Nothing Bundt Cakes has grown nationwide into 260 franchise locations in the United States and Canada, and it continues to grow. When you use products like real eggs, butter and cream cheese, it doesn’t take long to get the word out.
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.
Cindy Lou’s Cookies in Little River, Miami has become a destination enterprise for many cookie monsters. Cindy’s baking some of Miami’s best cookies that “warm the heart and nourish the soul”. I love finding a place as special as this, and you will too.
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!
James Beard award finalist Brad Kilgore opened his latest venture, Kaido in the heart of the Miami Design District. The focus is on fresh, local ingredients and equal emphasis on great cocktails.
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.
You do not have to indulge in a fine dining experience to receive outstanding food. One of Toronto’s hottest new restaurants, Sara, has a kitchen bursting with ambition, inventive and creative food in a serene, yet casual environment.
Last year I had the opportunity to eat at a gastronomic dinner in Miami, where the special guest was Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura, who cooked an exquisite Japanese-Peruvian fusion meal. He has been voted the 7th best restaurant in the world this year on the San Pellegrino’s list. So I had to return to his restaurant in Lima for another “Nikkei” experience at San Martin 399, in the Miraflores district.
Maido in Lima Peru serves “Nikkei”, a Peruvian cuisine with Japanese influences brought to Peru through Japanese immigrants. It’s voted the 7th best restaurant in the world on the San Pellegrino 2018 list.
There is a reason El Mercado in Lima, Peru has a buzz, and has people lining up and waiting to get in. Many say it’s the top seafood restaurant, and who am I to argue, when I enjoyed my meal so much.
Sushi Erika in Miami is always packed, with absolutely no social media, just word of mouth. I always order the Love roll, a spider roll topped with torched salmon, and drizzled with truffle oil.
Toronto’s Frilu Restaurant is a modern, casual eatery, serving fine dining, with warm, gracious hospitality and showcasing playful, creative and dramatic food.
Alma Restaurant in Toronto is unpretentious, approachable, and delicious, with an eclectic menu. Chef Anna Chen is producing a larger than life winning formula.
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.
At Obra Kitchen Table in Miami my meal was a gastronomic feast, that was creative, ambitious, innovative and yet unpretentious, approachable and casual. Considering the pedigree of the chef, the food was moderately priced.
At Wynona in Toronto, the experience was more than pleasant and relaxed, with good food at moderate prices, in a casual atmosphere.
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.
Alo Bar Yorkville stands out from a pack of other new places, pushing out exciting food that will likely keep the restaurant popular for a long time. I really enjoyed the culinary and hospitality philosophy there. I predict this will be one of the hottest tables in town.
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.
Fuwa Fuwa in Toronto is whipping up some airy, jiggly, delicate and tasty delights. The pancake is also not too sweet and relies on the toppings to give the perfect balance.
At Giulietta Restaurant in Toronto everything on the menu sounds enticing, and every dish that passed by me looked like exceptional regional specialties.
Godspeed Brewery is a cool place to meet friends for a beer where the food is surprisingly good, with a small menu of about twelve items. Well done, and Godspeed!
All in all, Paris Paris in Toronto is an inviting vibe, with an original, innovative menu. It is a welcome refuge, to get together with friends or loved ones, over a glass or two of wine, and a few bites.
The experience is fun at Pa’La Restaurant in Phoenix, AZ, and although the menu is minimal, everything is healthy and of the highest quality.
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.
New Toronto restaurant, Parallel is a fun place to try, with interesting twists on classic Middle Eastern dishes.
Bacchanal Restaurant in Toronto offers variations of delightful and contemporary bistro fare, in a pleasant, relaxed environment.
I am always excited to see a new Peruvian restaurants opening, and Toronto has far too few of them. Recently Kay Pacha opened at 744 St. Clair Avenue West.
Labora Restaurant in Toronto’s Campo Food Hall serves robust and flavourful food with appreciation for the simple and perfect preparation and flavour pairing.
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.
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!
Tanto Restaurant in Toronto serves dishes with Italian, Spanish and Argentinian flavours and influences. Almost every protein and vegetable spends time on the grill, reminiscent of Frances Mallmann. It was a nice change from the usual.
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.
Chumley’s in New York is the resurrection of an old speakeasy under Chef Victoria Blamey. The menu mixes American gastropub standards along with some bistro style favourites – the burger is medal worthy!
Mendin and Friends Dinner Series at Habitat, Miami delivers inspiring, well executed and appealing dishes.
I was truly impressed with the culinary excellence, meal is opulent and rich tasting.
