Does Toronto really need another steakhouse? When an establishment like The Butcher Chef at 8 Harbour St. offers quality meat to suit everyone’s taste, along with an extensive global wine list and hospitable service, the answer is a resounding yes.
Chef Patrick Kriss has thrown Toronto foodies a lifeline, during Covid-19, by creating a temporary oasis at 485 Wellington Street West and calling it Alo Midsummer. He is offering a luxurious, and premium ten course blind tasting for 2-4 guests per well-spaced table. It opened on Friday, July 24th and is open till the end of September.
I have shared some of my favourite places in New York open for takeout or delivery during the Covid-19 social isolation quarantine. Many of these establishments need our support now more than ever.
From the daily specials to the well-curated menu, the food at Fresa Francesa Petit Café and Bistro in Hialeah, Miami is soulful, luscious and delightful. It isn’t often when I say that I enjoyed every single thing I ordered.
Mott 32 in Hong Kong is a no brainer if you are looking for carefully crafted dishes, great flavours, and classic dishes with some refreshing twists with a farm to table ethos.
The food at Amber restaurant in Hong Kong is definitely gastronomic but not gimmicky. There is a modern approach to the cuisine, it displays a multitude of refined and meticulous and indulgent details. Highly recommended.
Embassy Restaurant in Siem Reap
Cambodia is a great way to discover elevated Cambodian gastronomy. I was actually quite impressed and surprised by the high quality and sophistication of the cuisine.
The Front Room in Bangkok serves a new level of inspiring cuisine. The chef’s cooking is very intricate, full of different flavours and textures. We immensely enjoyed our journey from beginning to end.
VEA Restaurant in Hong Kong is on Asia’s 50 best list as well as having one Michelin star. They tick off every box, decor, outstanding service and noteworthy food and wines. Every dish is intricately prepared, with a symphony of flavours.
Paste Restaurant in Bangkok is located next door to the Intercontinental Hotel. I found the food tasted commercialized and lacking in flavours.
Still during soft opening, I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the new Miami location of Kosushi Restaurant, the first international endeavour for the brand. I found the food priced well, compared to other similar restaurants and every plate was picture perfect.
I found the food at Le Du average at best. There are so many fine dining experiences in Bangkok and I felt I wasted an evening here. The presentations and execution of the dishes were also unmemorable and uninspiring.
Nahm Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand serves flavorful, fresh, and spicy dishes infused with a cornucopia of succulent, aromatic and concentrated flavours. The cuisine is sophisticated, robust and upscale, without being gimmicky.
For many, myself included, a tour of Promontory Winery in Napa California is an opportunity to taste wines you would never have the chance to taste before. A real treat for enthusiasts or architecture junkies.
Boia De Restaurant in Miami is punctuated by beautiful presentations, an excellent ingredient-driven menu, and warm friendly service. The place might be tiny but they are working at a higher level than most.
At The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, we were taken on a culinary journey. Even if the dishes seemed modest the ingredients were unforgettable delicacies. Each bite brought a new appreciation for the perfect preparation and flavour pairings of each dish.
At the Charter Oak Restaurant in Napa, California almost everything they serve, they grow. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the bounty of the region, and to dine with a family or group of friends. Enthusiastically recommend!
At Miami’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon you will enjoy style, service and exceptional food, with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, along with an extensive wine list, with good choices of wines by the glass, and a creative cocktail list.
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Lake Como in Italy was my experience dining at L~Aria restaurant at the newly opened Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the shores of the breathtaking lakeshore.
Due Camini in Puglia, Italy is perfect for a special celebration, a romantic meal or a gourmet treat to experience contemporary techniques and dishes that have a history of culinary traditions, re-created in a cutting-edge environment.
Everything was seamless during our stay at the newly opened Mandarin Oriental in Lake Como, Italy. Almost every spacious room has magnificent views and the service is thoughtful and professional. Highly recommended!
Cru Restaurant in Toronto has potential, I was intrigued by Chef Jon Williams who previously worked at Richmond Station, and in London for Michelin Star restaurants including the famous Heston Blumenthal.
The meal at Somni in Los Angeles made me swoon. They have created a multi-sensory culinary experience centered around a stunning bespoke exhibition kitchen for 10 guests.
