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Lantic Raw Sugar Cubes

will try one more time - does anyone know where to source raw sugar cubes?

Lantic Raw Sugar Cubes

Does anyone know where I can buy Lantic Raw Sugar cubes in the GTA? I need them for cocktails. I'm in the Bayview and Eglinton area, but anything downtown or in the Yonge St corridor is fine as well. I've done a cursory check of a few grocery stores, but no luck so far.


Where to buy good cole slaw?

not far from Yonge (either Eglinton or Bloor), Cumbraes has a fantastic red cabbage coleslaw if you're looking for a vinegar-based one.

Trip Report and Thank You!

Dave - we arrived at Drink around 6pm, and while it was certainly lively, we didn't find it too crowded. We were directed to a standing-only area by the bar at first, but were quickly moved (without having to ask) to seats at the bar shortly thereafter. Eclectic crowd, but didn't consider it too "sceney" if that makes sense. As for ICOB, we did have a 5:30 reservation, but were seated at 5 right after the game ended with no fuss.

Kimfair - agreed on the Hawthorne, what a great place, I only wish we had something similar in Toronto. The layout and design of the space is so well thought out and practically ensures that it can never get too crowded or noisy. We definitely got the impression they could easily have crammed more seating and tables in the space, but made a deliberate effort not to which we appreciated.

We'll certainly be back, just not sure when, to try some other places (my original list needed to be significantly cut down), but wouldn't hesitate to go back to a number of the places we visited on this trip.

Trip Report and Thank You!

Thanks to all who posted to my "Help Filling in Itinerary for this Weekend" thread - your suggestions were much appreciated! We had a fantastic weekend of eating and drinking in Boston. I hope I can return the favour on the Toronto or Chicago boards sometime.

A brief trip report:

- Drink: we arrived in town at 4pm on Friday, and after a quick stop in at the hotel, stopped into Drink for a pre-dinner cocktail. Great looking space, very friendly and attentive service and great drinks and munchies (we had the fried pickled green beans). They clearly take their craft very seriously, as we observed one hostess, training to be a bartender, practicing stirring for over 15 consecutive minutes, as one of the experienced bartenders would check in on her technique every few minutes.

- O Ya: After Drink, we headed to O Ya for dinner and had the 17 course Omakase menu ($175 per person). We both very much enjoyed it, but could see how you could be disappointed if you went in looking for a very traditional sushi experience, which it's not. If you go in with the right context and expectations, the food can be spectacular. Once again, service was outstanding, and we found the servers incredibly knowledgeable about the menu. Our only very minor gripe was the fact that they had only a single variety of tea (roasted) on the menu to enjoy after dinner.

- Thinking Cup: this was a great suggestion, right down the street from our hotel, and we stopped in three of four times throughout the trip to get coffee, tea or iced beverages.

- The Hawthorne: another great suggestion, we went before dinner at L'Espalier. Sat at the bar, had a few cocktails (including the Vieux Carre, which was excellent) and a few bites, including fantastic mini pretzels served with a bourbon whole grain mustard. We wish we had had time to go back.

- L'Espalier: Can't remember if it was on here or somewhere else, but someone had compared L'Espalier to Tru in Chicago, and this turned out to be a very apt comparison. Beautiful modern space, with whisper quiet but very attentive service. We had the summer Degustation - lobster / foie gras / halibut / lamb + cheese / dessert. The foie gras was one of, if not the best, preparation I've ever had, and my wife agreed. Food was very good overall, and we found it to be very good value at $110, considering quality, portion sizes and all the other extras. One other thing to note, L'Espalier has a truly excellent and well-priced list of half bottles, which I often find lacking, even at similar high end restaurants. The sommelier mentioned that it's an area of focus for them since it's a great option for a table of 2 to be able to try a few wines over the course of a meal.

- Eastern Standard: Sunday brunch before the Sox game. Very solid and pretty reasonably priced. Standouts were the daily bread basket and pulled pork hash.

- Island Creek Oyster Bar: an early dinner at the bar after the game. Continuing on a trend, we had excellent service again, with a young waiter who knew both the menu and the wine list inside and out (he made a great Austrian recommendation I never would've thought of). We had oysters, the fried oyster sliders (wow, very addictive), clam chowder (best I've had since Hog Island in SF last year), scallops (not my thing, but my wife said they were excellent) and swordfish (great, and with even better sides). We lingered over cheese, cocktails and tea.

