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.
Palat Restaurant is an eye-catching spot, and made me do a double take as I was driving by. I hadn’t heard a thing about it, but decided to try it on a whim, for lunch. It was so good, I returned for dinner the next day.
Miami’s newly open Skorpios’ elevated and reimagined menu includes a selection of daily catches, grilled whole, all simply garnished.
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.
Kiki bills itself as a fine dining establishment with modern Greek food in a waterfront setting. The restaurant opened last April 2017. It is frequented by high rollers, celebrities and wannabes. Situated right next door to a place with a similar concept is Sea Spice.
Sherwood’s Bistro and Bar in the Little River district of Miami is a uniquely charming place with reasonably priced, simple food.
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.
The 18,000 sqft. Casa Tua Cucina in Brickell City Centre, Miami includes 12 unique dining stations, such as pizza, fish, pasta, crudo, cheese, coffee, gelato, pastry, chocolates, rotisserie chicken, meat and even a flower shop.
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.
With the opening of Etaru, people in Hallandale, Florida and surrounding areas can now dine at an upscale, Japanese, contemporary Robatayaki restaurant, with a beautiful waterfront setting.
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!
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.
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.
Hexagon Restaurant in Oakville strives for culinary excellence, and Chef Sean goes to great lengths to succeed. His new restaurant sets the stage for his creative talent.
When I find myself in Buffalo, New York, I always make sure to stop by Anderson’s Frozen Custard. Luckily there are now seven locations and a food truck.
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.
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.
Dry is a contemporary spot in Milan with a unique combination of pizza and mixology. It became so popular they added a second location.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The views are wonderful and the music is chill – relax in a cabana or a day bed, and order bottle service. If you don’t travel or have a cottage, this is a nice little refuge from the maddening crowd, and it is right 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”.
Ocotillo in Phoenix is the quintessential modern Arizona eatery. They are a new gold standard, capturing the hearts of locals and tourists alike.
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.
The emphasis is on fresh, local, simply prepared food. The menu changes on a whim, so you may not find a favourite dish again but you will certainly be surprised and pleased at the offerings.
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?
Pierchic Restaurant in Dubai is surely one of the most romantic restaurants you will find. It is situated at the end of a long wooden pier with captivating views across the Arabian Gulf.
The pizza at Stanzione 87 in Miami cooks in an Italian wood burning oven in under 90 seconds. The pie is soft, elastic, tender and fragrant with a sauce that tastes perfect.
Loving Alan Richman’s 30 commandments for making restaurants—and any dining-out experience—better in GQ. Spot on! Check them out here.
Tanuki in Miami is lively, and colorful, with graffiti-covered walls, reclaimed wood and yellow leather banquets with blond wood tables and digital lights accenting a long wrap around bar. Samurai swords decorate the walls. The central focus of the room is a seven-foot statue of a Tanuki, a Japanese talisman said to bring good luck.
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.
On January 25th, 2017 Melanie Cohen of Social Miami together with the Miami Beach Women’s Club and Creative Edge Parties, hosted an event to celebrate “A New Year in Miami PR”.
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.
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.
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.
Every dish at Chef Brad Kilgore’s Brava in Miami is like a work of art. The menu is unique and authentic with elevated presentations, and the design is elegant with a sophisticated ambiance.
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).
Upland Miami is an offshoot of the New York restaurant with the same name by restauranteur Stephen Starr and his Chef Justin Smillie of Il Buco. At Upland the food showcases Smillie’s rustic/comfort food and seasonally influenced fare.
Olla in Miami has only been open for two weeks as of writing this review and I think they are doing an excellent job here. The chef is Marcus Samuelsson. He was friendly and very welcoming, and let me tour his pristine kitchen. Boy, it’s hot back there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diwan in the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto has an elegant interior with floor to ceiling windows that fill the restaurant with natural light and look out onto a lovely patio and garden. The place was full on a Saturday lunch, so I suggest reservations on a weekend.
