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Meals with My Munchkin: More-ning McWraps at McDonald’s

17 Nov

 

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I was excited to learn that McDonald’s Canada came out with the Kale and Feta More-ning McWrap, a  breakfast wrap that sounded like a great option for my vegetarian diet. As I’ve mentioned on my blog before, it’s hard to find good vegetarian options at quick service restaurants, so I couldn’t wait to try it. Yes, even we vegetarians want the experience of hitting the drive thru for breakfast! Right now my go-to breakfast item at McDonald’s is an Egg McMuffin, minus the ham but with tomato added. I love it and it’s one of things I crave but it’s the only thing I get right now. The thought of a new veggie option was exciting.

As a vegetarian married to a meat-eater, I’ve found over the years there are only a few quick service restaurants we can visit that have good options for both of us. Knowing my dietary preferences and my husband’s, McDonald’s challenged us to try the new More-ning McWraps and share our thoughts. Since McDonald’s also came out with a Sausage and Hash Brown More-ning McWrap, it was a good opportunity to grab my husband and my son for a Sunday morning breakfast outing. Our order – the new wraps for my husband and I and a Hotcakes Happy Meal for my toddler.

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We got our order and started to dig in…per the McDonald’s website, the Kale and Feta More-ning McWrap contains scrambled eggs, baby kale, sliced tomato and feta cheese, all wrapped up in a soft tortilla. The wrap has 21 grams of protein, which is terrific as I’m always looking for on-the-go vegetarian options with protein. I took my first bite and I was happy to see that the wrap was generously filled with the ingredients. As I got deeper into the wrap, I was happy with how the ingredients interacted with one another. The scrambled eggs were moist and the addition of feta cheese gave the wrap a bit of a bite against the fresh veggies. I would have liked to have a little bit of spice in it but that’s just who I am, I always want spicy food. Overall, I really enjoyed it and I would get it again.

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While I was chowing down, my husband dug into the Sausage and Hash Brown  More-ning McWrap. This wrap contains scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, a hash brown and a slice of cheddar cheese, all wrapped up in a soft tortilla. He took a few bites and he immediately said, “this is a whole McDonald’s breakfast in one bite! I like how the flavours are mixing together” – he actually liked it so much that he kept his head down and ate the whole thing without coming up for air. I was barely able to get a photo in. When he was done, he simply said, “Yeah, that was pretty good, I would get it again” – always a good sign : ) What’s great about both of these wraps is that McDonald’s is using ingredients from their other products and meals to create them, which I thought was really smart.

While we munched on our wraps, my son happily sat in his highchair with his cool McDonald’s bib, gobbled up his Hotcakes and ate the yogurt that came with his meal. I appreciate that every McDonald’s location has high chairs and bibs and that there are healthy options on the menu like yogurt and apple slices. Everyone was full and happy, especially my son who also enjoyed checking out the fish tank at our local restaurant : )

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Thank you McDonald’s for creating another veggie option, hopefully there are more items to come! And that’s a “wrap” folks (pun intended).  Have you tried the new More-ning McWraps? If you have, please let me know what you thought of them!

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Tasty bites at Dr.Laffa Restaurant

13 Mar

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I recently had the opportunity to visit Dr. Laffa Restaurant in North York, Ontario for a family-style tasting session with a group of fellow food lovers. Like me, you’re probably wondering what this restaurant’s name is all about. Well, Yoram Gabay and his passionate team are serving up some tasty Israeli and Iraqi cuisine for their faithful customers, along with their delicious laffa bread, which is served alongside dishes or as a wrap.

Yoram came out from his busy kitchen to tell us a little bit about Dr.Laffa Restaurant. He wanted to create a restaurant in Toronto that featured the food and flavours he cherished the most back home. He tries to make everything as authentic as possible, going so far as to have spices specially delivered from his homeland every few weeks. He even designed his own laffa oven, so he could recreate his recipe perfectly.

After a warm welcome from the Dr.Laffa team, the share plates of dishes started to come out of the kitchen in a steady stream. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had quite a few vegetarian dishes on their menu, including a number of salads, dips, mains and sides. I love meals with lots of different things to try, so their cuisine was absolutely perfect for me.

