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Peruvian - Ardor Bistro and Pisco - any views?

With the recent openings of Pisco at Yonge & Lawrence and Ardor Bistro on Ossington, I am wondering if we now have some great Peruvian food in Toronto. Looking forward to hearing some reviews.

Jun 25, 2013
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pancho y Emiliano: New Mexican Place in Kensington

szw, I had the same reaction. I agree with helen that the people are nice and earnest, but I agree with you that the food was very meh. Fish tacos were very good, but other dishes were somewhat bland.

Jun 11, 2013
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Saturday Breakfast - King and Parliament

Morning Glory at King & Gilead - haven't been for a couple of years, and it was good quality food then.

Apr 26, 2013
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kyoto and Osaka Itinerary...Please Critique and Suggest

Sorry fishskis for not responding before your trip, as I was at 3 of the 4 Kyoto restaurants you listed (Yata, Karyo and Wabiya Rakucyu) in late September. Just geting around now to posting. We also stayed at Mume, and landed on these 3 through a combination of research and Mume recommendations. For others travelling to Kyoto, all are very good choices. Yata - food very good, area amazing (quiet, cobblestone streets, great for wandering along canals and over to river after dinner). Karyo (kaiseki) also very good, but didn't enjoy quite as much as Yata. Rakucyu is recommended because it is so different than others (deep fried skewers). A few of the skewers were excellent, rest were good. Definitely a more bustling atmosphere than the others - younger/hipper staff, younger clientele, some loud groups. We sat outside on the deck, then moved inside as rain arrived, so experienced both. Not a place for a calm evening, but if you are looking for a lively place and you haven't tried the skewers, this is a good option.

Jan 04, 2013
DRD in Japan

Comments Welcome on My Hong Kong Restaurant Selections

This is my very delayed report (3+ months after trip), so my memory is a bit foggy on the details. Please excuse the lack of them.
1. TBLS - excellent - loved every aspect: service was professional and friendly, enjoyed the atmosphere (not formal) and food was very, very good (dessert and soup were outstanding). Had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, clearly the highlight of the several HK dinners. My #1 recommendation.
2. Tim Ho Wan (HK station) - ate here twice, for a breakfast and an afternoon snack. Thanks to all commenters above for convincing me not to go the take-out route. Bit hard to find (near foot of escalator descending from near the airline check-in counters). No English sign, but not necessary - only busy spot. Seated promptly (overlooked the very surly, rude service from the woman at the front check-in desk; she actually managed a slight smile and thanked us as we tipped when we were leaving). Incredible value. Very good dim sum - particularly pork buns. Not my typical breakfast, but would definitely have it again!
3. Ming Court for dim sum - a close 3rd - excellent service and very good dim sum. Thanks Charles for the recommendation. More formal setting, very nice.
4. [remainder in no order] - Tai O Heritage Hotel on Lantau - sounded like it would be nice, but didn't enjoy any aspect of it. Not terrible, but definitely not worth the fairly long walk from centre of Tai O. Should have ate at the Po Lin Monastery.
5. Yan Toh Heen (Intercontinental) - unfortunately experience was coloured by the two loud, misbehaving children at the neighbouring table, for which adults were too busy talking to try to control. Leaving this minor issue aside, still wasn't that impressed. It is fine, nothing more. And service was a bit overbearing - insisted on giving way too much information and no real opportunity to control the amount of info. Also, there isn't much of a view from this restaurant - others in Intercontinental likely offer a much better view.
6. Rainbow Seafood Restaurant (Lamma) - very busy spot on a Sunday (National Day weekend, so everywhere was very busy). Enjoyed it. As we had made a reservation, we had a table right on the water. Food was very good. Service is rushed, but otherwise fine.
7. Da Ping Huo - definitely good value (reasonably priced). Food was good, not amazing - need to be a bit adventurous (tasting menu). Service (owner?) was good. Not much atmosphere. Overall, disappointed that used up one of our 5 meals here - not that it was bad, but we could have done much better.
8. Chicha - enjoyed it. Here is a link to my post in another chain: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878783
9. The Boathouse, Stanley - somewhat surprisingly good lunch. Based on the introduction to the restaurant (looked better from outside than inside and greeting/service were somewhat disinterested), wasn't expecting much. But I very much enjoyed my fish dish.

