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5 days in Tokyo solo -- 3 star Michelin recs?

Thanks! My hotel had the same recommendation (Yoshitake) and I was able to get a seat tonight.

Jun 04, 2014
leftover_salmon in Japan

5 days in Tokyo solo -- 3 star Michelin recs?

Plan mostly on stumbling from izakaya to izakaya but would like to try a 3-star Japanese resto. Appreciate recommendations on which would be most appropriate for a solo Western traveller with little (read: no) command of Japanese, but a reverence and respect for the food. Thanks!

Jun 02, 2014
leftover_salmon in Japan

6 Days, 6 Nights in London

We are staying at the Baglioni in Kensington. Tourist-trap central, I'm sure!

Right now I have Hedone, The Square, Dinner and St. John booked. I'd like to reserve the last two nights for more casual/ad hoc dining.

Aug 26, 2013
leftover_salmon in U.K./Ireland

First time in Toronto

I would second Woodlot.

Nota Bene is pretty uninspiring and I thought Origin was terrible.

I also thought Yours Truly was really, really, really, really overrated and overhyped. The food simply didn't taste very good.

6 Days, 6 Nights in London

Unfortunately the Ledbury is booked but I can probably have my hotel's concierge make me a reservation there instead of The Square.

Aug 22, 2013
leftover_salmon in U.K./Ireland

6 Days, 6 Nights in London

Thanks, these are good suggestions. I definitely do intend on trying some steak & kidney pudding as well.

Aug 21, 2013
leftover_salmon in U.K./Ireland

6 Days, 6 Nights in London

Hi All,

I am travelling to London with my girlfriend in October and am hoping for some restaurant advice. We are both in our mid-20s and love food, and are looking for a mix of the highbrow and lowbrow. I already have reservations at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and St. John, and am trying to get into The Fat Duck (I woke up twice at 5AM EDT but am only on the waiting list).

To make this somewhat easier on everyone here - and provide a change from blind recommendations - I'll sort of map out categories and you can make suggestions. Also, any advice for improving our chances at The Fat Duck is greatly appreciated...

Cutting Edge (Expensive) - Trying for The Fat Duck, have The Square booked as a backup but other ideas welcome
Cutting Edge (Inexpensive)
Fish and Chips
Indian/Pakistani Food (Inexpensive)
Steak - Would like to try British beef; have heard Hawksmoor is a safe bet
Can't Miss (somewhere I *have* to go, for whatever reason - historical, unique, quintessentially "British", etc...)

Aug 20, 2013
leftover_salmon in U.K./Ireland

Best delivery...anything...in downtown core?

Thanks...somewhat helpful but as I suspected, would be surprised if most of the places listed delivered to where I live.

Best delivery...anything...in downtown core?

I should also add Indian. In general, I am partial to spicy food - does any Chinese restaurant nearby do *real* Szechuan cuisine?

Best delivery...anything...in downtown core?

I have come down with the flu and am looking for places from which to order over the next couple days. I live in the Spadina/University/Front/Queen box.

Chinese, Thai, pizza, wings, sushi...all suggestions are welcome. Unfortunately I feel like I know most delivery places in Toronto, and they are mostly terrible (even worse considering the fact I moved here from New York, where even the best local joints deliver as well), but am hoping someone can uncover a gem.

No reservations, where to go?

Thanks, I'll look into The Saint. Have heard mixed things about most of those (I had already checked Opentable) except Cava, but it's a pain for me to get there.

No reservations, where to go?

Looking for a place to eat Saturday night but I don't have reservations anywhere (and appears too late to get anything decent).

Suggestions? Would prefer someplace busy where you can also settle in for a couple hours. (i.e. not too quick and casual).

I've been to Black Hoof many times but would prefer somewhere new.

Yours Truly - Carte Blanche?

I have reservations for the 15-20 course Carte Blanche menu in a couple weeks. Has anyone done this? Thoughts on quality/value? How does it stack up to a place like Momofuku Ko? (I've been a couple times for both lunch and dinner and YT seems to be a close analogue in length and price...Ko is more expensive but I'd still consider a deal.)

In Philly for a night...

