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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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 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.
The main thing is there is an astounding array of sweet retro treats that makes me nostalgic. Now I have a reason to drive north of Bloor so I can get me a fix and add some comfort as well. They take sweets to the next level.
New York's Covina restaurant has a very casual vibe – a relaxed but nice atmosphere. Covina has a U-shaped bar, colourful banquette seating, and an open kitchen with a copper tiled pizza oven. Everything coming out of the kitchen is rather good, some of it even quite creative. The menu is a playful mix of a Cal- Med dishes.
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 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.
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.
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.
Foxley Bistro remains as busy and beloved as ever because of the spot on execution of the dishes and the prices are moderate yet the food is so interesting. So even with all the competition on Ossington, Foxley's is here to stay.
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 menu is quite large with unique takes on Tuscan-style cuisine, plus the waiters ramble off a number of nightly specials. The servers are polite, knowledgeable and provide great recommendations based on your preferences. Chef Angelo Elia still cooks in the kitchen and occasionally greets familiar guests.
The restaurant offers a classic French cuisine like onion soup, bouillabaisse, mussels, steak tartare, duck confit, coquilles Saint-Jacques and herb crusted lamb. We were pleasantly surprised to have such a nice neighborhood spot that was so deliciously satisfying.
L'Express in Montreal is charming, lively, and, I think, the closest I've found to a true Parisian-style bistro in North America. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, the cuisine is well-crafted – based on creating rich flavours using simple ingredients. It's a great option for a bite after shopping on Rue Saint-Denis.
Pi Co. is Yorkville's new grab-and-go place in the Bay and Bloor area at 1200 Bay Street. The verdict? Not bad. I think they will do very well at this spot and I predict this will be the first of many locations.
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.
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.
All the food is well-seasoned and they are not afraid to add some spice to some dishes, which I find refreshing. The staff was super friendly, engaging and helpful. The lines move quite fast, and the pacing of the buffet style service was pretty sound. I predict it will be a mainstay of the area and service hungry Torontonians.
Planta in Toronto is a great option for vegetarians and healthy eaters, but it doesn't cater to this group exclusively. I don't fall in those categories and I enjoy eating there. It is just an amazing alternative with tasty food, in a pleasant setting in a great Yorkville-area location.
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.
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.
Seven Lives Tacos Y Mariscos in Toronto serves Tijuana style tacos. I like the blackened mahi-mahi the best. Sean Riehl, a former San Diegan, opened this humble shop, and I can tell you business is going gangbusters.
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" ...
I was impressed with the level of technical precision, and the elaborate, complex dishes. But was I blown away? Was each dish brilliant? Unfortunately, neither was not the case for me. Of the 22 small bites, I would say 4-5 were standouts. The rest were merely good. There were was a lot of theatrical value, flavour explosions and original dishes.
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.
We could choose from two tasting menus – a fifteen course plus four desserts, or a twenty course with five desserts. We chose the larger menu to get the full experience. Each dish was artfully presented and explained to us as well as the history of its origin.
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 tired of large group, canned itinerary trips, and instead seek a smaller group with a more attentive host, and a slower pace where you can savour local tastes – this may be just the thing for you.
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 food here is quite simply the reason I chose to visit in and of itself. I could spend a week here sampling the food and not get bored. However, I only had four days and I had to figure out how to pace myself. The pinxtos culture of grazing as one walks from bar to bar, lends itself perfectly for this.
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.
Bar Reyna – the new project of the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of View the Vibe, Nicki Laborie – is located at 158 Cumberland St. in Toronto's trendy Yorkville area. The best dish of the night was the falafel bowl. I liked the crispness of the falafel.
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.
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.
There wasn't an empty seat in the house at Beaker and Gray Miami. The place was hopping, the food was excellent and the bar was busy pouring its famous craft cocktails all night. This has definitely become one of Miami's best and busiest new restaurants this year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are looking for a real indulgent treat, look no further than the Rice Cream Shoppe in NYC. It's a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and a great concept. The cookies and cream, the rocky road and the chocolate hazelnut are all recommend 😋. I found the texture thick and very creamy but not too sweet.
I would say the food is fusion with comfort food thrown in. I love you Susur and Drake, but for me the food fell short and didn't live up to all my expectations. I decided to go on a Sunday night when things were more relaxed. But you know, the place got rather busy even on a Sunday night.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Why has this place been popular since day one? First, it feels like you are dining in someone's private home. The background music is chill. Note I said background music – not the blaring, can't hear yourself think kind that is so popular these days. The crowd is trés chic, the ambiance is sophisticated, elegant and romantic. It's difficult to get a reservation, and it certainly has an air of "snob appeal" ... though some might consider it rudeness, than anything.
It's one of the better places in the entertainment district, but it was underwhelming and fell a bit short for me. I would still go back and I would try it for brunch as well. It has the potential to get much better and I hope it does. And it doesn't seem to detract from customers – the place was buzzing on a weeknight.
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.
This is Francis Mallmann's first venture in the United States. One of Argentina’s best-known chefs for preparing Haute-French food, his new vision led him to cooking with wood fires the way he saw gauchos and Indians cook in Patagonia.
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.
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.
Zuma, for years, has been a favourite restaurant of mine. They serve weekend brunch from 12-3, at a cost of $95, $135 and $350. We tried the first two options and quite frankly the $95 option is the way to go. The buffet is HUGE. Please come hungry.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
A cool concept has opened at 7610 NE 4th Ct., in the same courtyard as Ironside Pizza. At F27 they serve customized ice cream using liquid nitrogen to freeze the it to 27 degrees Fahrenheit. They operate specially designed machines to enable them to use liquid nitrogen, which is injected into the ice cream liquid base. This is a flash freezing process that causes water crystals to be the smallest, achieving a velvety, creamy and smooth texture.
We started with some rolls, like the NaiYaRa Roll, which was probably my favourite. It contained salmon belly, cucumber, avocado and truffle oil. The presentations were all pretty, but if you know good sushi, you are mostly getting pretty rolls. Is the quality of the rice or the fish transporting? No. It is more designer rolls, which is fine.
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.
I have read rave reviews about the newly opened Salty Donut so naturally, I had to give it a try. The Miami born craft donut shop is currently operating out of a trailer at 29NW 24th St. This this their temp pop-up location is before opening in the Wynwood Arcade once construction is complete.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am embarrassed to admit I had never heard of El Cielo although it has been open for a year. A friend who lives in Florida told me I should give it a try. I have to say our dinner has far surpassed anything I have had in Miami this year.