Vespertine Restaurant in Los Angeles is for the true foodie who is not afraid to dine outside the box. There is no doubt that the chef is a genius. The dishes are innovative and creative.
Eating at Somni in the SLS Hotel Los Angeles was definitely one of my most memorable meals to date. It was creative, contemporary, artistic, breathtaking and timed so perfectly. It’s no wonder they earned 2 Michelin stars right out of the box!
Arthur’s Restaurant in Toronto offers American classics like crab Louie, steak tartar, oysters Rockefeller, Dover Sole, veal chop, prime rib and steak. They have already established this new spot as a see and be seen place.
One of the greatest compliments I can give Ten is to say it reminded me of a NAPA restaurant. The chef treats his food with respect, and he develops relationships with local farmers, and you can taste the difference in the dynamic flavours. You can tell that cooking is an act of pride, love and passion for the chef.
Ten in Toronto is aptly named, it gets a 10/10 for me.
Silverlake Bistro is our new go-to place in Miami for an insanely good meal that is moderately priced and served with a genuine smile. They use quality ingredients and flavours that had our taste buds dancing.
Maska Indian Kitchen and Bar is a welcome addition to Midtown Miami, a fashionable restaurant offering patrons a modern and chic ambiance, with one of Miami’s best Indian restaurant experiences.
The Miami food scene continues to explode and I had been waiting patiently for Cvltvra (pronounced, “cultura”) to open. The restaurant is an infusion of Latin American and Mediterranean cuisine, and overall the menu was ambitious and creative. Don’t wait for a game or concert to visit!
Fiola in Coral Gables, Miami is the type of restaurant you would expect to find in a in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Dinner was deeply satisfying and picture perfect. The cuisine is inspired by regional Italian classics, using local, seasonal ingredients.
Back by popular demand, my personal favourite list of Miami restaurants for 2018/2019 in no particular order, as well as new openings I want to try.
The Surf Club Restaurant in Surfside, Miami is a luxurious place that respects attention to detail, and will take care of your every need. Expect impeccable service, finesse, glamour, and impeccable execution.
At Konjikin Ramen in Toronto you can taste the traditional methods used to provide their flavour packed broth and his delicious noodles. Every single step is painstakingly considered.
Not all my reviews are about the latest hotspot. Occasionally I like to write about a tried and true winner. One such place is the Spotted Pig in New York’s West Village. It just may be New York’s most famous gastropub.
Olmsted offers sophisticated food at moderate prices. It really is worth the trip to Brooklyn for creative small plates, that are refreshing, whimsical and ambitious.
Gennaro Amitrano Restaurant in Capri is an elegant, intimate restaurant with professional service, sound pacing, and each dish a visual joy. Is this Capri? A resounding YES!
Mirabelle in Rome combines a great view with refined gastronomy. You know you are in excellent hands and are in for a special lunch or dinner.
Every drink is designed to thrill the senses. From the unique glassware, fire, smoke, infused ingredients, flavoured ice, magic and whimsy. The bar snacks offered are also creative. No wonder, Grant Achatz of the three-star Michelin restaurant in Chicago is behind this project.
If you value attentive, smart service in a sophisticated setting with playful and tasty food, I think you will enjoy Akira Back in Toronto.
New Toronto restaurant, Parallel is a fun place to try, with interesting twists on classic Middle Eastern dishes.
FK in Toronto can be your go-to place for food that is fresh, and well prepared, with service that is gracious, welcoming and attentive to detail!
Toronto is getting some new, cool places to dine. You should add Mira to your list, for a fun, crowd-pleasing, and appealing evening.
The menu offers a creative and contemporary take on the dishes.
Barmini is a real original, with an upscale, jet-set, power couples and corporate crowd. Sit back and watch the chemists go to work. It is like science meets art, and this place is one hot ticket.
Finally, Miami has a worthy sushi counter with Tokyo trained chefs. Michelin starred in New York and with a location in Kuala Lumpur, the Azabu Miami offshoot has debuted, and it’s a sublime and memorable experience. The sushi is traditional, of the freshest quality and was superb.
