Mexican is one of my favourite types of cuisine, so naturally when a spot opens in my neighborhood, it jumps to the top of my list.
That being said; with its seemingly never-ending line of eager customers, I’ve only recently been able to check out La Carnita.
Spinning the best of throw-back 90′s hip-hop tracks, La Carnita’s theorem takes a blend of street art and street food, plunging you into a great atmosphere for snacks & drinks, making it a hit with a date or friends.
My standouts came along with a start of ancho dusted Tortilla dipped Guacamole chips, followed by a round of tacos; Tostada de Ceviche, the tender Beef Cheek, and In Cod We Trust, paring it all up with a beverage concoction called Smoke & Mirrors, cucumber with a kick.
I loved that they add an original piece of art to take away with your bill – really leaves you with a lasting impression!
Column one: 1. Tortilla Chips w/ ancho chili powder & Guacamole, Sikil Pak, Mezcal Chipotle Liver Pate – 2. menu – 3. Beef Cheek w/ lime avocado, green cabbage, pickled jalapeño & crispy shallots (x2) / La Carnita (Friday Special) confit pork, guacamole, salsa verde & pickled onion (x1) – 4. Doublenaut print, 250/2500
Column two: 1. Edison Bulbs – 2. Aqua – 3. Tostada de Ceviche w/ Swordfish, guacamole, coconut milk, habanero, tomato & cucumber – 4. Smoke & Mirrors w/ Fortuna Mezcal, lime juice, muddled cucumber & Cilantro – 5. In Cod We Trust w/ Voltron sauce, lime crema, pickled red cabbage, green apple & cliantro
While walking through Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas we stumbled upon the hotel restaurant Julian Serrano. The décor was warm hues and opalescent mosaic tile sweeping though the entire restaurant. The open concept and colourful atmosphere was a great contrast to some of the overly dark and dim restaurants found in Vegas.
I have to gush about this restaurant because the food was excellent! We sampled a good variety of tapas and they were all outstanding. The spicy brava potatoes brought me back to Barcelona – only I was in Vegas. I ordered a seemingly typical plate of battered calamari and discovered that it had fried lemon slices that were sprinkled with sea salt. Since I’m not opposed to sampling the garnish, I tried the lemon slices and they were delicious! Before we knew it most of the plate had been devoured, so no pictures. I will definitely return to try everything else on the menu!
White Anchovy Fillets | Tuna Carpaccio | Beef & Cheese | Brava Potatoes
My favourite part of my trip to Vegas was the food! The restaurants are simply some of the best with world renowned chefs at the helm. Unique in both concept and décor, China Poblano created by chef José Andrés is a noodle & taco resto located in The Cosmopolitan.
I’m partial to Mexican food – it’s one of my favorites – so we sampled a few of the dishes on the Mexicaso side of the menu. The décor is modern and bright, intermixing Chinese & Mexican cultural elements. Digital images swap from famous Chinese to Mexican public figures. The restaurants kitchens are split into two; one side prepares strictly Chinese dishes, while other side whips up Mexican offerings. Now for the food, it was tapas style and amazing – the guacamole was perfect, roasted chicken mole tacos, tuna ceviche, and shrimp mojo were delicious. I enjoyed a pomegranate margarita with a light sweetness that paired well with all the spices.
Pollo con Mole Poblano roasted chicken taco | mole poblano sauce
Tuna Ceviche amaranth seeds | soy sauce | pecans
Shrimp Mojo Shrimp sweet black garlic | roasted poblano peppers
One of my favourite salads that I eat all year round is actually one that I came up with while on a yeast free diet. The Candida diet focuses on the removal of food items that contain yeast, sugar, gluten, and even dairy; in order to eliminate excess levels of contaminants in the body. This salad is packed with flavour and I usually add a can of tuna for protein – great for lunches! For those with food sensitivities this recipe is gluten, dairy, and yeast free. See the super simple recipe below…
The always busy Khao San Road has been on my list of restaurants to hit-up for a while now. The Thai restaurant named after Bangkok’s famous Khao San Road - known for its food vendors and bustling traffic – is fitting for its Toronto location, in the heart of the Entertainment District at 326 Adelaide Street West. The space is casual with simple modern décor; featuring art & photography from local artists in city. Chef Nuit serves up authentic Thai dishes that do not disappoint. We sampled some apps, a coconut curry special, a noodle dish, and Singha beer…
Fresh Rolls – Po Pia Pak Sod Gai Yaw
Stir Fried Rice Noodles -Pad Kee Mao
Squash Fritters – Gra Bong
Coconut Curry Special – Khao Soi
This past long weekend was filled with gorgeous weather and wine tours in Niagara on the Lake. Considering the great weather, touring from winery to winery via a bicycle made for the perfect day. It became less about the wine and more about being outside, enjoying the scenery.
Finally! I was able to check out Bestellen – considering that it’s right in my neighbourhood. The restaurant is located at 972 College Street and headed up by chefs Rob Rossi and Ryan Sarfeld. Bestellen is Dutch for to order; and order we did. We sampled a mix of savory bitters and subtly sweet combinations off the drink menu. I tried a cocktail made with Pimm’s, cucumber slices, and fresh leaves mint. We also tried fun & flavourful concoctions like the Basil Smash and Smokey Lemonade – a great spot to grab drinks with friends.
As for the food, well, we weren’t shy… started with the smoked duck tacos, served up in a small pan and packed with flavour – my favourite item on the menu! We also tried the Traditional Steak Tartare with a crispy quail’s egg & the house-made Charcuterie – both were excellent. For our mains I tried the Pouched Trout with chanterelle mushrooms (my favourite mushroom) & pearl barley, while my BF had the Dry-aged Prime Beef Striploin. The trout was spiced perfectly, while the barley, chanterelles, French beans, and watercress kept it light. The steak was 16 ounces of serious meat, seared to perfection. The side of green beans with crème fraîche, fresh dill + toasted almonds complimented the steak and really brought out the flavour. The side was so good, that I could have had it on its own. I also have to mention that because the steak took longer to prepare, our server was kind enough to bring over two plates of Agnolotti! This dish was fabulously unexpected in its arrival and taste. The buffalo ricotta was soft and creamy, while the spring peas, lemon + mint created a buttery soft sauce that was lemony sweet. Ok — the pasta + fish put me over the edge, so I had to opt out of dessert; but I did see some sweet home-made treats on the chalk board. I’ll have to go back for drinks & home-made sweets soon.
By the way, this is my BF Michael; he takes most of the outfit shots for the blog and can also be credited for
introducing me to this great spot.
While in Montreal, the search for a new restaurant lead us to repeat instances of Joe Beef popping up on ‘best restaurant’ lists for the city. I wanted see and experience what all the fuss was about; especially considering the lack of an online menu. The restaurant presented a very laid back vibe, and the decor was ripe of vintage rustic elements. We started with the oysters, enjoying ourselves a tad bit too quickly, enough to only capture a pic of empty shells – they were delicious! As we savoured our first bite of their 18oz. sirloin steak, aptly named “Steak Joe Beef”, we quickly realized why this restaurant came so highly recommended – the steak was beyond flavourful and tender, the fries were rich, and a simple green salad with white wine vinegar was the perfect complement. Believe it or not, I polished off the entire steak… and then there was dessert. Initially, I objected, but was convinced to try the raspberry sorbet by our charmingly persuasive server.
We had a great night, the food and our service was excellent. If you’re in town, I would definitely recommended checking out Joe Beef whether it’s for the Beef, or one of the their other uniquely wonderful dishes.