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 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
As we toured around the city of Dubai, my friend told me that there were excellent examples of cuisine, both Middle Eastern and International, to be found here. We were determined to sample as many as possible different cuisines in the limited time we had. The three restaurants I visited in Dubai were Wafi Gourmet (featuring Lebanese cuisine) in Dubai Mall, Zheng He's Restaurant featuring Chinese fusion cuisine in Madinat Jumeirah and Khan al Murjan restaurant (featuring Egyptian, Lebanese, Moroccan and Turkish cuisine) at Wafi mall.
Wafi Gourmet at Dubai Mall
This meal was with our group of 7 DancersAtSea cruisers who took an afternoon tour with a guide from Arabian Adventures. We had dinner at Wafi Gourmet at the Dubai Mall opposite the spectacular Dubai Fountain.
The place was so crowded that we could not get a table for our group of 8 outside, so we watched the fountain show through the windows.
I thought that on this dance cruise I would experiment with the structure of the Travelblogue with respect to the Sipping and Supping aspect of my posts. Instead of interspersing the food talk and pictures with my dance and travel experiences, I plan to keep a Culinary Sampling of the meals, mainly dinner, aboard the Queen Mary 2 on this trip.
Since my firm resolution on this trip was not to gain a pound, and to lose inches by virtue of all the hip and core work I would be doing during my Dance Boot Camp, my culinary choices obviously represent a somewhat slanted view of the range of dishes provided at each meal - my sample is appetizer rich and dessert poor. But here goes:
553 Church Street,
Ph: (416) 926-2501
After a really busy day with lots of walking around downtown Toronto, four of us met for dinner at Smith on Church Street. It is the sister restaurant to Wish that we had visited earlier.
With our meal, the four of us shared a bottle of the 2010 Geretto Delle Venizie Pinot Grigio.
I was intrigued by the Foie Bone item on the appetizer menu. It turned out to be a blend of the bone marrow with foie gras, replaced in the bone cavity and roasted. It was rich and delicious but really just enough to get an idea of the flavours.
3 Charles Street, Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 935-0240
On our second day of rambling through Toronto downtown neighborhoods we headed north towards Yorkville. Again on a recommendation of a friend, we dropped in to Wish on Charles Street, to see if we could get lunch.
Although all the outdoor patio tables were taken we were comfortably seated at an indoor table right at the open door and joined the fresh air. All three of us wanted a light lunch but or definitions of light lunch differed somewhat.
356 College Street,
Ph: (416) 500-3852
On a short visit to Toronto, we had three days to explore three downtown neighborhoods. Our first choice was to walk down College Street and then walk around Kensington Market and Chinatown. Knowing that for me a rare treat is lox and a bagel, while my friend loves the Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich, Caplansky's Delicatessen was recommended to us.