No photos BUT special mention required! EZRA’S Pound and ROCK LOBSTER FOOD

2 places I’ve read about and checked out recently…

Ezra’s Pound – BEST espresso I’ve had to date.  Better than anything in ITALY included!  Better than Intelligentsia and Gjelina’s which I’ve raved about in the past (both California).  If you like good coffee, you MUST try this place.  Not normal.  The pastries are sin worthy…indulge in the chocolate croissant.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the croissants at Clafouti but these take 1st place now!

http://ezraspound.com/

On Friday night I had the pleasure of checking out Rock Lobster Food – a new resto on Ossington!  I had read about their Lobster Roll sandwich and that they get their oysters from Oyster Boy and on the first warm spring night of the year, I figured that would be a great meal!  The lobster roll was perfection and the oysters were fresh and tasted like the sea…amazing eats…next time I go – I won’t be sharing the lobster roll!  It’s so good you won’t want to share!  The staff were super friendly and fun – a good late night spot, the kinda place you’ll want to hang out at the bar and eat…bring on the summer!

http://rocklobsterfood.com/

Advertisements

Motorino Enoteca – Woodbridge

Need some mind blowing pizza?  Head to the Bridge!  Every bite of pizza and pasta was phenomenal – one of those meals where you wish you never got full!  lol.  I went for the pizza but then got persuaded to have the pasta as well – I don’t know what’s better!  Best to go with a few people and be able to try everything!

Gotta remember this place for the annual Del and Friends Christmas Party!  Perfecto.

http://motorinoenoteca.com/menu

Focaccia Farcita

Focaccia Farcita

Funghi al Forno

Funghi al Forno

Focaccia Farcita

Focaccia Farcita

Penne a la Vodka

Penne a la Vodka

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

IMG_8593

Monday Night at Local Kitchen & Wine Bar

Not over exaggerating here!  I had one of the best meals I’ve had in ages at Local Kitchen recently.  On Monday, April 8th I attended the California Wine Fair and needed some good food to balance out all the wine we sampled!  I had read about Monday’s at Local Kitchen and knew they offered free corkage and $40 for 4 courses – off I went with my Napa Cab in tow!  It was the perfect time to check it out!  There was a dish they served that was less that mind blowing…

Get your reservation in the books!  Parkdale is just bursting with fantastic-ness!

Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700.

http://www.localkitchen.ca/

There were 4 of us and we couldn’t finish all the food we ordered!  Best deal in town if you ask me!

Osteria Tulia – Naples, FL

One of my favorite restaurants in Naples, Florida is Campiello…it has been for years.  When I read that the former chef from Campiello, Vincenzo Betulia, opened a new restaurant on 5th called Tulia, I couldn’t wait to check it out!  It’s very different from Campiello – although both serve Italian cuisine, each restaurant has completely different menu’s, atmosphere and vibe.  Tulia offers indoor and outdoor seating, right on the main street of Naples – 5th Ave.  You can sit inside and take in the high energy environment (avg age had to be 65 when I was there and the place was still hoppin’! – they also had March Madness playing on the bar TV’s) or you can sit outside and enjoy the lovely spring weather of Southwest Florida and people watch and family’s walk by with ice cream in hand.  It was a perfect way to arrive in Naples for the Easter long weekend…I settled right in and enjoyed…

The linguine with clams was a dish worth returning for!  For dessert we had budino with salted caramel (and I believe dark cherries?)…this was a life changer…one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted!  Can’t wait to return next year!  Good job Tulia!

http://www.tulianaples.com/index.php

Susur Lee’s “Lee” restaurant Toronto

Many many years ago now, I had the pleasure of eating at Susur in Toronto – a one of kind to Toronto in it’s day…10 years ago asking something like $150-200 per person for a 10 course tasting menu.  My best friend “Pap” and I treated ourselves to a birthday dinner (we both have birthday’s in April) at Susur.  I still remember this meal – what an impression it made on me.  Some people aren’t impressed by the detail and fussiness put into a 10 course dinner at $150-200 a person (especially the length of time it takes to consume all the courses) but I am enamored by it!  Worth every penny to me – meal, memory and experience (Susur was even in the kitchen that night and came out to meet us and sign our menu’s).

