meld_la's Profile

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Master Chef 6/19

I just googled her. I can't believe how spiteful she is and in particular against a 22 year old. Krissy has a kid who's going into his teens and I think she's setting a terrible example. I am also watching masterchef Australia. I get the sense that the chefs aren't necessarily as talented, but the australian version is all about the food. The chefs cheer each other on without making the show boring because they want to win or lose based on food not hatred of another competitor...

Jul 25, 2013
meld_la in Food Media & News

District Sushi "Groupon"

Groupon has a 40 dollar coupon for 20 dollars at District Sushi today. It's dine in only, 1 per table and not valid on happy hour specials, for some reason, but still a good deal, imho.

Here are some reviews: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616683

Summerhill Market - prepared foods

I love the shrimp paparadelle, the pesto rotini, the kale and seaweed salad, the pizzas, the risottos (mushroom, lobster and pea). Oh, too many to name. This is making me hungry. The wings are good. The salads in produce are great. I find that the majority of the prepared foods are very reasonably priced- the quantity to quality of ingredients makes them a better value than some supermarket frozen foods!

Millygirl, I'm gonna go pick up the white bean and truffle dip- sounds delish.

Relatively inexpensive cooking classes?

I tried to post this earlier, but I guess I broke a rule, so I don't see my post.
Nella Cucina has 1/2 priced cooking classes (they do a lot of ethnic classes with visiting chefs) for 65$ vs. 135$ through Groupon.

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Nella Cucina
876 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

Best Soup- Take-home??

I'm having a small dinner party and want to serve a soup- preferably a winter vegetable puree (not cream-based). I'm thinking butternut squash, carrot or something like that.

I'm near Yonge and Bloor, so somewhere within reasonable driving distance...

Suggestions?

Thanks!

Bavaria Non-Alcoholic beer?

Does anyone know anywhere that serves this beer, or where I can buy some? I've heard good things. Thanks!

last minute lunch for kids near R.O.M.

Thanks, everyone! We ended up eating Subway and having a picnic on the Cumberland rock. Subway is their favourite restaurant (I can't believe we're related!!). It was nice, though, given the weather. I'll keep the other suggestions in mind for the next visit.

last minute lunch for kids near R.O.M.

I'm going to the museum today with two fairly unadventurous eaters, 7 and 9. Other than fast food, are there any options near the museum that anyone can recommend?

AG Restaurant, Niagara Falls- no need to drive to NOTL.

If you're in the Falls and want a Niagara-on-the-lake caliber meal, this is the place to go.

I had a late dinner last night at AG Bistro in Niagara Falls. I've eaten here once before and last night when I met with a friend (who likes good food)at 9pm , it was the only place that came to mind.

Don't get put off by the decor- if a place ever needed restaurant makeover it's this one. It's decorated like a boudoir in a Vegas hotel on Valentine's day (or, maybe we could just say that the colour scheme is patriotic??). I don't know what they were thinking, but it certainly could be improved upon...

The wine list is a careful selection of Niagara wines (100% local). I'm no oenophile, so when it comes to Niagara wines, I really like having someone knowledgeable about the region to select and suggest what I should try. AG does this well. The wines by the glass go from 10-12 dollars. We had the Malivoire Guilty Man (or Men) Red by the glass, which I quite liked and would get again.

The food emphasizes the local- with each dish featuring a few key flavours. And hey, if you're going to eat local in Ontario, Niagara is one of the smart regions in which to do so!

Because it was late, we skipped appetizers, and we both ended up having the same meal. They served us a malpec oyster amuse bouche and then we had a Toasted Almond and Brie crusted Beef Tenderloin Wilted lemon garlic greens, herbed rosti Foie Gras Red Currant Jus. It was really lovely- the meat was deliciously tender and cooked perfectly as ordered. The flavours were bold, but not overwhelming and they complemented each other.

I recently ate at Earth Bistro, which has a somewhat similar menu, albeit slightly more adventurous in terms of meats, and found the food to be overwhelmingly bold in an almost unpleasant way and I didn't find that the flavours melded together.
I think both restaurants are aiming for a similar tone, but AG does so with much more success, imho.

Dessert was a modestly sized lemon tart with a goat cheese ice cream which added a nice touch at the end of the meal. I would have loved to try their cheese plate, but my friend doesn't like cheese and I don't like eating a cheese plate alone...

The service was really great too. I remember from my previous visit that they were understaffed, but since we were one of only 2 tables in the place last night, this wasn't an issue. Our server knew the food well and answered questions ably.

They had a venison that looked great too- a reason to go back. I'll wait awhile though- it's not cheap (by my standards): A meal with 2 glasses of wine, appetizer and dessert is easily $100 pp.

BTW, the chef was sous chef at both Hillebrand and Peller (his bio said for over 10 years) and has worked at some of the premiere lodges and inns in North America.

In a sea of chain restaurants, AG is a wonderful respite. I don't know if it's worth driving from NOTL to dine there, but if you're in the Falls, you certainly don't need to drive to NOTL to dine well.