We were lucky to be invited to a private dinner at Fátima, Donnie Masterton’s new San Miguel spot in the Casablanca Hotel.
Miami’s newly open Skorpios’ elevated and reimagined menu includes a selection of daily catches, grilled whole, all simply garnished.
“I am in total disbelief of how my blog has organically gained traction. I am flattered when I have strangers come up to me and who recognize me from my blog. The struggle for me is, that I am not a professional writer, just a professional eater, so trying to put out a weekly newsletter is no easy task. How many adjectives can you use to describe the taste of something? It is not easy!
Miami’s St. Roch Market is a contemporary multi-vendor food hall where the curated food and beverage program is accompanied by a high quality, hospitality driven experience.
We had an enjoyable evening at Amara at Paraiso. I felt like I was in the tropics, or at a chic beach club. The menu focuses on clean balanced food, and simple cooking techniques enhanced by the flame.
We found the shareable tapas plates to be more to our liking, I would recommend going heavier on a large variety of these and lighter on the mains. My favourite dish, however, is the tender, charred octopus à la plancha, with arugula, and Marcona almonds.
Palmar is a welcome addition to Wynwood. It’s a fun, unfussy, and appealing place. The selections are creative, fashionable, and current, and the staff is friendly and helpful. Best when Chef Diaz is in the house!
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.
I would have to say Nusr-Et Steakhouse is Miami’s newest “it” restaurant of the moment. It’s one of the best steaks I have ever had. Here the steak, a good quality cut of meat, is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy and full of flavour.
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.
Toronto’s new Blueblood Steakhouse harkens back to a day when glamour and high-end dining was a mainstay. It’s a classic steakhouse that goes to great lengths to create a special evening.
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.
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.
Ghee Indian Kitchen brings something fresh and unique to Miami’s Design District. The focus is on strong, bright flavors and farm fresh foods. There were so many other dishes that I wanted to try so we will just have to make a return trip.
Bar Sybanne in Toronto surpassed all my expectations. The reasonably priced menu offers artfully-plated, creative dishes with a great interplay of textures and tastes.
Just when you thought you were all caught up with the latest restaurants in Miami, here comes a new list to keep you busy this season. Watch for my upcoming reviews.
Toronto’s Aloette is a neighbourhood bistro that’s been packed from day one, and for good reason. The food was reasonably priced for the exceptional quality.
Arzabal in Madrid, Spain is sophisticated and romantic, serving quality food that is modestly priced. The whole experience is all very easy to digest.
Maker Pizza focuses on what matters – fresh ingredients, creative recipes, cooked to order options and friendly staff. It has been rated number one in many Toronto publications and I can see why.
At Kiin in Toronto each item is meticulously prepared and beautifully presented, with rich flavours that ripple across the taste buds.
Brothers Food and Wine in Toronto hosted the Visa Infinite Dining Series, serving an insanely good meal from beginning to end. The evening was perfection.
Zen Restaurant in Toronto aims to preserve the culture of Japanese cuisine, providing excellent service and beautifully prepared dishes using fresh, unique ingredients. It exceeded our expectations and lit up my umami sensors.
Montgomery’s Restaurant has steadily become known by those “in the know”, featuring Canadian dishes with local ingredients, many sourced from the Mennonite community.
Dizengoff in Wynwood, Miami serves simple, elevated food at affordable prices. Their freshly made hummus and tahini are creamy and dreamy.
Dining at Ristorante Cocchi in Parma may have been my favourite meal in Italy this year. It was a sumptuous experience in regional cuisine. It exceeded my wildest expectations.
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.
JK Kitchen Restaurant & Terrace in Capri delivers a level of luxury, charm, style and attention to detail that creates a truly special evening.
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.
Hosteria Giusti in Modena, Italy is very authentic, focusing on regional and classical dishes of pure Emilia cuisine. We were truly enamored with this delightful spot.
Da Danilo in Modena, Italy is a family run restaurant where the food is made the same way as it was 50 years ago. It’s an unexpected surprise.
I know when I book Ristorante Da Giacomo in Milano I will always get a consistently good meal. It is an old Milanese trattoria that is tried and true with a kitchen that is well-executed.
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.
Estia is Toronto’s new “it” restaurant of the moment. The emphasis is on fresh, simple, uncomplicated dishes, that are cooked well. And really, isn’t this just what people are looking for?
The restaurant is chic, and sophisticated with a hip vibe.
If you go to Gabriel Kreuther in New York be prepared to be wowed. The chef presents inspired tasting menus in an impressive setting.