Susur has since closed but a more casual Susur Lee restaurant called LEE remains in it’s space at King and Portland.  All these years have gone by but I’ve never ventured to try Lee – to be honest, I always thought I’ve experienced the mecca of Susur dining, why would I downgrade at this point?  Stupid, ignorant me…I recently joined friends who were dining at Lee – although I didn’t join them to have a meal (i joined as they were in the middle of dinner), I tried bites of dishes that come to the table (Singapore Slaw, slow braised beef, cheeseburger spring roll) and everything was so fantastic, I went back the following night with another group of friends (all who had never been either) to experience a full meal and other items on the menu.  Everyone really enjoyed the meal…every dish was delightful.  My only criticism is in me – for waiting so damn long to check this place out…and the even better part – it’s no where near $150-$200 a person!!!

P.S.  Best to go with at least 4 people so it’s easy to share large dishes and order multiple items.  I went with 5 people (2 men, 3 women).  Our waiter suggested we order 8-10 dishes, we ordered 7 and it was more than enough…start with less and order more if you need it.

http://www.susur.com/lee/

The Chapel Grill – Naples, Florida

On my recent trip to Florida, my last dinner out was at a restaurant with my Mother.  We decided to go to the new Chapel Grill downtown.  It’s a classic Floridian style restaurant, with great food, lots of selection on the menu, outdoor seating (covered with heat lamps if necessary) – a good choice overall.  Check it out if you are in the Naples area soon.  http://thechapelgrill.com/

Creamed Spinach $4.1 ~ $8.2 Baby spinach with double cream & a splash of pernod.

Creamed Spinach $4.1 ~ $8.2
Baby spinach with double cream & a splash of pernod.

Plank Roasted Salmon $25.6 Bourbon maple glazed, Dijon mashed & grilled asparagus.

Plank Roasted Salmon $25.6
Bourbon maple glazed, Dijon mashed & grilled asparagus.

Lobster à la Minute  Market Pricing 1½ pound Maine lobster prepared steamed or butter poached.

Lobster à la Minute Market Pricing
1½ pound Maine lobster prepared steamed or butter poached.

Coco Loco Caribbean Calamari $11.9 Coconut milk dredged flour dusted tubes, chorizo & squash with a 
roasted garlic aïoli.

Coco Loco Caribbean Calamari $11.9
Coconut milk dredged flour dusted tubes, chorizo & squash with a
roasted garlic aïoli.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes Trio $13.5 Louisianan rémoulade, Old Bay aïoli & garlic onion jam.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes Trio $13.5
Louisianan rémoulade, Old Bay aïoli & garlic onion jam.

Pretzel Bread

Pretzel Bread

Sassycakes Cupcakes. Oooh La La…

Anyone who knows me well, knows I prefer to do my own baking over ordering from a bakery/cupcake shop, etc.  With my Dad’s 70th birthday coming up, I had to decide, will I bake him a cake or cupcakes or order from somewhere local?  There were a lot of preparations to be done so I decided to order the cupcakes from a local Naples shop and take that stress off myself!  I did my research and decided to go with Sassycakes!  What a treat!  These cupcakes were phenomenal – peanut butter chocolate, carrot cake, key lime, red velvet, oreo, etc.

So fresh and moist, flavorful and not too sweet.  All ingredients tasted like good quality ingredients.  Absolutely as good as homemade – in fact I’ll bow down here…Bayah and Sassycakes would kick my butt in the cupcake kitchen!  🙂

Thank you Bayah for the beautiful assortment of cupcakes!  We are still eating them 3 days later.  Everyone at the party raved about them and were asking where they were from!  Hope you have some new visitors to the shop soon!  See you next time (my birthday is just around the corner 😉 !)

http://www.sassycakesinc.com/