Tag Archives: dining

On restaurants (deeply) loved and lost: Grano’s

Grano’s was not just a restaurant to me. For much of my adult life it was my second home. When I walked in, I felt like I lived there. Like I belonged there.

Starting from the late 80s (when I was in my 20s) until just before the pandemic, it was the restaurant I frequented the most. I celebrated some of my most cherished moments there. I ate often by myself there too. When I did not know where to go, I went to Grano’s.

When I first came to Toronto in mid 80s, I started to learn how to eat proper Italian food in places like Masianello’s downtown in Little Italy. Toronto is a great Italian city, and to live in such a place, you should learn to eat proper Italian food. I did, and I loved it. This love led me uptown to Grano’s, which was then a simple one room place. Over the years it expanded in width and depth, filling up with its maximalist Italian style and food as well as patrons wanting to devour it all. I was always one of those people.

Grano’s was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the belly. Bright Mediterranean colored walls, prints of classic artwork, vintage ads and plenty of pieces from the Spoleto festivals could be seen everywhere. It paid to walk around slowly (or to sit quietly) and take it all in. It never got tiring to behold.

If you wanted — though why would you? — you could rush in and buy some bread or some Italian delicacies and go home. You could stay briefly and have a glass of Italian white and some grilled calamari (one of my favorites). Best of all, you could invite dozens of friends and loved ones and have the servers bring you bottles of Italian wines and plates and plates of antipasti and pasta that was always on hand for you and your guests. Whatever you needed, Grano’s would provide. And when it was finally time to end the meal, you could savour a plate of biscotti and a perfect cappuccino before you went home happy.

As you can see, Grano’s the place was great. But what made it especially great to me was Roberto Martella, the host. No matter when I came, he always treated me like I was his favorite customer. No doubt he made everyone feel that way, but it was still appreciated by me. I even took Italian classes there once, and years afterwards he would speak to me a little in Italian and I would try my best to reply back with the little I knew.

After going there for decades, I had hoped Grano’s would last as long as I would. But sadly Roberto had a stroke, and the restaurant limped along without him for awhile before closing in 2018. You can still see the remnants of Grano’s today in 2022, though it’s been divided up into new places that lack what I loved about it.

It’s sad to lose your home, especially one you loved for so long. That’s how I felt, and continue to feel, about Grano’s. I live nearby to where it was, and I often have a pang to wander over for a plate with the ease I used to. I don’t know if I ever will get over that feeling. Sure, I can get great wine and bread in others places, but “non si vive di solo pane”. Mille grazie, Roberto. Mille grazie, Grano’s. Thank you for everything.

P.S. For lots of good photos of it when it was at its best, see here: Foto. The photos I have linked here are from there.

This is their old home page on weebly. It has a short history of Grano’s, here: 1986. 

There’s only a few images, but this is their IG account.

Finally two pieces on them: The culinary influence of midtown’s Roberto Martella – Streets Of Toronto, contains a good history. This is also good: The fall and rise of Roberto Martella, Toronto’s ‘vibrant’ don of dialogue in The Globe and Mail.

 

On restaurants loved and lost of my youth (Woolworth’s in Glace Bay and Midtown in Halifax)

It doesn’t look like much in this black and white photo: just another store with an awning in downtown Glace Bay. For me though, it was the first place I got to go that was a restaurant. Inside was a food counter, and my mom (Ma) would take me there as a kid and she might get a club sandwich and I would likely get a coke float. The idea of going someplace to eat felt special to me and I learned to love that feeling from going there.

It may seem underwhelming to you as an adult, but as a kid, pulling up in one of those seats, being given a menu to choose what you want, and then having one of the ladies (it was always women) get it for you was amazing. Plus I never got to have coke floats outside of there, at least not for a long time, so that made it a special treat.

The Woolworth’s of Glace Bay is long gone. Later when I moved to Toronto there was one on Bloor near Bathurst and I used to go and get taken back home for a spell. Just like having a coke float takes me back to when I was a kid, sitting at that counter, sipping my drink with a straw, being happy.