Any suggestions where to eat Saturday night (for two)? I used to live in Philly but haven't been there in a year. Vetri is booked but seems as if almost anything else is available. I used to love Barclay Prime but I was there a year ago and it wasn't as great as it was and I've heard it's gone downhill since. Have been to Osteria a few times and enjoy it but want to try something different. Price isn't really an issue.

Zahav? Bistrot la Minette? Meme? While all are supposed to be good, none really appeal to me as interesting/great places to eat. Then again, I've never been to any.

Sep 26, 2012
leftover_salmon in Philadelphia

Taking NYCers to Montreal

I'm a Montreal expat now living in NYC, and a couple friends and I are going to Montreal this weekend. Unfortunately I'm pretty out of touch with the cheap eats / late night / bar scene in the city and was wondering if anyone had any good bets for cool places to go -- places that would impress, or at least satisfy, New Yorkers who particularly like this city's cocktail scene. We're having dinner at Salle a Manger Saturday night; anything near there? Have heard Baldwin Barmacie is good but what else is around Laurier? Where do we go to eat at 2am now that Boustan is closed (assuming we are too far from VIP)?

Realize this is pretty incoherent but basically I just want a few bars to go to in the Plateau area, a few around St. Lawrence and a few further West downtown, so wherever we end up I'll have a good idea of the next stop. Don't want to end up taking them to McKibbins, Verandas or Peel Pub because I don't know where else to go.

Montreal ex-pat back in town

I should clarify -- just because I've been to some of those high-end places doesn't mean I'm looking for (what is a relatively) stuffy experience in Montreal, so I think I'd rule out Toque or Europea.

Montreal ex-pat back in town

I grew up in Montreal and have since lived in Toronto / Philly / NYC. As such, I've definitely been exposed to a lot of high-end, cutting edge food (Toronto, not so much...but been there, done that pretty much anywhere in NY -- Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Joel Robuchon, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Ko, The Dutch, Gramercy Tavern...all in the last year).

It's my mom's birthday in a few weeks and I want to take her somewhere good for dinner. She's a bit of a foodie too but doesn't have the means I do to go out for dinner all the time, so I want to take her somewhere good. I've been to all the old standards in the city but none of the "New wave" restaurants (save for PDC) -- 400 Coups, Bremner, Joe Beef, Garde-Manger, etc... are all places neither of us has been.

Any suggestions? We are not averse to most ingredients and my mom can handle a "cool" (re: Not uptight, white tablecloth) place.

Splendido Tonight -- Game Tasting?

I'm moving out of Toronto in a couple days and am using the opportunity to finally try Splendido...I've only been here less than a year but have made the most of it foodwise and Splendido is still unchecked.

Anyways, I was wondering what everyone's opinions were on the a la carte menu versus the current winter game tasting menu they have.

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Splendido
88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

Black Hoof Specials?

Does Black Hoof have nightly specials? I'm asking because I was just there a few weeks ago but am moving out of Toronto and want to eat there once more...only the menu on the website is the same as the last time I was there. The food is obviously fantastic, but half the fun of going there is trying different things.

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The Black Hoof
928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Best Steakhouses in Toronto

Only thing bad I'll say about Jacobs - I find the space itself a little strange, and it's always only been half-full (at best) everytime I've been...though two of the three times were on Mondays.

Best Steakhouses in Toronto

Really, nothing comes close to Jacobs for quality of meat and proper cooking (I like mine black and blue). Their steak is on par or better than anywhere else I've been (Peter Luger, Craftsteak, BLT Prime, Barclay Prime).

Casual-ish, trendy, good food?

Does anything like this exist in Toronto outside of Terroni (and the food isn't even that good there)? Looking for recommendations. I don't care so much about prices but I don't want to have to get dressed up.

Simple Qs on Checchino dal 1887

Just to report back: I had the rigatoni con pajata, which was fantastic, and the arrosto misto, which I thought was far less flavorful and interesting (offal aside) than my friends' rabbit and involtini.

Jun 04, 2010
leftover_salmon in Italy

Simple Qs on Checchino dal 1887

They're not nearly as much of a foodie as I am -- to be honest, it's for me, and as long as they have a few choices to eat, they'll be fine. Is it only a set menu or are there a la carte options?

Jun 03, 2010
leftover_salmon in Italy

Simple Qs on Checchino dal 1887

I would like to make a reservation there as I am big into offal. However, my two travelling companions are not.