Jan 04, 2013
DRD in China & Southeast Asia

22 Ships, Chicha, and Yardbird in Hong Kong: Feedback Welcome!

I recommend Chicha, it has everything you are looking for - tasty food, prompt service (owner watches very carefully and drops by tables to check) and funky vibe. Re the vibe, we sat at the bar and really enjoyed it - there is likely a calmer feeling in the main room. If you don't mind more noise & activity, you will find the bar a great spot. Food is prepared in front of you, so you can draw your own conclusions on how traditional it is! Chef was working in one of the top Lima restaurants (cannot recall which) before being enticed to Chicha.

Nov 22, 2012
DRD in China & Southeast Asia

Group Dinner in Lima

I am looking for a space for approximately 25 persons for a Saturday night dinner in Lima. The ideal place would be in or near Miraflores or San Isidro, include either a private room or other suitable space for getting out of seats and mingling, good quality food but not too inventive due to wide variety of people and accordingly tastes, and trendy/hip (but not too loud) over formal. The dinner could be informal, such as small plates in a bar if the other aspects are right. I am familar with many of the well known/high quality restaurants in Lima, but am not coming up with many ideas for a suitable venue. Some of the places I have considered are Madam Tusan, the bar at Cala and Amor Amar. Any suggestions are very welcome!

Aug 07, 2012
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Lambton County - Lake Huron shore from Sarnia to the Pinery

Culberts was closed from the tornado to early May this year, and then had to close again for a couple of weeks in June for reason Prima describes. It is open again.

Jul 13, 2012
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Lambton County - Lake Huron shore from Sarnia to the Pinery

Assuming you are heading to Port Elgin that day, continue another 25 minutes up Hwy 21 from the Pinery to Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro in on Main St in Bayfield. It is slightly above your budget - most mains $11-$16. The Little Inn in Bayfield is very good, but above your price range. Or continue another 35 minutes up Hwy 21 from the Pinery to Goderich - The Bistro at 10 The Square. Good sandwiches for under $10. If in Goderich, stop at Culberts Bakery on West Street, just off The Square, and pick-up some doughnuts for dessert (and more for your cottage stay). You will not regret!

Jul 10, 2012
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Comments Welcome on My Hong Kong Restaurant Selections

Thanks to all for very helpful suggestions

Jun 07, 2012
DRD in China & Southeast Asia

Comments Welcome on My Hong Kong Restaurant Selections

Thanks for the info Charles, Ian & Phil, very helpful. I am staying at a friend's apartment, just south of Hong Kong Park. Good comments about THW take-out. Will either go with eat-in (HK Station) or will go to Happy Valley Tasty. Also, am going to take the Ming Court dim sum suggestion.

Jumbo is about the experience for me. Spending that day at Aberdeen, Ocean Park & Stanley.

I'll ask my friend to do the TBLS reservation. Looking forward to that evening! The Maxim's plan is for a Sunday morning. Monday is a holiday on the mainland, so I am figuring it will be a busy weekend at the popular restaurants so am trying to plan timing around that.

May 22, 2012
DRD in China & Southeast Asia

Comments Welcome on My Hong Kong Restaurant Selections

We will be in Hong Kong in late September (yes, I plan early!). I have been watching the board for the last few months, and have come up with the following plan. We are looking for a variety of food & experiences, willing to go to the higher end of the price scale for one or two meals, but prefer most in the US$150 range for dinners for 2. Prefer most meals at more casual than extreme high end of formality scale. Comments welcome!

Thanks to Charles and others who have already provided excellent information.

DAY 1
- take-out from Tim Ho Wan (arrive in HK early afternoon and going to Happy Valley Race
Course that evening, so want something before races)
DAY 2
- lunch - Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen
- dinner - TBLS
DAY 3
- lunch - Tai O Heritage Hotel on Lantau Island (alternative: Po Lin Monastery)
- dinner - Yan Toh Heen in Intercontinental (want window table for view of light show)
DAY 4
- lunch - Tso Choi Koon in Kowloon (alternative: Tea at Peninsula - very different!)
- dinner - drinks at Busy Suzie then dinner at Din Tai Fung in TST for xiao long bao
DAY 5
- morning - dim sum at Maxim's Palace in City Hall
- lunch - Rainbow Seafood Restaurant on Lamma Island (alternative: Lambobme on Lamma)
- dinner - Spring Deer for Peking Duck

May 21, 2012
DRD in China & Southeast Asia

The Saint Tavern on Ossington

Went last night, and really enjoyed. Service was excellent - greeting from host (very welcoming), waitress (super genuine manner, professional, patient and knowledgeable about menu & wine) and other wait staff who cleared plates etc (efficient, friendly, eyes on table when going back & forth to kitchen). Two of us shared the honey fennel side as an appetizer, each had a house-made roll ($1.50 each, and worth it) and the fried chicken dinner, and then shared the chocolate cake. Very happy with all courses. I love fennel, and this was nicely done - very flavourful. Chicken was exactly as waitress described - lightly battered, and very juicy and tender. Acccompanying fries were excellent. And the chocolate cake was "grandma style" - not fancy, just really good chocolate cake. Comfort/casual food at its best. Will return soon.

