My favourite gift to receive is a splurge meal. Be it a birthday, anniversary or any celebration, a good meal with wine, shared with family and friends is how I love to spend my evening. These Toronto restaurants are currently my favourite spots for a special meal.

1. Jacobs & Co Steakhouse

Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$$
Why? Intimate, impeccable service, beautiful aged steaks and a wide selection of wine
Must Order: Jacobs Caesar Salad made table side
Good For? Romantic dates, couples, anniversaries

2. JaBistro

Rating/Price: 5.0 / $$$$
Why? Best sashimi in the city, hidden entrance, great patio
Must Order: Fresh Sashimi Platter, Aburicious
Good For? Small groups, couples, birthdays

3. Bar Isabel

Rating/Price: 5.0 / $$$
Why? Delicious food, complicated cocktails and perfect for sharing
Must Order: Whole Sea Bream Ceviche, Bone Marrow
Good For? Small groups, couples, special dates

4. Yasu

Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$$
Why? Fantastic sushi, intimate atmosphere, unique dining experience
Must Order: Omakase
Good For? Adventurous date, special event, small groups
Honourable Mentions:

Still TBE (To be Eaten):

  • Le Cafe Michi
  • Lai Wah Heen
  • Hiro Sushi
  • Los Colibris
  • The Carbon Bar

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments. Last Updated: 04/28/2015  


Summerlicious is upon us again. One of my favourite food events in Toronto, it is a perfect opportunity to try a new restaurant, indulge for a great price and overall, eat some great food. This year’s event runs from July 4th to 20th. Participating restaurants will be offering set lunch ($15, $20 or $25) and dinner ($30, $35, $40) menus. Personally, I find reservations are easier to make today with many restaurants using online systems but if you’re aiming for a popular venue (ie. Canoe, Auberge de Pommier), calling on the day reservations open is still a must. Every year, I aim to eat at one “fancy” restaurant to add to my list of restaurants for special occasions, one casual “dinner” for a night out with friends and one restaurant that caters to large groups. So far this year, I have 3 dinners set and one lunch still to be planned.

Where I’ll Be:

  1. Cafe Boulud – $45 Dinner / French / The “fancy” dinner
  2. Ganzi Osteria – $25 Dinner / Italian / The “casual” dinner
  3. Jump – $35 Dinner / Italian / The “group” dinner


  • Lunch – I’m looking for tantalizing menus that are similar or even more appealing relative to the dinner menu
    1. Weslodge – $20 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Scotch Egg, Seared Sea Bass and Instant Cake
    2. Bosk (Past Review) – $25 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Seared Albacore Tuna, Roasted Flat Iron Steak and Citrus Cake
    3. Quince (Past Review) – $20 Lunch / Mediterranean / I would order Gazpacho Soup, Capunti Bianco and Warm Chocolate Brownie
Summerlicious 2014 Top Picks
  • Dinner – I’m looking for great atmosphere, interesting menu items and best value
    1. Auberge du Pommier – $45 Dinner / French / I would order Watermelon Gazpacho, Salmon & Peas and Ice Cream Sandwich
    2. Bent (Past Review) – $35 Dinner / Asian / I would order Gazpacho, Asian Marinated Stirploin and the Dessert Trio
    3. Luma (Past Review) – $35 Dinner / Canadian / I would order Tossed Octopus Salad, Broiled Pickerel and Chocolate Parfait Sundae
Summerlicious 2014 Top Picks
  • Good for Groups – I’m looking for a variety of choices, easy parking/access and a spacious dining area
    1. Parts & Labour (Past Review) – $35 Dinner only / Canadian / I would order Steak Tartare, Pappardelle and Lemon Pie
    2. Destingo (Past Review) – $15 Lunch, $25 Dinner / Italian / For dinner I would order the Grilled Calamari, Rack of Lamb and Tiramisu
    3. Paese (Past Review) – $20 Lunch, $35 Dinner / Italian / For dinner I would order the Chilled Soup, Ravioli and Lobster and Cioccolato
Summerlicious 2014 Top Picks

Check out all of my past Licious event reviews for more ideas and recommendations.  


What is it: Snack Food
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Disclaimer: Products reviewed below were provided complimentary by Ely Products. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine and not indicative of the opinions or positions held by Ely Products.

The Basics:
Imported from Latin America, Natural Sins is a baked, dried fruit snack that is 100% natural with no preservatives or dyes. The fruit is sliced very thin and each re-sealable package contains 1oz of the snack. There are 6 fruits available; mango, coconut, apple, orange, beetroot and pineapple. Each package of Natural Sins is 100 calories or less, with the exception of coconut at 168 calories.

Natural Sins Fruit Thins Review

My Experience:
When I’m bored at home or work, I look for a snack. While I love to eat fruit naturally, I will also gravitate towards fruits that are easily accessible. It’s why I have to pre-peel my oranges, and pre-slice my apples in the mornings. Otherwise they’ll sit untouched on my desk for days. With Natural Sins, it was super easy to throw a package into my purse or leave them at my desk and have a healthy snack ready with no preparation required. Natural Sins can be purchased online through Ely Product’s website or at a wide variety of stores in the GTA, including Rabba’s fine foods and Starsky.

Natural Sins Fruit Thins Review

What I liked:

  • I liked 4/6 of the flavours. Coconut, mango and beetroot were amazing.
    • I assumed I would like mango but I was surprised at how sweet beetroot was.
    • I’ve never been a fan of coconut and again was surprised at how good the Natural Sins version was. Each package of coconut also provides 8g of natural fiber, which is amazing.
  • The ease of having a healthy snack that’s ready to eat, tasty and needs no clean up.
  • The idea of the re-sealable package was great. The execution needed some work.
  • Beetroot, seriously I wouldn’t have thought of it as a fruit but it was one of my favourites.
  • The texture of each fruit slice was super crispy. The mango slices were reminiscent of chips.
Natural Sins Fruit Thins Review

What could use work:

  • The apple thins were only ok, I found the slices weren’t as crispy as the other fruit.
  • I really didn’t like the orange thins. The entire fruit was used in each slice, including the peel and albedo (the white stuff) making each crisp quite bitter. I’m sure it’s healthier but not so tasty.
  • As mentioned above, each bag has a re-sealable zip stripe. However, some of the packages were sealed very close to the zip stripe. Therefore using the tear away indent didn’t actually open the bag.
  • At over $3/bag, it is more expensive than buying fruit.

TL;DR: Conveniently packaged, Natural Sins fruit thins offers a quick, delicious, accessible, healthy snack choice at a gourmet price point.

Natural Sins Fruit Thins ReviewNatural Sins Fruit Thins ReviewNatural Sins Fruit Thins Review