This string of posts on restaurants loved and lost will be ending soon for me. But before I do, I wanted to mention another place of my youth: the Midtown Tavern in Halifax. It still exists, but the version I loved and lost was in downtown Halifax (see below). When I was in university, I would go there the few times I had some cash and get some draught beer and steak. The meat was thin and well done, but it was cheap, and the combo of the beef and the beer made me feel wealthy. It was unlike any other place in Halifax for students drinking beer. You could be a fool in other establishments, but act that way in the Midtown and their no nonsense waiters would toss you out on your ear. We were well behaved in the Midtown. In some ways it was a rite of passage where we learned to behave as much as anything else.

I loved both those places when I was young, just like I loved Mike’s Lunch in Glace Bay. They may have seemed like everyday places to some, but they left an indelible mark on me and think of them often, and with great affection.

All images you see are links. The top image is from Commercial Street_Glace Bay_Cape Breton_1965_Black Diamond Pharmacy_F.W. Woolworths. There’s also a great story in the piece I found the second image: Debbie Travels – Reviews and more: Midtown Tavern Halifax – End of an Era! A great story plus it has lots more photos of the Midtown.

P.S. I wanted to write about one other restaurant loved and lost from my youth: Fat Frank’s. When I was going to university I never had much money. I would constantly see the same ad for Fat Frank’s restaurant, and each time I saw it I thought: when I have money, I am going to eat there. It was my dream. For Fat Frank’s was one of the finest places to eat in all of the Maritimes.

Alas, it closed before I ever got to go. I never got to go inside nor eat any of its fine food. Even now it is elusive: I have a hard time finding images and stories of it on the Internet. The closest I can get is this 1976 review Craig Claiborne in the New York Times. And this blog has a shot of Spring Garden Road: Fat Frank’s would have been in one of those brick buildings on the right, I believe.

I never got to live the dream, but I dreamt about it for a long time…. an unrequited love, for a place now long gone.

 

 

On restaurants loved and lost: Brasserie in midtown Manhattan

It was fairly nondescript from the outside: a simple awning, some signs stating its name, and a revolving door. You might not think much of it walking along East 53rd.

Once you walked in, though, your impression immediately changed. Especially if you were there early in the morning, the way I often was in the 80s and 90s. You would be at the top of the stairs looking over the whole place, and it was packed with people there for power breakfasts. The sound of people talking just washed over you, and if you managed to find a seat, you would hear what was on the mind of Manhattan men and women of that era.

It could be intimidating, especially walking down those stairs into the middle of it all. Everyone seemed so confident, so polished, so put together. The fact Mike Bloomberg would often dine here to start his day gives you an idea of what it was like. While I felt shy on my first visit,  I quickly found the place thrilling and energizing. No doubt the other diners did too.

Among other things, it was a convenient place to go. I would be in the city for business and the offices we worked in and the hotels we stayed in were nearby. I could wander over to the Brasserie and have delicious croissants or a proper egg and sausage breakfast before I went to work. The coffee and orange juice? Also great. As was the service.  Convenient yes, but excellent too.

I don’t ever recall it changing that much over the years, which is one of the things about it that appealed to me. It gave me that constant connection to midtown Manhattan over the decades. It was my spot. After a long period of not visiting, I went back to NYC around 2018 and I wanted to hit it up, only to discover it had closed. Sad.

I’m glad I got to go all those years. If you visit a city often, I hope you can find such a place that allows you to fit in and belong and be part of something. It won’t be Brasserie, but I hope you find the next best thing.

For more on it, see this piece in Eater on it’s closing. Looks like they went out with a bang. Nice. More on it, here. (Images from those two places.) Finally this piece is in Japanese but you can get Google to translate it and there are some good images of Brasserie in it too. One thing I like about the Japanese post is you can see some of the food but you can also get a sense for what the stairs were like.