1) Do they have enough non-offal on the menu to please them?
2) What are prices like? I haven't seen any hard numbers anywhere.

Thanks!

Jun 03, 2010
leftover_salmon in Italy

Eating reasonably in Central and Northern Italy

I just graduated college and am spending two weeks in Italy with a couple friends as a postgrad vacation. Being poor college students, we can't afford to eat well every night and would like to spend no more than 60-70 euros per day on food (even less would be better).

We're spending 4 days in Rome, 4 in Florence, and 2 in each of Bologna, Cinque Terre and Venice. Obviously there are tons of threads on eating in these places, but I'd like to consolidate a shortlist of reasonably priced restaurants in these cities (rather than look at 50 different threads with 1000 different restaurants named).

So, if everyone who answered here could just give 2-3 restaurants in each city (and any attractions they may be near), that'd go a long way.

Also, we're planning on having 3-4 nice dinners total (let's say 60 euros per person), so if anyone knows any worthwhile restaurants in these cities that fits that bill, add those too. The less touristy for any of this, the better. Thanks!

May 26, 2010
leftover_salmon in Italy

Great experience at Hiro

In doing my research on Toronto sushi/Japanese, I came across much controversy regarding Hiro, but it did seem that the food itself garnered generally favorable reviews. I was put off by the locations of Kaji and Hashimoto (I don't have a car), so I decided to head down to Hiro last night by myself.

I'll admit I was surprised by the decor, or lack thereof -- no "mood" lighting, no music in the background, relatively cramped. But after settling in, it struck me as unpretentious more than anything. I took a seat at the sushi bar, which was empty (the restaurant itself was packed). The waitress asked if I needed a menu and I told her that I'd be getting the omakase (which I had heard was the way to go). She then said I could just order to Hiro himself (I did order hot sake from her).

I waited about 15 minutes until Hiro turned his attention to me -- he was preparing a couple large plates until then. He asked what I would like and I ordered the omakase. From there, all I could describe it as was an experience. In between preparing nigiri for the other tables, he grab some fish and cut me a slice or two, or give me a piece or two of the ones he was preparing. It was a very welcome and personal type of service -- he'd just reach over the counter and place them on my plate with his hands. The whole time, he kept asking if I was full or if there was anything else I'd like. All in all, I ended up with probably 18-25 pieces of sushi (including two pieces of eel and two pieces of toro), for which I was charged $66 -- a VERY reasonable price, in my mind, for an omakase. I will admit I was still a bit hungry, but I probably should've ordered an appetizer or just asked for a few more pieces. I got the feeling that the price may have been more or less the same.

The fish itself was incredibly fresh -- not much else to say, really. The wasabi on rice -- something new to me -- was nice. Frankly, I don't get people who complain about it. It's not "hot" the way a chili pepper is; just a nasal heat that adds some flavour and quickly dissipates in 10 seconds. And besides, the menu says to order without wasabi if you don't like it.

My only complaint was that the actual fish I got for my omakase was anything I could've ordered off the menu. It would've been nice had I been made some kind of special roll or nigiri combination, or a special hot dish of some sort. However, the experience was well worth it.

This was not the best sushi I've ever had...but it was close, and definitely more reasonable and less pretentious than the other contenders. I will definitely go back when I'm in a low-key mood and wanting some good sushi.

Bar Mercurio - review

I've been there a couple of times to sit at the bar and thought that the food and atmosphere were both excellent. The staff is very friendly and down-to-earth -- it feels like everyone there is family. And even when I order something I don't love, at least the effort was there. Their menu is certainly not standard Italian fare. In short, I really like it and can't see from where the negative comments (particularly about the staff) are coming.

Cheap eats on Bloor/St. George?

Hey,

I'm working on Bay Street this summer and living by myself on St. George a block north of Bloor. Right now, I don't know anyone in Toronto, so I need some places I can safely go alone (i.e. no restaurants where eating along would make me look weird). Please keep the recs pretty close to where I'm living -- I don't like eating downtown after work as I just want to get home and take my suit off. And given that the days are 13 hours long, I don't want to walk too far when I get home, either.

A good Thai/Chinese/Shwarma/Sushi place would be great.

Thanks so much.