty Matheson of Parts and Labour and Mark DuFour of Earth.


Parts and Labour Restaurant, Toronto
Friday, November 4, 2011
This was my first visit to Parts and Labour, a Parkdale neighbourhood resto that a number of friends had recommended. The front of the resto is very open but also, at prime time VERY noisy. We had reserved the quieter back area for seating, by the open kitchen. There are 3 tables for 4 there. If you don't like loud dining room noise, that is the place to sit! Watching the chefs was a pleasure. They are well organized, highly efficient and for the most part, in prime time, have a remarkable calm...


Patria Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday, February 2
So far, the scoop in the food community is that Patria is a hit, and I must concur. Pan con tomate: toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with tomatoes. The tomato flavour would be better in season, but, this is Toronto in winter!


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Pepi's
Beef tartar with capers and finely diced onions was very good and was sided with thinly sliced red onion, pickles, sliced tomato, sliced boiled egg and lumpfish caviar.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Oxbow Market: C Casa and Pico Pico Bar
My friend Jim White, now a native of Napa, highly recommended a sojourn to this market full of different food a craft purveyors. At certain times of the week there is also a farmer's market that I did not make.
Pica Pica Bar
Still hungry, I wandered down to Pica Pica Bar. Their display looked very appetizing. I enjoyed a "maizewich" of grilled sweet corn bread "pernil", a wonderfully spiced, slow roasted shoulder of pulled pork, with sliced tomato, sliced avocado and a garlic aioli.


Pizzaiolo and Plum Restaurants, Oakland, California
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Pizzaiolo Restaurant
Pizzaiolo and it's sister restaurant, Boot and Shoe Service, are suggested as being 2 of the top 4 pizza places (the others being Cafe Panisse and Olivetto) in the Berkeley/Oakland area to enjoy pizzas made in a wood burning oven.


New Pizzeria Libretto on the Danforth
Sunday, December 18, 2011
This is a resto awaited with much anticipation not only for the location, convenient for those who live in the centre or eastern part of Toronto, but also, as it is the only Pizza Libretto that takes reservations. I like the topping varieties that set Pizza Libretto apart. However, I found the nicely blistered crust at this location a bit too doughy/chewy. I much prefer a crispier crust which has a bit of a flake when one bights into it.


Palm Beach Restos, The Continuing Saga: Chez Jean Pierre, Pizzeria Oceano, Buccan
Monday, January 16, 2012
Pizzeria Oceano
Another resto that I love to frequent is Pizzeria Oceano in Lantana just immediately south of Palm Beach. As I have previously blogged, here you will enjoy what I consider one of the very best pizza's in North America and perhaps it would rank as in the top 5 to 10. It is so good, I just had to mention it again. It is so good that this little place that doesn't seat more than about 20 people was just featured on CBS.


Pizzaiolo and Plum Restaurants, Oakland, California
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Brunch at Plum restaurant
Plum was suggested to me by several friends. On my first visit, I was inspired by the ambitious menu for both the brunch, and dinner which I attended on a visit later in the week.


The Best Quick Lunch Experience: Burgers or Sandwiches?
Porcetta
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Lucy Waverman, Alison Fryer and I decided to go exploring to some typical (and atypical) haunts.
We began with Porchetta, on Dundas west. Wonderfully moist, owner sourced, farmhouse porchetta, marinated with sage, rosemary, garlic and lemon, was placed on a terrific crispy skinned sourdough bun with crispy crackling. What a fabulous sandwich, we all agreed, a fantastic combination of great flavours, texture and juiciness.


The London Restaurants (3): Hix; Racine; Cassis; Cheyne Walk Brasserie
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Racine
I sat down to recognizable quality. Very good crispy baguettes and a tub of Echire butter. We began with a classic soup de poisson with rouille, gruyere cheese and garlic toasts. It had good flavour but lacked the layers of rich flavour and complexity of Toronto's Pastis resto. However, unlike the hesitant entrenched Rosedale version at Pastis, this was classic Marseillaise rouille, redolent of garlic!! Loved that!!


Paris Restaurants, Part 1, The Informals: Le Comptoir (Relais St. Germain Hotel), AOC, Le Grand Pan, Restaurant Dali at Hotel Meurice, Sardegna e Tavola, Benoit
Monday, June 25, 2012
Restaurant Dali at the Hotel Meurice
Voted the best club sandwich in Paris. A good club sandwich, but the one I tried at the Peninsula Hotel in New York, for example, was better.


