Jamie’s Italian in Yorkdale

So I have to admit that I have a small (BIG) crush on Jamie Oliver.  I can’t help it, he is just amazing! So when I was in Toronto recently for a conference and saw that he has a restaurant there, I took it as a sign.  A BIG SIGN…eat here…drag your friends here…hahahaha!

Lucky enough that I have some pretty awesome friends who will come with me whereever I want to eat so it was pretty easy to convince them!

So off we went! Got the reservation…check, get the uber…check, get your friends…check AND WE WERE OFF!

Now the restaurant from where we were staying was a good 30 minute drive but it was worth it!

We show up and were seated…guess where we were seated? Right…by…the…OPEN KITCHEN.  Now granted everyone in the restaurant was seated in the same area, but thats not the point.  The point is that this is always the best seat in the house.  Its like being at your own viewing of a cooking show.  Whenever you go and eat somewhere, ask if they have a chefs counter, it won’t dissapoint!

The food was awesome! To start we shared the Crispy Ravioli, this is such a great appetizer to do for a crowd…hmmm…side note – remember to do a post on this one…and we shared the Charcuterie Board.  Ms. Munro and I … well actually everyone in my life…has a healthy love of charcuterie boards.  They are just soooo good! The cured meats, the pickled vegetables, cheese, olives…I could go on and on but I think we get the point.

Then for dinner I had “Gennaro’s Tagiliatelle Bolognese”.  Now this sauce, I could dream about this sauce over and over again.  Slow cooked pork and beef in a red wine sauce….ugh…so good!! Ms. Munro had the Fresh Crab Spaghetti, Ms. Cool had Gennaro’s Famour Porchetta and Ms. Cox had the Fish with olives and tomatoes.  We each tried a little bit of everyone’s and I can say that everything was delicious!

If you are in Toronto…eat here!!

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Crispy Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce
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Charcuterie Board
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Gennaro’s Tagliatelle Bolognese
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Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta
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Fresh Crab Spaghetti
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Whole Roasted Fish with Olives and Tomato

Westlake Grill in Red Deer

Recently we had the opportunity to eat at Westlake Grill in Red Deer and the experience and food was so good!

We were in Red Deer for our Annual Coldwell Banker Sales Rally and an Agent from our office, Mr. Perkins,  was told about the Westlake Grill at Heritage Ranch.  So off we went!

The Restaurant is located at Heritage Ranch which sits on 207 acres and is absolutley beautiful! Not only do they have a great restaurant but they also offer, sleigh rides, carriage rides and Ranch Tracker.  Heard of Man Tracker? Well put that on the ranch and you get Ranch Tracker.  Call the Restaurant to find out more about that!

Back to the Restaurant, the space is very open and tons of windows…we were seated more in a group section and ended up sitting beside a Book Club that was having dinner and were so funny!

The Restaurant tries to use as many local ingredients that they can and are very bigger supporters of farmers in Alberta.  With our meal we had the option of also doing a wine tasting which came with a cheese board that was all local Alberta Goat Cheese…YES PLEASE! Which was massive…forget an appetizer, I’ll just have cheese please! For dinner I shared the Beef Tenderloin with my friend Ms. Munro and it was so good! It came with Cauliflower puree (which if you know me you know of my love of Cauliflower puree or mashed cauliflower or roasted Cauliflower…okay maybe its just my love of Cauliflower in general! LOL), Smoked Fig Jus and Beef Braised Cabernet Sauvignon Fingerling Potatoes.  It was so good, I didn’t think I could have anything more and then…I saw the desert card…and they had Creme Brulee…HEAVEN…So of course I waited a little bit and then ordered it and fell in love with the restaurant even more.

Just when I thought that the night couldn’t get any better, Joel the owner of the restaurant invited us to take our wine outside to their patio and had a great fire going.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal!

If you are in Red Deer you have to check out Westlake Grill, it will not disappoint!

