Meetings Canada

Don Appetit!

Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 25 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,200 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.


Don Appetit! Nirvana’s Evolving Menu

February 22, 2017 by douloff

Under the watchful and experienced eye of general manager Karan Bajwa, Nirvana restaurant, in Mississauga, Ont., continues to refine its a la carte menu, adding items from its catering menu — to delicious effect. A recent visit, for example, unearthed


Don Appetit! STK Toronto's Modern Steakhouse Vibe

February 14, 2017 by douloff

This isn’t your father’s steakhouse. It’s STK Toronto, the first Canadian location of the upscale U.S. chain, and it opened last September, occupying an 8,800-square-foot space in the former Four Seasons Hotel, in the tony Yorkville area. Gone are the


Don Appetit! Barnsteiner’s Refined, Home-Style Plates

January 25, 2017 by douloff

After successfully running the beloved Corner House restaurant, in mid-town Toronto, for 15 years, husband and wife team Herbert and Michelle Barnsteiner, in 2014, took a well-deserved break and moved on to their next venture. That would be Barnsteiner’s, a


Don Appetit! Cluny Bistro’s Inventive French Flair

January 23, 2017 by douloff

Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie, in Toronto’s Distillery District, keeps on getting better and better, as the kitchen (under chef de cuisine Travis Cropley) grows ever more assured and focused, and the food ever more inventive. Exhibit A: Mushroom soup garnished with


Don Appetit! Lavelle’s Breakfast of Champions

January 1, 2017 by douloff

Soon after it opened last year, on downtown Toronto’s King Street West, Lavelle became the It Spot, and its rooftop restaurant and swimming pool/deck were jammed day and night with a trendy and beautiful crowd. During the film festival, the


Don Appetit! Azure’s Assured Plates

December 15, 2016 by douloff

I hadn’t dined at Azure, the soaring restaurant located off the InterContinental Toronto Centre’s lobby, in some years, so I dropped by, to see what the kitchen is up to. As this visit demonstrated, the kitchen has never been better.


Don Appetit! Ki's Modern Japanese Flair

November 21, 2016 by douloff

Ki Modern Japanese restaurant opened 11 years ago in Toronto’s downtown banking core and remains as charming as ever. The sprawling, high-ceilinged space, outfitted in contemporary minimalism — slate tile floors, cherrywood accents, soft lighting, bare-wood tables, padded booths —


Don Appetit! Cherry Street’s Texas-Style Barbecue

November 8, 2016 by douloff

Cherry Street Bar-B-Que, in Toronto’s Port Lands area, channels a Southern U.S.-style barbecue joint in all the best ways: Hardwood floors. Exposed brick walls. Busy open kitchen. Early on a Sunday, the restaurant is packed and buzzes with energy. Also


Don Appetit! All Roads Lead to North 44

November 7, 2016 by douloff

It seems like North 44 has been around forever in midtown Toronto’s upscale Yonge-Eglinton area, and indeed, the restaurant has operated for more than two decades, an eternity in the restaurant business. North 44 put Mark McEwan on the map


Don Appetit! Nirvana — New Discoveries, Old Treasures

November 7, 2016 by douloff

Nirvana, in Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto, consistently dishes up first-rate Northern Indian food. Each time we visit, we sample some new dishes and revisit old favourites. New discoveries on the appetizer front included chaat papri, a classic snack


Don Appetit! White Oaks Resort’s Sophisticated Pleasures

October 19, 2016 by douloff

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we dined splendidly at upscale White Oaks Resort, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. First up was dinner at LIV, the resort’s softly lit, white-tablecloth restaurant decked out in understated greys and blacks. On the plate, executive chef Michael Price has


Don Appetit! Maple Leaf Tavern’s Delicious New Chapter

October 16, 2016 by douloff

Maple Leaf Tavern, in Toronto’s east end, has a storied history. It opened in 1910 and has operated as a tavern since the 1930’s, and in recent decades, gained a reputation as one of the city’s roughest bars. Several years