Apr 27, 2012
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Time for one more 'Spanish' luncheon - Casa Momo or Aldea??!!

Quality of food at Aldea is excellent - not quite in the same league as Chiado in Toronto, but you should not be disappointed. I haven't been to Casa Momo

Mar 06, 2012
DRD in Manhattan

Anniversary Restaurant in Lima, Peru?

I have been to most of the restaurants above, and agree all are very good. However, if you are going to be in Cusco, I suggest Cicciolina. It was the highest quality food I have had in Peru.

Oct 05, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Help with Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa Itinerary

I suggest adding Cicciolina in Cusco. Excellent food - best I have had in Peru. Also, Amor Amar in the Barranco area of Lima is good - combination of food & atmosphere.

Aug 29, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Cusco and Lima Peru Food Suggestions?

No problem with your proposed attire for the Lima restaurants. There will be others dressed more formally, but you will not feel uncomfortable.

May 25, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Bogota w/Herbivore & Omnivore

Definitely get to Andres Carne de Res. More for the nightclub/experience than quality of food. Unlikely you have experienced anything quite like it. The original one is outside Bogota, and your hotel can make arrangements. I don't know about the Bogota location, but recommend you go with the "sure thing" outside of Bogota. Also, Leo Cocina y Cava is excellent, and meets your requirements. Enjoy!

May 24, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Recommendations for a week in Bogotá

I recommend Villa de Leyva for your out of town trip. You can stop at the salt cathedral on your way there. About 2-3 hours from Bogota. Lots of good reasonably priced restaurants there, although some are open only on weekends. Stay overnight, and return next day. There are good postings on Chowhound for Bogota restaurants.

Apr 20, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Great Faire in Lima and Cusco

Thanks. I agree, Malabar is very good.

Feb 14, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Santiago recommendations

I will be in Santiago in October. I have not found much current restaurant info, here or elsewhere. We will likely be staying in Bellavista area. Ok to travel for dining, but prefer within 10-15 minute taxi ride of that area. Price is not a big concern. Prefer upscale casual, hipper vibe over formal. No preference on type, although will want to try some good seafood. Excellent wine is an important part of every meal!

Research has produced the following list; first four sound particularly appealing and haven't got enough info on others to decide. Comments welcome, and thanks in advance!

- Pasta E Vino in Aubrey
- Sukalde
- Mestizo
- Del Cocinerio

- Efniko for sushi
- Alma
- Fabula
- Tio Lucho in Mercado Central Fish Market
- El Caramano
- Casamar
- Ichiban
- Zully

Feb 13, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Great Faire in Lima and Cusco

I am interested in your Lima tips. I was there in Dec & Feb, and heading back again in June. Some good meals, but no amazing ones. Any help appreciated!

Feb 13, 2011
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

visiting dublin this month...need restaurant recs

I was in Dublin last week. From December 26 to early January, most of the top restaurants recommended by Patricko (in an extremely helpful posting) were closed for the holiday season. I was there at the same time last year, and made return visits this year to Pichet and L'Gueuleton. Enjoyed both very much. But purpose of this posting is to mention The Green Hen. The food was very good, and taking into account the price (I had a 3 course prix fixe), it was excellent. Service was also professional, efficient and friendly. Highly recommend!

Jan 03, 2011
DRD in U.K./Ireland

Bogata, Colombia, rec's

I was in Bogota in Sept 09. I went to some of the places jbespin refers to. Andres is about the experience, not the food. Without a doubt, Leo Cocina y Cava was the best meal I had. Also enjoyed Club Colombia and Astrid y Garcon? (Gaston Acurio's place) but not in same league as Leo Cocina y Cava.

