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.
There is reason Langdon Hall Dining Room in Cambridge, Ontario has garnered much acclaim, there is thought behind every dish and dining is a major event here. Definitely a culinary destination experience.
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!
Miami recently got a California import, Malibu Farm at the Eden Roc Hotel. A lovely whitewashed setting, with wooden tables and cozy banquets, a wooden deck, a retractable roof, and views overlooking the expansive beach, and blue waters.
Mason Eatery in Miami is a good choice for a casual, approachable meal that is nostalgic, and more than a deli.
Situated close to fields and lush mountains is one of Peru’s loveliest properties, The Belmond Rio Sagrado in Cusco. It is a unique hideaway in the Sacred Valley, an exclusive enclave modeled on Andean Life, with 5-star service.
Of all the hotels we stayed in during our 2 1/2 week visit to Peru, Belmond Palacio Nazarenas in Cusco had the most refined service, excellent interiors and original antiques.
Constantine is on the main floor of a new boutique Toronto hotel, The Anndore House, at 15 Charles Street East, close to Yonge and Bloor Street. The food can best be described as Mediterranean, with Israeli/Middle Eastern influences. I liked the brunch menu and found the service to be better than the dinner service.
At Toronto’s Assembly Chef’s Hall you can eat out with friends without worry about someone’s dietary restrictions. It is fun, unfussy, and won’t break the bank.
Le Jardin in Morocco is a quiet and tranquil oasis of open-air greenery surrounded by a 16th-century building. They use fresh local produce and there are plenty of vegetarian options.
I may be away from Toronto this winter, but I am still keeping tabs on new restaurants. Look forward to you letting me know what you think about these about these as well as anything I should try on my return!
La Mamounia in Morocco is iconic, opulent and you will be ensured a most luxurious stay. It is hard to tear yourself away to tour Marrakech – it’s an intoxicating haven.
Everything is extremely fresh at Sud Forno in Toronto. One fabulous treat is the bombolini, an Italian sugar donut with fillings of Nutella or crema.
Located in the new Found:Re Boutique Hotel, Match Cuisine and Cocktails was on Phoenix Magazine list of promising Valley restaurants. But less than 6 months in, this attractive restaurant had already lost its chef, ouch!
Harry’s Char Broil & Dining Lounge in Toronto is like stepping back in time, I felt I was entering a greasy spoon from the 60’s.
The Norman Hotel is elegant and sophisticated and the staff is courteous, respectful and well-trained. It offers 24-hour concierge service, high-end interiors, and great personalized customer service. A stunning new addition to central Tel Aviv.
Turkiz is a lovely restaurant with a creative menu of fabulous food. Of course, the highlights here are unquestionably fish and seafood creations. The name, “Turkiz” means, “turquoise”, which is perfect for the spot, and since opening in 1991 they’ve been really packing them in.
Now here’s the perfect combination – Miami’s Four Seasons Surf Club and iconic restaurant Le Sirenuse from famed Positano, Italy have partnered together.
The selection is outstanding at Bakehouse Brasserie in Miami. Everything is made fresh each morning and tastes amazing. I couldn’t be happier, who doesn’t love brunch?
The first hotel from fashion designer Giorgio Armani resides in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in the heart of downtown Dubai. You couldn’t ask for a better location with direct access to the world’s largest shopping mall.
At Miami’s Cream Parlor expect generous hospitality, by owners who believe in their business, their community and their patrons, in a quaint, well priced, and inviting mom and pop operation. They are bringing their unique sense of style and favourite home recipes and serving them up all day long in their cozy environment.
At Artisan Beach House in Bal Harbour, Miami,say the food is rustic, but that’s being modest. The dishes may read like comfort food but they are ambitious and infused with dynamic, energizing flavours.
Phuc Yea was one of Miami’s first pop-ups. It’s since reopened in the trendy MiMo district. I would call the restaurant a mash-up of Vietnamese and bold Cajun flavours. The owners and staff were friendly and courteous and so it pains me to report I was not a big fan of the cuisine.
We had dinner at the Bird and Bone, under the tutelage of Chef Richard Hales. He is the chef who also helms Blackbrick and Sakarya Kitchen. Hales’ interpretation of American cuisine takes it to another level. I prefer this restaurant to Yardbird.
Leña in Toronto is a recent venture by the O&B Group. Located in the new Saks 5th Ave, it’s quite striking and sophisticated for a restaurant within a department store. They have many restaurants from Canoe, Auberge de Pommier, Jump, Luma, to the O&B Canteen.
Miami’s Paradigm Kitchen serves “clean soul food”, and they serve it with a smile. It’s no wonder when I visited during lunchtime the place was doing brisk business – the food is really good and crowd pleasing.
Fi’lia in Brickell, Miami is a play on the Italian word, “figlia”, which means “daughter” – Chef Michael Schwartz two daughters. He has expanded his operations and opened this restaurant in partnership with the Related Group. It is located on the main floor of the SLS.
We experienced a warm welcome from the minute we walked through the doors. Cindy’s menu features a beautiful range of ethnically diverse and seasonally driven dishes that spotlight her culinary approach to global cuisine. Still, I could detect some of her signature Island flavours in many of the descriptions on the menu.
The restaurant offers a classic French cuisine like onion soup, bouillabaisse, mussels, steak tartare, duck confit, coquilles Saint-Jacques and herb crusted lamb. We were pleasantly surprised to have such a nice neighborhood spot that was so deliciously satisfying.