Vegetarian Highlights:

Fresh laffa

This is why I wanted to visit Dr.Laffa Restaurant in the first place. I was dying to try this special bread that I kept reading about. Laffa is fresh chewy flatbread of medium thickness that to me tasted mostly like naan (an East Indian flatbread). Naan is fairly easy to tear and I found that the laffa bread didn’t necessarily tear easily, which is a good thing as it is widely used in sandwiches and wraps.

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Fresh, hot laffa!

Salads, dips and sides

Marinated beets, roasted peppers, tabouli, baba ganouj, falafel, grilled eggplant with tahini….there were so many fresh and tasty choices at Dr.Laffa. If you’re having trouble choosing what to try, don’t worry too much, you can order a platter with a variety of different items on it.

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Clockwise from top left: Hummus with fried eggplant, baba ghanouj, marinated beets, tabbouleh, roasted eggplant with tomato

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Hummus with fried eggplant and tahini

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Grilled eggplant with tahini

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Fresh, piping hot french fries

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I enjoyed these tasty potato fritters, they reminded me of pakoras, another type of fritter that’s common in East Indian cuisine. They were served with a sour mango sauce that one of the chefs said would take it to “the next level” and he was absolutely right! The sauce enhanced the flavours in the fritters and created a whole set of new flavours when everything was mixed together. They serve these fritters in a sandwich which they also call Sabich, so I found it a bit confusing! The sandwich contains these fritters, eggplant, hard boiled egg and your choice of toppings. Since we were tasting a ton of food as a group, we had the fritters straight up, but I’m looking forward to trying them in a sandwich on my next visit. They can also be purchased in the Sabich Plate, which includes the fritters and several salads.

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Fresh, hot sabich. Have them with sour mango sauce and watch your tastebuds explode : )

Shakshuka

My favourite dish of the night was their Shakshuka, an absolutely delicious piping hot skillet of stewed tomato sauce with poached eggs. I’ve had Shakshuka at a few restaurants in Toronto but this was my favourite version so far. Their tomato stew included small pieces of vegetables and beans along with a delicious mix of spices that I’ve never tasted before. It was so comforting… every bite just warmed up my tummy, the seasoning was perfect and the spices just took everything to another level. I can’t wait to bring my husband and son in sometime soon to share a skillet of Shakshuka with some fresh laffa.

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My favourite dish of the night, Dr.Laffa’s Shakshuka. Hearty, piping hot and packed with flavour!

Many thanks to Yoram Gabay and the hardworking team at Dr. Laffa for introducing me to their food. Thank you Vicky @momwhoruns for the invitation! I’m already looking forward to my next visit, this time with my meat-loving husband, as I know he would enjoy their Shawarma Laffa, Dr. Laffa Hummus (with ground meat and pine nuts) and their Pasties Plate a.k.a Moroccan Cigars (phyllo rolls with a meat filling). All of these dishes were very popular with the others at the table, so I know he’ll love them too.

Restaurant Info:

Important!

This is a Kosher restaurant, so they are NOT open after sundown on Friday’s. They are also closed on Saturdays. Please call the restaurant before heading over there so you won’t be disappointed!

Dr. Laffa Restaurant

3027 Bathurst St

North York, Ontario

M6B 3B5

Tel: 647-352-9000 or 647-352-9001

Website: http://www.drlaffa.com

Twitter: @DrLaffa

Instagram: @Dr.Laffa

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18iq0yM

Zomato Meetup at The Good Son

22 Feb

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I haven’t had a fabulous vegetarian meal at a Toronto restaurant in long time. Now, I know that Toronto has a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants but I’m talking about great vegetarian dishes at “regular” restaurants, so I can enjoy a meal with my carnivore of a husband (I say that with love!). Just when I was about to give up hope, along came the amazing team at Zomato with an invitation to join them for a #ZomatoMeetup dinner at The Good Son. I quickly scanned the menu before heading downtown and I saw a few veggie dishes that sounded tasty, so I felt confident that there would be something for me to eat. Who knew that I was about to have a very exciting and memorable meal….