Motel Morris in New York Motel is not a motel, it’s a restaurant in Chelsea with an ode to the 1960’s motel culture.
Augustine restaurant in New York is stunning. You would never know it just opened in November of 2016. It looks like it is right out of Belle Époque Paris.
The Bake Shoppe in Toronto will make you happy and nostalgic, and provide comfort that makes you want to buy all these scrumptious creations.
Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva offers refined tasting menus and a la carte dishes featuring carefully sourced ingredients, and bold flavours, some dishes using more than twenty varieties of chilies.
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.
Georgette Frakas has herself a great brassiere that serves French fare, and serves it to a well-heeled upper east side crowd. As the New York Post said, “it is something to cluck about”.
Chris Bianco, the James Beard award-winning chef, who has a national reputation for pizza has himself another winner, with his newest venture, Tratto in Phoenix, AZ.
Ocotillo in Phoenix is the quintessential modern Arizona eatery. They are a new gold standard, capturing the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
All the dishes at Canis in Toronto have simple descriptions on the menu, but when you receive the food you see how complex each dish is, with many components to them.
I am not exaggerating when I say that the lobster at Lobster Sea Grille in Miami is the best damn lobster I have had in eons. My table all raved about the quality and execution.
Toronto’s Grey Gardens is fresh, seasonal and creative. A neighbourhood place where you can drop by for a drink and snacks, or stay for dinner.
The Upper East Side crowd gets to feast on bold flavours and textures with unique interpretations of dishes. The plates are small, but inventive and elevated with a complexity that isn’t expected.
Jerusalem Chefs Rina and Alice have created a tasty and inventive menu in their modern and cozy restaurant. We were happy to have this option on a Saturday afternoon in Jerusalem.
The emphasis is on freshness, combined with high quality ingredients and sophisticated cooking techniques. The dishes are creative and showcase a modern cuisine focusing on Moroccan and Mediterranean influences.
Tatel’s opening in Miami has been eagerly awaited by many. After all, global superstars and restaurant partners Rafael Nadal and Enrique Iglesias, and basketball star, Pau Gasol, are ambassadors for the Spain-based project, along with business entrepreneurs Abel Matutes and Manuel Campos Guallar. The first Tatel restaurant has become one of the trendiest restaurants in Madrid.
Now here’s the perfect combination – Miami’s Four Seasons Surf Club and iconic restaurant Le Sirenuse from famed Positano, Italy have partnered together.
It took great pains to write this review because I love Gloria Estefan. Emilio was in the house when we were here, and you can see how nicely he treats his staff. I also love the idea of marrying food and music, as long as both are excellent.
Chef Eyal is known for his flair at each of his restaurants but HaSalon epitomizes his philosophy of fresh food of the highest quality. The experience is a combination of texture, smell, taste and proper execution.
Everything about Popina in Tel Aviv is experience driven: from the ingredients to the immaculate plating and modernist methods. Choose a variety of dishes to taste all the flavours and cooking styles. It was definitely my best meal in Israel.
There’s a buzz to La Petite Maison in Miami. The place exudes luxury, charm and style. They’ve really gone to great lengths in terms of hospitality, bringing in staff from the Dubai and London locations to assist the opening. If they can just refine the food, the discriminating clientele will return in droves.
Abraxas Tzafon is a unique, innovative and really fun spot. Everything we ate was absolutely given thought to in terms of flavour and presentation. Expect well-executed dishes, served in a relaxed atmosphere.
The vibrant menu showcases farm fresh, conscientiously-sourced, truly soul-nurturing dishes. This one is worth a visit. The chefs’ passion and creative expression is reflected in their cooking.
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.
Miami has a new “secret garden” – a romantic, lush oasis that doesn’t feel like Miami but a little like Hawaii. Our evening was relaxed, intimate, and aesthetically appealing. They are open daily from 4pm till midnight and will soon be adding a Sunday brunch.
I am a big fan of the Pubbelly Group and in particular their sushi restaurant. I was happy to hear they were opening at the Brickell City Center at 701 South Miami Avenue. It is so refreshing to see malls like Bal Harbour and Brickell City Center opening quality restaurants.
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.
Mignonette Uptown in Miami is no frills, straightforward, simple, quality seafood in a comfortable and laid back atmosphere. I am always excited about the birth of a new restaurant, especially under the capable hands of Chef Serfer.
Miami’s Toscana Divino offers a selection of traditional Tuscan and “moderna” fare. The dishes are unexpected and sophisticated. The chef believes in providing quality, flavour and freshness in the artisanal approach of “Fatto in Casa”.
