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Need help for May 24 thru 30..

See what happens when you don't pay attention? May check out Ensemble (the old chefs new place), will research the others and report back..

Thanks for the recs!

May 17, 2011
astaylor in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Need help for May 24 thru 30..

Coming back to YVR for the better part of a week, have a number of free nights to sample the best of what Vancouver has to offer, and some of those nights I will have company from one to up to six additional diners.

I guess what I want to know is what is really good in Vancouver these days..
Vij's is a must for me..
Is Salt worth the visit?
Blue Water for sushi?
What about Chambar?
Never been but obviously know about Lumiere - should I go?
Why is Market not getting any press?
Are there local gems not on the popular radar worth checking out?

If you had 4 nights to pick anywhere in the city to eat, budget not an issue, but also not of the mind that a big bill equates to a great night (case in point is a place I frequent when in Toronto called Enoteca Socale - probably the best Italian this side of Venice, but I can't budge the bill past $150 for two no matter how hard I try..), where would you go?

Thanks for guiding me...

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Vij's Restaurant
1480 11th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6H1L1, CA

Lumiere
2551 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2E9, CA

May 17, 2011
astaylor in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

HELP with Vancouver foodie coming to town..

Awesome suggestion. Didn't even think of Chiado and yet it is one of the more unique alternatives available in Toronto (similar to Cafe Ferriera in Montreal). K - definitely on the short list!

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Chiado
864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

Jan 14, 2011
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

HELP with Vancouver foodie coming to town..

I have a reputation to uphold (know the best restaurants & know my wine), and have a Vancouver- based foodie coming to town. Interested in anyone's take on where I can take her for a great evening to talk and enjoy excellent food and wine. We need to be able to talk (quasi-business relationship, also good friends, we have lots to review), and I also want to hold up Toronto's end of the bargain...

So.. Any ideas?

Jan 14, 2011
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Quality over notoriety, substance over sizzle; where does Vancouver go for local and foodie-worthy chow?

Excellent recommendations so far, and as has been suggested, there are a few threads on here that will help provide choices further as we get closer to launch time.. I am coming in on Tuesday, have Tuesday and Wednesday night on my own, then my wife arrives Thursday and we have from Thursday thru to Sunday morning to graze Vancouver..

Vij's is one of her favs - we'll likely land there on Thursday.
Whistler on Friday, back for something in Vancouver for Friday night.
Sushi on Saturday
Brunches/late breakfasts every day.
Will definitely check out Elysian for coffee..

Mar 13, 2010
astaylor in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Quality over notoriety, substance over sizzle; where does Vancouver go for local and foodie-worthy chow?

The Assignment
A 30-something couple from Oakville, Ontario is heading to YVR for a few days. If asked, we could steer Vancouver hounds to places in and around Toronto that would hit the mark, depending on the mark being aimed at, that are not necessarily on the mainstream radar. Having said that, we also really love some places that are on the radar - we are just really into great expressions of the cuisine being offered. So, if you were going to give your one recommendation of where to go for "x" in Vancouver - what would it be?
Sushi?
Local, sustainable, farm to table?
Fresh seafood?
Italian?
French?
Place to see and be seen (vibe-centric, food secondary..maybe dessert?)
Icon-worthy?
Wine list?
Small plates?

We arrive on Thursday, March 18th for three nights and will report back on our adventures..

Thanks!

Mar 02, 2010
astaylor in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

A week in Ottawa

I strongly second the rec on Play, and/or the mother-ship called Bekta.

Feb 26, 2010
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Mildred's Temple Kitchen - What a Disappointment

DITTO
Went for Valentines and it was really very disappointing. The space has a typical industrial feel, maybe a little too open and cold, but certainly well designed if that is your thing. The food and the service were terrible! Really. Had a John Mayer concert to attend, opted for the meal-for-two special thinking we'd be pressed for time. The entire meal (except for the dessert we had to remind the server we were entitled to) arrived at the same time. Bruschetta, salad, and spaghetti - bam! Bruschetta was awful (bland and oily). Seafood salad was fine, but the size of a martini glass. Over-salted water made the pasta dish a mess. Asked for some parmesan cheese to see if that might improve things and the server arrived with this crazy hand-held file that sprayed cheese all over the table, and into my wine (pathetic wine list btw).. Won't return!

Feb 22, 2010
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Beef Brisket

This might sound extravagant, but every year for Grey Cup and for Super Bowl, we ship in a smoked brisket from Schwartz's Deli in Montreal. It comes sealed and they ship it overnight. Once you open it, you then steam it for a couple of hours and voila! http://schwartzsdeli.com/

Feb 14, 2010
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Good Ottawa Restaurant?

I visited Ottawa recently and went to Play http://www.playfood.ca/
Excellent small plate approach, appropriate and varied choice in wines.