Vancouver Street Food: La Brasserie, Japadog, Dougie Dog, Mangal Kiss BBQ, Re-Up BBQ, Bella Gelateria, Cafe Artigiano
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Vancouver has good street food, especially the carts.
Re-Up BBQ
Re-Up BBQ made a very good pulled pork sandwich and an exceptional chopped brisket sandwich, both topped with cole slaw. The pork and beef are cooked and smoked over an apple wood fire. This was one of my 2 favourite street food locations, worth a repeat for the brisket. This truck is located on the block where the Vancouver art gallery is located.


Boston Restaurants: Clio; Uni; Rialto; Sportello; Barking Crab; Durgin Park
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Rialto
Roasted stuffed squid, pork sausage, spicy greens and squid ink. A balance of sweetness and spice, nicely offset with cilantro.


Paris Restaurants, What's New: Agape Substance***; La Galzetta; Ribouldingue; Charbon rouge; Le Comptoir; L'Olivier
Monday, November 14, 2011
Ribouldingue (A "Triperie")
This restaurant is a hidden gem and not well known. But, it is such a wonderful place to come and enjoy offal and otherwise similar comfort food.


Richmond Station Restaurant, Toronto

April 8th, 2013
Richmond Station is a small restaurant helmed by Top Chef Canada winner, chef Carl Heinrich, who also had spent 4 years in New York at Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne. When I looked at the simple, very brief menu, I kinda wondered, what was I doing here?! But, here I was and decided to make the best of it.


Dinner at Rose and Sons Restaurant
Friday, February 8
For me, having followed in Anthony Rose's kitchen footsteps for years, back to when he was Cooking in San francisco, then New York, then Toronto at the Drake, for me, chef Rose is one of the KINGS OF COMFORT FOOD. Food at Rose and Sons is more of the creative same.


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Lunch at The Rutherford Grill
Lunch at the Rutherford Grill is said to be the time that many vintners and area farmers attend. It was certainly a convenient place to eat in the area that we were tasting wines.


Paris Restaurants, Part 1, The Informals: Le Comptoir (Relais St. Germain Hotel), AOC, Le Grand Pan, Restaurant Dali at Hotel Meurice, Sardegna e Tavola, Benoit
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sardegna e tavola
This resto was a real find. Rustic Sardinian food that was very well prepared, real stick to the ribs cuisine.


Smorrebrod, Open Faced Sandwiches in Copenhagen
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Smorrebrod is a very traditional Danish lunch, open faced sandwiches, with artfully arranged elements, typically on thinly sliced, buttered, dark, dense rye bread. These sandwiches are usually enjoyed with cold Danish beer and schnapps, a strong aqua vita (hence aquavit) which could be made with herbs, roots, seeds or fruits and is at least 40% alcohol. I developed cravings for these wonderful works of art when I was very young, while watching a Danish employee of my father's eat his lunch (he never shared...so I just ogled and craved!).


A Riesling Inspired Dinner For The Mystery Wine Group At Splendido Restaurant, Toronto
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The mystery wine group is a small group of individuals with very extensive wine cellars who get together at different restaurants for an extensive, uniquely created meal inspired by certain wine varietals. The wines are served blind or double blind and the wines discussed, guessed at, while hors d'oevres are served and then those same wines are enjoyed during the course of the meal. This night, rieslings were the inspiration. Chef Victor Barry created the perfect dishes to pair with these wines. I have always believed that well made rieslings are the most versatile wines with food. This evening's creations proved the point.


Splendido's New Tasting Menu

Friday, January 27, 2012
I love to share my experiences exploring how our best chefs are evolving their cuisine. Victor Barry and his excellent associates are always refining what the do well and exploring new ways to please our palates.


Splendido Restaurant's Grand Steak Event
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A special event was arranged by chef Victor Barry, a tasting (blind) of some exceptional steaks. But this was also a festive event so we began with 2 kinds of oysters, poached spot prawns, cured steelhead trout, scallop ceviche and dungeness crab, all on a tiered platter service. What a grand beginning!


Dinner Honouring Nathan Myhrvold author of Modernist Cuisine, Splendido Restaurant, Toronto
Friday, November 25, 2011
Nathan Myhrvold is a brilliant polymath, one of the early founders of Microsoft Corporation, a high school grad at 14, he entered UCLA, going on to gain two masters degrees and a PHD, all before the age of 23. He began a career at Microsoft as their chief technology officer until his retirement in 1999, after which he chose to pursue other interests, especially cooking seriously.


