Florilége – Tokyo, Japan

Wow.  What a stunning meal!  Florilége was voted No. 3 in the 2018 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (No. 99 in the world!) I have absolutely no question as to why.  Chef Hiroyasu Kawate surprises you with both presentation and ingredients.  There’s one dish in particular that shines for it’s thoughtfulness and sustainability message – beef carpaccio using beef from a 13 year old cow versus meat you’d normally have from a cow slaughtered at 2-3 years old.

Surprisingly the portion sizes were much larger than I anticipated and when our server noticed me slowing down, he had the remaining dishes made smaller so I could make it through.  Say yes to the wine pairing – so good!  And if you don’t drink alcohol, the non-alcoholic pairing was even more impressive and beautiful.

You’ll definitely need a reservation far in advance (1-2 months) – well worth it!

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The reason I’m putting this in my Good Things section is simply because I don’t speak Japanese therefore I’m not able to tell you where to go exactly to eat at Tsukiji Market.  BUT…I did take pictures which I know will help.  The first spot – I’m not even sure what we were eating but it was kind of like the Japanese version of a Philly cheesesteak on rice minus the cheese.  Amazing!!!!!!!  We got there fairly early and by the time we left there was a long line so it must be “the place”.  Our second stop – fresh tuna.  Need I say more?! You get to choose how fatty you want your tuna – lean, medium fatty or fatty.  I chose to go middle of the road and it was delicious.  Third – dried fruit.  I’m not even sure what we bought but they had samples and they were sweet but subtle.  The kind of mysterious snack where you keep eating it because you want to figure it out but can’t.

I suggest going early in the morning (by early I mean 8:30-9am) and just wander.  Get lost, turn left, turn right, just explore and have fun.  I promise you won’t have a bad experience and if anything you’ll wish you had more time.

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Fonda La Catrina – Seattle, WA

Queso Fundido with chorizo?  Yes please!  What are enfrijoladas?  Three grilled tortillas dipped in creamy pinto bean sauce, topped with lettuce, onions, cilantro and prawns if I want?  Oh my god I’ve died and gone to heaven!  Yes please, yes please, yes please…take me back!!!  Everything about this Georgetown institution is perfect.  If you’re like me and could eat Mexican 7 days a week…this place is definitely for you!

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Spring – London, UK

What a beautiful restaurant!  Spring is located in the New Wing of the Somerset House.  I’m not going to lie…it was a little hard for us to find when we got out of our Uber.  When you go, enter on the street that continues over Waterloo Bridge.

The interior alone is so soft and comforting.  It’s “pretty”.  The food was equally as impressive and beautiful.  I’ve also heard from a friend that lives there that the bar is a great place to meet friends for drinks.  I would definitely go back!

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Wild salmon carpaccio with ginger, gooseberries and horseradish

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Bistecca alla Fiorentina with cannellini beans and slow cooked chard for two (or three)

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Bitter chocolate semifreddo with nocino caramel and walnuts

 

Costes – Paris, France

Our first day in Paris we were hot off the plane and needed some lunch pronto!  Our hotel recommended the terrace at Hotel Costes as it was just a block from where we were staying.  What a great find!  Super chic and trendy, I would love to sit here all day and just people watch while drinking my French rosé.

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Ivan Ramen – New York, NY

Oh boy!  If you’re familiar with Chef’s Table on Netflix then you already know about this place.  If not watch the show, you don’t even need to commit to the whole series, but this episode is worth it.  I finally got my husband to watch it and afterwards, he was craving ramen every single night – no joke.  We were conveniently on our way to NYC shortly after so we made going to Ivan Ramen our #1 priority.  SOOOOO worth it!  Holy cow.  We were with another couple and all of us ordered the same thing – the Chicken Paitan (with an oven roasted tomato of course).  When it came and we took our first bite we were all speechless and then…just moaned.  I kid you not.  I’m already dying to go back.  We got in line 30 minutes before they opened because we didn’t have a reservation and it was a good thing.  If you’re a ramen fan this should be at the top of your list!

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Steamed Pork Buns – soy-mushroom glaze, picked diakon

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Kyuri Pickles – persian cucumbers, spiced rice vinegar, dill

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Miso-Roasted Cauliflower – shio-koji butter, fresno chili, bonito

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Chicken Paitan – rich chicken broth, minced chicken, egg yolk, shio combo, rye noodles

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Il Caminetto, Whistler BC

What was once a tired yet traditional (and delicious) staple in Whistler is now a reinvented, current and modern hotspot both in atmosphere and food.  Acquired by the TopTable Group last February, it’s the perfect spot now for a date night, night out with friends, special occasion or last minute dinner at the bar.  I look forward to eating here more often when I’m in town.  Stop by and check it out for yourself!

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