From Michelin to Peter Oliver: thinking about how Toronto has changed in the last 40 years


Two noteworthy events in Toronto dining happened this month: one was the start of an era and one was an end. The start was Michelin came to town and tossed out stars and Bibs and otherwise paid attention to Hogtown dining. The end was the death of restaurateur Peter Oliver.

Decades ago if Michelin had come in and gave out stars, it would have been incredible. Not now. What I loved about the Michelin event this month was how many people could not give a hoot. Toronto’s food scene is excellent, and we don’t really need Michelin to come in and tell us. That can be seen in critiques like this the Star . Sure the places highlighted are great, but there is more to good food in Toronto than the places starred. Many great restaurants were passed over, as this piece showed, because we are a city wealthy in good places to go.

To be fair to Michelin, they did highlight quite a number of restaurants in Toronto, even ones that did not get an award. One of those was Canoe. Canoe is just one of the many restaurants that are part of the Oliver and Bonacini (O&B)  Hospitality group. The Oliver in the name belongs to Peter Oliver.

I have been eating in Peter Oliver’s restaurants since the 80s. Back then he had a cozy place on Yonge north of Eglinton that was a great place to meet up for brunch with friends. From that place he went on to open and close many places, some of which were truly great.

While he has a career of four decades, this piece from 2000 in the Globe really shows his career as he was becoming ascendent. He had a knack at making restaurants, even though some of them (Bofinger/Paramount on Yonge near St. Clair) were too ambitious. While the buildings themselves seem to spare no expense, the food was sometimes lacking, and leading critics at the time like Joanne Kates dismissed some of it as “tourist all the way.”

What really made a difference for Oliver was when he hooked up with Michael Bonacini in 1993 to open Jump, Then Canoe. And many more. The combined talents of the two of them lead to an entire string of successful restaurants in Toronto and elsewhere.

Over the next few years I expect Michelin will be handing out more stars in Toronto. I expect the some of them will go to O&B restaurants.

The food scene has evolved significantly since the 1980s. Peter Oliver and O&B has been a big part of that evolution. Over at their web site they have a warm  Tribute to Peter Oliver. It’s worthy of consideration, just like the man himself. RIP, and thanks.

P.S. Here’s all the Michelin star restaurants of Toronto. The Globe has more on the Michelin awards. So does BlogTO. Not surprising, here’s how hard it is to get a  table at these places. Here’s a story on the one place /chef that got  two stars: rich readers, take note. 🙂

On restaurants loved and lost: Mike’s Lunch in Glace Bay

It doesn’t look like much. Only that Teem sign on the right tells you that this is the location of the famous Mike’s Lunch of Glace Bay. It had a good run of 109 years in various locations in my hometown before closing in 2019.  It was one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world, and it was the first place I went and dined by myself as a young man.

Back when I was young, it was located on Commercial Street in a little galley type restaurant. It had a counter in the middle where you ate, while pinball machines lined the walls behind you and the cooking was done in front of you. In the summer I would sit next to the open door and look out at the beautiful house across the street (the only house left on Commercial Street). I can remember the sunshine and the warmth and the joy of sitting there while I waited for my food. While many diners had the famous fish and chips, my meal of choice was the Club Sandwich. Toasty bread and toothpicks held together chunks of turkey, crispy bacon, lettuce and mayo. Mine was completed with hot french fries coated with gravy and ketchup and accompanied by an ice cold Coca-Cola. To this day it is still one of the best meals I ever had.

Years later Mike’s Lunch moved to a nicer space in the Sterling. The pinball machines never made the transition, but it still had a counter. It also had nice tables and booths and friendly waitresses. I never failed to go any time I visited Glace Bay, often more than once a visit. I don’t know how, but no matter how long I had been away, when I returned they always remembered me. And the club sandwiches were as good when I was 50 as they were when I was 15. No wonder we all loved it.

