restaurant review

p1130483-w220-h220.jpgSinohouse Restaurant, Himmelpfortgasse 27

p1130481-w220-h220.jpgBefore seeing Der Besuch der Alten Damen at the Ronacher Theatre a block away, we had supper at Sino house. The service was excellent and I thought the food was great.

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p1130407-w250-h250.jpgHuth ristorante da moritz, 6 Schellinggasse

We had dinner at Huth damoritz before seeing the Wiener Staatsballet perform  Dornroschen (The Sleeping Beauty) at the Vienna Opera House. The concierge at our hotel made a reservation for a very early dinner before before the ballet which started at 7 PM.

p1130408-w250-h250.jpgHe emphasized the address, as there were a couple of different Huth restaurants on that street. When we walked up to the address I was given, 6 Schellingasse, it was not yet open. The  Italian restaurant where the concierge  had made a reservation was actually around the corner.

p1130093-w500-h500.jpgThe Kettle Restaurant
1138 Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, California
Instead of spending a 6 hour layover in the not-so-comfortable International departures area of LAX, I was lucky that my family came to pick me up at the airport to take me out for lunch. We drove out to Manhattan Beach and enjoyed a nice lunch at The Kettle restaurant a couple of blocks up from the beach.

the foie gras parfaitHawksworth Restaurant
801 West Georgia St.,
Vancouver, BC
Ph: (604) 673 - 7000 or Reserve Online

Hawksworth on Urbanspoon

slow cooked short ribsBefore going to see La Cage aux Folles at the Vancouver Playhouse, I was invited to dinner at Hawksworth. Although it had been on my "must visit" list for a while, this was my first opportunity to dine here and I was looking forward to it.

We both decided on appetizers and an entree, self-righteously planning on not having dessert. Although that plan did not last much past our first look at the dessert menu. 

bluecheese pear tarts with red wine syrupWatermarc Restaurant
448  S. Coast Hwy.,
Laguna Beach, CA
Ph: (949] 376-62 or Reserve Online at OpenTable

WaterMarc Grill on Urbanspoon

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. 

sizzling garlic shrimpSo 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.

the fillet mignon pot pie the pot pieWe 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.

South Beach rollWabora Fusion Japanese Restaurant
550 Wellington Street West
Toronto, ON
Ph: 416-777-9901 or Reserve Online at  Open Table

Wabora (Thompson Hotel) on Urbanspoon

We were looking for somewhere to have lunch In between Summerworks shows on a hot Toronto day. We were in the King Street West area so I checked out UrbanSpoon and Open Table, and found a listing for Wabora in the Thompson Hotel.

tuna tatakiAfter leaving the Factory theatre area we walked to the restaurant. The cool interior was very welcome, and our server graciously brought me a damp napkin to mop my bright red face. 

Evesea bassn though I come from Vancouver, which probably has more superb sushi restaurants per square mile than Tokyo, I was intrigued by the unusual selection of rolls - quite inventive. We could not resist trying two; the crab dynamite roll and the South Beach roll.

breakfast omeletteFran's Restaurant
20  College Street,
Toronto, ON.
Ph: 416-923-9867

Fran's on Urbanspoon

We were looking for a restaurant for a late breakfast before heading back to the Summerworks Festival to see a play at noon.

Fran's Restaurant , an American style diner, was close by and we thought it looked perfect for brunch.

We both had coffee and declined juice. Amidst the several omelette offerings the menu listed a "build your own omelette" option. Starting with three eggs, you can add a variety of fillings such as various cheeses, bacon, ham, onions, peppers,  sautéed mushrooms and salsa.

I picked whole wheat toast. Michael had rye toast. Both omelettes came with a pile of the most perfectly cooked hash brown potatoes. The were so good that I got our server to remove my plate so that I would not  eat the whole pile.

steak saladHoops Sports Bar and Grill
735 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
Ph: 416-862-2400

Hoops Sports Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

In  between shows at the Summerworks Festival we wandered down Queen Street in search of a cafe or restaurant where we could cool off and have a light meal.

warm spinach and artichoke dipWe ended up at Hoops Sports Bar which  I gulped down a couple of glasses of water while Michael enjoyed a cold beer.

A Peak to Peak CabinAfter several rather grey and overcast mornings, Thursday dawned with a clear sky and my IPhone told me that there was going to be a temperature high of around 20º in Whistler. It was definitely the day for us to do the Peak to Peak Gondola ride.

The Peak to Peak Gondola connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on a 4.4 kilometre long ride. Opened in December 2008,  it breaks three world records. Supported by only four towers, two on each mountain, it boasts the longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres, is the highest lift of its kind rising 436 metres above the valley floor and completes the longest continuous alpine lift system on the globe.

It really was an amazing and spectacular ride.

After buying our tickets in Whistler Village, we first rode the Whistler Village Gondola up to the Roundhouse lodge. There we walked around and marveled at the spectacular view before getting aboard one of the red cabins.

I was up by 7 as usual and brewing coffee. Breakfast for the second day was a bowl of Liberté the tempting Pure breads baking listMediterranean yogurt, thick and creamy, with blue berries and strawberries. Then while my friend headed off for a golf lesson at Whistler Golf  Club Driving Range, I settled down to catch up on my writing.

By 11:30 we were ready to head out on an exploratory walk around the village to see what was open for lunch. We wandered by Alta Bistro but saw that it only served dinner. Elements was packed and noisy, and we did not want to wait. We wanted to fit in a meal at Umberto's Il Caminetto but by the time we had wandered up to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, we were ready for  an immediate lunch! That mountain air does it every time. We looked in at the Wildflower Restaurant but it was not open for lunch

We were directed to the Mallard Lounge   and terrace where lunch was being served. My friend was craving a bowl of creamy mushroom soup and we shared a charcuterie plate featuring meats from Two Rivers and an artisan cheese platter with cheeses from Farm House Cheese in Agassiz and Poplar Grove on the Naramata Bench.

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