The food at Paon in Miami is cooked with depth and complexity by Chef Cassino. There are many options for carnivores, pescatarians, and vegetarians in a warm, friendly atmosphere, where the chef’s talents are highlighted in every dish.
Ramon Freixa has set Madrid on fire with his stylish contemporary cuisine.A leader in Mediterranean food, he takes it to a new dimension. Each and every course served is a palate adventure.
StreetXO in Madrid serves dishes that are creative, boldly flavored and fun to eat. It is the kind of food that has no limits, with dishes you’ve never heard of before. It’s street food with a twist, drawn from the inspiration of Asian food stalls.
Chef Norman Van Aken’s new restaurant, Three in Wynwood, Miami, is not only stunning, the dishes are infused with innovative flavours. They are hoping to become the first restaurant in Miami to receive a Michelin Star. They just may just get what they wish for.
At Madrid’s Dstage the meal is a special interactive experience. Each dish is beautifully presented and every ingredient is beautifully contrasted in a perfect balance.
Le Morocain in Marrakech’s La Mamounia Hotel will transport you to the heart of Moroccan hospitality. The food was diverse and exotic with a fusion of flavours and textures.
Álbora is a refined and ambitious restaurant, serving haute cuisine with Basque Chef David Garcia. The owners have combined two of their other ventures – famous hams and Spain’s most sought-after vegetable conserves, so the restaurant is known for using stellar ingredients.
The food at Habitat in Miami is delightful, and the pricing fair. The food respects the elements and honours simplicity. I was impressed with the level of service from everyone in the restaurant.
Under the direction of Top Chef winner, Jeremy Ford, at Stubborn Seed in Miami, the dishes are ambitious and complex, with a modern twist.
Toronto’s Copetin has a buzz and a cool vibe. And, more importantly, the food is bursting with flavour and every dish is exciting in a different way.
At the Mandarin Oriental in Milan all your senses will be pampered in this sumptuous, prestigious and stylish hotel.
Seta is one of Milan’s best dining destinations. It sets the bar high, with original, conceptual Italian dishes that not only look stunning, they also taste it.
Metamorfosi in Rome delivers an exceptionally good meal of fusion cuisine with an eclectic, international feel. It’s a special restaurant in every respect. Highly recommend.
Osteria Francescana in Modena, IT serves modern Italian cuisine in a sophisticated setting. It’s the ultimate stage for Chef Massimo to showcase his supreme talent.
I have never seen such a beautifully designed, chic restaurant in Italy before as Ristorante Berton in Milan.
Dry is a contemporary spot in Milan with a unique combination of pizza and mixology. It became so popular they added a second location.
If you go to Gabriel Kreuther in New York be prepared to be wowed. The chef presents inspired tasting menus in an impressive setting.
Avra Madison Estiatorio in New York is a new “it” restaurant serving upscale traditional Greek cuisine, conveniently located across from Barney’s and the shops on Madison Avenue.
The meal was indulgence – a culinary adventure that was expertly served in a magnificent art deco setting. Everything that adorned the plates was thoughtfully conceived and gorgeously executed.
Dining at Binkley’s in Phoenix was one of my most memorable experiences that I won’t soon forget. Without a doubt, it is the best restaurant in the city.
One of the things I love about New York is that are no shortage of wonderful little neighborhood restaurants everywhere you look. One such gem, new to the scene is Gloria.
At Forte dei Marmi in Miami they go to great lengths to bring you the flavours of the Amalfi coast, using high-quality ingredients, exceptional regional specialties and inventive Italian cooking in a beautifully presented in a relaxed and vibrant setting.
Now here’s the perfect combination – Miami’s Four Seasons Surf Club and iconic restaurant Le Sirenuse from famed Positano, Italy have partnered together.
Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at SLS Brickell offers a vibrant overwhelming mix of sophisticated and whimsical cuisine, in a playful, Mediterranean interior. The emphasis is on fresh fish from local and Caribbean waters. It is a meal to remember.
What else does a Jew do on Christmas Day when everything else is closed? Go for Chinese food, natch! Tropical Chinese is the real deal. It’s authentic Chinese cooking, where everything is hand-crafted from scratch, since 1984.
