Philanthropists Shanea and Dr. David Rakowski know how to embrace life, and they fill it with everything that speaks to them, from art to travel to food. And Shanea’s blog, Shanea Savours, showcases it all. But perhaps even more important is their love for each other, for their kids and their grandkids — and their joy in giving back to the community.
Eating at Somni in the SLS Hotel Los Angeles was definitely one of my most memorable meals to date. It was creative, contemporary, artistic, breathtaking and timed so perfectly. It's no wonder they earned 2 Michelin stars right out of the box!
El Jardin in San Diego, California is definitely worth a visit to try Chef Wilkins high-end, refined, yet approachable Mexican cooking. She is breaking some boundaries when it comes to Mexican food, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
Arthur’s Restaurant in Toronto offers American classics like crab Louie, steak tartar, oysters Rockefeller, Dover Sole, veal chop, prime rib and steak. They have already established this new spot as a see and be seen place.
Dining at Donna’s Restaurant in Toronto is a homey, casual, unfussy, and moderately priced experience. It is like eating at your aunt Matilda’s where there are hits and misses. Some things are creative, others leave a question mark for me.
One of the greatest compliments I can give Ten is to say it reminded me of a NAPA restaurant. The chef treats his food with respect, and he develops relationships with local farmers, and you can taste the difference in the dynamic flavours. You can tell that cooking is an act of pride, love and passion for the chef.
Ten in Toronto is aptly named, it gets a 10/10 for me.
The most difficult dinner reservation to secure in Miami is surely the 8-seat omakase experience at Hiden Restaurant in Wynwood. Located through a hidden door at the back of a taco shop awaits a secret restaurant that is booked months in advance.
Legacy Records restaurant in New York's new Hudson Yards development was impressive and exceeded my expectations on all counts. It is a worthy destination dining spot and another hit for the Delicious Hospitality Group team.
Cheval Blanc Hotel in St. Barths is the epitome of French attitude. You also get killer beachfront views with pristine white sand and turquoise waters, ocean breezes and lush tropical gardens. The luxury oozes out of its pores in this whitewashed oasis.
Silverlake Bistro is our new go-to place in Miami for an insanely good meal that is moderately priced and served with a genuine smile. They use quality ingredients and flavours that had our taste buds dancing.
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.
I’m overly cautious when I enter a theatrical and stunning chain restaurant. I find these places tend to spend their money on decor instead of investing in a talented chef. Well, unfortunately, Chatto Matte in Miami is no exception.
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!
At Swan in Miami they call the menu, "modern European cuisine" but the menu darts around the globe. Nothing sounds appealing and, guess what? It doesn’t taste appealing either. I haven’t said this in a long time... not recommended.
The Sagamore Hotel in Miami closed out Art Week with the annual private, invitation-only Sagamore Brunch. The affair was attended by over 1,500 guests on the hotel’s newly renovated patio and sculpture garden.
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.
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.
Core aims to prepare creative, authentic dishes with seasonal ingredients. It's a Canadian bistro with French influences that has finally brought a neighbourhood fine dining experience to the east end of Toronto.
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.
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.
There is an open kitchen at the Restaurant at Pearl Morissette in Ontario where you see Chefs Daniel and Eric, work alongside their team to create a French and Canadian, inspired cuisine. All the ceramics and utensils are custom crafted by locals, and everything is hand washed by the chefs and staff.
I’ve never eaten 100% local, like at Mil in Cusco, Peru. This place is part restaurant and part lab. Working with biologists, botanists, and anthropologists to learn more about Andean food, its history, culture and science. It is a groundbreaking restaurant, a one of kind experience, that focuses on elevation, rather than just the season. It is worth the detour.
Chef Alpala of Zazu in Quito, Ecuador works closely with farmers, grows vegetables in the restaurant's greenhouses and selects his seafood from the nearby coast. Dining in a modern setting with quality ingredients and refined service. One of Quito's top choices.
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.
If you consider yourself a true foodie than Central in Lima is a must-visit destination. Each dish here is beautifully prepared with precision, intellectualism, innovation, finesse and notable highlights. Craft vs art, and the hype meets reality. Kudos!
At Astrid Y Gaston in Lima, Peru everything was well-choreographed and extremely professional. It is a great experience for foodies and I wouldn’t hesitate to highly recommend this fine dining Peruvian cuisine.
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.
Toronto's Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto offers a culinary expression of art, with meticulous preparation and beautiful presentations. From artistically carved vegetables, to the finest uni and freshest and best quality sashimi, it's an evening of very fine and precious cuisine.
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.
Not all my reviews are about the latest hotspot. Occasionally I like to write about a tried and true winner. One such place is the Spotted Pig in New York’s West Village. It just may be New York’s most famous gastropub.
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.
Voted one of the best new restaurants in America for 2018, Frenchette in NYC's Tribeca neighborhood, showcases its talent by bringing back some nostalgic comfort as well as a mix of modern French cuisine.
I say be adventurous, and you will be treated to a super cool, bohemian, urban vibe. Pinky’s Ca Phe in Toronto is a hidden treasure that serves exciting food with unique, bold, healthy, and distinctive flavours.
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.