On a whim, I decided to try a new spot that I had heard nothing about. Located at 1099 NE 79th Street is a hidden gem you may not have heard of but you will be glad that you are now. Ferraro’s Kitchen and Wine Bar is sure to impress.
Luke’s Lobster rolls in Brickell City Centre are the real deal, with ultra-fresh wild-caught Maine lobster. An exciting new addition to the Miami food scene, if you are a lobster fan it is not to be missed. The food made me hum, I will return!
I recently discovered Casa Gioia (which translates to “house of joy”) in Miami – my new favourite bakery for 2016/2017. Everything is truly exceptional, artisanal and unique. It’s a new local treasure for me, “sharing joy one bite at a time”.
Zoo Miami is the largest and oldest zoological garden in Florida and the only tropical zoo in the US. It’s crowd pleasing for the young or old alike and a delightful way to spend a day.
Fantail Bakery & Café in Toronto has a warm comfortable atmosphere – it’s a perfect neighborhood spot. It’s family owned and operated by a New Zealand family.
Scottsdale’s SumoMaya was created by Chefs Matt Zdeb and Hisao Andy Suzuki. Together they celebrate cuisines of Mexico and Asia, with a unique seasonal fusion cuisine.
J&J BBQ in Toronto is dishing up some pretty amazing barbecue. Because of them, I might become a convert to this style of cooking, or even an addict! Their meats have light rubs, minimal sauce and lots of wood smoke flavour.
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.
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.
People’s Eatery in Toronto is fun, trendy and delicious! A great place to come with a few people so you can order lots of dishes. They are doing a bang up job with their diverse eclectic menu by Dustin Gallagher (a former Top Chef contestant).
Consider Barnsteiner’s in Toronto if you are in the mood for some home cooked food, but you don’t feel like cooking. People who are intimidated by trendy restaurants, or menus where they can’t find anything that they would dare try, this is your place.
With the opening of Nichi’s Sweet Confections, people in Bay Harbour, Bal Harbour, Surfside and North Miami can rejoice! There is finally a bakery serving delightful, made-from-scratch baked goods! It’s really filled a void in the area (and in my stomach …).
Leslieville is a really cute area of Toronto, reminiscent of the West Village in New York. Once a seedy part of town, now interesting restaurants and stores are popping up everywhere. Another new addition to this area is Greta Solomon’s.
At Nadege Patisserie all the pastry are like little jewels, beautifully crafted and showcased edible art. Toronto you will fall in love.
Daits Bar is a new, truly unique food experience in Toronto. The dates are not only attractive looking, but feature a dynamic variety of notable flavour combinations. Treat yourself or someone special.
Chabrol Restaurant in Toronto really feels like you are in a small Parisian bistro or wine bar. I am so happy to have the addition of this new place in the Yorkville area. They are packing them in and reservations are hard to come by, so book early.
The first cold day in Toronto I immediately ran to Kinton Ramen on 396 Church Street. They have about 5-6 locations throughout Toronto and are part of the Guu and Kinka Family of restaurants. My favourite place is Ja Bistro.
Ja Bistro in Toronto has good dishes with a modern twist, served up in a beautiful but simple unpretentious manner. The fish is fresh and of high quality.
Located close to the Miracle Mile, “Oh My Gosh”, is the perfect name for this Miami sweet shop because that is what you say when you will bite into your first brigadeiro.
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.
For me “Dôa” means, “dead on arrival”. Cool place, but you’ve got to upgrade the food and service. I am too old for this and was very disillusioned.
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.
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!
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.
Crudo is Chef-Owner Cullen Campbell’s imaginative eatery, serving small plates including his fabulous silky crudos. Phoenix seems to have quite a few restaurants located in strip malls, though it is unexpected to find an upscale restaurant that impresses.
The Candy Bar is one of the best sources of candy and chocolate in Toronto. They offer unique treats you won’t find elsewhere. They offer a wide range of sugary delights, and you don’t have to be a kid to love these sweet thrills and yummy goodness. It is overwhelming but I guarantee the shop will delight.
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.
James Beard nominated journalist turned baker, Amy Rosen, spent months on end testing and perfecting the perfect cinnamon bun. Unsurprisingly, she’s created a truly excellent product. The spirals of sticky, yet light and fluffy brioche pastry dough have the perfect crust on the bottom and are topped with a light glaze. I had mine right out of the oven, and Amy was there personally glazing my order.