I miss Glace Bay for many reasons: the Chip Wagon, Venice Pizzeria, and Colette’s, to name a few great places. But of all the places I miss, I miss Mike’s Lunch the most. Thank you Mike’s Lunch for all the great meals and great times I’ve had there. I have been to many great restaurants over the years, but if I could walk through the doors of any one of them one last time, it would be yours.

Bonus: footage of Commercial St in 1988. The town changed over time, but this is how I remember it growing up. By this point Mike’s Lunch had already moved to the Sterling. Teddy’s (or as this video called it, The Greasy Spoon, and a similar restaurant to Mike’s) was still there.

I’m in a New York state of mind…

…So I decided to share these links I’ve been collecting that all relate to that great city:

  • The 212 is all about “revisiting New York institutions that have defined cool for decades, from time-honored restaurants to unsung dives.” New York is always NEW, but old New York is great and continues to be for good reason.
  • Finally a fashion legend passed away recently. RIP Andre Leon Talley. Here he is photographed through the years by another fashion legend, Bill Cunningham:  Andre by Bill

On restaurants loved and lost: Cafe Cancan


I can’t remember how I came across Cafe Cancan on Harbord Street, Toronto, but once I did, I couldn’t wait to go back. I love French food, and their menu was full on French. They had classic dishes, but there were also innovative ways of cooking that felt both new and traditional at the same time. I wanted it all.

One of the things great about Cancan was their prix fixe. It was reasonably priced and extensive. You’d order and sit back while the servers brought out dish after dish of delicious food. Even better were all the extras. You might believe you would get five dishes with the prix fixe and you would end up with 7 or 8. Plus you would get an amuse bouche when you sat down and once while settled in at the bar they brought me a little additional sweet at the end of the meal. I felt pampered everytime.

The restaurant itself was a gem. The tables were fine, but it was equally fun to sit at the bar. What was especially great was sitting on the back patio during the warmer months. Whenever I was sitting there I wanted to stay all night.

The wine was always good, and they had Tawse rose on tap for cheap. Oysters were plentiful too, but even here they would come up with innovative mignonettes to make them extra special.

Sadly the pandemic hit it hard, as it hit other restaurants. In the first summer they opened but the menu was very different. Now they are gone.

It seems like a new place that is going to open that is related to Piano Piano. I am sure it is going to be good. But I am going to really miss that lovely pastel French restaurant on Harbord. I had so many lovely meals with lovely people on one of my favorite streets of this city of mine.

(Images from the articles in BlogTo linked to here).

On restaurants loved and lost: Florent (and Odeon)

Here are a number of pieces on two great downtown Manhattan restaurants: Florent and Odeon. Florent has been closed for a number of years. But Odeon lives on, happily. What I love about both restaurants is how the embodied that era and how they both set a stage. You can see that in the pieces below about them. Florent in particular was a radical place that was like no other, right down to their menus and promotional material (like the one above).

When they both opened the lower part of Manhattan had nothing like them. There was no gentrification down there like there is now. They were an oasis of good food, good design, and good times.

To really get a sense of that, read Restaurant Florent Takes Its Final Bows – The New York Times.

For more on the design ideas around Florent, see: Restaurant Florent | Restaurant Design in New York, NY — Memo Productions

A short history of the space Florent occupied is written about here: What remains of a Gansevoort Street restaurant | Ephemeral New York

Lastly, here is it’s Wikipedia write-up: Florent (restaurant). It’s a good source of other links on the place.

Before I forget, this is a fun piece on The Odeon: A Retro Haven That Defined New York 1980s Nightlife | Vanity Fair.

Also worth reading. Now go and eat at The Odeon.

 

On restaurants loved and lost: Harvey’s on Bloor Street in Toronto

Can you be abandoned by a restaurant? If it is me, it’s the Harvey’s that was on Bloor in the 1980s.  I used to go there and get my favourite, a charbroiled chicken sandwich with mayo and pickle on the side. (Still my favourite thing to get at Harvey’s). I loved sitting in the front window and look over U of T’s Varsity Field.  When I was in my 20s I used to joke with my gf that when I was in my 60s I would still be coming here and eating the same sandwich and sitting in the same spot.