- Neptune Oyster: our last meal on Monday before departing for home. Good thing we got there at 11:25, within a few minutes of them opening, there was a line of people down the street. We sat at the bar and had oysters, hamachi ceviche (excellent), the lobster caprese salad (expensive at almost $30 but had huge chunks of lobster and great fresh mozzarella) and the striped bass. All were tremendous. Service was just ok, a bit rushed, and the server didn't have much knowledge of their wine/beer offerings, but still a great lunch.

I've omitted a pedestrian lunch at one of the many places along Newbury Street on Saturday - the name escapes me. The food wasn't at all bad (and prices not outrageous for such a touristy spot), just not particularly memorable.

Happy to elaborate further on any of the above, thanks again everyone!

Help filling in itinerary for this weekend

The Hawthorne sounds like a fantastic place for drinks before or after dinner at L'Espalier on Saturday night.

I've read about Neptune - would it be duplicative to go to both ICOB and Neptune?

Coppa sounds very interesting - will definitely look into it for lunch, possibly on Monday.

Help filling in itinerary for this weekend

My wife and I are coming to Boston for the first time (other than business day trips) this weekend. We arrive Friday mid-afternoon and depart early Monday evening.

Here's what we have booked so far:

Friday dinner: O-Ya
Saturday dinner: L'Espalier
Sunday brunch (pre Sox game): Eastern Standard
Sunday early dinner (post-game): Island Creek Oyster Bar

That leaves breakfast and lunch on both Saturday and Monday, plus any can't miss snacks or drink spots (I'd love to get to Drink at some point). We'll plan to hit up Flour one of the mornings. Any other recommendations? We're staying at the Nine Zero hotel if helpful and won't have a car, but willing to hop in cabs as needed. It'll probably be awhile before we get back to Boston (though we're from Toronto, so not too far away), so we're really just looking to experience the best the city has to offer, with specific cuisines / price points being less important. We'll eat just about anything, and have enjoyed great meals at every possible price point (for example, on our last trip to NY, we did everything from Luke's Lobster to Eleven Madison Park for dinner).

Thanks everyone, this board has been immensely helpful in planning our trip thus far.

Dinner near Newseum

what's the dress code at the source like? Given the weather, would one be out of place in neat shorts and a polo shirt?

Late Bite and Drinks in Midtown

thanks for the suggestions so far. The menu at Marseille does look very interesting, it reminds me of one of my favourite bistros up here in Toronto. At that hour, I think we might be in the mood for a lighter bite to eat and a drink or too, but will definitely keep Marseille in mind if we're hungrier than expected.

Apr 26, 2012
Foodie Canuck in Manhattan

Late Bite and Drinks in Midtown

My wife and I will be arriving in NY this evening. By the time we get into the city and checked into our midtown hotel (the Muse), I figure it will be about 10:30. That's probably too late for a full dinner, but would like to find a spot where we could have a light bite to eat and a drink.

I've heard good things about the cocktail program at Lantern's Keep, which is a short walk from our hotel. According to their website, they also serve some small plates. I've never seen mention of their food, so has anyone here sampled their food selections? We're not looking for anything fancy, probably something like a charcuterie plate and a few other small dishes to share.

Aside from Lantern's Keep, anything else of note? Would like to keep within walking, or short cab ride from our hotel.

Thanks everyone.

Apr 26, 2012
Foodie Canuck in Manhattan

EMP - Tasting with Duck?

My wife and I will be going to EMP this Friday evening. We've decided to do the tasting menu as opposed to the 4-course, but we both also love duck and have heard and read amazing things about its preparation here. Is it possible (or even advisable given the amount of food) to have the duck alongside the tasting menu?

Thanks very much everyone, this board has been amazingly helpful in planning our trip thus far. We've got reservations at Gramercy Tavern, EMP, Bar Room at the Modern, Ma Peche and Minetta Tavern, so can't wait!

Apr 24, 2012
Foodie Canuck in Manhattan

Healdsburg/RRV Itinerary - Need Lunch Help

My wife and I will be visiting Napa (discussed on a prior post) and Healdsburg in 2 weeks. We have one full day in the Healdsburg area (staying at the Hotel Healdsburg) and two half days on the way in and out.

On our way into town, we have an appointment at Merry Edwards in the afternoon.

For the full day, was planning on visiting:
- MacPhail
- Joseph Swan
- Gary Farrell
(Yes, we're big pinot fans).

Any thoughts/suggestions on the winery front?