It is so easy to get addicted to this high-end candy. They also offer chocolate, licorice, marshmallows, hard candy and jelly beans. There are also bags of squish mixes. Know a good dentist? I do!
Glass and Vine in Coconut Grove was created by Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, a James Beard Award nominee and winner of the Food Network’s show, Chopped, and Grove Bay Hospitality Group. The indoor/outdoor 200 seat restaurant is located in the heart of Peacock Park.
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.
For me, the restaurant was hit and miss, and more on the miss side of things. The rolls were beautiful looking, but not at all traditional.
Everything at Maple Leaf Tavern in Toronto is made in-house. Other restaurants take note: you can really taste the difference here. I appreciate their effort and the quality of ingredients.
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.
D Liche doesn’t cut corners and it shows, they have really hit a home run with their product. The triple chocolate was off the charts delicious. It was moist, dense, intense in flavour and incredibly rich. It was not your average cupcake, surpassing the many previous versions I have tried. The cupcake “bar” has been raised.
I have my friend Fenwick to thank for recommending I try a new spot at 17070 West Dixie Highway in North Miami.
I am often asked for suggestions for not-so-fine dining, reasonably priced neighborhood restaurants that also serve great good.
I think the newly opened Lettuce and Tomato Gourmet Gastrobar fits the bill.
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.
Montreal has a rich food culture which we have enjoyed exploring on our short trip there. One of the toughest reservations to snag was at the iconic restaurant Joe Beef at 2491 Notre-Dame West. We actually had to use connections to get in. It didn’t help that it was voted the #4 best restaurant in Canada in 2016.
Big Tuna Poke Bar in Toronto is no doubt one of the first in a wave of poke shops that is sure to flood the city. Recommended! Affordable and cheerful!
Look for the Chase Bank on the corner and Bergen Hill is in the same building off a side street. It’s a great neighbourhood spot. I haven’t seen this kind of creativity and execution from a kitchen in a long time.
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.
I was so wowed with my experience at Toque in Montreal that I had to go to the other establishment that is overseen by Chef Normand Laprise, Brasserie T, located next door to the Place des Arts.
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.
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.
Folks, we have a winner. Ardo is open for lunch during the week and dinner Monday to Saturday. Toronto needs more places like this. I am totally enamored with Ardo.
There really were no standouts except for the amazing Smashed Potatoes. I would rather come for a drink at the bar, but the food doesn’t seem to stop the people from coming. The place was packed and the crowd was beautiful.
Dandylion Restaurant in Toronto has consistently been on top lists of places to dine in Toronto. The approach to the contemporary, yet eclectic menu seems simple, but there is a complexity to each dish. The food is truly thoughtful and creative.
You can’t win them all, and sadly, Chef Laurent Tourondel’s newest restaurant in New York was a big disappointment for me. This is actually the second restaurant by the celebrated Chef that did not live up to expectations. The other was now the closed Market Restaurant.
Everything in the shop is made in house – you can view the kitchen through a glass window and see the work first hand. I was told it is a three-day process to make the bonbons. They are the most beautifully hand-painted chocolates I have ever seen. They are almost too pretty to eat … notice I said, “almost” …
There seems to be a new trend hitting the streets of Toronto – the Paleteria. A Mexican frozen treat, it’s similar to an American popsicle, but […]
The Grilled Nueske’s Bacon was a dream come true for bacon lovers. Inch thick slabs that Bartlow serves with a smear of crunchy peanut butter, jalapeño jelly and minced Granny Smith apples.
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.
This year the restaurant was named the 7th best restaurant in the world by San Pellegrino. This rating baffles me. The food really lacked flavour, creativity and taste. Some dishes were bland, or fishy or sour tasting. You can imagine my huge disappointment. The food just wasn’t appealing.
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!
As you may know by now, I am always looking for new, unique discoveries – especially the delicious kind. Well, I believe I found another to share with you. Let me introduce you to Seed & Mill in the Chelsea Market.
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.
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.
Everything we tried was a home run at newly opened Ufficio Restaurant in Toronto. It was fresh, tasty, and seasonal. The cooking was quite sophisticated and well-executed. You have got to try their grilled homemade focaccia bread!
The restaurant has a nice ambience with dark green leather banquettes, navy lacquered painted ceilings, and copper shelves stocked with backlit wine bottles and jars of preserved lemons. The menu is large with lots of choices. It is divided into pizza, one: small plates, two: pastas, three: mains, and vegetables.
The ice cream wars are in full swing now that summer is here. Celebrating their second season is a new contender called Booyah, located at 16A Vaughan Rd, south of St. Clair.
