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”

Health Beauty: Skin Under Siege

The enemies of our skin are legion, and they take no prisoners. Sun. Cold. Wind. Dryness. These are predators that attack men, women, children, without mercy. We all put up a brave front and ignore the elements in the naïve belief that in doing so, they will ignore us. A recent visit to my dermatologist proved me wrong.
Continue reading “Health Beauty: Skin Under Siege”

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”