Also, we'll need to grab lunch at some point. I wouldn't mind a long leisurely lunch since we'll be driving ourselves that day and could use the break. We don't plan on visiting more than 3 vineyards so time shouldn't be an issue. Are there any picnic spots in the area, or any recommended sit-down restaurants?

Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA

Napa - Tentative Itinerary (Restaurants + Wineries)

Will definitely check out Sinskey, though it appears to be near Shafer in the area around Yountville.

Napa - Tentative Itinerary (Restaurants + Wineries)

Ok, my wife and I will be visiting Napa and Healdsburg (the subject of a future post) in April. After doing lots of reading on this and other boards, we've finalized our dinner plans for the week, and are in the process of figuring out wineries to visit and other meals.

We'll be staying at the Bardessono in Yountville, arriving Sunday evening and departing Wednesday afternoon. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

In terms of wines, we're fans of great Cabernets, Zins and Chardonnays (don't quite have this covered yet - suggestions welcome). We're also big Pinot Noir drinkers, but figure we can cover that off in the RRV area around Healdsburg. While we're primarily interested in great wine, we'd like to mix in some cool, unique settings as well.

Sunday afternoon/evening:
- maybe a quick visit to Jessup if we arrive on time, since it's so near the hotel
- arrive in Yountville, dinner booked at ad hoc.

- dinner reserved at The French Laundry at 8:30 (very excited!)
- suggestions for lunch?
- would like to visit a few wineries in the Yountville/Napa area. Considering: Hess (in part for the art collection), Del Dotto (the caves), Shafer (one of our favourite winemakers) and/or Elyse

- dinner reserved at Bottega
- would lunch at Mustard's Grill make sense (the pork chop sounds amazing!)
- would like to visit a few wineries in Rutherford/St Helena. Considering some subset of: Far Niente, Peju, Frog's Leap, Phelps (a must for us), Flora Springs, Anderson's Conn Valley, Viader and Duckhorn.

- plan would be to have breakfast near the hotel, probably at Bouchon Bakery, and then stop at a few wineries on the way up to Healdsburg, where we have dinner booked at Barndiva
- could use some input here, though Vincent Arroyo sounds interesting

- dinner booked at Cyrus
- haven't really researched this area as much yet, but would like to taste some great Pinot Noirs and have heard great things about Merry Edwards, Paul Hobbs, and Joseph Swan.

Please feel free to comment, fill in any gaps and suggest anything I may have missed. This is our first trip to Napa, and this board has been an invaluable resource!

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Far Niente
1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA

6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

6526 Yount Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Mustard's Grill
7399 Saint Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558

Avenues or Charlie Trotter?

Just as an update, I ended up booking Avenues for the Friday night we're in town, and requested that we be seated at the chef's bar.
Curtis Duffy (back when he was at Alinea) was a guest chef for an evening at one of our favourite restaurants in Toronto a few years back, so we're eager to easy how his cooking and style have evolved since striking out on his own.

Will definitely report back on our experience, also happy to hear any recent reviews on Avenues in the meantime.

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Aug 12, 2010
Foodie Canuck in Chicago Area

Avenues or Charlie Trotter?

I recently moved back to the great white north after spending two great years in Chicago. My wife and I are planning a long weekend trip back to the city at the end of September, and are trying to decide on one "special" dinner (we can fill in the other lunches and dinners).

We've been to Alinea, TRU and Everest, as well as some of the next tier (Blackbird, North Pond, Cafe des Architectes).

I think we've narrowed in down to Avenues and Charlie Trotter's, but would love to hear some opinions on the relative merits of each, or any recent experiences. Having done a quick search, there aren't a lot of recent reviews on here for either of the two. One thing that intrigues us about Avenues is the possibility of eating at the chef's bar, so if anyone has done that recently, would be very grateful if you would share your experience. Is there a similar option at Charlie Trotter's? I seem to remember something about them having a kitchen table, but my memory is hazy on the details.

Thanks everyone, much appreciated.

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Charlie Trotter's
816 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Cafe des Architectes
20 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Jul 29, 2010
Foodie Canuck in Chicago Area

4 Days in Belfast

Thanks for the help everyone - we had a great trip. Short reviews of the places we ended up visiting:

- Molly's Yard: had lunch downstairs, where you can order off both menus. Place was very quiet, which they said was typical of summer since the University is out. Starters of tomato basil soup and seafood chowder were both very good, you can definitely taste the freshness of all the ingredients. My wife and I both had the duck leg confit, duck was good with a nice crispy skin, but the accompanying vegetables and broth were the highlight, fresh and perfectly seasoned - would have made an outstanding soup on its own. I had their chocolate stout, which I found to be just ok; tasty, but a little thin in its consistency for my taste.