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I arrived to see that the Zomato group had reserved a large table near the Chef’s station…yippee! As soon as I saw that, I knew we were in for a treat. If you’ve never sat near the kitchen or at the “Chef’s Table” in a restaurant, make an effort to do so. You’ll be close to the action, you’ll get to hear all of those glorious kitchen sounds and you’ll often be surprised with off menu dishes and treats. To me, they are the best seats in the house. At the table were Zomato’s Toronto team, including Justin, Jimena and Pam and a group of fellow bloggers from a mix of food and lifestyle sites. Zomato is an online and mobile restaurant discovery platform and social food network, with presence in over 13 countries and 44 cities. They just upped their game and recently purchased Urbanspoon too!

I did some reading about Zomato before coming to the event and I found out that their team physically collects information from every single restaurant/cafe/bar in town (menus, photos, pricing, timings etc.) and they make sure this information is always up to date. Users of Zomato (which is free to join by the way!) have the unique opportunity to rate and review restaurants, follow other foodies and create a trusted network of people whose opinions they value, all based around one common love… food! They also have the opportunity to “wish list” restaurants, upload photos and tag their friends. It’s a really cool platform, so I do hope you’ll check it out. If you do join, please look me up under Sandy Avvari Nayani.

So why am I sharing this information? I wasn’t asked to share it, I want to share it, because the Zomato team is fiercely passionate about food and the work that they do and I don’t see people with that amount of passion very often. I’ve been using Zomato for a few weeks now and I can already see the benefits of it as I’m able to check out which restaurants my foodie friends have checked into and take a look at photos of the dishes they’ve had. It’s been a great resource so far.

So now onto the meal at The Good Son….oh and what a meal it was. There was a set menu for the evening and I was the only vegetarian at the table, so the restaurant made a special effort to provide me with dishes from their regular menu or vegetarian versions of dishes the rest of the group was having.

IMG_4469First course: Shishito peppers wrapped in potato. Crunchy, spicy goodness with a ton of flavour. I’ve never had anything like it. Oh yeah.

IMG_4464Second course: Watercress salad with poached pear, blue cheese and caramelized onion. It was my first watercress salad and it won’t be my last, the flavours were just incredible.

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Third course: Sweet potato soup with coconut milk. It was warm and comforting on a cold day. There was so much flavor in this soup, I could have eaten bowls of it.

IMG_4468Fourth course: Dupuy lentils with kale. It was so delicious I couldn’t even stand it. One of my favourite dishes of the evening. Where has this dish been all my life? Why haven’t I had Dupuy lentils before? So many questions….

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Fifth course: Spicy brussels sprouts. Another favourite of the evening. Sweet, spicy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside…wow, wow, wow. Why haven’t I had them like this before? Mind blown.

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Sixth course: Rapini and roasted cauliflower with potato purée. A simple and delicious way to start winding down the meal.

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Seventh course: Poached pear with a Riesling sabayon, pear gelée and chocolate crunch. Lots of great textures, with a ton of flavour. A small but mighty dessert!

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Eighth course: We were all stuffed and happy and just when we thought the meal was over, out came this amazing dessert from Pastry Chef Sat Shastri – red velvet cake with chocolate mousse, cherries and meringue. It was huge and we easily could have shared the dessert and we all started to protest, but Chef Shastri insisted that we just dig in. It was not only beautiful to look at but also incredibly delicious to eat : ) Most of us managed to finish more than half of the dessert, myself included!

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While I was swooning over the creativity and care that went into my vegetarian meal, there were yelps and moans of foodie pleasure at the rest of the table, where my fellow food lovers were savoring their meat and seafood dishes. All in all, I felt that The Good Son did an amazing job at catering to everyone at the table, which to me is a huge feat. Huge thanks to Chef Vittorio Colacitti and the team at The Good Son for a fantastic vegetarian meal, the best I’ve had in a long time! Thank you Justin, Jimena and Pam from Zomato for creating an evening of great food and great people, I’m so thankful that I had a chance to enjoy a #ZomatoMeetup. If they are all this amazing, I would be happy to join again : ) See you again very soon Chef Colacitti! XO

Info:

Zomato – https://www.zomato.com

Zomato’s Toronto feed – https://www.zomato.com/toronto

The Good Son

1096 Queen Street West (at Dovercourt)

Toronto, ON M6J 1H9

Tel: 416-551-0589

Website: http://thegoodsontoronto.com

About Chef Vittorio Colacitti (from The Good Son’s website)

Born and raised in Toronto, Chef Colacitti, learned his culinary art from some of the best names in Toronto’s restaurant industry including: Lorenzo Loseto (George), Scot Woods (Lucien), and Didier Leroy who is a master Chef of France.  Chef Colacitti’s craft in the kitchen also draws from several years of international experience, having studied at the Thai & International Food Academy, staging in various regions across Italy and working as a stagiaire at Thomas Keller’s, Bouchon.