NOTL for Valentine's Weekend - the Ultimate Dead End?

Personally, I've always enjoyed Zee's. It's probably the best on the main drag. The Epicurean's not too bad either. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of the Old Winery- it seems like a lot of their food is processed/pre-packaged stuff. I agree with Peller's, Stone Road Grille. I also like La Cachette at Strewn. And, the pub at the Queen's Landing might not be a culinary mecca, but I've always enjoyed the service and simple bar fare.

Sherbourne & Shuter

Mangia y Bevi on Ontario St. (the address is 260 King E, but the entrance is on Ontario) is a great way to end a day.
George ST. Diner isn't far for brunch

Yorkville lunch: good, and not a million dollars

Asuka (Japanese)
Le Pain Quotidien (french country)

Toronto's Best Thai - Suhko Thai - Update

I was there last night too!
We arrived at around 7:30 and there was an empty table, which was nice. We ended up sharing the shrimp chips, the "sukho thai" pad thai with shrimp and a tapioca coconute milk pudding for dessert.
The flavours in the pad thai were lovely- subtle and pleasant. A nice tang. No sign of ketchup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
The tapioca coconut milk dessert was a wonderful mix of textures and sweet and a bit of salt. I wasn't too keen on this dessert to start with, but it was delicious.
The service was great. I had thought that it would be a somewhat rushed meal given the small size of the restaurant, but we lingered over our meal and the owner (young couple with the wife doing the cooking and the husband doing front of house) was very gracious.
The presentation was very simple and pretty.
They seem to make each dish as it's ordered, which means everything is fresh and tasty.
I will definitely be going back. I live just outside of their delivery zone, but am already thinking about opportunities for picking up their food to bring home.
A new favourite!

New restaurant opening at 1055 Yonge St

thanks, Foodydudey. I think it's great. I live around the corner and look forward to the addition.
As for parking, it's much improved. There's a Green P one block North, street parking on Roxborough and Macpherson, among others, and you could in theory park at the LCBO/Beer Store location a couple of blocks north.

ISO recommendations for in-home chef for dinner party.

Thanks- I'll try Ezra.
Didier might be out of my league!

Anyone else- my date (time-wise, not romantic partner-wise) isn't flexible, so it depends on their availability...?

ISO recommendations for in-home chef for dinner party.

I'm hosting a dinner party for 10-12 people and want recommendations for an in-home chef and pricing information.

I've gone through caterers in the past, but wanted to try something more personal and flexible. Are there chefs who specialize in this sort of thing, rather than large catered affairs?

I was hoping to spend around 100/ a head (not including wine). Is this feasible? A bit more (or less) is fine.

Any recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks!

Visiting Mexican Chef

If anyone feels that there is a dearth of Mexican in the city, I just thought I'd mention that a renown Mexican chef, Pilar Cabrera, from Oaxaca, is in town for the month. She was at the Hot and Spicy food fest Iron Chef competition on labour day weekend.

She's doing meals and workshops from what I can tell:

Frida Restaurant, Sept 16

http://fridarestaurant.ca/events.html

Frank Restaurant, Art Gallery of Ontario, Sept 21

http://www.ago.net/latin-inspirations

Nella Cucina Cooking School, Sept 22 & 24

http://www.nellacucina.ca/cucina/even...

Veritas Local Fare, Sept 23

http://localfare.ca/

Torito Tapas Bar, Sept 28

http://www.toritorestaurant.com/index... (todavia no está promoviendo

)

The Chef’s House, Sept 29

http://www.thechefshouse.com (todavia no está promoviendo)

Where to get great hummus

I'm the same. Their hummus is amazing. I haven't ever asked, but I bet it's something really bad for you (extra oil or some such thing...) b/c that always seems to be the case when something's extra delish.

West 39th Bistro, Longbranch

Has anybody tried this? How was it?
What's the menu like?
What are the prices?

Thanks in advance?

Niagara on the lake

I have to respectfully disagree with the Angel Inn for food (for a pint, it's great). I've had truly disgusting food there (uncooked chicken burger with soggy fries and iceberg lettuce?).

I quite like the bar at the Queen's Landing. If the weather is nice, their patio is lovely.
Peller Estates is a treat for dinner. I also like Terroir La Cachette at Strewn.

And, not too long ago I had a good meal at the Anchorage, of all places. It was cheap and the ingredients were great. This surprised me b/c they used to be a frozen burgers and alfredo sauce from a package type of place.

Loblaws for losers ? well, loses me anyway - off to Sobey's I go !

I went to the Loblaws at Queen's Quay tonight- they had everything I needed and some excellent sales on food and pharmacy products (plus the LCBO and Joe Fresh Store). There was no line-up at all and the service was quick and friendly.
I dunno, I think Loblaws is making improvements and that they've brought down some of their prices on some basics.

economical places to eat niagara region?

