Aug. 26, 2016
By Naomi Witherick
Tackle the whitewater or throw out a fishing line. With the Elk River flowing through its district, Fernie is the perfect spot for a vacation on the water. And now you can stay even closer.
TASTE SOME OF THE BEST FOOD TORONTO HAS TO OFFER WITH THIS CITYWIDE CELEBRATION OF FOOD
TO JULY 24 Summerlicious returns for the 13th year, enabling patrons an opportunity to dine at some of the city’s premier establishments. The city-wide celebration encompasses more than 200 restaurants, with each creating three-course prix fixe menus for lunch ($18 to $28) and dinner ($28 to $48). Returning favourites include Canoe, The Carbon Bar, and Chase Fish & Oyster Bar, while Ufficio, Kasa Moto, and Beaumont Kitchen are new to the program. Spots fill up fast at some of the most popular restaurants, so make sure to make reservations ahead of time.—Karen Stevens
Entrepreneur Candy Lam first encountered Japanese-style crepes while making buying trips to Asia for her clothing store. With the help of her husband, Phil Salazar, Lam re-imagined the crispy, cone-shaped versions of the beloved French pancake for Winnipeg. With unique sweet and savoury fillings and names like “Pump Up the Yam” and “It’s-A-Smore”, Kawaii Crepe shows how fun and food go hand in hand. 201-99 Osborne St, 204‑415‑2833; Unit D-1220 St Mary’s Rd, 204‑691‑3700
EXOTIC YET AUTHENTIC FLAVOURS OF THE WORLD CAN BE FOUND RIGHT HERE IN TORONTO. HERE, YOUR PASSPORT TO PALATE-PLEASING DISHES FROM SOUTH AMERICA, EUROPE, THE MIDDLE EAST AND BEYOND.
Fried chicken at Omaw
Omaw riffs on Southern American cooking like no other restaurant in the city. Inspired by Carolina cooking, chef Matt Blondin slings plates of aged wagyu with beef fat vinaigrette, baguettes topped with pickled mussels and creamed corn, and recently he’s been winning crowds with heaping plates of his signature buttermilk fried chicken.
88 Ossington Ave., Toronto. 416-477-5450; omaw.ca
Pastries at Lucullus Bakers & Roasters
Lucullus’ third outpost brings 26 years of European pastries and Chinese breads in a posh boutique setting in Markham. The selection varies daily but you can expect an assortment of stuffed croissants along with steamed baskets of dumplings, and of course the iconic bo lo bao (pineapple buns).
31 Elm St., 416-792-1886; 7750 Kennedy Rd., 905-513-1188; lucullusbakery.com
Octopus at Bar Isabel
Chef Grant van Gameren was cooking up whole octopus at his Spanish restaurant Bar Isabel long before cephalapod reached mainstream fame. It’s a dish he can’t remove from the menu, grilled tentacles swimming in a tomato sauce with chunks of chorizo and Israeli couscous. Once you’re done mopping up the bowl, finish with some basque cake.
797 College St., 416-532-2222; barisabel.com
Rabbit Stifado at Mamakas Taverna
Classic Greek cooking with a facelift is what Chris Kalisperas does best at Ossington hotspot Mamakas. One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the rabbit stifado. Kalisperas braises whole legs of rabbit in red wine, mirepoix, bay leaf, cinnamon and peppercorns for a few hours. It’s finished off in a pan with roast cippollini onions and parsley and served with a purée of local sunchokes.
80 Ossington Ave., 416-519-5996; mamakas.ca
Thali at Indian Street Food Company
A visit to Hemant Bhagwani’s midtown restaurant is a must if you want a true representation of street food prevalent in India’s many railways stations and roadside stalls. The rotating daily thali is a sublime experience, a mound of rice and freshly baked naan is served with a half a dozen dips and curries that take you on a flavour-packed trip of salty, tangy and spicy.
1701 Bayview Ave., 416-322-3270; indianstreetfoodco.com
BBQ-Glazed beef tongue at Diwan
At the Aga Khan Museum, where chef Mark McEwan has recently taken over the food and beverage services, tuck into a vibrant Middle Eastern-themed menu while enjoying sprawling views of the Aga Khan Park. The top sandwich on the menu sees cooked beef slathered in a barbecue reduction and served with an East African salsa and pepper aioli on sourdough.
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr., 416-646-4670; agakhanmuseum.org
Curry udon with shrimp tempura at Menami
This new Sanuki udon house is putting out some of the best Japanese noodle bowls in the city. Kagawa-style artisanal “big fat noodles” is what MeNami specializes in, hand cut with a soft, al dente bite, tossed in a variety of broths (there are 15 versions in total). The signature bowl is the curry udon, noodles drowning in a rich clear broth, topped with vegetable and shrimp tempura.
