Avocado Sandwich on Grilled Ciabatta with Roasted Tomato, Pomegranate, Vegenaise, and Arugula

We CAN all just get along: Eat in Harmony at The Butcher and The Vegan

Eat less meat. And when you do eat meat, make it count. That’s the mantra at The Butcher & the Vegan, a new Hamilton restaurant specializing in haute vegan cuisine and local farm-to-table meats.

Walking into this ethical eatery, guests feel instantly at ease. The Butcher & the Vegan boasts a casual vibe, complete with mismatched chairs and tables and a welcoming open concept kitchen.

The “butchers” (aka meat-eaters) who have been frequenting the restaurant swear it’s the best filet mignon they’ve ever had. Meanwhile, vegans savour the creative and thoughtfully prepared gourmet options. Continue Reading →

Breakfast at Cassis, Jaffa (Tel Aviv)

Going on Eat-About: The Tastiest Street Food, Shuks and Restaurants of Tel Aviv, Israel

When I travel I like to do what I call “going on eat-about.” It’s a combo of eating any local food that appeals to you without restriction (Eat), and exploring the city on foot so as to be affected by its essence (Australian Walkabout).

When I announced my trip to Tel Aviv, Israel more than a few people told me the food would be a highlight. How right they were. The bread, the veggies and hummus are all so good I found myself asking, “Why are we eating what is comparatively garbage in North America?” Food crisis aside, here are a few highlights from the feast in the Middle East. Continue Reading →

Bar Fish Toronto

Introducing Barfish: Toronto’s Narrowest Cocktail Bar

Have you been inside Toronto’s narrowest cocktail bar yet?

Squeaking in with a liquor license just in time for its official launch, BarFish, nestled as cosily as you can get alongside neighbourhood veteran BlowFish, made its King West debut elegantly. Take one step too many and you’d walk straight past this modern addition, wedged between the old Bank of Montreal building (that has housed BlowFish for 13 years) on the corner of King and Bathurst and somewhat dwarfed by office spaces next door. Continue Reading →

Breakfast at Westin Harbour Castle

What the Hell is Happening at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle?

The Westin Harbour Castle may be part of the old guard of Toronto’s hotel landscape, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a few tricks up its sleeve.

In fact, it’s undergoing an extreme restaurant makeover, led by a celebrity chef from The Food Network. The culinary team is updating menus, reinventing some classics and creating some tasty new offerings. And rumour has it that this hotel will soon serve the best burger in town.

What the hell is going on with the Westin Harbour Castle? Here’s a preview. Continue Reading →

Punjabi Chicken Curry Toronto

Where to Eat: Pukka Indian Cuisine in Toronto

If you’re craving a hit of the subcontinent’s cuisine, St. Clair West neighbourhood in Toronto had no options for Indian cuisine. That is, until eye-catching Pukka opened, becoming the new kid of the restaurant block.

And for once, skip the aloo gobi and the butter chicken. Challenge your perceptions of what’s typical for an Indian meal and consider trying something completely different at Pukka. Continue Reading →

Absinthe Fire cocktail in Banff Alberta

Come on Baby Light My (Banff Cocktail) on Fire!

At the Balkan Restaurant in Banff, Alberta, drinks are conceptualized by mad scientist, Matthew Hendricks, the restaurant’s head Mixologist. Hendricks uses creativity (and fire!) to bring unique cocktails to even the most discerning drinkers.

Their menu has at least 25 drinks cocktails available at all times and a team of (good looking) bartenders at the ready to make them. At The Balkan, juices and syrups are made from scratch onsite along with massive deoxygenated ice cubes—I’ll get to those in a minute. Continue Reading →

Eggs Benedict Thai at Linda Modern Thai

Thai for Brunch? Only at Linda Modern Thai in Toronto

Despite the adoration of eggs, bacon and pancakes for weekend brunch in Toronto, it’s time to expose that educated palate to something new.

Turn your back on the downtown offerings – and head northeast. Linda Modern Thai, found within the stylish environs of the Shops of Don Mills, has created a unique brunch menu, with subtle Thai flavours reinventing the first meal of the day. Continue Reading →

Shibui - Salmon Maki

Where to Eat: Shibui Robata Bar in Toronto

You won’t find bento boxes overloaded with California rolls at Toronto’s Sibui Robata Bar. Chef Nakayama introduces a menu of 21st century Japanese cuisine.

Escaping the busy sidewalks of Toronto’s Adelaide Street West, diners are greeted with two options at #230 – the bustling, noisy environs of Copacabana and the quiet elegance of Shibui Robata Bar. Unlike most Japanese restaurants in Toronto, the typical décor of shoji screens and images of geishas isn’t seen here. This modern Japanese restaurant reveals its nod to tradition with tables set with Japanese ceramics and an elegant open kitchen with its notable, rotating robatayaki, a fireside grill. Continue Reading →

Scallops on the mneu at the Beverley Hotel in Toronto

Toronto’s Beverley Hotel Serves a Healthy Dose of Canadian Cuisine

The sidewalks of Toronto’s Queen Street West may be crowded with shoppers, but they may be soon be outnumbered by foodies finding a new place on the strip to please their palate – The Beverley Hotel.

Unlike its former dive bar neighbour of the same name, the current version is a modern boutique hotel/restaurant located west of John Street at McCaul Street, which opened in summer 2013 and recently launched a new menu by former Executive Chef Eric Wood. Continue Reading →

Mark McEwan, Toronto Chef

Interview with the Chef: Mark McEwan, Toronto’s First Celebrity Chef

Mark McEwan was Toronto’s first celebrity chef in the familiar sense. Others are easy to recognize from television or put their name on a restaurant, but right now he’s the one doing all of these at the same time.

We had the chance to catch up with McEwan and chat about the rewards and challenges that come with running a culinary operation with such a varied collection of activities. Continue Reading →

Astor menu date stamp (800x598)

A Culinary Bright Light in Buenos Aires: Astor Bistro

On the outer edge of the trendy Palermo Hollywood neighbourhood, you’ll find Astor Bistro – a humble restaurant tucked into a side street of Buenos Aires, Argentina. But don’t judge the restaurant by its small size: this one’s a keeper. Astor’s Chef/Owner, Antonio Soriano, has spent years training and working in high end locales around … Continue Reading →