Ginger on mary st., just west of the stone road. It's pretty

The Anchorage re-vamped their menu last fall and is actually very reasonably priced. the last meal I had there was very good!

I find the pizzas from the Stone Road Grille to be quite expensive, imho.
Has anyone tried the new Grill on King?

HELP! Toronto restaurants that accomodate a GARLIC ALLERGY??

I have a family friend with a garlic allergy who regularly dines at Scaramouche, Pangea and the Studio Cafe. All of these places accommodate her allergy.
She is also allergic to onion.

Looking for vegan gluten-free bread

not the one I was talking about- definitely gluten free. I can't vouch for ShaSha. The one at Loblaws is frozen.
I was directed there by a registered nutritionist.

Looking for vegan gluten-free bread

what about Ezekiel bread (sp.?) from the frozen foods section at Loblaws?
It meets your needs and is delish.

global grocery gems

There is a reasonable amount of information about larger markets in cities around the world- but I'm interested in finding out about smaller gourmet independent/specialty grocers in a variety of regions, including in and around Rome and Florence/Tuscany.

I'd like to find places with amazing product, displays, service, innovation in technology or "eco-friendly" products and design and characters (owners/managers/staff).

I'm trying to assemble research on the world's grocery gems- stores and markets that make people go "wow!".

I've googled and found a couple of top ten lists, but they seem to focus on larger scale markets and stores.

Thank you!

May 24, 2009
meld_la in Italy

gourmet/specialty grocery gems

There is a reasonable amount of information about larger markets in cities around the world- but I'm interested in finding out about smaller gourmet independent/specialty grocers in a variety of regions, including California.

I'd like to find places with amazing product, displays, service, innovation in technology or "eco-friendly" products and design and characters (owners/managers/staff).

I'm trying to assemble research on the world's grocery gems- stores and markets that make people go "wow!".

I've googled and found a couple of top ten lists, but they seem to focus on larger scale markets and stores.

Thank you!

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May 24, 2009
meld_la in California

gourmet grocery store gems around the world

There is a reasonable amount of information about larger markets in cities around the world- but I'm interested in finding out about smaller gourmet independent/specialty grocers in a variety of cities around the world: New York, Southern California (I know- not a city), Tokyo, Berlin, Madrid or Barcelona, Paris, London and Florence (Tuscany)/Rome and beyond!

I'll post in the individual regions as well, but I'm interested in tourist perspectives as well.
I'd like to find places with amazing product, displays, service, innovation in technology or "eco-friendly" products and design and characters (owners/managers/staff).

I'm trying to assemble research on the world's grocery gems- stores and markets that make people go "wow!".

I've googled and found a couple of top ten lists, but they seem to focus on larger scale markets and stores.

Thank you!

May 24, 2009
meld_la in General Topics

Dear Toronto: I think I've done my homework & would like your input

that's true! 1.5 miles not 2.5.
I'm not usually up so late...

Front of House

I am passionate about the importance of a strong front of house in the restaurant business. No matter how good the food, if I'm not feeling welcome, it's game over. I get enough attitude in my day to day life and when I'm eating out at a nice restaurant, I want to feel good about being there.

In this regard, I am a fan of Fernando Temudo, the legendary Maitre D'/General Manager at Bistro 990 who left in the fall after over 20 years of service to go work at MATCH in Woodbridge (a restaurant I'm keen to try, but for the drive from my downtown abode).

A nicer, more hospitable man you'll never meet. I emailed MATCH to find out if it was true that he'd left Bistro 990 and he replied with a warm telephone message inviting me to phone him because he'd love to hear from me. (Just to be clear- I'm nobody special. I ate at 990 maybe twice a year, generally on my parents. So, it wasn't like Fernando and I were buddies.)

While Bistro 990 won't make any top 5 lists for its food, it's service under Temudo was impeccable and genuine. Fernando and his staff made you feel welcome (not in a fake, obsequious way). Somehow Fernando remembered who you were, if you'd been there before, and made you feel like you were as important as the celebrities that 990 is known for.

I think that true class is the ability to make anybody feel good, and Fernando is a classy guy for sure.

I went for dinner there in the fall, after he'd left, and you could feel the difference. The maitre d' was more your standard, somewhat prickly individual. He didn't know who we were and didn't much care. We got a decent, but not great table, even though much of the restaurant was mostly empty...the server was great and recognized my parents from when he'd worked at Browns, but overall it wasn't the same. The warmth wasn't there.

Anyhow, I just learned that Temudo is taking over as Maitre D' at the Fifth. I've never eaten there, but I've heard good things about the food. So, for this year's birthday dinner, I'm going to head to the Fifth.

I guess my overall point is the importance of service in the restaurant business, because most of us aren't heading out to michelin starred joints on a regular basis. We want delicious food, made with care and we want to feel relaxed and taken care of while we eat it. I don't care about perfection. I care about enjoyment.

So, let me know if there are any other restaurants or staff in Toronto that epitomize excellent service? any standouts? At any price point (but decent food would be good too).

Thanks.