Three-Day Holiday to Boston and New York

We still watch reruns of Cheers on TV. We’ve seen Good Will Hunting 20 times; we love Aerosmith; we feel pride for the Patriots; we respect Harvard; we adored Julia Child; we are in awe of the Kennedys. And every so often we get a craving for a big platter of New England full belly fried clams at Legal Seafoods. Their code, “if it isn’t fresh, it isn’t legal.” Continue reading “Three-Day Holiday to Boston and New York”

Old Italian Style, New Niagara Wine

It’s been said there are many ways to skin a cat. Within the proliferation of Niagara wineries, it seems, there are many ways to make wine—beautiful wine across the region made in a variety of styles, but with one common denominator—the degree of passion put into the bottle is reflected in what comes out. Appassimento is an old technique that has attracted wineries from all corners of the region, and vaulted their wines to the front of the peloton of winemakers that are moving Niagara in an exciting direction. Continue reading “Old Italian Style, New Niagara Wine”

Indulging in After the Fire Wines at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel

“After the Fire” was a profound theme for a magnificent evening at TOCA, the beautiful restaurant on the mezzanine at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Toronto. Signorello Estate, in partnership with Michelin Star Chef Oliver Glowig of Rome, who happens to be the Executive Chef at TOCA, hosted a dinner to introduce the newest labels from the winery, literally after the fire that devastated so much of California. Continue reading “Indulging in After the Fire Wines at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel”

Living Well in La Belle Province

Lounging under the stars in the percolating effervescence of a huge, heated thermal pool, we are protected from the elements by walls of natural rocks and boulders at Spa Eastman. There is wind and frost in the air, and a few hardy snowflakes blow about in the rising steam. At the crest of the embankment, a massive bonfire warms us and sends woodsy fragrance our way. Magnificent. If only for this, it was worth the drive on the long and winding road that brought us here from Montreal.
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A Natural High at Rancho la Puerta

I may have made a terrible mistake. Walking briskly along the lantern lit path, I feel apprehension at the prospect of a four-mile mountain hike. It’s still dark and cold at 6:00 a.m. and a rooster crows in the distance. In the lounge, the scene looks like a TV commercial for The North Face, and I am intimidated. They’re drinking herbal tea, wearing water bottles, gloves and fanny packs and raring to go. But I am not what anyone would call the “outdoorsy type.” Can I keep up? Continue reading “A Natural High at Rancho la Puerta”

Tall Grass Prairie Grass Roots Bison Stew

Grass Roots Kitchen Bison Stew celebrates the Prairies. The Bison is sourced from Swan Lake First Nation and is entirely prairie grass fed. The Swan Lake community holds their relationship with the Bison as culturally sacred and Tall Grass prepares it in that spirit. The stew is slowly simmered with local organic root vegetables and a splash of local Half Pints Beer to deepen the flavour.

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Yamagata Beef at Han No Daidokoro in Tokyo

In the world of Wagyu there are so many brands worth sampling. Tokyo has them all. Restaurants specialize in sourcing the best. On a recent visit, I check off another major luxury brand from my list: Yamagata-gyu. Continue reading “Yamagata Beef at Han No Daidokoro in Tokyo”

Dishin’ It with Zane Caplansky

Desperate for a great smoked meat sandwich and unable to find one, Zane Caplansky decided to make his own. That passionate desire ignited the Caplansky’s Deli phenomenon. He followed with Toronto’s first pop-up restaurant, first modern food-truck, and reinvented the traditional Jewish deli, franchising and retail market. Featured in the acclaimed documentary film “Deli Man”, Zane has appeared in over a dozen TV shows including CBC’s Dragons’ Den, FoodNetwork’s “Diners Drive-Ins and Dives”, as well as “Guy’s Big Project.” He currently hosts “Let’s Eat with Zane Caplansky” weekly radio show on Newstalk1010, and frequently shares his story and ideas for success with audiences across Canada. Continue reading “Dishin’ It with Zane Caplansky”

DINE’s Favourite Things

Sprinkles of Saffron
And Wagyu and Uni
Shavings of Truffles and braised Abalone
Crisp Peking duck with the crunch that it brings
These are a few of my favourite things

(Sing to the tune of My Favourite Things, The Sound of Music)

Toronto is alive with the taste of luxury ingredients. Here are ten of our favourites at ten of our favourites: Continue reading “DINE’s Favourite Things”