Times change and streets change, especially in Toronto. That area is now filled with condos. It’s nice and I still like the area, but I miss that Harvey’s. I’m much closer to my 60s than my 20s and I would love to be able to fulfill the need. Guess I will have to go to Okonomi House instead. 🙂

(Image via a link to this good piece on the History of Toronto’s Swiss Chalet (also in the image above, from the blog Historic Toronto)

P.S. Okonomi House is the same as it was in the 1980s. I hope it never closes. Click on the link and order from it if you can.

On restaurants loved and lost: Brothers

Brothers Restaurant Toronto

It’s Valentine’s Day, a good day to write a love letter to one of my favorite restaurants of all time, Brothers.

Brothers is a restaurant that should not have worked. Crowded between the entrance of the Bay Street subway and a downtown mall, there was barely room for anyone. One table in the window, a midsized bar, and a few tables in the back. Amongst all that a kitchen the size of a big closet nestled in a corner. It should not have worked, but in the short time it was around, it worked wonderfully.

You realized it was special when you first walked in, and I walked in often. I worked nearby, and whenever I needed a treat, I would wander over and sit at the bar and have lunch. I went so often that Chris who ran the front of place would warmly greet me after a time. (Later, as the place became extremely popular, Chris would sadly greet me after a time to tell me there was no room. It got so bad — for me, not them —  that I ended up scheduling lunch at 2ish just in the hopes of  getting a spot.)

While the service, atmosphere, and location were all great, what had me come back again and again was the food. The food was superb. I would take the hearty bread they offered and wipe down the plate to get every bit of it. The cooking was precise, simple and stellar. I loved to get something like sausage served with beans or vegetables and accompanied by a well chosen sauce. I’d take my time to slowly eat it, trying to appreciate and understand why it was so good. It was as much a cerebral as it was a sensory experience.

I would ask Chris about their tomato sauce or their green sauce, and he would tell me how they experimented with the amount of dairy or herb or whatever ingredient was in it to make the dish just right. And just right it was.

Most of the time I would get their sausage dish. The meat would change in the sausage, but it was always expertly balanced with seasoning. At first they may have been traditionally shaped, but later they were puck shaped. I loved that, and I loved them.

Sausage was not the only thing they excelled at. Pastas were always handmade, cooked to just the right texture, then served with a sauce better than any pasta sauce I ever had. Carpaccio was thin slices of whatever was appropriate for the season and accompanied with a light, lively dressing. The beef carpaccio was one of my favorite. They once said they could teach anyone to make it, but I doubt that. Fish, salad, dessert: whatever they made, they made well, listed it on their minimal menus, and I was happy and lucky to have it.

Brothers wasn’t around long, and in the time it was around, it lived three lives. The first was before the New York Times wrote about it, the second was after that article, and the third was the pandemic. Before the Times article, it was not too hard to get a seat there. They didn’t even take reservations. After the Times article, it was very hard to get in. There were weeks when I could not get a spot at the bar.  It got so busy they went with a reservation system. It slowed down a bit, but it was always popular.

Until the pandemic occurred. That was their last life. They tried to pivot to take out, and I did a curbside pickup of a wonderful meal from them. In the end they decided they didn’t want to be that kind of place and closed it down.

Lots of places have gone due to the pandemic. Some of them would have gone regardless. Not Brothers. If there was no pandemic, I am sure it would still be running, still sliding plates of that chewy soft bread and warm mixed olives and perfectly cooked food for me and you to delight in. I am going to miss many places because of the pandemic, but I think I will miss Brothers most of all.

(From more on it, see the New York Times article, or this blogTO piece. Images from the blogTO piece.

Check out their old web site. It’s simple but smart, just the way it used to be.

Finally this Google link will show you a wealth of photos for the place.)