"Bacon and Eggs" at Splendido Restaurant!!
Friday, October 28, 2011
From time to time, a visit to Splendido provides a wonderful culinary surprise by chef Victor Barry. This time, a novel dish and a new pastry chef awaited us. It was also the beginning of the arrival of fresh white truffles and a special truffle menu was available.


Boston Restaurants: Clio; Uni; Rialto; Sportello; Barking Crab; Durgin Park
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Sportello
Owned by Boston chef Barbara Lynch. This is a terrific place for breakfast. Smoked duck hash, slow scrambled eggs, root vegetables and potato, served with crisp thin toasts. A great savory breakfast dish. Cooking the scrambled eggs this way was one of the best examples of scrambled eggs that I have experienced.


Stack BBQ, Toronto

Saturday, May 26, 2012
Another new BBQ resto that does bbq and other dishes. But, I was here to test the BBQ. Below, a platter we selected of baby back ribs, chipotle pulled pork, the stack sliced brisket, bbq beans, sliced montreal style smoked meat, mac and cheese and fresh cut fries.


London Restaurants (4): St John
Thursday, July 7, 2011
We were inspired to enjoy a meal at St. John by co-owners Trevor Gulliver and chef Fergus Henderson, when they were our guests in Toronto. Unfortunately, the day we chose to dine was the opening of their new hotel and they were unable to join us. But, we were well cared for by this restaurant's highly professional staff. This was my second visit to this restaurant pioneer of "nose to tail" eating. It never fails to satisfy my cravings.


Stock Restaurant at The Trump International Hotel, Toronto
Tuesday, February 28
Stock is a very open restaurant, decorated in a very clean lined, contemporary theme. The staff are very accommodating and attentive. The extremely simple menu is very straight forward. Wines are offered by the glass, but, the per glass price is quite expensive as all of the available wines were $20.00 per glass! Nice breads were presented to begin, a sliced red fife baguette and sliced sourdough baguette. I preferred the red fife. The accompanying butter was nothing special.


Paris Part 2: Two Highly Important Paris Restos: Sur Mesure; L'Abeille

Thursday, June 28
Sur Mesure

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Sur Measure is a new resto headed by chef Thierry Marx. The hotel brochure on the resto states: "Thierry Marx explores the link between the technical and emotional aspects of cuisine using sight, sound and taste. With each dish he aims for a profound personal response."


A Unique, Great Japanese Dining Experience at Sushi Kaji, Toronto
Monday, November 28, 2011
Many people who follow my restaurant experiences have read my rhapsodies about Hashimoto being my favourite Japanese experience in Canada, perhaps one of 3 best I have experienced in North America. I have eaten at Kaji many times, but I have never had an experience such as this one, no matter how I have tried to work with the staff at this restaurant. But, chef David Lee knows the chef owner well and advised him about what was expected and oh my, what a wonderful result. I will not comment on every dish, but, I must say that the quality and freshness of the fish was exceptional.


Swish by Han Restaurant, Toronto
Sunday, March 4
Creative interpretations of Korean cuisine, all thankfully lacking the more intense heat found in conventional Korean cuisine. I can taste all of the flavours now.


Terroni, Yonge Street, Toronto
Tuesday, March 19
Terroni and sister restaurants have a longstanding rather vaunted reputation in Toronto. It it's earliest days at the original restaurant, I very much enjoyed the pizza.
I do not choose to write about negative resto experiences. I prefer sharing my very enjoyable resto experiences and have no wish to be a "critic". But, by writing about this experience, perhaps someone with the Terroni organization may get wind of this review and try to get this restaurant's act together. It has a great location and a seemingly devoted clientele that keeps it packed most of the time.


Vancouver's Best Restaurants: Hawksworth; Cafe Medina; Cin Cin; Cioppino's; Cibo; Tojo's
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tojo
Tojo is heralded as the best japanese restaurant for prime fresh fish to the west or east of toronto. In Toronto, the only competition is Hashimoto, in my opinion. But, the style of Hashimoto is also quite different in only presenting kaiseki style meals.


The Traditional Spanish Influence in Toronto: Returning to Torito
Friday, November 2
Tortilla (baked eggs, potatoes and onions) accompanied by aioli. This version was a bit too dense and heavy and was not as good as some of the very good versions I have enjoyed in Spain.


