DaiLo, Toronto

DaiLo pork belly
I just experienced one of the best culinary experiences of my life at DaiLo. I went knowing it had gotten some acclaim and good reviews but, WOW, it was beyond any experience I could have imagined.

The menu right off the bat looked delicious from an a la carte stand point, but we soon figured out that our best bet by far was selecting the chefs tasting menu. This is one of the most spectacular tastings you will ever have and is at a complete steal of a price at $55 per person. We were blown away when we were told that as a party of three we would have the opportunity to taste approximately ten dishes. Continue reading

Fring’s, Toronto

Frings decor

I’d been humming and hawing about trying Fring’s for a while. Hesitation being that it would be pretentious and overpriced just based on the owners and also due to some unfavorable reviews I’d read.

Fring’s was conceived through the new partnership of Chef Susur Lee and Toronto music star Drake.

The culinary experience was better then I expected to be. The decor of the restaurant was entrancing and immediately won me over, a version of elevated shabby chic with rich colours and varying textures throughout.

Don’t get me wrong there was definitely a pretentious attitude to the place though. Firstly right off the bat, whether you are reserving online or checking in for your reservation at the restaurant, you are told the time limit on your table. I get that they are reserving tables back to back but this seemed unnecessary and made us feel as though we would be rushed through the evening. (chances are you probably won’t linger more then the 2 hour time limit anyways, unless the kitchen is slow).  Continue reading

Eataly, Chicago

Eataly encompassed

I first discovered what joy was to be found within Eataly while recently walking through the original North American location in New York City. Now That same joy can be found in Chicago. Eataly was founded and created by Oscar Farinetti, an Italian businessmen who got his start in Italy at UniEuro, originally a small appliance and food retail store that he turned into one of the largest electronics retailers in Italy. Oscars mission with Eataly is “to make high quality Italian foods available to everyone, at fair prices and in an environment where people can shop taste and learn”.

Eataly was brought to North America by two driving forces, both sides passionate about true Italian food. The first B&B Hospitality Group which is the collaboration of culinary greats Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.  The other force being brothers Alex and Adam Saper whom through their discovery of Oscar’s Eatalys in Italy became passionate in their quest to bring it to North America.

All these amazing people have done something truly delightful by bringing the Italian marketplace experience right to the heart of North America. As mentioned previously Chicago is the second location with locations soon to open in Boston and Los Angeles along with a second location in New York. Future plans include introducing Eataly across more of North America and moving into South America as well. The concept has already been established in parts of Asia and the Middle East. Continue reading

Aux Anciens Canadien, Quebec City

Aux Anciens Canadien

On a recent visit to Québec city I felt the last night was the perfect time to visit one of the cities classic Quebecois establishments.  The restaurant has been housed in the historic Maison Jacquet since 1966.  The Maison one of the oldest houses in Québec, built in 1675-76. More on the history HERE.

If you are tall be prepared to stoop a bit in some parts of the restaurant, as it really is housed in a piece of history, where apparently people were not as tall.  Warm lighting and a snapping fireplace welcome you into the dining room for a true Canadian Quebecois meal fit for royalty.  Take the opportunity to order a game meat as if you are going to do it anywhere, do it here where the cooking is spot on and the meat is really honored with the best acruements. Continue reading

Eating and Drinking Your Way Through Toronto this Summer

Toronto Food Festivals

Each year there are many events though out Toronto that feature delicious food.  The only problem is it is hard to remember when and where they all are. Here is a chronological list of some of the events you may want to check out this summer and where to get more information on each.

Mac’n Cheese Festival: June 3 – 5, Ontario Place.  General admission is free, VIP tickets can be purchased now and include perks such as line bypass and advance tokens for food purchases.  More information HERE.  Ticket purchases HERE.

Toronto Taste: June 12, Corus Quay.  General admission is $260 ($125 is tax deductible as it is a charity event).  Additional information HERE.

Front Street Food Market: June 13 – August 5.  Adelaide Place 150 York Street.  Free Admission.  Additional Information HERE.

Beach BBQ and Brews Festival: June 17 – 19, Woodbine Park.  Free Admission, further details HERE.

Taste of Little Italy: June 17 – 19, Little Italy (College street From Bathurst to Shaw streets).  Admission is free, additional details HERE.

Taste of Toronto:  June 23 – 26, Garrison Common at Fork York.  Tickets on sale now. Further information and ticket purchase HERE.

Ribfest Toronto: June 30 – July 3, Centennial Park in Etobicoke.  There is a $2 admission request at the gate, all purchases for the event are cash only.  Further information HERE.

Summerlicious: July 8 – 24, various restaurants around Toronto.  Sign up to receive additional details HERE.

Toronto Festival of Beer: July 22 – 24, Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place.  Tickets range from $42.50 to $80.50.  For further information and ticket purchase HERE, Saturday July 23rd already sold out.

Waterfront Night Market: July 22 – 24.  T&T Supermarket, Toronto Waterfront.  Additional information HERE.

Toronto Food Truck Festival: July 29 – 31, Woodbine Park.  Additional information HERE.

Taste of the Danforth: August 5 – 7, Danforth Avenue.  Admission is free, additional information HERE.

Hot & Spicy Food Festival: Aug 19 – 21, Harbourfront Centre.  Event summary HERE.

Sweetery Toronto Food Festival: Aug 20 – 21, David Pecaut Square.  Free admission. 2016 is the Inaugural year for this festival.  Additional information HERE.