 

Meals With My Munchkin: Il Fornello Richmond Hill

7 Sep

Note: This is not a sponsored post. We chose the restaurant and we paid for our meal.

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My baby son Ronin is now 3 months old and my husband and I have become a bit braver, so we’ve started to take him out to restaurants with us. Heading out with a baby comes with a few special challenges as every trip out requires a few extra steps of planning. Given this, my goal is to find restaurants that will easily welcome my husband, son and I when we want to have a meal out. Welcome to a new series, Meals with My Munchkin, where I’ll review my vegetarian meal at restaurants we’ve been to with our son and share my thoughts on how baby friendly the restaurant was. I’m hoping these posts will help other moms and dads feel brave enough to head out to restaurants with their babies.

We recently went to Montreal for our first road trip with the baby and it was there that he went to his first proper restaurant (blog post to come!). Since our outings there went so well, we decided to check out one of our local restaurants, Il Fornello Richmond Hill, for their weekly pizza special. Since we now dine with a baby, I called ahead to try and book a table for 3 people, so that we would have a decent amount of space for us and Ronin’s car seat. They were happy to take our reservation, which was terrific!

Our meal:

Il Fornello Richmond Hill had their Tuesday pizza special on, with all pizzas priced at $10 each (dine-in only). My husband ordered the Pizza Melanzane with tomato sauce, ricotta di bufala, sautéed spinach, eggplant, oven roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. It was delicious and I loved all of the toppings, especially the oven roasted tomatoes.

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I ordered the Salsicccia Italiana pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, caramelized onions and roasted red pepper (there was Italian sausage in the ingredients list but I asked to have it omitted). I enjoyed this pizza too, as the caramelized onions and roasted red peppers almost melted into the cheeses on the pizza, creating a sweet and salty flavour combination which I loved. We both wanted a bit of a kick on our pizzas so we asked for some of their chill oil on the side. It worked well with the pizza and we ended up dipping our slices into it while eating….yum : )
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Their Tuesday menu also has two versions of their gnocchi on special for $12, so we ordered the gnocchi with rosé sauce as well. Best decision of the night! The gnocchi was soft and pillowy and the sauce was nice and creamy, it was a perfect match. The serving size was perfect for sharing as we both found that it would have been too heavy for just one of us to have. Overall, the food was great, so great that we are going back with friends next week!
The checklist: 
Baby friendly? Yes! The staff member who answered the phone didn’t seem to mind at all when I said we would be bringing our baby son.
Car seat friendly? Yes. When I called I booked a table for 2 + a car seat and the staff were kind enough to give us a table for 4 so that we would have enough room for our son.
High chairs? Yes, high chairs are available.
Stroller friendly? Yes. The restaurant advised that strollers are accepted. The restaurant is at ground level and there are accessibility buttons on the doors.
Change table? No. The women’s washroom did not have a change table : ( However, they did have a decent amount of additional counter space, which I was able to use for a diaper change. In my mind that is better than nothing.
Would we come back here with our baby? Yes, definitely! Hopefully they will install a change table, if they did this restaurant would be a perfect option for moms and dads with babies.
Restaurant info: 
Il Fornello Richmond Hill
8851 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4C 6Z1
Tel: 905-530-1153
Do you have a restaurant recommendation for the Meals with My Munchkin series? Let me know!
 

Vegetarian Delights at Bosk restaurant, Shangri-La hotel Toronto

10 Apr

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I was recently invited to a special dinner at Bosk restaurant in the Shangri-La hotel, Toronto, for a preview of their Signature & Spring Tasting Menu. I was beyond excited to be invited to this event as I had heard great things about the ambiance, food and service at Bosk. Upon receiving the invitation, I advised the host teams at the Shangri-La hotel and Do The Daniel (organizer of the event) that I follow a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet and they were more than happy to accommodate my requests.