 

On restaurants loved and lost: the Boulevard Cafe

On Harbord Street in the 1980s I fell in love with the Boulevard Cafe. My life was just starting, and my girlfriend and I were living just up the street from it, on Brunswick Avenue. We would stroll down and line up with the other people in the area for the wonderful Peruvian style food they had there.

It was the first time I learned to love fish. I come from Nova Scotia, but the fish was prepared terribly when I was growing up. Plus fish was associated with poor people food, unlike all the packaged food I wanted. I hated it.

Or I did until I had the Boulevard’s sea bass. (Sea bass was big in the 80s.) They would gently cook it and serve it with a perfect combo of delicious salad and fragrant rice.  I was instantly transformed into a fish lover after that first meal. Many a fish meal I had after that, and all were great.

And their soups. Their soups were incredible. I once had a garlic soup there that was so good that I still recall it decades later. It was simple, and yet I have often had garlic soup elsewhere and it never compared. They had many great dishes there, but the soup and the fish kept me coming back.

When we first started going, it was popular but not too busy. There was seating on both floors, and half of the upstairs was just a seating area where you could sip your drink and enjoy their  fireplace. I remember one night we were sitting there next to the fire, looking out over Harbord Street as a nice snowfall floated down covering everything. I could have stayed all night.

Later on the word got out and it got busier. The lovely seating area was replaced with more tables. The patio area in the summer was jammed with everyone enjoying the wonderful flavours that came out of the small kitchen in the back.

I was shocked to be riding my bicycle across Harbord Street a few summers ago and seeing it all closed up. It was then I took those photos. It was so good, I thought it would last forever. I stood there for quite awhile and remembered all the wonderful times of my youth sitting outside under the awning and living the good life with great friends and great food. I am lucky to have had such a time.

(In the top photo you can see the chimney where the fireplace was. In the bottom photo you can see the main doors that led to the dining room on the lower floor. The bulletin board would list all the specials. There would be tables put in front of the benches, and you either sat on the benches or chairs opposite. In the evening the lights would come on and it would seem magical.)

P.S. Over at Zomato there is still a copy of the menu and some other photos.

 

On restaurants loved and lost

The pandemic has been hard on people and hard on businesses. One type of business it has been especially hard on is the restaurant business. So many has closed that it is hard to recall them all. Partially to remedy this, the Times did a piece on them: Remembering the Restaurants America Lost in 2020 – The New York Times

If you read it, you will likely see some you loved. One I always wanted to go to but never got to and now never will was Lucky Strike. Here’s how Julia Moskin recalled it:

Lucky Strike was for us. That’s how it felt in the early 1990s, when I lived in downtown Manhattan and my restaurant priorities were cheap red wine, good lighting and a potent steak au poivre. Lucky Strike was Keith McNally’s first restaurant of his own, and a looser, more fun sibling of the polished, magnetic Odeon in TriBeCa, which he had opened with partners in 1980.

At the time, Lucky Strike’s location was most accurately described not as “in SoHo,” but “near the mouth of the Holland Tunnel,” and its strip of Grand Street was desolate at night. The warmth and noise that it spilled onto the street made it a beacon for locals. We liked that the food was never quite good enough to draw a crowd. We liked that the rough floors and wine tumblers repelled the people who came looking for lychee martinis and tuna tartare. Mr. McNally went on to open bigger, glossier joints that are still with us — like Balthazar, Minetta Tavern and Pastis — and has closed almost as many, but Lucky Strike was the only one that was a neighborhood restaurant, and the only one I’ll mourn.

I was going to NYC a fair bit in the 80s and 90s, and I remember the buzz around Lucky Strike. I thought: that’s my kinda place. That’s the kind of place I want to hit when I get to Manhattan. But while I went to New York a fair bit, the times there were always short, and I never made it.

