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! Locale Mercatto’s Sophisticated Italian Plates

May 26, 2017 by douloff

Locale is the newest location in the Mercatto casual Italian chain that now numbers five Toronto restaurants. Nestled on Bay Street, near the financial district, Locale, last June, unveiled a renovated space and a refreshed perspective on Italian food. The


Don Appetit! Benihana’s Delicious Theatre

May 15, 2017 by douloff

For 44 years, Benihana Japanese Steakhouse, in the lower level of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, in Toronto, has entertained diners with its teppanyaki-style experience. Customers sit around a rectangular table outfitted with a flat-top grill. After ordering, diners sit


Don Appetit! Rasa: Think Globally, Eat Brilliantly

May 8, 2017 by douloff

Rasa is part of the growing culinary empire operated by The Food Dudes, a Toronto-based caterer that, in recent years, has diversified into restaurants. Rasa inhabits restaurant row on charming Harbord Street, in Toronto’s leafy Annex area. The space resembles a


Don Appetit! Signatures’ Marvelous Makeover

May 3, 2017 by douloff

Last year, Signatures restaurant, in the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville, unveiled its brighter, more contemporary new look. From the colour palette (clean, elegant, understated greys and off-whites), design accents (marble floors; wood tile; up-to-date light fixtures; modernized seating), the refreshed, split-level


Don Appetit! Pure Spirits’ Global Influences

May 1, 2017 by douloff

For some time, Pure Spirits Oyster House has been a fixture in Toronto’s Distillery District. It’s a spacious, instantly welcoming space — appealingly worn hardwood floor; exposed brick walls; wood-beam ceiling — that fully capitalizes on the building’s historic bones.


Don Appetit! Cucci Scales New Heights

April 24, 2017 by douloff

It had been several years since I’d visited Cucci, a modern Italian restaurant in Oakville, Ont., just west of Toronto, so I paid a return visit, to see what executive chef Gordon Goss and his kitchen brigade are up to.


Don Appetit! All Roads Lead to Compass Grill

April 21, 2017 by douloff

In early April, I ventured up to Deerhurst Resort, in Ontario’s Muskoka cottage country, and sampled Compass Grill & Bar, located off the spacious lobby. It’s a bright, high-ceilinged room whose visual centrepiece is an enormous, illustrated Muskoka tourist map


Don Appetit! Le Baratin’s French Kiss

April 5, 2017 by douloff

About a year ago, Le Baratin opened in Toronto’s Dundas Street West/Dufferin Street area. It’s a classic neighbourhood bistro, seating 30 in welcoming, unadorned setting (bare wood tables; children’s books displayed on wall shelves). Manning the stoves, visible in the tiny open


Don Appetit! Bar Reyna’s Snazzy Mediterranean Snacks

March 31, 2017 by douloff

In May 2016, Bar Reyna launched in a charming Victorian row house in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville area, dishing up Mediterranean-inflected snacks. It’s a casually comfortable two-level space featuring a bar/lounge and upstairs dining area. In the cold weather, the winterized


Don Appetit! Union Chicken’s High-Flying Bird

March 29, 2017 by douloff

In early February, Union Chicken opened in Sherway Gardens shopping mall, in west-end Toronto. Union Chicken’s first location, the room is bright — thanks to plenty of natural light — upbeat and fun. Guests eat at individual or communal tables in


Don Appetit! Matisse’s sleek reinvention

March 22, 2017 by douloff

About a year ago, Matisse restaurant, in the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville, unveiled a renovation that has transformed it and the adjacent lobby bar into a snazzy, modern space. The airy room is contemporary, warm and inviting all at once,


Don Appetit! Super seafood at lbs

March 15, 2017 by douloff

About seven months ago, lbs restaurant opened in Toronto’s financial district serving a menu primarily focused on seafood. Decked out in hard surfaces (rough concrete, plenty of tile), a palette of neutral earth tones and a high ceiling, lbs (pronounced