After weeks of anticipation, I arrived at Bosk a few minutes before our tour and dinner was set to begin, as I wanted to get settled and take in the atmosphere of the hotel and restaurant. The lobby was big and airy, with a fireplace and a group playing live music. I was greeted warmly by the staff and was directed to the meeting area for the #iheartbosk event where I was joined by an intimate group of food and lifestyle bloggers from Toronto.

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We started the evening off with a tour of the hotel’s new Garden Suite, a gorgeous space with a canopy bed and a private patio area. We sipped on the Shangri-La hotel’s signature Jasmine Tea while we learned about their afternoon tea service, complete with an in-house tea library containing over 75 teas. The hotel even has their very own Tea Sommelier!

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Shortly after, we headed downstairs to the Lobby Lounge where they had created two special Power Play Cocktails in celebration of the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs  – The Zamboni and The Hat-Trick Breakfast Cocktail. As I’m expecting my first baby soon, I had the non-alcoholic versions of both drinks and even without the alcoholic, I absolutely loved them. What’s in them you ask? I could tell you, but I think you should visit the Lobby Bar yourself to try them out : )

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Next, it was time for dinner! We were led to a private seating area with place settings for each of us, our names beautifully written on paper cranes. There were printed menus at each place setting, with a special vegetarian version of the menu for me which I thought was a beautiful touch.

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We were all chatting away about how we had already had a great experience so far but we knew that the best was yet to come…

SNACKS – nettle tree + lemon & pea + soda

The nettle tree came first, with tiny rolled up treats that reminded me of pappadums (an East Indian crispy snack). The lemon and pea came next in the form of a savoury macaron….delish! Lastly, we had a tasty rhubarb soda that was meant to get our palates ready for the start of the meal (sorry, I drank it all before I took a photo!)…

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SWEET PEPPER DONUT – crème fraiche, shallots, chives, parmesan

A bite of pure flavour. I was sad that I only had one!

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COMPRESSED CUCUMBER – radish, kohlrabi, finger lime, citrus snow

I loved this dish as it really woke up my taste buds. The citrus snow danced in my mouth and played well with the cucumber. I could have easily eaten two plates of this dish.

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BLACK TRUFFLE GNOCCHI – forest mushroom, tomato butter

This dish was absolutely delicious…it was so good I can still taste it and I can’t wait to have it again. I had never had anything like it and I thanked the chef for creating such a spectacular vegetarian dish.

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SPRING ASPARAGUS – quinoa, spring garlic, baby corn

The asparagus in this dish was hands down the best asparagus I’ve ever had. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned and went beautifully with the other components in the dish.

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RICOTTA & LEEK AGNOLOTTI – peas, fava bean, morel, artichoke

This pasta dish was outstanding, I really enjoyed the combination of the peas, fava beans, morels and artichokes as I had never had them all on one plate before. It was one of the most interesting vegetarian dishes I had eaten in a long time.

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POACHED RHUBARB – almond, orange blossom, elderflower

A simple and refreshing end to an amazing meal!

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CHERRY BLOSSOM TREE + KISSES

The cherry blossom tree took my breath away, it was so whimsical and beautiful. Pillows of pink and white cotton candy were perched in the tree, ready to be plucked off and enjoyed.

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Everything about the meal was exquisite. That is a word I don’t use very often and in this case it’s the most fitting word for the experience I had. My vegetarian meal was spectacular, top to bottom. Every dish was made with a lot of love, care and precision. The ingredients were top notch and they truly shined in every dish I had. To top it all off, service was professional, attentive and most importantly it was filled with a warmth that I haven’t experienced in a long time.

I’ve had a number of dinners at upscale hotel restaurants and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt as  welcomed and at home as I did at Bosk. Warmth exuded from every Shangri-La hotel team member I came in contact with that evening and I believe that is what has guests coming back over and over again.

My heartfelt thanks to the teams at Bosk, the Lobby Lounge, Shangri-La hotel, Toronto and Do The Daniel for a spectacular evening of incredible food and great conversation.

