205 West 43rd Street,
New York, NY
Ph: (212) -398 9810 or Reserve Online
Haru is so conveniently located for pre-theatre meals, particularly round the Times Square theatre district, that on this trip I actually dined there twice.
On the first visit we were seated at a table in the window alcove. I liked that as it was a bit secluded from the main activity in the restaurant.
We had just come from seeing Bob, a SITI Company production, and after dinner we were going to see Mary Poppins just around the corner at the New Amsterdam Theatre. With seeing two such different genres of theatre in one day there was so much food for thought that real food initially took second place to conversation.
46-42 Vernon Blvd,
Long Island City, NY
Ph: (718) 752-6000 or Reserve Online
After finishing up our shopping in Manhattan we caught the 7 train across to Long Island City. For dinner we decided to try one of the nearby restaurants that had been on my son's "to visit list."
We decided to share a salad, and then also share a large charcuterie and large cheese platter.
After some debate we decided to try the evening's special salad of grilled octopus with shaved lardon on a bed of arugula with pine nuts and a malt vinegar and olive oil dressing. We enjoyed the salad though the dressing was not especially exciting.
620 8th Avenue,
New York, NY
Ph: (212) 354-2195 or Reserve Online
This was my first day in Manhattan on this trip, having arrived really late the previous evening. I met my son to get a number of shopping tasks done. On our way from my hotel we passed Inakaya, and decided to stop in for lunch. The place was full but there was room at the sushi bar.
I liked the design of the restaurant. It is open with high ceilings and an unusually wide and comfortable sushi bar. As you can the chef has to use a paddle to hand dishes or a bottle of sake across to the patron.
Since this restaurant's specialty is Robata, Japanese barbecue, we had to try one of their Robata dishes so we chose to share one of their specials for the day: the US Kobe Beef duo featuring sirloin and tenderloin on skewers. The meat was incredibly tender and the dish came with grilled vegetables.
One food experience we did not want to miss was a visit to Les Roulottes – the Papeete Food Night Market. Street food dining has taken on a new flavour so to speak, in many cities including Vancouver. From the days when street food meant only hotdogs, pizza or pretzels, the street cart program at least in Vancouver has encouraged a varied “gourmet” street dining experience with carts at different locations throughout the city (Vancouver Foodie Tours Tastes Curbside Kitchen Food).
Papeete has its Roulottes. These are like the street carts we see in Vancouver but they are located in a large market area near the cruise terminal. There are tables to sit at and enjoy your meal. The vendor who was recommended to us was said to serve "restaurant quality" foods.
Eating out with a hungry toddler and pre-schooler can be challenging but in the many mini-cities of south Orange County there are plenty of diners where a "terrible-two's" unpredictable behaviour raises no eyebrows. On this short trip I had occasion to try out two kid friendly places; Ruby's Diner, a regular favorite for the kids, and Deemer's American Grill, to which we had never previously been.
Generally on my visits to Orange County my culinary explorations with my family tend to be limited to places suitable for taking young children. Unlike my usual dining choices therefore, in California my eating out tends much more toward casual or fast food dining.
So with the children at school and my son having a rare day off work, we took the opportunity to go for lunch to try some of the finer fare of Orange County.
As one who loves word play, while looking through the array of options for restaurants in this area, my attention was first caught by the name, Watermarc. I was therefore not surprised to read that the chef-owner is Marc Cohen, of the group that operates OPAH and 230 Forest Avenue.
We decided to go for a brisk walk in Laguna Beach followed by lunch at Watermarc which was a few minutes walk up from the beach area. It proved to be an excellent choice. The menu offered a range of dishes from interesting grazing plates to flatbread, burgers or full entrees. My only disappointment was that the foie gras brulee that had caught my eye on the online menu did not seem to be offered at lunch. I would have liked to compare it with the foie gras sundae I had at Ensemble in Vancouver.
Rocking Horse Pub 2038 Sanders Road
Nanoose Bay Nanaimo District, BC
Ph: (250) 468-1735
As we drove up to the Rocking Horse Pub, I saw what looked like a large house standing amidst green fields. The exterior did not hint at the comfortable English pub ambience that we encountered when we entered. Six of us were seated at a nice sized table. I chose to sit on the "church pew" bench which meant the table was just at the right height for me.
For our second dinner of the "Chicago for the Regular Guys" weekend, we had the choice of several restaurants. Most of the group chose Ditka's restaurant.
Our group piled into taxis in groups of 4 and converged on the restaurant in time for our reservations at 8 PM. One table had an earlier reservation and they were already seated but when we arrived the place was absolutely packed and we had to wait for two tables to be set.
The index to Travelblogue: Toronto 2011 for Theatre and Dining.
This lists the posted stories for my two week stay in Toronto, Ontario. I check out the restaurant and summer theatre scene including the Summerworks Festival, and also visit Stratford for more theatre and dining.