Archimallows appeal to kids as well as the sugar addicted adult in all of us. His flavours and designs are ever changing and come in a myriad of shapes and sizes.
We are lucky that he is Canada’s candy man.
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.
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.
It is Scott Conant’s pastas that remind you of why he became famous in the first place. His Pasta Pomodoro is a signature dish. Such simple ingredients but it is the best tomato pasta you might ever have.
The chef has a passion for what he does and you can see and feel it in the attention to detail. How he can create such wonderful food in such a tiny kitchen is a wonder to me. This place lives up to its reputation with great quality food and service in a romantic setting.
My last night in Arizona I saved Chef Branden Levine’s brand new restaurant Sel. Each plate we tasted was carefully executed and boasted sophisticated and bold flavours. This restaurant is a welcome change from the casual eateries in Arizona. The Chef’s mission is to change the way people dine here, and he is doing an excellent job of it.
Named one of Phoenix’s best new restaurants, The Gladly takes familiar fare and adds a playful and decadent twist. Great presentations and food pairings. Recommended!
When I return I want to try some wood fired pizza, but it did look a little too charred for my taste. Our neighbours seemed to be enjoying their veal parmesan. There is even a cheeseburger on the menu and I presume that it must be good as well.
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.
Nathalie Diamantis of Bulgari, flew in from New York to oversee the evening. Champagne was flowing and chef Victor Barry of PIANO PIANO was there to greet guests and supervise the wonderful hors d’oeuvres being passed around.
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.
Stubbe’s create some of Toronto’s best chocolates by pairing good chocolate with traditional and non traditional flavours. You can taste the quality and craftsmanship in every bite. Indulge or buy someone a gift, you’ll thank me later.
The space was quaint and homey, and bright and airy with a vintage feel to it. The pastry shop really is adorable and there are tables to eat in or you can take out. In their well-stocked display cases they offer things like, French macarons, the prettiest buttercream cupcakes, pastries, scones, cookies, tarts, and birthday cakes. You can wash these down with coffee, pressed espresso, teas and use their free wifi.
It is nearly impossible to get a reservation at Carbone in Manhattan, NYC. In fact, getting in is like winning the lottery. Now I see why – it was fantastic, why did I wait so long to come here?
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).
David Chang challenges our taste buds and brings food to a new level. He takes some of my favourite dishes and makes them new and unique.
This is what people want – superfood ingredients, vibrant dressings, chicken that is locally-sourced and cooked well in an efficient amount of time. Presto, Cory Vitello has a hit on his hands with more locations to come.
Patrons are in for a treat! Kaori is Miami’s first 360-degree cinematography dining experience. The space is so aesthetically pleasing, with cutting edge technology, art, music and scents. The food presentation is most beautiful, a complete knockout in the terms of creativity.
Black Brick Midtown was one of our favourite new restaurants last year, so I thought it was worth returning again to see if the cooking and service still lived up to my expectations. I am happy to report that we had a delicious meal there.
Set in a former auto body shop, they have kept the original garage doors – hence the name. The place looks cool and there was quite a buzz. That may die down once the excitement of a new place opens, especially when they are not delivering a good product.
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.
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.
Last weekend Shanea took over Social Miami’s Twitter to share her food and fun adventures.
20 Most Delish Dishes in Miami – El Cielo, Beachcraft, Pubbelly, Myumi Food Truck, Pinch Kitchen, Le Zoo and More. I tried to do a top 10 list, but I just couldn’t narrow it down! The truth is, I have dined out every night for 3 ½ months … I’ve tried a lot of dishes, to say the least!! Here’s some of my favourites (including honourable mentions (I know, I’m bad …)).
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.
We opted for a chef’s tasting at $65 for five courses, two appetizers, two mains and a dessert, which is a relative bargain. It works out to $13 per course. Yes they are tiny portions but each dish is labour intensive and has good quality ingredients. I think for a first time here that is the way to go so you can sample some of Chefs Brad Kilgore’s cooking. But a la carte is also an option. The wine list was also quite reasonable. We enjoyed a bottle of Whispering Angel Rose that went well with our dinner. Please note the prices have not increased in the past year.
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.
For the past few years one of Miami’s top hot spots and a magnet for celebrities, hipsters, and fashionistas has been Cipriani Downtown, located at 465 Brickell Ave in the Icon Building. The gorgeous nautical-themed dining room, designed by Michele Bonan, is backdropped by the beautiful bayside setting – one of the most stunning in Miami.
