As far as salad greens go, I confess to a minor addiction to arugula - or rocket lettuce- as it is sometimes known. Recently at the urging of several friends, I decided to add baby kale to my diet and so I was excited to find Lavinia, from Fern Alley Market Garden in the Squamish Valley, selling fresh microgreens and kale-based salads at Granville Island Market.
Among the microgreens they harvest are sunflower, bull's blood red beet leaf, Red Russian kale, white stem Pak choi, black Tuscan lacinato kale, red mustard and arugula, soil grown in the open air. Their signature salads are kale-based with Red Russian kale and include mixes such as The Trio; Sweet Greens; Spicy Blend and Flash Salad.
They are at Granville Island Public Market on Thursdays and Saturdays; Whistler Farmers Market on Sundays; Ambleside Farmers Market on Sundays and Squamish Farmers Market on Saturdays so look our for them.
It had been months that I and a friend had been trying to get to an underground dining dinner at NFA with Steve (of email@example.com) but my travel schedule and Steve's seating availability didn't mesh. So when he let me know he had one last space open for a Friday night I decided to accept and despite some minor trepidation, just go on my own.
As it turned out I was glad that I took this opportunity. The other guests that were there that evening were congenial and fun and I had a great time. Two of the groups had come because one or two of their members had previously enjoyed a meal with NFA. One couple and myself were newbies. Everybody there was a "foodie" to some degree, and there were lots of recommendations for good dining flying around the table.
Roast chicken is one of my favorite home cooked comfort foods. It evokes memories of my mom-in-law's famous Sunday lunches where my husband and his brothers would vie to top each other's stories, and we would sit around the table and laugh till our sides ached. A great way to roast chicken at home is to use a rotisserie. You can flavour it with your favorite herbs and spices and control the fat and salt content.
Yonge Street Grill at the Courtyard Marriott
475 Yonge Street,
Ph: (416) 924-0611
After an intensive three days of farewell get-togethers and long walks in warm humid weather, I was ready for an early quiet and solitary supper during which I could enjoy reading the novel I had just begun on my Kindle.
So I took the elevator down from my room and moseyed on down to the hotel restaurant, The Young Street Grill. I was seated at a window table where I could observe the passing parade on Yonge Street.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill
33 Yonge Street & Front Street,
Ph: (647) 260-2070 or Reserve Online
It is ages since I enjoyed an incredible dinner at Canoe Restaurant and had wanted to try other restaurants in this group. On this visit I planned to meet a friend to discuss next year's upcoming high school reunion back in Cape Town and a quiet relaxed lunch at this downtown restaurant seemed just the place.
191 College Street,
Ph: (416) 916-6448
Three of us were meeting for a farewell brunch near the university. We dropped in at Pour Girl on College Street. A sister cafe to Pour Boy, it has an eclectic and really inexpensive menu, and the food is very good.
Having missed breakfast I opted for an omelette. The platter was quite substantial with generous helpings of salad, fries, toast and a hot and tasty ham and cheese omelette. All this for 5.75 - excellent value.
One guest ordered the penne with vegetables and shrimp served in a white wine and cream sauce.
Hair of the Dog
425 Church Street,
Ph: (416) 964-2708
It was girls' night out and another farewell event. So four of us crowded around a table at the lively Hair of the Dog for imbibing, ingesting and intellectual conversation. Well sort of intellectual. The conversation ranged from belly-dancing to feminist film theory with stops on many other topics in beween!
Three of us met for a celebratory and farewell dinner at Loire Restaurant. We were seated on the outdoor patio where a light breeze kept us comfortably cool despite the 20° temperature.
After some discussion we decided on a bottle of the 2010 Chinon Rosé from Domaine Bernard Baudry in the Chinon region of the Loire Valley. Derived from Cabernet Franc it was a light refreshing sipping wine and a good accompaniment to the variety of dishes we chose.
We all chose different starters. My pick was the Lobster Bisque. The other two guests chose an Arugula and Endive Salad served with feta and an Ice Wine dressing; and the Maple Cider Glazed Pork Belly on flat bread.
The Pork Belly was served on a crispy flat bread with caramelized apple, sweet onion puree and shaved parmesan. We each had a taste and it was deliciously rich and flavourful.
I liked the lobster flavour which came through strongly but to me a bisque should be richer and creamier than this soup was. The arugula and fennel salad was substantial and tasty.
After two days exploring the city of Dubai with its towering skyscrapers and golden sand beaches, I checked out of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and my friend Laila came to fetch me for the drive to Abu Dhabi. Depending on where you are going the distance is about 120 km and the road is straight and in excellent condition so the driving time at a reasonable speed is about an hour and a half. For long stretches of road, all you see is sand and scrub, and it is incredible to think how these cities have risen out of the desert.
Several people have commented after reading my earlier posts, that they had only a vague concept of where Dubai and Abu Dhabi are so I thought I would post a couple of maps to set the stage. Here are the outlines of the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
After tasting Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, and various other Middle eastern foods in Dubai, it was time for a different range of culinary experiences in Abu Dhabi and I had only two days to try them out.
On my first morning we decided to take it easy and have a leisurely start to the day, so our first stop at the Emirates Palace Hotel was close to lunch time. We wandered through the luxurious interior of the hotel and then went out to wander through the grounds.
By lunch time we decided to sample some of the high tea items on the menu at Le Cafe, one of the coffee shops in the lobby of the hotel.
An early High Tea at the Le Cafe in the Emirates Palace Hotel