This past Friday, I was invited (this is a sponsored post) to come and try the new recently launched menu at &Co, a resto bar located in Mississauga an area 30 minutes west of Toronto. I’m going to be honest, when I was first asked to attend I had never heard of &Co so I did a bit of online research and although the comments I’ve read were good, I haven’t been a fan of these types of establishments that bring food and nightlife together (think Brant House). To my surprise, the food and even better, the service exceeded my expectations! Y, our server, was great at recommending cocktails and dishes. My favourite dish of the night was the Ontario Vegetable Curry. Typically curries are made with cut veggies and served with rice, what I loved about this was the vegetables were kept whole, like they weren’t cooked with the curry. It was sitting atop a bed of israeli couscous with thai green curry poured over – it was delicious! The idea or theme for the menu is “fine familiar”, taking familiar dishes and elevating it with flavours that aren’t expected. This is definitely evident in the crispy thai calamari, the usual breaded and deep fried squid but then served sitting in a pool of green thai curry; or the salmon wellington, instead of beef and beef jus its made with salmon served with a “teriyaki” jus. We finished the meal with a plate of beignets to be dipped into a chocolate espresso sauce. All in all, it was a successful revamp of the menu and a great night, and I found out that they are renovating their rooftop patio so I’ll definitely be back in the summer.
Author Archives: naokoeats
In December my friend H started a wine club. We all sat together at one of her many dinner parties she loves to throw and brainstormed themes for each “club meeting” (aka an excuse for us to eat and drink wine). Last weekend was our second wine club dinner and the theme was Pinot Noirs from France so we decided to do a wine & cheese. I’m not a huge wine connoisseur and in fact, when I find a wine that I like, I typically stick to that wine and rarely try something else. So this is a perfect way to challenge my taste buds. I’m into Beaujolais which is a lighter red wine so you would think that I would love Pinots as well but I wasn’t crazy about these. Of the four wines we tried, the Louis Jadot 2012 was the best. It could be that we didn’t have food that accompanied well with pinot noirs, perhaps the cheese were too strong – I don’t know. All I can say is these weren’t at all overwhelming but always great to catch up with great friends and company. I can’t wait for our next wine club dinner party – sparkling wine & brunch, the perfect combination!
Most major cities these days have restaurant week, where restaurants prepare fixed prix menus for lunch and dinner at reasonable prices giving us an excuse to try new places. In Toronto, we have it twice a year and for this Winterlicious week my friend S suggested Luckee, a place she’s wanted to try for awhile. One of the more recent restaurants by Susur Lee, is located in Senses’ former space in SoHo Metropolitan hotel. Beautifully decorated inside we sat in the front dining room and as you can tell by my photos were seated in front of the large neon red sign. I’m a big fan of Susur Lee and his food has always been so innovative and beautifully presented. Luckee was no different. The best course of the night was my appetizer – sliced duck served with wrappers, waldorf salad, fruit relish and a black bean dipping sauce. I love food that you somewhat have to work for so this course is totally me.
I’m going to admit, the reason why I decided on Hakkasan was the location. Ever since the last time I was in Miami, the hotel Fontainebleau was only under construction so this time around, I really wanted to check it out. If you haven’t been, its beautiful! And if you haven’t been to Hakkasan, definitely worth having dinner. What I love most about it is the atmosphere. Not your typical Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan provides a “nightlife” type of environment serving some good asian-fusion food. This isn’t the first time I’ve been to Hakkasan – my first experience at this restaurant was in London, England (Michelin star location) and although I don’t remember the food per se but I clearly remember the atmosphere and liveliness of the place. And this location is no different.
Probably my favourite restaurant and meal of our Miami weekend was Saturday morning brunch at Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in South Beach. Another beautiful day, we were seated by the window soaking in the sun in a lively, loft-like and inviting interior. Its brunch and we were on vacation so we deservedly ordered Yardbird’s famous blackberry bourbon lemonade made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, fresh lemon and cardamom – it was tart and sweet with just enough bourbon, if you know what I mean :). Everything on the menu looked delicious so we had to make some tough choices and our server was extremely helpful. My favourite dish was the BLT Benedict Cast Iron Casserole. Gorgeously presented in a cast iron dish, made with chunks of their buttermilk biscuits mixed right in the eggs and topped with hollandaise sauce was delicious! Finished off with cubes of cured bacon and a light frisee salad on the side, its the perfect brunch meal. I can understand why this place was on every top restaurant list for Miami – I’ve added it back onto my list to go back for dinner, its that good.
A beautiful interior space, Tongue & Cheek was our stop for dinner on our second night in Miami. Our server was great and we practically ordered all her recommendations. My main dish, the Florida red snapper was delicious. Typically when there’s fried chicken on the menu, I ignore everything else, but how can I be in Miami and not order seafood – so I took the server’s suggestion and had the red snapper. However, the most memorable dish of the night was the dessert. The homemade smoked mallow cream was so unique and a flavour so unexpected – definitely not for everyone but I really liked it. Completely reminded me of toasting marshmallows over a fire pit.
Located in the up and coming area of Miami’s Design District (similar to Toronto’s King East which is lined with furniture shops), is a retail space called Chrome Hearts that allows emerging artists and designers a space to sell their goods. And tucked away past the black gates right beside the open air atrium and patio is David’s Cafe Cafecito. Normally we would have walked right past this cafe if it weren’t for the folks across the street at Jonathan Adler‘s store. Taking their advice on getting some good coffee we ventured to David’s. And what a gem! Such a funky locale and the perfect weather to sit out on the patio. Being an iced coffee junky, I ordered the iced cafe con leche. Made with milk and a giant coffee ice cube – an ingenious way to avoid coffee dilution. The menu is simple but we didn’t go there to eat. It’s all about the coffee and the details here, even down to the designs on the sugar cubes. Great place to sit, have a cup of coffee (iced for me) and catch up with a friend.