For more information about the Shangri-La hotel, Toronto, please visit: http://www.shangri-la.com/toronto/

Twitter: @ShangriLaTO or www.twitter.com/ShangriLaTO

For more information about Bosk, the signature restaurant at the Shangri-La hotel, Toronto: http://www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/dining/restaurants/bosk/

Twitter: @BoskTO or www.twitter.com/BoskTO

 

 

Contest – Enter to Win High Tea for Two at the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto!

20 Mar

Shangri La Hotel Toronto Logo

On Tuesday March 25, 2014 I’ve been invited to attend a dinner event at Bosk, the signature restaurant at the fabulous Shangri-La hotel in Toronto to preview their new menu! I’ve heard great things about the cuisine and ambience at Bosk and I’m looking forward to trying their vegetarian options and sharing my experience on my blog.

Not only do I get to enjoy this experience but guess what….there’s a benefit for the readers of my blog too!  You’ll have a chance to enter to win a one of a kind High Tea experience at the Lobby Lounge in the Shangri-La hotel!

See the image below for everything you need to know about this special contest that will run ONLY on Tuesday March 25! Good luck and remember, you can only enter on Tuesday March 25 between 6 pm and 10 pm EST.

High Tea Contest

I can’t wait to visit the Shangri-La hotel and share my experience with all of you, it’s definitely going to be a fabulous evening!

For more information about the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto, please visit: http://www.shangri-la.com/toronto/

Twitter: @ShangriLaTO or www.twitter.com/ShangriLaTO

For more information about Bosk, the signature restaurant at the Shangri-La hotel, Toronto: http://www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/dining/restaurants/bosk/

Twitter: @BoskTO or www.twitter.com/BoskTO

Don’t forget, the official hashtag for the March 25 special event and contest is #iheartbosk

Good luck and don’t forget to follow my tweets at @savvari or www.twitter.com/savvari that evening to be able to enter to win the High Tea experience!

 

Alimento brings a taste of Italy to King West

30 Jul

Last week, I had an opportunity to check out the new BarMozza restaurant and market at Alimento when I was invited to their media event. As soon as I walked in I fell in love with the place as I was greeted by great smells coming from the kitchen and a beautiful setup of two long tables to seat all of the guests. The brick walls and wooden floors added warmth to the room and I instantly felt right at home in the space.

With a drink in hand, we set off on a tour of Alimento which is an Italian market, bakery and restaurant (BarMozza) all under one roof. I experienced foodie sensory overload as there was so much goodness to take in all at once. Racks and racks of Italian specialty products filled the market, including high-end pastas, gluten-free items, gorgeous fresh produce, an antipasto bar, pre-made meal area, a beautiful bakery case and the best-looking cheese counter I’ve seen since my trip to Italy last year. There were so many cheeses available (over 140 types) that my head was spinning as I wanted to try each and every one. I could easily spend hours wandering through Alimento to check out their goodies!

While on the tour, I found out that the owners of Alimento also own the six Grande Cheese locations in the GTA and it explained everything. I live near the Grande Cheese location in Richmond Hill and it’s my favourite local shop for specialty Italian products and some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.  Alimento is on another level entirely and it reminded me of some of the sophisticated gourmet food shops I had visited in Europe and the U.S. It’s a perfect fit with all of the creative agencies, clubs and restaurants that fill the King West area.

After seeing all of the fresh produce, the bakery and the great selection of cheeses I couldn’t wait to have dinner at BarMozza. We started with family-style appetizer platters filled with an assortment of cheeses, meats and bread. The fine folks at Alimento were kind enough to serve me a vegetarian-friendly plate of cheeses to start off my meal and with that, I knew that I needed to buckle my seatbelt for the long foodie ride ahead…

I started with the Verde Salad which contained green beans, garlic, tons of delicious pistachios and aged Caciocavallo cheese with a lemon vinaigrette. It was a nice, fresh and hearty salad that was a great example of how delicious vegetarian food could really be.

Next up was the Risotto Nella Ruota which contained Arborio rice, cream, Parmigiano cheese and Tartufo Nero (black truffle). We watched Chef Joe Friday prepare it in a hollowed-out Parmigiano wheel, scraping tasty bits of Parmigiano cheese into the risotto as he stirred. It was delicious but it was hands down the richest risotto I had ever tried, so I was only able to handle only a few spoons of it.