Marion is a restaurant with the flavours of the South of France and elements of Spain, Greece and Italy. Located in the Brickell area. It’s a little tricky to find but worth the effort.
Hidden in a dingy market where the staff is not so friendly and the place has lots of rules – no phones, no takeaway, no second orders – the Chef works sushi wonders.
The best rolls for me weren’t even on the menu but thanks to an insider I knew what to order. Now I can share this information with you …
The best part about Myumi, a charming food truck in Wynwood, Miami is the sushi, it’s so fresh tasting and the chef explains where each piece comes from. It could be Alaska, Japan, Boston, Florida , Scotland etc. The menu rotates based on availability. The meal is quite traditional, there are no gimmicky surprises.
We only went for lunch but I can’t wait to go back for dinner later next week to try the American Southern barbecue technique of slow cooking, and smoking. We saw the chef select some wood that was piled on the side so he can start smoking some meat – he said takes up to 14 hours.
Made in Italy Gourmet has a wine bar and a retail market with items such as oils, sauces, pasta, and Italian artisanal products. There is also an Italian wine library with over 2,000 bottles in all price ranges. And don’t forget the cheese and cured meat counter. Their motto: Taste, Live, Share. They really follow these ideals.
We visited Cantina la Veinte for the first time last year. It is located at 495 Brickell Avenue on the ground level of the Icon Brickell. It is owned by Mexico’s largest hospitality group, the Cinbersol group. They obviously have deep pockets because this is not your average Mexican joint. It is a 210 seat Mexican showcase, with a black onyx bar, antiqued mirrors, black and white tile floors, dark wood paneling, and shelves with copies of tasteful Mexican artifacts. The space is quite glamorous, the waiters are well dressed, and the crowd is hipsters or wannabes ready to make a dent in their wallet.
I have been visiting Capri for over 25 years in a row, and one of my favourite shops is 100% Capri. It is a luxury lifestyle brand shop owned, run and designed by my friend Antonio Aiello. He is suave, charming and multi-talented. His luxe brand of stores is now becoming a worldwide chain with locations in the poshest of places including St. Bart’s, the Graff Estate in Cape Town, Dubai, Rome, Mykonos, Florence, Beverly Hills and Bal Harbour to date.
Not every restaurant is trendy or a scene. A restaurant doesn’t have to be hot to be good.
The Traymore Restaurant at the Art Deco Metropolitan by Como hotel isn’t cool but it it is low key, warm and inviting.
Here is my list of restaurants that I want to try this year, or that I have already tried and enjoyed.
Located in a historical home from the 1930’s, at 2727 Indian Creek Road on the property of the Freehand Hotel, the 27 Restaurant and Bar is open for dinner daily, with brunch served on weekends.
I have searched high and low to find a great bakery in Miami for years, but to no avail. Thankfully in 2013, True Loaf Bakery opened in the Sunset Harbour area at 1894 Bay Road a couple of doors down from Lucali Pizza. Yes for those of us on the beach it is a schlep to drive all the way there but let me tell you, it is worth it. I just load up on a large order and freeze a large portion of it.
Even though it just opened right after Christmas, Komodo at 801 Brickell, is already making a name for itself.
A collaboration between restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, of China Grill fame, and nightlife impresario David Grutman, of LIV, Komodo is a beautifully-done, trendy yet high-end, contemporary Southeastern Asian restaurant.
Shh, I have a little place to tell you about but don’t tell too many people, I want to be able to get a table. It is off the beaten track in an artsy complex that houses architect and design firms. If you go to Biscayne Blvd heading south turn right at 79th street and drive a couple of blocks in you will run right into the Ironside complex. At 7580 Northeast 4th court in the Little River District, park your car in the lot for free and wander inside this complex till you find Ironside Pizza.
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.
We really enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Pinch Kitchen. You can tell they cook with passion as it shines through in all the well-cooked and flavorful dishes.
If you don’t mind going to a restaurant that is super casual, with simple decor, ugly art work, and a no frills kind of place but has really good food at reasonable prices then I recommend Proof Pizza and Pasta. It is located at 3328 N. Miami on the corner of 34th street, which is in Midtown and not too far from the Wynwood district. Don’t let me scare you, it is still an inviting space and clean.
We had the pleasure of eating at Via Verdi and we were impressed with the food as well as the warm welcome from the Carro brothers and their staff. A special shout out to Fabrizio who really made our dinner very special with his meal suggestions and conversation.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like getting dressed up or like spending a fortune on dinner, but you still want some delicious food. This is when we go to Burgers and Shakes at 7401 Collins Ave. You can’t miss the place it is located on the corner and it always has a lineup. This small joint is popular for a reason, The food is good and the prices are right.