Nov 19, 2010
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

New Hope/Lambertville for a party

I am planning a birthday party weekend in New Hope with approximately 15-20 persons, during August (yes, I am planning well in advance!). Looking for restaurants for Friday and Saturday evening. I have checked out the reviews of New Hope and Lambertville restaurants and am considering between Tastebuds in New Hope and Manon, No 9, Hamilton Grill Room and Lilys in Lambertville. The age range of the group is 30s and 40s. Any suggestions on whether any of these would work for a group of that size? Thanks in advance!

-----
Tastebuds
6774 US Highway 9, Howell, NJ 07731

No 9 Restaurant
9 Klines Ct, Lambertville, NJ 08530

Apr 11, 2010
DRD in New Jersey

Fort Lauderdale area report

Here is a brief report on my dinners during a recent trip to Fort Lauderdale area:

CAFE SHARAKU - I found out about it from this board, and totally agree with other posters - a largely undiscovered gem. I do not understand why it is not constantly jammed. Our server was well informed, extremely professional and friendly. Atmosphere is nice - white tablecloths, without extreme formality. Quality of the food is excellent, and the prix fixe is very good value (4 courses for $28 for anything on menu with additional charges for some of the menu items). Chef trained at Nobu and with Daniel Boulud. Small wine list is decent and well priced. I took my parents (80 & 77), and they were very impressed and will return with others.

CALYPSO (Pompano Beach just south of Atlantic and east of Dixie Hwy) - AMAZING seafood. I had grilled grouper, and debated whether to opt for cajun or blackened. Was so pleased I didn't, as their standard seafood marinade is excellent. Grouper was cooked perfectly and with the marinade was one of the best fish dishes I have had. We had an early dinner mid-week, and by the time we left, restaurant was quite busy. The high quality of the seafood here appears not to be a secret. Very casual atmosphere, and friendly service.

EDUARDO DE SAN ANGEL - I have been here several times, and always enjoyed the meal. However, the food did not have a "wow" factor. Each time, the servers have been outstanding. Career professionals who are informative and chatty without crossing the line to interfere. Overall, a good experience, but perhaps declining slighly.

CASA D'ANGELO - Very good Italian. Nothing to criticize, but again no "wow" factor.

GRILL 66 - More of a sceney place than others. Located on intracoastal, so great views, including multi/multi-million $ yachts to stroll by after dinner. Combination of food/service and ambience result in a good experience.

BEST - Cafe Sharaku for overall experience and Calypso for the fish grilled with their marinade.

Feb 25, 2010
DRD in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Bogota & Villa de Leyva report

Totally agree that Andres Carne De Rez outside of Bogota is a must - the 45 minute drive didn't seem very appealing in advance, but it is absolutely worth it. Not for the food but for the overall "sensory overload"! Have never seen anything even close to resembling the experience. Impossible to give a clear picture of it in words. There are easy & reasonably priced options on getting there. Ask at your hotel or call the "restaurant". If you drive, they have staff who will drive you and your car back to Bogota for a reasonable price.

Jan 15, 2010
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Date Night - Help?

Consider Harlem (Richmond & Church). It easily meets your price criteria. See other postings on this board.

Jan 15, 2010
DRD in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bogota & Villa de Leyva report

We spent 5 days in Bogota & Villa de Leyva this month, and had some excellent meals. Highlight was Leo Cocina y Cava in Bogota - Colombian fusion by chef Leonor Espinosa. An excellent meal - quality of food was outstanding, and quality of service and atmosphere not far behind. One of the best meals I have ever had. Had very good meals at Club Colombia (traditional Colombian) and Astrid y Garcon (Peruvian), and decent meals at Harrys and Harrys Bakery.

Villa de Leyva is a wonderful colonial town, about 3 hours from Bogota. It obviously draws weekenders from Bogota, because dining options were very limited on a Monday night. We heard excellent reviews of a French restaurant (forget name), but it is only open on weekends like many others. Most restaurants are in (almost) hidden courtyards, close to the main square. Casa Quintero, just off one of the corners of the main square, has approximately 15 small restaurants. One of the few that was open turned out to be excellent - Tierra Buena. Fresh, traditional Colombian cooking - hearty tomato based soup, bean dish and good seafood.

Sep 27, 2009
DRD in Latin America & Caribbean

Is there any high quality fine dining in Albany NY ??? [moved from The Best]

I dined at McGuires in mid-August, and the food and service were both outstanding. Best dinner I have had in a long time, and I have had some very good ones recently. Both appetizer (fig salad) and main (huge veal chop) were specials. If the regular menu items are of similar caliber, it might be a good thing the previous chef went to Creo.

Sep 12, 2009
DRD in New York State (exc. NYC)