Toronto Resto Revisits: Pangaea; Malena; Torito
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Torito
Torito has been a lovely place for me to visit from time to time, to experience Spanish/ Mexican influenced comfort food. It has a very informal room that also lends itself to a tapas like atmosphere.....which is what one gets, a lot of wonderful small dishes. I neglected to bring my cell or camera, so no photos.


Chicago's O'hare Airport, Eat Here: Tortas Frontera by Chef Rick Bayliss
Wednesday, March 28
A food oasis at O'hare!! My sandwiches were so good, I could not wait to return, on my way back to Toronto! Sandwiches are all custom made. They give you a beeper and tell you that it takes about 9 minutes for your order to be ready. Worth the wait!


Napa Restaurants: French Laundry; Tra Vigne; Bistro Jeanty; Oenotri; Rutherford Grill, Hurley's, Mustard's Grill, Baldessono Brunch, Oxbow Market.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Tra Vigne, St Helena, California
Tra Vigne is a an always jammed, people friendly place with a rather somber inside room and an arbored, leisure encouraging outdoor eating area. A good friend, former Toronto epicure, food writer Jim White, now a Napa resident, praised the bistecca fiorentina at Tra Vigne.


Boston Restaurants: Clio; Uni; Rialto; Sportello; Barking Crab; Durgin Park
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Uni
Uni is the “next door” sister restaurant of Clio, and owned by chef Orringer and his group. It is in the same space as Clio but at one end of the resto and down the stairs. For a resto that is not "prime" Japanese, the fish was remarkably fresh. For a Japanese style fish resto, the desserts were incredibly good and come from the sister restaurant Clio. Overall, this is a resto not to be missed.


L'Unita Restaurant Revisted, Toronto: New Chef
Saturday, March 2
L'Unita has gone through a few chef transformations, but, I found that the current chef is doing good things. I was glad that I had returned to experience the transformation. I sent a good friend, a resident of New York, a well known wine writer and former restaurant reviewer, to dine here, after my visit. He was truly impressed by the pizza!


Ursa Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Chef/co-owner, Jacob Sharkey Pierce, has a way with bright, clean flavours and lovely, appealing presentations on the plate. His unique healthy food perspective is brought to bear on a cuisine that well represents both contemporary rustic and modern evolutions in restaurant food. His insight and techniques make him stand out in this regard.


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Vail Chophouse
The rib steak, ordered rare, arrived medium rare and I rated (Beef Boys: taste/texture/juicyness, all out of 10) as 61/2/7/7 (no photo).


Restaurants of Vail, Colorado
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Where to Eat On The Mountain: Wildwood Smokehouse!!
Smoked chicken, nicely smoky, tender and juicy. Perfect.


The Willow Inn, Lummi Island, Washington
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Willow Inn is about 80 minutes south of Vancouver, assuming no border traffic. It is worth the drive. In my experience, it is easily, one of the 10 best restaurant experiences in North America. it ia also an idyllic retreat. I stayed in a cottage, about 3/4 of a mile from the Inn, managed by the Inn, on the shore overlooking the San Juan Islands, just a spectacular view. We rented electric bicycles to get us around the island, so much fun.


Wurst Restaurant, Toronto
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wurst is a new restaurant specializing in sausages and a grand selection of beers. A very limited selection of wines are available by the glass if one is not a beer drinker. Wurst occupies the former location of Thuet, later Conviction restaurant. The space is now a large open hall. To order, one lines up at a counter and is given a number which is placed on the table where one is seated. Waiters bring your order to your table.


Alaskan King Crab at Xam Yu, Toronto
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I highly recommend calling this resto, in advance, to pre-order fresh Alaskan king crab. They prepare the crab "3 ways" and also an extra dish of fried rice with the crab "scraps". Crab lovers will find this crab experience delectable!

Yuzu, Toronto
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Not finding many Japanese restaurants in Toronto that inspire me, let alone having truly fresh tasting fish, I attended Yuzu with the usual skepticism. I was very pleasantly surprised by my experience. There were some hits and some misses. Not all of the fish were equally fresh but some were very fresh and the execution of some dishes admirable.


Zakkushi Izakaya, Toronto

Sunday, March 31
Izakayas are a very popular Japanese style "bistro" featuring Japanese comfort food. Many new izakayas have recently opened in the Toronto area. Zakkushi is one of the recent entries, a crowded, noisy bustling place. There are a lot of skewered items offered on the menu. For the most part, they are "ok", but not special enough to make me want them again. The exceptions were the wagyu beef and the tongue.

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