Just when I thought I had eaten enough, my main dish arrived and it was lasagna with tomato sauce, Fior di Latte, Basil Ricotta and spinach. It was so delicious that I ate the whole thing and I would have licked the last of the basil pesto off of my plate if I wasn’t in mixed company : )

We ended off with Pasticcini Misti, a mixed board of pastries to share from Alimento’s pastry team. One of my favourites was the Pine Nut Honey Tart Cake, which surprised me as I’m not usually a fan of pine nuts. The pine nuts were cooked in a honey topping, so they ended up soft and creamy, which was a great contrast to the tart crust.

A tasty dark chocolate tart with pistachios was a hit in my books as well. After visiting Italy last year, I’ve become a bit of an espresso connoisseur and I will only order it if I’m in a true Italian establishment. Alimento’s espresso definitely hit the spot and was the perfect end to a great meal!

See you soon Alimento, this vegetarian will definitely be back!

Info: 

Alimento Fine Food Emporium

522 King Street West

Toronto, Ontario

M5V 1L7

Tel: (416) 362 – 0123

Website: http://www.alimento.ca/

Facebook:  Alimento Fine Food Emporium

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/alimentofoods

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham + a CONTEST!

10 Mar

My husband and I were on our way to brunch in Markham and we were in charge of bringing dessert. I knew this crowd would be into bite-sized treats and I immediately thought of the delicious, gooey goodness of fresh cookies from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

This company has been a part of my life for years and I’ve been buying their scrumptious cookies since I was in my teens. A few years ago, I was looking for something fun and cute to give my fiancé (now husband) at our engagement party. I immediately thought of Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton`s popular Cookie Bouquet® and I knew it would be perfect. They made up a 24 stem Cookie Bouquet® of his favourite cookies and they were a hit!

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

We walked into the shop at about 11 am on a Saturday and the amazing aroma of fresh cookies was in the air. I don’t know about you, but the smell of baked goods makes me weak in the knees and I let out a sigh of happiness every time!  We noticed that quite a few things had changed since our last visit. In addition to fresh cookies and fudge, they were now selling…wait for it…CUPCAKES!

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

When we visited, they had Belgian Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Baileys Mocha, Caramel Crunch, Lemon Coconut, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Red Velvet and Double Chocolate. It was so hard to choose which flavours we wanted to try. I was excited to hear that they change their flavours seasonally, so I’m looking forward to trying their spring and summer cupcakes too.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

I was so distracted by the cupcakes that I almost forgot about the cookies, their signature product. My favourite flavour is Ménage à Trois®, which contains a yummy blend of milk, white and dark chocolate chunks. My hubby’s favourite is Lemon Delight which is a delicious lemon cookie with white chocolate chunks and candied lemon.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Since my last visit, they’ve expanded their cookie gift packaging selection and they are now selling wedding favours – beautiful little boxes filled with cookies (to my friends who are getting married soon, THIS is THE takeaway gift that guests want!).

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Thank you Dan, Michele and Amanda for sharing your passion for all things sweet – we came in for cookies but we left with cupcakes too! P.S. Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton is proudly Canadian and the staff wear beautiful Canadian flags on their chef coats too. They only use fresh, high quality ingredients in all of their products and it shows.

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

I’ve almost filled up my Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton V.I.P card (you get a stamp for every $10 you spend in the store and after 12 stamps, you get 1lb of cookies for free!) and I’m already thinking of what I’m going to get next time I visit…mmmmmm : )

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

Info:

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton
Markham Town Square
8601 Warden Ave, Unit #16
Markham,ON L3R 0B5

North-East Corner of Warden Ave & Hwy 7

Phone: (905) 479-2172
Website: http://www.cookiesandfudge.com
Facebook: Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton Markham
Twitter: @felixnorton_gta

 Here comes the fun part… 

CONTEST – Win a Magnummm of Cookies® (I have 2 to give away!)

The lovely folks at Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton are giving away a Magnummm of Cookies®  to two readers of Milk & Eggs.

