Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tabule– Delicious Middle Eastern favourites in midtown Toronto. I highly recommend getting the sampler platter!
Stock– This restaurant at the Trump Hotel is a great spot for a special occasion. I especially like the fact that they have a chocolate lab on site, where they make their own truffles!
Jump– Oliver & Bonacini offers a great array of restaurants, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. Located in the heart of Toronto’s business district.
Sushi Supreme– With two central locations, Sushi Supreme offers delicious sushi at a really reasonable price point. They haven’t quite nailed their spicy mayo (DO NOT ask for it on the side), but their salmon sushi pizza is delicious, and the huge seaweed salad shouldn’t be missed.
Wakame Sushi– This is our go-to takeout place, since it’s located in a fairly residential area, has free delivery, and offers great sushi. I recommend their crispy spicy roll, which is vegetarian.
Sushi Moto– Located in downtown North York (read: the northern most part of midtown Toronto), right on the subway line, Moto offers a great atmosphere, more “upscale” than your typical sushi joint.
Rosewater Supper Club– A great spot for a special occasion!
360 at the CN Tower– Truthfully, the food is overpriced for what it is, but if you’re looking for a view of the city, it’s worth spending the money. Be sure to go to the top of the CN Tower after your meal.
Pizza Banfi– You would probably miss this little restaurant if you weren’t specifically looking for it, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for it in Spadina Village. The food is excellent and owner Nino Turano is always there to make sure you’re enjoying every part of your meal.
Paese– With two locations in Toronto, this is a great spot for a casual evening out, or to cater a special event.
Cravings– Asian fusion in midtown Toronto. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, it’s all delicious!
Trattoria Nervosa– Regularly frequented by A-list celebrities visiting Toronto (Beyonce, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy were recently spotted there), Cafe Nervosa offers great food and great people watching in Yorkville.
La Forchetta– There are about a million amazing restaurants scattered along this stretch of College Street (Little Italy), but this happens to be one of the great ones!
Sidecar– Another gem on College St.,they bake their own bread and churn their own butter on site, and use many locally grown items.
Blu– Another great option in Yorkville.
More to come…
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Buffet at the Wynn- if you’re in Vegas, you have to eat at a buffet at least once. I’m not one for self serve food, but this sure was an experience, and for mass quantities, the food was pretty good!
Il Mulino at the Forum Shops at Caesars – If for no reason other than the view alone, be sure to check out this place when you’re on The Strip.
Allegro at the Wynn – If you’re looking for casual dining just steps from the casino floor, Allegro is great. Be sure to try the pizzas.
Tao– Excellent Asian fusion, and from what I hear, a great nightclub too.
San Francisco, California
Beretta – With their shared tables and awesome vibe, this local (read: not touristy) restaurant should not be missed.
Piccino Cafe – The epitome of local, and definitely off the beaten path a bit, but well worth the trip!
Bistro Boudin in the Boudin Sourdough Factory, Fisherman’s Wharf- You MUST go here just for the yummy sourdough bread. And, once you’re done eating it, tour the bread factory and museum!
Napa Valley, California
Brix – The butter lettuce salad, among other things, is delicious. Visit at lunchtime and sit in the garden, alongside the fresh, growing ingredients used to make many of the dishes.
Lucy Restaurant & Bar at the Bardessono – If you don’t have the pocketbook to stay at this amazingly tranquil hotel and spa in Yountville (I certainly don’t!), then indulge in a bit of the luxurious settings by dining at Lucy. The outdoor patio is beautifully nestled among ponds and the hotel’s main buildings.
Morro Bay, California
Galley Seafood Grill & Bar – This quaint town, found in San Luis Obispo County, is absolutely charming, as is this restaurant. It doesn’t appear to be anything too special, but the food is outstanding and so is the hospitality. I’d also recommend staying at the Anderson Inn, which is attached to the restaurant, and owned by the same family.
Bluehour – Located in Portland’s Pearl District, this upscale restaurant is at a stark contrast to the city’s down-to-earth vibe. The food is excellent, and it was here that I was introduced to finishing salts. If you’re in Portland, I’d also recommend taking a trip to The Meadow, where you can stock up on some of these amazing salts, among other things.
Jam on Hawthorne – This is about as local as it gets. A real down home breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner joint.
New York City, New York
The Stanton Social– Located on the Lower East Side, this tapas style restaurant is one I would recommend. I haven’t been to NYC since 2009, and I’m still raving about it!
South Beach, Florida
Prime Italian– There are actually two restaurants in the Myles Group right across the street from each other in South Beach- Prime, and Prime Italian. I’ve heard amazing things about both, but can only vouch for Prime Italian. The service left a lot to be desired, especially considering the cost of the meal, but the food was outstanding. The portion sizes were a little out of control, so definitely share an app and count on having leftovers from your main. The sea bass and kobe beef spaghetti and meatballs were amazing.
Spris– Lincoln Road in South Beach has a lot of great restaurants to offer. I would definitely recommend stopping in at Spris (pronounced Sprees)- the pizzas were HUMONGOUS but were seriously delicious.
Doraku Sushi– also found on Lincoln Road, this trendy sushi stop lacked any kind of traditional Japanese atmosphere, but made up for it with surprisingly delicious food.
Tel Aviv, Israel
London Cafe – There really are WAY too many great restaurants in Tel Aviv (and in Israel, for that matter) to list all of them here. This is my go-to spot after arriving on a long flight. Located right on the beach just off Hayarkon, and near all the major hotels, it’s easy to get to after you’ve checked into your hotel and you’re fighting off the jetlag. The service can leave a lot to be desired, but if you can overlook that, that food is excellent. I HIGHLY recommend the greek salad, piled high with amazingly fresh vegetables and to-die-for Israeli feta cheese.
Luciana Italian House – In the heart of the German Colony on Emek Refaim, this dairy Italian restaurants has one of the best vegetarian French onion soups I’ve ever tasted. You’ll need Google Translate for this page!
Japanika – Want to blow your mind by eating unbelievable sushi in the world’s most religious city while listening to the authentic Japanese sushi chefs speaking to each other in Hebrew? Japanika delivers on both atmosphere and cuisine, and was the first location in this franchise to also be kosher.
Estruch – Cafe Restaurant Estruch is located in the heart of Barcelona, across from The Cathedral. It may very well be touristy, but the fresh seared tuna was enough for me not to care!
Wanda – We discovered this one by accident about a block or two away from Dubrovnik’s only Synagogue, and though a bit pricey (most restaurants in Dubrovnik are, from my experience) the food was yummy! Be sure to print out the discount coupon from their website for a free drink and 10% off your meal.
On the Open Seas
Celebrity Solstice Main Dining Room – This isn’t really a recommended restaurant, but a recommended trip! We travelled on the Celebrity Solstice on a Mediterranean cruise for our honeymoon, and everything about the experience- the service and food specifically- was superb.