Yunaghi — Toronto (April 2015)


In doing research for a trip to Toronto, I ran across a listing of the top 10 new restaurants in Toronto.  One that caught my attention was Yunaghi.  It was described as a small restaurant where the food is Japanese prepared using modernist techniques.  They were easily bookable on for an early Saturday evening dinner.  They were also pretty easy to get to, just being about a 4-block walk from the nearest subway station.

Upon my arrival, I was seated at the bar counter, where a little origami bird with my name on it was waiting for me.

They offer either a short or long tasting menu for dinner, with the short menu just being a subset of the longer menu. You can do wine or beverage pairings as well. I went with a glass of the unoaked Chardonnay.

They offer two desserts on the menu, so you have to choose one beforehand.

For the full write-up, click here.

Shoto 4th Visit – Toronto (April 2015)


I thought it was time to pay an early spring visit to Toronto and check out what Shōtō might have to offer on the menu.  It had been a few months since the last visit, so I expected the menu to be mostly different.

The wine list was definitely different.  There were no premium pours this time.  The sommelier said he was still working on what to offer with the addition of spring items to the menu. Teas were added to the beverage menu as well.

I was told they were pouring the Domaine Roulot on the bar side if I wanted some.  I decided I would just go with the German Riesling they were offering.

For the full write-up, click here.

After a hot towel, they quickly offered a hot dinner roll to get started.  And after my wine came, the succession of snack presentations started.

Rich Table 2nd Visit — San Francisco (4/2015)


I had tried the tasting menu at Rich Table 3 months ago and enjoyed it.  Now that the season was starting to change, I thought it would be a good time to go back and see what might be different.  I did not have a reservation this time, but I went to the restaurant just prior to its opening time on a Saturday in hopes of securing a walk-up seat at the bar.  There were only a few people ahead of me when I arrived, so I easily made it in and picked a spot at the end of the bar.  The rest of the bar area did not fill up right away, but within a half-hour, all seats were taken.

Some of the items listed on the menu had changed.  Some of the items that looked the same were being served with different ingredients.

For my wine for the evening, I selected a glass of the Chablis this time.

Last time, when I was seated at a table, there was a little wait before the snacks started to arrive.  And when they did, they were presented all at once.  Perhaps because I was at the bar this time, the snacks were brought as they were ready.

For the full write-up, click here.

West — Vancouver, British Columbia (3/2015)


A planned trip to Vancouver in early spring had me searching for a new restaurant to try.  My prior visit in search of modernist cuisine did not yield anything to report.  This time, West Restaurant showed up.  Although it was not centrally-located in the downtown area of Vancouver, it was a direct 20-minute bus ride down Granville St.

The dining room is a long narrow space from the front to the back.  To the other side of the half-wall is the bar and wine wall.  I selected a glass of the Alsatian Gewurztraminer for my wine for the evening.

The menu options are numerous.  They offer dishes a la carte.  There are also three tasting menus —   land, sea and vegetarian – as well as pre-theatre menu.

For the full write-up, click here.