What`s a Magnummm of Cookies® you ask? It`s a beautiful champagne bottle filled with 25 freshly-baked cookies, presented in a handsome black gift box – valued at $34.99

Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton

To enter:

STEP 1 – Visit the Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton website at http://www.cookiesandfudge.com/ to learn about their yummy products

STEP 2 – If you`re on Twitter, follow @savvari and @FelixNorton_GTA and tweet the name of any of their cookie or cupcake flavours that you would like to try. Example:

@savvari I want to try the ___________ from @FelixNorton_GTA #FelixNorton

OR

If you`re on Facebook, “Like” Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton Markham

Then, leave a comment on this blog post with the name of any Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton cookie or cupcake flavours you would like to try.

Are you on Twitter and Facebook? Follow all steps above to receive more entries into the contest!

Contest closes on Friday March 23 at 12 pm EST, so get your entries in soon!

IMPORTANT!

-You may enter once per day.

-If you are one of the two winners, you MUST pick up your prize from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton in Markham, Ontario. Therefore, you must live in the GTA (Greater Toronto area) or be willing to drive to Markham.

Good luck!!

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WINNERS! 

Congrats to @_Lenito from Twitter and Fiona Thom from Facebook for winning the #FelixNorton contest! You’ve each won a Magnummm of Cookies® from Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton!

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Chipotle Mexican Grill at 123 Front Street W. + a CONTEST!

3 Feb

One of my favourite restaurants from the U.S. is Chipotle and I was thrilled when they brought the chain to Toronto a few years ago. The great news is that they recently opened their third restaurant at 123 Front Street West! It’s just down the street from Union Station and the location is perfect for quick dinner before a game at the Air Canada Centre or Rogers Centre.

If you’ve never been to Chipotle, they specialize in burritos, tacos and other fresh Mexican goodies. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite and unlike most other fast food chains, they have some tasty options for vegetarians (yay!). Since it had been awhile since my last Chipotle experience, I knew that I had to start off with their famous chips and medium salsa (sadly, I’m allergic to avocados and can’t have guacamole – yes, I know this is a tragic!). Their salsa has such a great, fresh and lively flavour that it’s pretty addictive (if it weren’t for my dining companion Andrea, I would’ve eaten it all up with a spoon!).

Usually when I visit Chipotle, I’m all about the burritos but after having a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry enough to do justice to one. Andrea suggested that I try a Burrito Bowl, which really is a burrito without the wrapper. There are a number of great vegetarian ingredients available at Chipotle, so I loaded them into my Burrito Bowl. I added some of my favourite ingredients including the vegetarian black beans and chili-corn salsa. Since my last visit, they added a new cilantro-lime rice made with brown rice, which was really tasty. Lastly, I added some fajita vegetables, sour cream and lettuce and I was all set. It was delish!

All of the ingredients are FRESH and the staff (who are amazing by the way!) will be the first to tell you that don’t freeze anything. Visit http://www.chipotle.com to learn more about the company and check out the menu.

Now, here comes the fun part… 

CONTEST – Win dinner for two at Chipotle (2 dinners to give away!)

My friends at Chipotle have given me two sets of Burrito Bucks to give away! The Burrito Bucks can be used at any Chipotle restaurant in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) until Tuesday February 28 – so yes, this will be a quick contest!

There are 2 ways to enter:

OPTION #1 – If you’re on Twitter – Tweet the following message:

@savvari I want to win dinner for two at Chipotle! #ChipotleTO

OPTION #2 – If you’re not on Twitter, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what you would order at Chipotle with your Burrito Bucks. You can check out the Chipotle menu here at http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/menu/menu.aspx– yum!

 Contest closes on Tuesday February 7 at 12 pm EST, so get your entries in quickly!

IMPORTANT!

-You can only enter once per day.

-You MUST be from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) to win.

-The Burrito Bucks are only valid at the following locations in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area):

  • 123 Front Street West,Toronto(near Union Station)
  • 323 Yonge Street (Yonge and Dundas)
  • 2323 Yonge Street (Yonge and Eglinton)

These Burrito Bucks expire on Tuesday February 28, so if you win, you will have to use them quickly!

Good luck!

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WINNERS! 

Congrats to @iamvickytam and @anumhashim for winning the #ChipotleTO contest! Your Burrito Bucks are going in the mail tonight!

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