L’Express in Montreal is charming, lively, and, I think, the closest I’ve found to a true Parisian-style bistro in North America. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, the cuisine is well-crafted – based on creating rich flavours using simple ingredients. It’s a great option for a bite after shopping on Rue Saint-Denis.
Bachour Bakery and Bistro in Miami is great for breakfast, lunch or brunch. Be sure to leave room for one of Bachour’s breathtaking creations. He was a 2016 James Beard Awards Outstanding Pastry Chef semifinalist.
Miami’s dining scene keeps getting better. Let me introduce you to last season’s favourites, new restaurants and my most anticipated for the Fall and Winter of 2016-2017 …
All the food is well-seasoned and they are not afraid to add some spice to some dishes, which I find refreshing. The staff was super friendly, engaging and helpful. The lines move quite fast, and the pacing of the buffet style service was pretty sound. I predict it will be a mainstay of the area and service hungry Torontonians.
Planta in Toronto is a great option for vegetarians and healthy eaters, but it doesn’t cater to this group exclusively. I don’t fall in those categories and I enjoy eating there. It is just an amazing alternative with tasty food, in a pleasant setting in a great Yorkville-area location.
The new Dizengoff location in Chelsea Market, New York, is one of the most exciting new restaurant openings this year. I tried a few extra toppings that they were kind enough to bring out for me from the back and they were fabulous and added another dimension to the hummus.
There are a few good options of where to stay while in Barcelona. It may depend on if you want to include a beach vacation as well as a city vacation, or whether you want to be in the center of things, close to shopping and the historical sights.
JK has one of the largest pools on the island, with clean, comfy chairs and shade if needed. We are pampered at the pool by Michele, who looks after all our needs. The crowd is a great mix of young and older, from celebrities to jet setters to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
If you are seeking a unique and indulgent city experience in a superb location, the J.K. Place Roma is unsurpassed in Rome – it has an abundance of style and a staff that exudes warm hospitality.
This may be a Jewish inspired restaurant but you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it, as witnessed by the crowds lining up to get in on the weekend. Make sure you reserve well in advance as this is probably one of the hottest brunch tickets in New York right now. It has a trendy vibe, with a young handsome crowd and solid food offerings.
Sip, taste and laugh the day or night away – Toronto needs more unique places like Bar Raval! The intimate space can hold about 40 persons. It’s tight, crowded and fun. You eat with your hands or toothpicks. The dishes are small so you can try a lot of things, and the menu is weighted heavily on seafood. We tried a lot of delicious dishes including the canned scallops, razor clams and serrano ham with manchego cheese. Things were fresh, flavourful and well seasoned.
A neighbourhood staple for many, this place is always packed. Their bagels – some of Miami’s best handmade, still rolled, boiled and baked in shop – are in available 17 varieties.
This is the Pubbelly boys first restaurant off the beach. Considering it has only been open a few weeks you would think they would be present to make sure things were running smoothly. I kept reading that this restaurant is like nothing you’ve seen before. Well, I hope not nor do I wish to see it again.
For two years now my nose has led me into Baker and Scone at 693 St. Clair Avenue West. The fresh baked aromas wafting out of this pretty little shop are unbelievable. In fact, I think this bakery is the best thing to happen to this area of St. Clair (I know some will say it is the Stockyard Restaurant).
I am a huge Mario Batali fan and I was very excited to try his new venture with his partner Joe Bastianich. I loved the menu.
There has been lots of buzz about this mighty duo, and for good reason. They are already packing them in here – I can’t wait to return.
Zuma, for years, has been a favourite restaurant of mine. They serve weekend brunch from 12-3, at a cost of $95, $135 and $350. We tried the first two options and quite frankly the $95 option is the way to go. The buffet is HUGE. Please come hungry.
Antonio Bachour, James Beard award nominee and one of the city’s most acclaimed pastry chefs (from Bal Harbour St. Regis) has teamed up with Henry Hare, the former chef of Eating House (a favourite restaurant of mine) to launch this delicious new spot. One of the perks of my job is having a little extra pull. Chef Antonio came outside to greet us and warmly invited us inside.
I heard about a new place in the heart of South Beach, called Dirt at 232 5th St. (between Washington and Collins). It bills itself as a new “fine food” served fast, dining experience. They serve high-quality, nutritious food quickly and affordably.
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
This is a Mexican restaurant in case you couldn’t guess from the name. This is the third incarnation in the last few years at this spot, and it may not be the last.
The Miami Herald gave it 2.5 stars which is a pretty decent rating, so I was intrigued to try it.
This is not your parents deli, but Jewish comfort food with a twist. On a street full of lots of Kosher restaurants it is refreshing to see a restaurant that serves some traif.
Cecconi’s has been packing them in since its opening around 5 or so years ago. It is located just before a curve on 4385 Collins Avenue just south of the Fountainbleau.
Of course everyone wants to try The French Laundry at least once in your life. So go ahead, beg your concierge or use a connection to try and get you in. We have been twice and I wouldn’t go back again.
We have been to the Good Son for dinner before, but now we wanted to try Sunday Brunch. I am happy to report that is was great.
We were overwhelmed with the beauty and detail of this fabulous city resort. Everything from the grounds, the art work, the pool and restaurants were first rate. Our room was unbelievable.
One block from Barney’s and the shops on Madison Ave. and 2 1/2 blocks from Bloomingdale’s. Close to some wonderful restaurants as well. The newly renovated hotel looks great, with some of the largest bedrooms in New York.