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Yiannis Taverna – Edmonton, Alberta

Last weekend we went for a great meal at Yiannis Taverna in Edmonton.  It was a celebration for our family with it being my mother-in-law’s birthday and was a chance for the family to be together before Christmas!

My Mother-in-law loves Greek food so we always try to have that for her on her birthday.  Yiannis Taverna had recently been renovated so I was excited to see what they had done with the place and they did not disappoint! The renovations that they have done have made the restaurant very inviting and modern looking! There is a lot of space there, with plenty of room for people to have their Christmas Parties, Birthdays and other celebrations!

Now for the food! We all had ordered different plates and happy to say that everyone was very happy with their food! My Hubs ordered the Rack of Lamb and I think I have to say that that was the winning plate of the night! Great flavour and cooked perfectly!

All in all in it was a great evening with music, food, laughter and great time spent with our family! If you are in the Edmonton area check out this great restaurant!

Yiannis Taverna

Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton

On Friday night my Hubs, sister-in-law and mom-in-law and I went and checked out Sabor Restaurant in Edmonton.  After reading a bit about the restaurant, I was really interested to check it out!  They have influences of Portuguese and Spanish, but they are also an Oceanwise Certified Restaurant.  I was up for having some really good seafood and wine!

The decor and vibe of the restaurant was so nice! From the hardwood floors to the lighting, I loved it all! The restaurant was actually a lot bigger then I thought it was going to be! Whether you wanted to sit in the front lounge area or the in the restaurant, they have the space!

For the Food!

I could have sat there all night just ordering the Share Plates! They were so good and a very good portion that all 4 of us were able to have some of each.  For the Share Plates we ordered Tuna Carpaccio, the Grilled Piri-Piri Prawns, Caesar Salad and the Clams & Pork Belly.  My two favourites were the Piri-Piri Prawns, the prawns were grilled perfectly and the spice was so good! My other favourite hands down was the Clams & Pork Belly…AMAZING! The clams were cooked perfectly and the pork belly was perfectly crispy! I would go back just for that one!

For Dinner we ordered the Seafood Paella, Tagliatelle with Prawns, Chinook Salmon and the Lobster Risotto. I had some of the Lobster Risotto and I think that was my favourite out of the 4!

The one big disappointment was that we didn’t leave enough room for Desert! But hey thats just a good excuse to go back!

If you are in Edmonton make sure you stop at Sabor!

Sabor Restaurant

New York! Take Me Back!

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Tom Wolfe

We had an amazing weekend in New York City! We wandered, ate, drank, ate, wandered…well you get the idea! I’ve realized that you could continuously go back to New York City and every trip would be different.  There is just so much to see and do there, which is amazing!

We stayed at the Roosevelt hotel which is beautiful and rich in history.  Great location and great lounge, our room was a little small but that didn’t really bother us. We traveled on the red eye so by the time we got there we were pretty tired.  But the hotel was able to get us an early check in so we got to have a bit of a nap before going out and exploring the City.  Thank goodness!

Our first dinner in New York City was at 21 Club.   The 21 Club has been featured in many movies and tv shows, a couple being Wall Street, One Fine Day and one of my favourite all time shows Sex and the City! The service and food was great and the decor in the restaurant was very unique! Later that evening we had tickets to Cabaret at the Studio 54 Club.  Unfortunately we didn’t take into account how hard it would be to get a cab after dinner and so we ended up running a couple blocks to the Theatre in order to get in before the doors closed (broken shoe and all!).  Cabaret was AMAZING! Staring Alan Cumming and Emma Stone! They had the audience involved from the very beginning.  Both Mr. Cumming and Ms. Stone were so good and the rest of the cast did not disapoint either.

The following night was Valentines Day! Keith and I had reservations at Pearl & Ash, more on that later, but before dinner we decided to go to the Empire State Building. Up we went to the very top, within 20 minutes we saw 2 proposals which were so sweet! Took a couple of photos and got back in side!