There are many great restaurants  I have gone to in my lifetime. Some like Lucky Strike were killed off in the pandemic, some closed long before that. Some of them are still on some form of life support, hoping to make it through to the bright side of this dreadful era. I want to write about those places before I forget them, for my own sake if nothing else. Although perhaps you will have the same thoughts reading them that I had when reading about Lucky Strike. If so, that will be good too.

Restaurant reside in the best parts of my better memories. It’s a good time to recall them, write about them here, and group them with the tag #restoslovedandlost

(Images from the New York Times article)

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On Prune, and restaurants in general

Many many people were blown away by this piece written by Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune fame: My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore? in The New York Times. 

She’s a great writer, and a great restaurateur, writing about a time of peril for all restaurants.

During the pandemic I’ve thought about it often, as well as the future of restaurants. I don’t know a fraction about the business Hamilton excels in, other than to recognize that even for someone good at it, it’s a hard business. It was a hard business before when places were jammed with hungry eaters. It may well be impossible now.

My hope is that knowing that  restaurateurs are smart, hard working and passionate people.  They have managed in difficult situations before. They will find a way to make the foods that they love and feed them to us. And we will find a way to get out and support them.

I have had a number of meals at Prune, and they have been some of the finest of times for me. Here’s to it and many more places coming back soon and giving us meals and memories that make life worthwhile.

(Image is a link to the Village Voice.)

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Affordable Dining in Paris

Affordable dining in Paris is possible, and the New York Times is on it.


For more, see: Three Courses, 20 Euros: The Affordable Dining Renaissance in Paris – The New York Times

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Sara restaurant in Toronto has a cool way to deal with cell phones at restaurants

According to blogTO, the tables are of a ….

…Design by ODAMI and MiiM (that) incorporates innovative tabletop cubbies with heavy, spill-proof lids designed to stow your phone at the beginning of the meal. Servers remove the lid at the end to remind you to return to your phone, and emerge from the period of serenity Sara offers diners.

Nice restaurant, great idea. For more on it, see:  Sara – blogTO – Toronto

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Summerlicious 2018: the deals

I am a fan of Summerlicious (and Winterlicious) in Toronto: it’s a festival of sorts for people who like fine dining . It’s debatable if you are getting a deal on the meals, though I would argue that you are. If you lean the other way, then read this: 10 best deals for Summerlicious 2018 – NOW Magazine. By going to one or more of these 10 places, you’ll dine in a good restaurant and get a good deal as well.

The last and only advice you need on how to eat

I think these rules are about the best thing I have seen on how to eat: Simple Rules for Healthy Eating – NYTimes.com.

To make it even simpler, I would boil them down to:

1) Eat less processed food, and more food you make yourself from raw ingredients

2) Eat a variety of ingredients in moderation

3) If you have to drink something, drink water

I recommend you read the NYTimes piece, though. Really good.

Some of the best things in Paris are free


And the Guardian has a list of them.  If you are going to Paris, take a quick peek and take notes. Yes, many you may have heard of, as I had. One I hadn’t is pictured above and is relatively new:

Opened in 1993, six years before New York’s similar High Line project, La Promenade Plantee is a tree-lined walkway on an old elevated railway line in east Paris. The 4.5km trail is a wonderful way to explore the city, taking you up and down staircases, across viaducts, above the streets and offering the occasional chance to wave back at the lucky Parisians whose apartments overlook it. The walkway also runs over the Viaduc des Arts, a bridge in which the arches are now occupied by galleries.

• 12th arrondissemen, promenade-plantee.org

For more from the list, see 10 best free things to do in Paris | Travel | theguardian.com.

Bonus: here’s a piece from the Globe and Mail how to eat like a Parisian. Since you’ll be enjoying all these free things in Paris, you’ll have more money for food.

Where to eat in Toronto this weekend (or any time), high or low

According to blogTO, these are the best new cheap eats in Toronto (for 2013, at least) and these are the 10 most expensive restaurants in Toronto
to dine in Hogtown.

Whether you want to go in style or go casually, all these spots should deliver a good meal (and in some cases, much more).