We came to Florence for a day trip last summer and I tried to find a classic Florentine Trattoria. On the advice of Elizabeth Minchelli in her book Eat Italy , she raved about Trattoria Sostanza on Via Porcellana 25. So off we went on our adventure.
Only open three weeks, Beaker and Gray is already making an impression with their global cuisine tapas and their craft cocktails. Located at 2637 N. Miami Avenue in Wynwood.
The standout dishes for us were the Spanish Octopus served cold, the Pumpkin Gnocci with pork rib and the Oxtail and sweet potato .
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!
Best old favourites and new loves.
Last year the Matador in the Edition Hotel was the THE new hot spot in Miami. This year I predict the newly remodeled One Hotel and its new restaurant Beachcraft will be wildly popular.
Bazi restaurant (CLOSED) at 1200 Collins is another new restaurant that opened recently in Miami. It is located in the lobby of the beautiful Art Deco Marlin hotel.
Judging from our experience tonight, the New Nobu Eden Roc will be one of Miami’s new ” Hot Spots” to dine at. The restaurant is located inside the Iconic Landmark Eden Roc Hotel at 4525 Collins. The new Nobu is an improvement in looks from the Shore Club or even the New York restaurant.
We tried a newly opened restaurant in the RBC Water Park Place called Muki. It is located in Toronto’s Harbour front area at Bay and Queens Quay.
If you were to ask me what my absolute favourite hotel in the world would be I would have to say it may just be the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel in Jophur, India. It is THE ultimate dream resort/hotel.
The Spice Route Restaurant is one of the many restaurants located in the historic Imperial Hotel of New Delhi. What makes it stand out from all the other restaurants for me is the ambience.
Michelle Bernstein finally reopened her restaurant after a renovation. This was a highly anticipated meal for us. The restaurant is no longer called Michy’s but it is now Cena. The restaurant is very cool looking, it is a 60’s modern look of old Miami.
We started our meal with “Pisco Sours” a traditional Peruvian cocktail that is so goooood! I had the Ceviche Misto and David had the Grilled Ceviche, a dish that the Chef invented for his wife who doesn’t eat raw fish. Both were excellent choices.
I decided to write a review of an oldie but a goodie. Scaramouche has been a consistently good restaurant for over 3 decades. It is one of the truly classic iconic restaurants of Toronto. When you have a special occasion to celebrate there are not a lot of restaurants that come to mind.
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.
I really looked forward to Dining at this restaurant more than any other this trip down to Miami. The Miami Herald gave it rave revue and 4 stars.
A 30 minute ride to Etobicoke to a little strip plaza to visit a gastronomic temple of Japanese delights was a highlight of summer dining thus far for 2015. Sushi Kaji is by far the best Japanese meal I have had in Toronto. However I have not dined at the Japanese cultural Center yet.
We tried a new restaurant in the Yonge and Davisville area called Little Sister. It is an Indonesian/ Dutch inspired restaurant. I am no expert on Indonesian food but everything we ordered was delicious, the restaurant gets high marks for rich and complex flavours.
Located in the former Corner House Restaurant on Davenport is Flor de Sal – a beautiful, attractive, bright and nicely decorated space.
Dailo restaurant in the former “Grace” space on College Street. They call this new Asian cuisine and we were very impressed. The staff is very knowledgable and helpful.
Miami has a beautiful new restaurant reminiscent of a Parisian Bistro, displaying bold and playful artwork that is for sale. The crowd is tres chic, but you shouldn’t go before 9pm to get the full impact.
1) Roscoli, great deli/restaurant near the Campo Fiori, amazing carbonara and burrata. The tomato soup is wonderful and so are all the cheeses. They have a […]
We finally made it to Richmond Station after a few years. The chef Carl Heinrich was the winner of season two on Canada’s Top Chef. He took his winnings and opened Richmond Station at 1 West Richmond Street.
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 of my favorite places to eat in New York last year was a charming West Village Italian Restaurant called Via Carota. It is located on 51 Grove St.
Every luxe hotel in Rome better pull up their boot straps because this gem is trumping all the competition.
Yonge and Summerhill is full of cute little neighbourhood restaurants. A favourite of mine is Quanto Basta. It is a small narrow room with a tiny kitchen and bar as part of the action. The owner and servers are friendly and make you feel like you are eating in their home.