Interview With Eyal Liebman, Pâtissier

I first met the esteemed Eyal Liebman years ago when I tasted the most wonderfully refined and delicate cheesecake of my life. I was immediately impressed that his qualified confidence was balanced by a humility to experiment and develop as an artist. The way he chooses his ingredients, and his respect for ingredients and technique, are impeccable. In between consulting restaurants he, together with his wife, sommelier, Rebecca Liebman, has been offering a monthly dinner series called “L is For…” that has been piquing curiousity and taste buds across Toronto. Recently he has also become, to much fanfare, the new chef at Toronto restaurant, MoRoCo, in Yorkville—and we are all excited! Continue reading “Interview With Eyal Liebman, Pâtissier”

To The Cheese Cave!

Cheese Caves are the New Rage at Luxury Hotels
– by Parmjit Parmar
I had my first encounter with a cheese plate in my early twenties while touring Provence, France with a girlfriend. We ended up staying at a rural 5-star Relais & Châteaux. For dinner, we were served a five-course meal, finished by a delicious cheese plate laden with cheeses from the region. I will never forget the owner of the hotel (who spoke very limited English) bleating like a goat to signify the cheeses on our plate were made from goat’s milk. Continue reading “To The Cheese Cave!”

Where To DINE Now: Amaya Restaurant

“A beautiful girl does not need a lot of make up”. Similarly, “if you have beautiful ingredients, you don’t need to do too much with them”, shares Hemant Bhagwani, mastermind behind Toronto restaurant, Amaya Restaurant. For Bhagwani, whether in business or on the menu, it’s about always trying something new, but “the key must always be good quality ingredients. That has to be the base of everything”. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Amaya Restaurant”

Where To DINE Now: Rally Sport Bar + Smokehouse

I am craving smoky comfort food. Southern cooking and backyard barbeque seems to be all the rage these days, and when it’s good, there is nothing better. I would drive just about anywhere for it. Just like down south, where the most incredible bbq joints are tucked away from the main streets, we need to go off the beaten path for that lip-smacking good stuff. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Rally Sport Bar + Smokehouse”

Where To DINE Now: Pukka

What came first: the wine bar or the nouvelle Indian menu? It’s a chicken and egg kind of question. Either way, Harsh Chawla and Derek Valleau of new Toronto restaurant, Pukka, have hatched an exotic concept that, for a wine bar, is the most exciting menu in town, and for an Indian restaurant, is the most refreshing and forward-thinking.
We begin with monkfish elevated by citric flavours of mango, tomato and red pepper. A salad of greens with crumbled paneer and spiced pumpkin seeds in a chili-orange Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Pukka”

Where To DINE Now: Octagon

Where have all the steak houses gone? Sure, we can go anywhere for a steak, but for the classic “steak house” experience, only a few tried and true favourites that have dotted the Toronto restaurant landscape remain.
At the north end of Toronto is a Thornhill staple, Octagon Restaurant. When a fire burned it to the ground in 1992, all that remained, ironically, was the fireplace. Continue reading “Where To DINE Now: Octagon”

Reinventing Vegetarian

Lai Wah Heen, at Toronto’s Metropolitan Hotel, continues to raise the bar in fine Chinese dining with its newly launched vegetarian menu, created by Chinese cuisine consultant, Sam Ma and head chef, Ronny Lam.
Through the use of innovative culinary techniques and combining Chinese and Western ingredients, Lai Wah Heen reinvents vegetarian cuisine with unique tastes, such as native truffle and mountain yam, shredded shiitake mushrooms with honey; and tofu-filled lotus root. This use of exotic mushrooms, vegetables and seasonings create dishes that are flavourful and, at times, unexpectedly complex for vegetarian cuisine. Continue reading “Reinventing Vegetarian”

The Sweet Northern Life

An apple pie a day makes for a romantic getaway…
“Was that me screaming?” It takes about two exhilarating minutes to wind down Blue Mountain on the new Ridge Runner mountain coaster and, like a scene out of Return of the Jedi, we feel like ewoks flying through the woods.
Collingwood has changed so much since we were kids lugging ski equipment for weekend lessons. Now, it’s a four-season destination to a river or a beach, paddling or sailing, skiing or snowshoeing, yoga on the docks or golfing on the greens, caving, climbing, hiking and some of the best cycling in Ontario along the highest trails in the escarpment. This is an interest-oriented place. It’s where we visit, and end up wanting to stay. Continue reading “The Sweet Northern Life”

Memories of Matsushima

Japan is a beautiful country. Three places in particular, often written about in Japanese poetry and prose, are considered the “Big Three” spectacular views: Mt. Fuji, Amanohashidate, and Matsushima.

Mt. Fuji is an ever-present, pristine vision towering over Shizuoka, and seen from all nearby prefectures. Many hike up to the clouds to view the lush green countryside below. Continue reading “Memories of Matsushima”