Wild Blueberry Festival: August Specific date to be determined, Evergreen Brickworks.  Free Admission though there are different activities to which tickets can be bought for. Check HERE for additional details as they become available.

Canada’s Coconut Festival: Aug 27, David Pecaut Square.  Free Admission.  Additional information HERE.

Food and Wine Festival:  September, exact dates to be determined. Evergreen Brickworks.  2015 website HERE, should be updated once exact dates are determined.

Food Truck Festival Ontario: TBD

Barbuto, New York

Barbuto

I have had Barbuto on my wish list of restaurants since first being introduced to Jonathan Waxman (metaphorically).  I first saw chef Waxman on Top Chef Masters and instantly loved his quiet yet quirky demeanor.  Wasn’t hard to be impressed by his credentials either, read more about his biography HERE.

Barbuto is a trendy little spot nestled in the West Village of Manhattan.  Described as rustic Italian, it has an assortment of evolving dishes to suit any palette.  While the foundations stay the same much of the time (such as there is always a version of gnocchi on the menu) the preparation changes frequently.  One can go back again and again and never get tired of it. Continue reading

Cinco de Mayo with Sabra!

Sabra cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo is  is a celebration to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 under General Ignacio Zaragoza Sequin..  It is a celebrated victory especially as it was considered quite an unlikely one.

The victory represented a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and the Mexican people at large. Time magazine has described it as, “The Puebla victory came to symbolize unity and pride for what seemed like a Mexican David defeating a French Goliath.”  This victory helped establish a much-needed sense of national unity and patriotism among Mexican people.

These days to many, Cinco de Mayo means one thing: a fiesta! And who doesn’t like an excuse for a party! This May, make entertaining easy with Sabra’s Veggie Fusions, a zesty dip that combines the traditional taste of guacamole with veggies and fruit, with 25% less fat. Offered in two fiesta-worthy flavours: Garden Vegetable and Mango Lime, Veggie Fusions is sure to add some olé to your celebration. Dip in with Sabra and get out of the kitchen and back to the party.

Cinco Avocado Facts:

Uno: Guacamole is one of the oldest traditional American foods still made today

Dos: The word guacamole comes from the Aztec Nahuatl words for avocado, ‘ahuactl,’ and sauce, ‘mulli’

Tres: The good fats in avocados help your body to absorb nutrients

Quatro: This year, emoji creator Unicode will be releasing an avocado emoji

Cinco: There are more than 3 million #avocado hashtags on Instagram

Well Sensi Di Colpa and Sabra want to help liven up your Cinco de Mayo with a Sabra de Mayo prize valued at $50! but you don’t have long! 

To be in the running to win this prize all you need to do is tell Sensi Di Colpa your yummiest and most inventive way you like to cook/prepare avocados in your household.  The submission that impresses us the most will win the prize valued at $50!

IMPORTANT: In order to have a chance to win this awesome prize, please ensure you send your submission through the below contact form by 11:59pm Wednesday May 4th, 2016.  You may wake up on Cinco de Mayo with some yummy Sabra news!

Fine Print: to enter this contest you must be a resident of Canada.

 

NOTE: this is a sponsored contest with prize provided by Sabra.

Antler Kitchen & Bar, Toronto

Antler Kitchen & Bar

A contemporary Canadian cuisine restaurant nestled on Dundas Street West.  Self described aim is to “define Canadian cuisine highlighting local seasonal and wild foods”.  The restaurant gives off the vibe of being rustic with an upscale feel.

I started the evening with a delicious and smooth Blood Fashioned cocktail.  Made with blood orange, Appleton’s rum, bitters, and demerara sugar, served in a highball with a perfectly formed single large ice cube. I could drink these all night but thankfully know my limits. Continue reading

Brunch @ Peter Pan Bistro, Toronto

Peter Pan Bistro little touches

Peter Pan Bistro has quite the culinary history in Toronto.  Originally opened as the restaurant Savoy over 120 years ago, it was renamed Peter Pan Lunch in the 1920s.   The Peter Pan was taken over almost two years ago by chef Noah Goldberg and his father in order to fulfill chef Noah’s dream of having his own restaurant.  The rejuvenated Peter Pan Bistro has culinary foundations rooted in British and French principles. The Bistro also uses the “nose to tail” philosophy of ensuring responsible use of all ingredients.

I visited for brunch this past weekend and was impressed with the lovely space. Adorned with 14-foot high tin ceilings and polished oak booths running along the one side of the restaurant which are from the original space and bring you back to a different time. The bar is also done in wood with original marble bar top that one can tell holds years of stories.  I love that the restaurant has added some more contemporary touches blended in with the history, such as wall tapestries that have woodland creature heads sticking out from them.  Continue reading

Le Lapin Sauté, Québec City

Lapin Saute
If one is going to try rabbit for the first time, it makes sense to do it at a restaurant that has it in the title. The first thing that catches your attention at Le Lapin Sauté before you even walk in is the adorably happy rabbit statues hopping around the sign on the outside.

Going inside is like entering another country, which old Quebec City as a whole is like. The restaurant is cozy. The interior seats about 31 people and is all done up in rustic wood and exposed stone. The staff make you feel instantly welcomed. Our server let us know that in the summer there is a patio that fits about 50 people and is the spot of joyous eating and drinking. Continue reading