Feb 14, 2010
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Vancouver Sushi - need recommendations

Hey everyone,

I have two evenings on my own to eat where I please. One of my hopes is to find a sushi restaurant that will wow! I have been to both the old and new Tojo's, and even though I have been to Vancouver many times, I have not been to any other sushi place in the city. So - I have read the board and the names that seem to float to the top are:
Toshi
Lime
Ajisai
Octopus Garden
Tojo's

I always dine omakase, love a combination of classic sushi/sashimi along with unique chef-created additions, always sit at the bar and appreciate a well designed space. With all of that in mind, and suggestions?

For my second night - thinking Vij's, or Salt, or Fuel, or ? Anywhere really hot right now?

Too many great places to go..

Thanks for your help

Jan 19, 2010
astaylor in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Single in Atlanta

I will be on my own in Atlanta this Friday night (Feb 13th), in from Toronto, Canada. I have scanned the South board for consistent reviews or recommendations for the city (staying at The W Downtown), but thought I'd make sure I am seeing current intel. A short list of stellar, local shining stars in the culinary field would be much appreciated. As I am alone, I prefer not to sit by myself in a restaurants main dining rooms (unless that is the only way), and prefer to be able to see the same menu at the bar. In fact, a couple of Toronto's best places to go are spots that have a vibrant chef's bar scene that make single diners quite at home - so if something like that exists, let me know. The better the Californian/Washington/Oregon wine list is, the happier I'll be as well! Price is not so much an issue, quality and service is. Thanks for your help!!!

Feb 11, 2009
astaylor in General South Archive

Wine Classes???

Happened into JKWB over the last week and noted that Jamie Drummond is hosting a wine series again - worth the time if you can make the classes:
http://www.jkkitchens.com/v3/wineprog...

Dec 17, 2007
astaylor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Just returned from 4 nights in Montreal - here are the highlights..

Having perused the Montreal board for hints and trends as to restaurant choices while we were in the city, I thought I should at least report back on where we went and what our impressions were. For context, we were celebrating my wife's 34th birthday.

Hotel Gault
Stayed here during the summer on business and was impressed, so returned with my wife over the December 7 weekend. The hotel itself is Old Montreal meets SoHo loft. Very chic, but not cold. Rooms are each quite unique, ours was on the 4th floor, heated floors, awesome bed. They could upgrade the A/V to truly top things off, but we were there to be out in the city, so a basic TV was not a total loss!

Friday - La Chronique http://www.lachronique.qc.ca/en/accue...
Arrived a little late due to travel (and snow!), but our table was held and was the last one. We opted for the tasting menu which was excellent. I chose wines that complimented the food (got some basic clues as to what we would be having beforehand). The wine list is quite good, not elaborate, mainly French but with a few Italian and New World gems - reasonably priced. Main event was a beautifully seared sweetbread topped with foie gras. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Saturday
Breakfast - Hotel Gault (included) - nicely done buffet or table ordered choices
Coffee/snack - Caffe Sante Veritas - very good coffee (espresso is a passion of mine
)Toque for dinner:
Research here and reviews elsewhere placed Toque as a must see and (depending on which list) at the top of many peoples list of places to go. The space was a disappointment. Given the blank sheet they must have had, I don't understand their choice of layout or lighting. The ceilings are high and the lighting consists of flourescent orbs that cast a general haze over the entire space. Intimacy is lost, focus is lost, ambience is absent. Even a candle on the table would go a long way to improve this aspect. The food - we both had their daily oyster creation to begin - one of the best I have tasted (and we frequent the best oyster houses in Toronto!). My wife opened with squab raviolis which were excellent, and had the risotto of the day, which was a foie gras based creation and was also excellent. I opened with the house seared foie gras - very good - and had the special suckling pig which disappointed. The curry was very very weak and the meat was both dry and under portioned for a main course. We had a beautiful bottle of wine (Staglin Family Cab.). Skipped dessert as we were meeting friends at Time Supper Club (upscale titz & glitz establishment with unbelievable people watching).

Sunday
Headed to Cafe ArtJava on Mont Royal for brunch. Best espresso in Montreal imho, nicely portioned breakfast, great service/buzz/atmosphere.
Dinner - went to Laurie Raphael http://hotelgermain.com/en/laurieraph...
Excellent food and atmosphere - wine list is ok. Sort of a tapas concept in that the dishes are sampler size so three per person makes a meal. Stand outs were tuna tempura, grilled calamari (stuffed), quail, and the Angus beef was extremely good. We also tried their very interesting deserts - candie floss pie & Hypnotic tasting experience - both deserve attention if you go. The Hypnotic Poison perfume scent is deconstructed on the palate, and thus on the plate.

Monday
Schwartz's for brunch - nothing to add here, it is what it is = awesome
Dinner - Ferreira Cafe http://www.ferreiracafe.com/
So this was the place we liked the most.. It may have been the combination of atmosphere, the wine choice, the mood we were in - but all in all, we found the food and the staff to be the best experience we had while in town. If you go, choose the sardine club appetizer and the roasted black cod for your main, then have the sommolier pick from their impressive selection of Portuguese wines. For a Monday night - this place was jammed. We ate at the dining bar which was a blast...

Tuesday we headed home after getting to Fairmount Bagel and stopping by Schwartz's for take out...

Dec 13, 2007
astaylor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)