St. Clair Ave West in Toronto is home to many neighborhood restaurants. A new one in the area is Nodo Hillcrest, located at 794 St. Clair Avenue West. This is Nodo’s second location.
The food is never boring – it’s truly unforgettable. When people ask me, what is my favourite restaurant in Toronto, Buca Yorkville is always on the top of my list. I am seriously impressed with the level of food, the knowledgeable and friendly staff, the high-end crowd and the remarkable creativity of the menu. Rob’s food is a modern approach to dining without being gimmicky. Long live the king.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bar Begonia is located at 252 Dupont in Toronto. The space was sitting empty for quite some time, and then I saw renovations taking place and a cute, smiley emoji sign going up, but with no name facing the street. Of course, this piqued my curiosity and I had to check it out. It’s a Parisian style restaurant with a special focus on cocktails, that serves lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
The Chef is Japanese but classically trained in French cooking. He worked with Jamie Kennedy as a sous chef at Crush Wine Bar, and you can tell when you eat the twice-fried French fries. This neighbourhood bistro is a French restaurant with a modern flair and some global influences.
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!
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.
Ariete is a contemporary American restaurant with an indoor/outdoor space. It had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with a good looking bar, stone floors and a lot of warm wood.
I am always reluctant to try a “chain” restaurant, but Toronto Life Magazine named Cactus Club Cafe in their top new 20 restaurant issue. I have to say I don’t agree with all their top choices either, but we decided to give it a try.
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.
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).
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.
Quiet and more elegant, MC Kitchen stands out from many other restaurants in this area. It’s uber-talented Chef, Dena Marino, was an Iron Chef alumni. The food is what I would call modern Italian cuisine with inventive takes on Italian classics.
A very sophisticated eatery featuring both steaks and seafood, the restaurant is very beautiful and dramatic. I wish the food would live up to the decor and service. It is not that the food is terrible it just did not wow us.
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.
I liked my Insalata di Salmon, which was fresh tasting and perfectly grilled. They serve Lavazza coffee and it was prepared like espresso we get in Italy. In addition, they gave us a tiny glass of limoncello. I don’t think I would run back but it wasn’t a total disappointment. We also really enjoyed dining al fresco.
Unfortunately, SuViche, is going to go in my pass section. The first strike was the lack of cleanliness. This usually means a dirty kitchen as well. All might be forgiven if the food was great but I am sorry to report it was mediocre.
You know how sometimes you crave a simple meal, you don’t feel like getting dressed up and you just want something good but unfussy, well I would like to suggest Blue Collar on 6730 Biscayne.
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 …
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.
We decided to take a day trip to the upper Florida Keys. I didn’t have a lot of information on where to stop for lunch so I decided to try Marker 88 at 88000 Overseas Highway. It has been popular since the late 60’s and it is one of the few restaurants located on a natural beach with ample outdoor seating.
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.
Whenever I am shopping in the Design District in Miami I almost always make a quick pit stop to 3930 NE 2nd Avenue, to have lunch at celebrity super chef Michelle Bernstein’s bakery/cafe, Crumb on Parchment.
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.
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.
Whenever I am visiting Miami I try and eat lunch or dinner at Mandolin Restaurant. The food is great, but even more so there is something about this historic 1940’s restored house that I find charming. Located at 4312 NE 2nd Ave, in the Buena Vista neighbourhood just north of the Design District.
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.
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!
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.
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.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at The Grill at Bal Harbour – situated on the second floor of the mall, just up the escalators and straight to the back. I suggest making reservations now that everyone has discovered the restaurant.
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.
One of the hardest tables to book in New York last year was the Polo Bar on 1 East 55th st.
We were happy to grab a 10:30 pm reservation, which worked out perfectly after our Broadway play. As you descend down the stairs into the dining room everyone turns to see who is entering this ” clubby” restaurant.
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.
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 […]
Zarafa Camp was nothing short of magical. Located in 320,000 acres with only 4 tents you can imagine the kind of personalized level of service you get.
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.