Mourne Seafood Bar: Probably the culinary highlight of the trip. Wife had piri piri prawn starter which she enjoyed. I had the mussels, which were the freshest I've had, prepared very simply with butter, white wine and shallots. Main of whole sole with butter, white wine and lemon might have been the best, simple piece of fresh fish I've ever had - just flaked off the bone. With a good bottle of gewurtz and apple crumble for dessert, the meal felt like a bargain at £55.

- Crown Bar: Stopped in for a pre-dinner drink on Friday evening. Very lively atmosphere, and the decor really is something. We especially liked the privacy offered by the different booths (each with their own door, and high backs). Looked like a mostly after-work crowd; we could only be so lucky as to call this our local neighbourhood pub.

- Ginger Bistro: another enjoyable meal, very cool, funky atmosphere, server was extremely helpful and friendly. My wife said the seared tuna starter was the best she's ever had; my pork belly was good (not great) but perfectly accompanied with fennel, apple, grapes and white wine so the dish was definitely a success overall. Can't recall my wife's main at the moment, but she said she enjoyed it. My crisp skinned fillet of sea bass was excellent, though the accompanying scallops were a touch undercooked. We skipped dessert, but with a glass of wine and a glass of port each, total came to £60, which we though quite reasonable.

- James St South: This was our "fancy" dinner on Saturday night. Had a fantastic bottle of wine (an '04 burgundy) that I will definitely be tracking down for the home collection. Wife's starter was foie gras and brioche; one of her favourite dishes, so no surprise that it was a hit - brioche was very well executed and completed the foie gras quite well. Mine was a very good (and relatively thickly sliced) venison carpaccio, with picked tomato (ok) and truffled honey (very good). Starters were both local Antrim (loin of lamb and sirloin of beef) dishes very simply, but well prepared, and cooked perfectly to medium rare. Desserts of baked alaska and lemon tarte (a special) were also good. Total for dinner was £100 (including the £36 bottle of wine), which we found acceptable given the quality. Ambience is definitely more subdued and serious and James St. South, but service was stellar (friendly, well paced, and water/wine glasses never went unfilled).

- Merchant Hotel: went for a drink after dinner on Saturday night - simply a stunning space. Comfortable club chairs and bench seating. Great unobtrusive service. An extensive drink menu (25 pages), but I settled on a simple Manhattan, made with care and high quality indgredients. Have to agree with Simon above, the Merchant ranks as one of my favourite cocktail bars anywhere. A perfect way to top off our weekend getaway.

Thanks to everyone here for your suggestions - it's a shame we couldn't get to all of them, but we were very happy with our foodie weekend in Belfast.

Jul 27, 2009
Foodie Canuck in U.K./Ireland

4 Days in Belfast

Any thoughts on James Street South?
The menu looks very good - just wondering if anyone has any firsthand experiences with how it's executed, the service, etc.

Thanks everyone.

Jul 13, 2009
Foodie Canuck in U.K./Ireland

4 Days in Belfast

I've booked Mourne Seafood for the Thursday night we arrive. Figure we will have most other meals casually, at places like Molly's Yard, Crown, Made in Belfast, etc.
Wanted to have one more nice meal on the Saturday night. Tried booking at Tedford's, but unfortunately they're on holiday until July 28th (the week after we're there).

From the reviews I've seen elsewhere, opinions on Deane's are mixed. Anyone here with firsthand experience?

EDIT: I also found Cayenne and James Street South? Any opinions on either of those two as well?

Jul 09, 2009
Foodie Canuck in U.K./Ireland

4 Days in Belfast

Hi Everyone,
My wife and I will be taking our first trip to Belfast later this month. We're spending a day out at the Giant's Causeway and Bushmill Inn, but will be in central Belfast the other 3 days (we're staying at the Tara Lodge).

Any recommendations for lunch/brunch or dinner? Irish/British/European cuisine preferred, and very flexbile in terms of type (great pubs all the way to fine dining) and price (it's a short trip, so we're quite willing to splurge on great meals if needed). Basically, we're looking for the best Belfast has to offer!

Many thanks for your help.

Jul 03, 2009
Foodie Canuck in U.K./Ireland

Restaurants Serving Venison

Any recommendations for restaurants serving great venison dishes? It's a favourite of mine during the winter. I'm downtown, but anywhere reachable by public transit is fine.

Thanks everyone!

Jan 31, 2009
Foodie Canuck in Chicago Area