El Carajo International Tapas and Wine in the Coconut Grove area of Miami feels like your own secret culinary discovery. Come for the gas, and stay for the tapas and wine.
I’m back recommending my favourite new and notable Miami restaurants along with my tried and true choices for ShaneaSavours 2021 Hit List.
Every year Toronto opens the next “IT” restaurant and this year Vela is trying to establish itself as the latest contender. It’s striking and sophisticated looking, without being kitsch. Cool without trying to be cool.
Cafe La Trova in Miami has a small but well-edited menu that raises the bar on Cuban food. Chef Michelle Bernstein pays attention to the history and flavours of the Islands, intertwined with Miami style and culture.
At Miami’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon you will enjoy style, service and exceptional food, with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, along with an extensive wine list, with good choices of wines by the glass, and a creative cocktail list.
Chef José Mendin, a five-time James Beard award nominee and the man behind the Pubbelly empire has created La Placita in Miami, a restaurant cooking food from his homeland.
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.
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 menu at IL Covo Restaurant in Toronto is more on the rustic side, with robust flavors. You will find tasty and creative dishes, that are reasonably priced.
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.
Labora Restaurant in Toronto’s Campo Food Hall serves robust and flavourful food with appreciation for the simple and perfect preparation and flavour pairing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chef Norman Van Aken’s new restaurant, Three in Wynwood, Miami, is not only stunning, the dishes are infused with innovative flavours. They are hoping to become the first restaurant in Miami to receive a Michelin Star. They just may just get what they wish for.
Arzabal in Madrid, Spain is sophisticated and romantic, serving quality food that is modestly priced. The whole experience is all very easy to digest.
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.
At Valentino Italian Cucina in Ft. Lauderdale Chef Giovanni creates expertly prepared Italian dishes with a modern twist using fresh, high-quality ingredients in all that he prepares.
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.
Peruvian cuisine is among the most varied and best in the world. Each region has its own local culinary treasures depending on the climate and landscape, including influences from the indigenous population including the Incas as well as cuisines brought from Europe including Spain, Italy, and Germany. There can also be influences from Asia and West Africa as well.
Cardon y El Tirano in Miami is creative, flavourful and eclectic. It’s not all about the glitz like so many places, instead, it’s modernizing the local food scene by bringing new, interesting choices to locals and tourists alike.
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.
I am always seeking out new restaurant spots and I forget to revisit some of my favourites. I am embarrassed to say that is has been years since I have been back to Carisma, but you would never know it from the warm greeting we received from owners, Margi and Michael Pagliaro..
The crowd is mostly young and hip, and there is a boisterous and energetic feel to it. The night I dined there, actress Jodie Foster was in the house too. I had been a couple of times when it first opened but I admit I hadn’t been back in quite a while. I have to say even though I enjoyed it then, I think the kitchen has improved even more.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 …)).
When I first visited Drunken Dragon, after it opened, I was in love with this new concept of sharing plates and Asian fusion food. I looked forward to returning to see if it was still how I remembered it. If it is your first time visiting it make sure you take the address with you as the restaurant is signless and has blacked out windows. Located in a seedy strip plaza, the sign above it says, “Market”.
To be fair I have only been here once and I couldn’t sample all the dishes I would have liked to.
The ambience is relaxed and sophisticated with a nautical beach chic look. There is lots of wood , stone floors, an open kitchen and a lovely outside bar area and patio that would be glorious on a nice day. It was closed for our dinner for some reason and it was an icebox inside the restaurant, strike one. They try to seat us at the worst table next to the kitchen entrance and by the waiters station, strike two.
There are very few restaurants left in Miami where you can put on a suit and a dress these days. The Matador Room in Ian Schrager’s Miami Beach Edition Hotel is an exception. Located at 2901 Collins Avenue, it’s a stunning, sunken circular space, to mimic the feel of a bull fighting arena, with high ceilings, and artwork of famous Matadors and their costumes. Inside is very elegant and refined. I also love dining outside on the terrace surrounding the beautiful pool. It has a romantic, tropical feel which is very sexy. The crowd is dressed to the nines.
I hate when a restaurant brings a number of dishes to share to the table but they bring no utensils.
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 .
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.