Le Coq Rico New York’s poultry taste better than your average birds. They might just serve one of the best roast chickens this side of Paris.
Everything I tried at Roselle Desserts in Toronto was outstanding. They make delicious French-inspired desserts, and as their slogan says, “desserts make you happy”. Well their desserts certainly do!
The tasting menu is always a surprise. They won’t tell you what it is in advance. They only ask if you have any allergies or aversions.
This is truly a foodie experience. Everything is well executed. Not only is it a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the food is adventurous and creative, and the servers are professional and attentive. They really catered to us and made us feel special.
I was impressed with the level of technical precision, and the elaborate, complex dishes. But was I blown away? Was each dish brilliant? Unfortunately, neither was not the case for me. Of the 22 small bites, I would say 4-5 were standouts. The rest were merely good. There were was a lot of theatrical value, flavour explosions and original dishes.
We could choose from two tasting menus – a fifteen course plus four desserts, or a twenty course with five desserts. We chose the larger menu to get the full experience. Each dish was artfully presented and explained to us as well as the history of its origin.
Our evening had so much attention to detail in a fun ambience where we really felt welcome. Every dish was creative, whimsical and unique. Tickets is a palette adventure with everything cooked to a toothsome delight. It was an unforgettable experience, and a must visit for anyone interested in food. My favourite meal in Barcelona!
I found the Maria Cristina to be the grande dame of San Sebastián. A landmark hotel, it has been transformed and restored to its former glory.
Just about everything was memorable, but one dish in particular that I loved was the roasted lamb loin over a nut and Armagnac spread accompanied by yucca and “guitar” shavings which envelop the whole dish in a light cypress aroma. This was placed on a video screen tablet that had flames shooting out. The roast pigeon with potato feathers was quite a standout too. Every mouthful brought joy to me. Food as art, just pure bliss.
It was cooking in its purest form and a dining experience I will never forget. The food was accessible and uncomplicated, yet cooked with precision, and a kiss of smoke. Truly a dining experience I will never forget.
The food here is quite simply the reason I chose to visit in and of itself. I could spend a week here sampling the food and not get bored. However, I only had four days and I had to figure out how to pace myself. The pinxtos culture of grazing as one walks from bar to bar, lends itself perfectly for this.
The food at the bar at Alo in Toronto was quite impressive and creative, with a unique medley of flavours. I enjoyed being able to eat well, in a casual but tasteful interior.
I was a little nervous to try Vaucluse because Pete Wells slammed it in his review in the New York Times. But, I am a Michael White fan. The menu was a mix of traditional and contemporary takes on French cuisine. There were dishes like chilled seafood, pates, beef tartare, foie gras, chicken, duck, pork and lobster dishes. He also has daily specials and things like quiche on his lunch menu.
Alinea has been on my list for years. More than just a dinner, it’s performance art. Innovation at the highest level, and a science project all rolled into one. For me, personally, it was a phenomenal food experience. A well conceived and show-stopping menu, the dishes are beautiful, yet experimental, complex and labour intensive, each executed with precision.
I am embarrassed to admit I had never heard of El Cielo although it has been open for a year. A friend who lives in Florida told me I should give it a try. I have to say our dinner has far surpassed anything I have had in Miami this year.
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
Our FAVOURITE thing to do is rent a private boat and driver (through the concierge), he will take you around the entire island and drop you off for lunch at La Fontelina beach club if you do a half day, or if you do a full day try Recommone(near Narrano on the mainland) restaurant La Conca del Sogno -waiter Alfonso, and after return to Marina Grande…always the BEST day of the trip!
The beautiful new Baccarat Hotel opened in New York this year near the MOMA on 30 West 53rd.
I highly recommend you try the bar with its Baccarat crystal chandeliers, decanters and glassware. It is a good place to go for drinks before or after dinner.
If someone was to ask what was my favorite restaurant while visiting Amsterdam this past summer, I would quickly answer Johannes. It is at Herengracht 413.
On the 23 rd floor of the Hotel Okura, is one of only 2 , two star Michelin restaurants in Amsterdam.
If you are looking for white glove service in an elegant restaurant, with gorgeous views of the city and haute cuisine, you won’t go wrong with this special occasion restaurant.