I found a place that serves monster size desserts for the serious sweet tooth. Hollywood Cone at 1167 Queen Street West in Toronto, is dishing out some extravaganza creations that are definitely Instagram worthy.
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.
We booked a tour through 360 Adventures in Arizona. What an amazing way to experience one of the world’s greatest wonders. We got a dizzying display of nature’s grandeur, with incredible views from sky, land and water.
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.
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.
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!
One of the owners of Bistro Mi Casa in San Miguel is world-renowned musician, Gil Gutierrez. He has performed at the Kennedy Center as well as Carnegie Hall, and on special nights, performs at the restaurant!
"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!
Jacinto 1930 in historic San Miguel is fresh and original and a nice change of pace with the chef's inventive and creative spirit. He shows a deep respect of traditional Mexican dishes and ancient processes, yet he gives them an innovative dimension.
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.
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.
Finally, Miami has a worthy sushi counter with Tokyo trained chefs. Michelin starred in New York and with a location in Kuala Lumpur, the Azabu Miami offshoot has debuted, and it's a sublime and memorable experience. The sushi is traditional, of the freshest quality and was superb.
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.
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.
StreetXO in Madrid serves dishes that are creative, boldly flavored and fun to eat. It is the kind of food that has no limits, with dishes you’ve never heard of before. It's street food with a twist, drawn from the inspiration of Asian food stalls.
Chef Norman Van Aken's new restaurant, Three in Wynwood, Miami, is not only stunning, the dishes are infused with innovative flavours. They are hoping to become the first restaurant in Miami to receive a Michelin Star. They just may just get what they wish for.
Al Fassia is of Morocco’s most famous restaurants. It's usually mentioned in every guidebook for serving remarkable gastronomy. It is also the only restaurant you will find that is predominantly run by women. There are two locations for this namesake restaurant.
Álbora is a refined and ambitious restaurant, serving haute cuisine with Basque Chef David Garcia. The owners have combined two of their other ventures – famous hams and Spain’s most sought-after vegetable conserves, so the restaurant is known for using stellar ingredients.
1-800-Lucky in Wynwood, Miami is a buzzing marketplace is already a hangout for locals and tourists alike. It has always been difficult to find good Asian food. Now you can find it under one roof. Just be prepared for crowding and lineups. But that makes it part of the fun.
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.
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!
It's hard to pigeonhole the cuisine at Restaurante Triciclo in Madrid but it's easy to love. The food captures a multicultural spirit, with Spanish, Peruvian, Chinese and Italian dishes. They push the boundaries and serve well prepared and attractively presented dishes.
There has been much hype about the opening this fall of the new, slick Bisha Hotel and residential condominium at 80 Blue Jays Way in downtown Toronto. Charles Kabouth is one of the principles and he is known in Toronto as a restaurant entrepreneur.
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.
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.
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!
A restaurant that has been generating a lot of buzz in Scottsdale is Fat Ox, a mega restaurant that opened in November 2016 at 6316 North Scottsdale Road under the leadership of Chef Matt Carter, previously of Zinc Bistro and The Mission.
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.
Virtu Restaurant, in Scottsdale, opened four years ago in 2013. That same year they were named Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire Magazine and they have also received a James Beard nomination. I thought I needed to check out the place and see for myself.
Doug Penfold's new Toronto restaurant, Atlas, features dishes inspired by the his travels to Morocco and the Atlas Mountains. The cuisine presents a rich tapestry of spices and herbs, textures and tastes.
At Forte dei Marmi in Miami they go to great lengths to bring you the flavours of the Amalfi coast, using high-quality ingredients, exceptional regional specialties and inventive Italian cooking in a beautifully presented in a relaxed and vibrant setting.
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 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.
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.
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.
It is simply amazing what the kitchen can do with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seed, flowers and seaweed. Is it for everyone? No, but you will get an unexpected array of foods you never thought possible made with masterpiece presentations in a tranquil oasis.
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 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.
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.
Bal Harbour celebrated in style on February 12th, with over 2,000 people strong taking part to toast the 70th Anniversary of the village. It was the perfect night to come out and enjoy a special concert, party and fireworks right on the beach near the jetty behind the Ritz Carlton, Bal Harbour.
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.
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!
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.
The Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary allows collectors, art connoisseurs and art world luminaries alike the opportunity to admire or acquire investment quality blue chip contemporary post-war works by International galleries.
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".
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.
Shoushin Restaurant in Toronto only uses the best, purest and most authentic ingredients. The chef's methods are very exacting and you can taste the difference, with wild caught fish and handmade wasabi.
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.
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.
Brooklyn's Paulie Gee's has come to Miami. The crust is thin, but not soggy, and nicely charred and tender, just the way I like it. Every month they collaborate with another restaurant to incorporate what they are known for into a pizza.
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.
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 ...).
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.
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.
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.
Toronto's Noorden is the perfect spot for a light snack and drinks, or a full on dinner. The pop up will be closing when their lease comes up in mid 2018, but maybe we can convince them to move to another location.
I think people visit Mina's Mediterraneo because the staff is friendly, the garden is pretty and on Saturday's they have live entertainment. It is cheap and cheerful, but I also need great food to return ...