MeNami Japanese Udon House and Sake Bar, 5469 Yonge St., 416-229-6191; menami.ca
Torta Cubana at Torteria San Cosme
Ever since restaurateur Arturo Anhalt laid eyes on a former cafe space in Kensington Market, the owner of Milagro restaurant wanted to open a traditional Mexican torteria. Nearly everything on the menu is sourced from the market, tucked generously into soft breads called pan teleras. The crowd favourite is the Cubana: thick slices of smoked ham and chunks of adobo pork are bathed in gouda and coated to the rim with a chipotle sauce.
181 Baldwin St., 416-599-2855; sancosme.ca
Quail and Foie Gras at Scaramouche
Upscale French dining doesn’t get any better. Keith Froggett’s longstanding Scaramouche restaurant has set the standard for refined food and service in this city. They continue to entice diners night after night with dishes like the quail and foie gras. It’s a decadent dance of sweet and savoury notes with stuffed quail, double smoked bacon, and sauternes raisins drenched in foie gras jus.
1 Benvenuto Pl., 416-961-8011; scaramoucherestaurant.com
Maha’s Mind Blowing Chicken at Maha’s
A family-run Egyptian restaurant near Little India is redefining what it’s like to brunch in the city. Imported drawings and fixtures dress the tiny dining room with a menu that is all about flavour and getting your hands messy. The quintessential Maha dish is a messy tower of slow marinated chicken dripping in mayo and garlic sauce, covered with onions, tomatoes and parsley.
226 Greenwood Ave., 416-462-2703; mahasbrunch.com
Suresh Doss is a Toronto-based food and drink writer. You can follow him on Twitter @spotlightcity or Instagram @suresh.
Like many first and second generation immigrants, owner Tony Chow of North Garden Restaurant has incorporated Manitoba ingredients into traditional recipes. The result is serendipitous Canadian-Chinese fusion food. During pickerel season, the local lakefish is simmered in a light and fresh watercress soup, stir fried with gaai laan, and bathed in rich chile oil. For North Garden’s customers, each meal is both familiar comfort and culinary adventure, often within a single menu page. 6-33 University Cres, 204‑275‑2591
With gourmet renditions of homey dishes on trend, chefs are getting in touch with their inner child. These childhood favourites are all grown up.
March 3, 2016
By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu
You don’t have to stay at the Fairmont to play at the Fairmont. Have a great day at the Chateau Lake Louise:
1. Start with the breakfast buffet at Poppy Brasserie, while you admire the morning light on the mountains through big windows.
2. Next, rent skates and glide into the ice castle with Victoria Glacier as your backdrop.
Feb. 20, 2016
By Afton Aikens & Ashley Materi
There are so many things we love about Canmore’s dining scene. Engaged and innovative chefs, creative culinary event planning…and of course, amazing food. Try it for yourself this season and see why we’re hooked.
It’s a Deal
Canmore restaurants are a wonderland of tasty specials:
At Rae & Jerry’s, the philosophy has always been “more is more.” With 330 seats in the dining room and lounge, the behemoth steakhouse serves up 200-300 pounds of beef daily, all butchered by chef Bill Georgakopoulos. The restaurant has been a perennial pick for stately steak dinners since 1957, famous for its generously loaded sandwiches, prime cuts of cow, and iconic red décor. This bastion of old school eating has proved the value of finding what works and sticking to it. 1405 Portage Ave, 204‑788‑6155, raeandjerrys.com
Winter heats up during Ciao! Dine About Winnipeg. Celebrating the abundance of good eating that makes up Winnipeg’s dining scene, this annual event sees the city’s best restaurants offering three course meals for only $28 and $38. For a full list of participating restaurants and menu offerings, visit ciaowinnipeg.com.
In a city with as much Francophone influence as Winnipeg, it’s not hard to find that glorious mixture of french fries, gravy, and melty cheese curds. These spots branch out from the classic with irresistable toppings and tasty twists.
JAN 21-FEB 15
Set directly on the ice of the Assiniboine River, pop up river restaurant RAW:almond serves diners a multi-course menu prepared by talented chefs, from Winnipeg’s finest to international stars of cuisine, like ramen master Richie Nakano. Winnipeg-based Etcetera Projects won the annual contest to design the structure, with a cinematically inspired “frame” that gives diners a glimpse into the kitchen. Tickets: $120. Visit raw-almond.com for more information.