And now…Dinner at Pearl & Ash…  I have been looking forward to this dinner for months and am an avid follower of their restaurant on Instagram.   As soon as we walked in the restaurant I was so happy! The staff was welcoming and quickly had us seated.  We were first seated at the front table which was really cozy set back in a bay window.  However, it was pretty cold and we ended up being moved to a back table (which I was secretly happy about because we got to see more of what was going on through out the restaurant).  The Dinner for the evening was a set menu with 7 courses. Ranging from a fried oyster to tea smoked chicken to french toast with chocolate, cherries and lemongrass. Every course was so good and hard to pick a favourite but I would have to say that the first course of a fried oyster with a cauliflower mouse was so good! And went so well with the champagne!

Our last meal in New York was at the Strip House, we were recommended to go there from our server at lunch. Inside the restaurant is decorated with Burlesque theme, from the black and white photos on the wall to the velvet wallpaper (that I want to find and put in my ensuite) to the napkins.  The menu is all a la carte the side plates are great compliments to probably the most mouth watering steaks you will ever have! We started with the Strip House Roasted Bacon with Arugula and Russian Dressing (enough said) and for our mains we ordered the filet mignon and the 12 ounce steak that they had on special that night.  For our sides we had the Roasted Cauliflower, Crisp Goose Fat Potatoes and our server sent over the Creamed Corn with Pancetta (picture whole corn stewed with creme and pancettas and then poured into small roasting dishes, top it off with breadcrumbs and then bake to perfection!).  Then when we thought we could eat anything more a slice of best home made cheesecake showed up at our table.  We were so full!

Here are a few pics from our trip!

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I can’t wait for our next trip to New York City! What are your favourite spots in New York?

Anniversary Dinner at Corso32

My Hubs and I had quite a busy summer! But now that it is over we decided to treat ourselves and celebrate our 2nd Anniversary with a dinner at Corso 32.  I was first told about Corso 32 from my sister and her husband.  She had been hearing that it was a great new restaurant in Edmonton but hadn’t had a chance to make it there.  So about a year ago my good friend, Ms. Cool, and I went and checked it out! It was awesome! So when my Hubs and I decided to head to the City for the weekend and celebrate our Anniversary I knew exactly where we should go! I had called ahead and asked if we could do a tasting menu for our dinner.  My Hubs and I love doing this, it gives you an opportunity to try more items on the menu and its just something different to.  Some restaurants will have set tasting menus but if you don’t see it being offered, don’t be shy and ask if that is something that they can do!

Corso 32 is a small Italian restaurant…and I mean small! I love how from the outside you wouldn’t even really know that there is a restaurant until you get almost right up to the door.  Once you are inside there are just small tables grouped together in a very cozy atmosphere.  I also love that even though the restaurant is small and the tables are close together it still felt very intimate and no issue having your own conversation…if that makes sense 😉

We decided to also do wine pairings with our meals which was a great idea and I am so happy that we did it! Our server was awesome and very knowledgeable and did not push us or try to hurry us through the courses.

We had 6 course and ranged from a prosciutto and cheese plate to probably the best braised short rib that I have had in my life!

If you are in Edmonton make sure you make it to Corso 32, you will not be disappointed!

Corso32

The Marc!

Over the weekend we went to Edmonton to pick up my Nephew and Niece who will be staying with me and the Hubs for the Summer! The play Wicked was also playing that weekend so we decided to make a night of it with the family!

My sister-in-law chose the restaurant for dinner and couldn’t have found a better place! The Marc is a great French restaurant with great food and great service!

Now onto the food!

My Hubs and I decided to try out the Steak Tartar.  I have never had this dish before and I thought that it was delicious! It came with Bread and Cornichons, I honestly could have eaten the whole thing without the bread! But the whole dish was great! For our mains I had the Lamb and Hubs had the Pork Shoulder Chop! The lamb chops were so good and cooked perfectly! They were served with peas and couscous!

The next time you are in Edmonton, check out this restaurant! You won’t be disappointed!

The Marc