Lifestyle, Travel, Uncategorized

#H5TRAVELS: Canada & USA // Vancouver, Toronto & Montreal // San Francisco, Chicago & Brooklyn.

VANCOUVER:

WHAT TO DO:

1. Afterglow Lounge: Listed in 100 of the World’s Best Bars, this 50-seat lounge is located down the hall from the fancy Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar. Guys sport designer eyewear and cellphones, and girls flash lots of toned skin in this red-lit, high-brick-walled space. You’ll want to linger languidly on the backless red divans, but the tony clique here would deem it improper.

2. Bacchus Restaurant & Piano Lounge: Located in the Wedgewood Hotel, Bacchus is one of the city’s choicest spots for power lunches. But when the sun goes down and the Murano-glass chandeliers are dimmed, this sumptuous room with its velvet banquettes, cosy booths, rich dark woods and Persian carpets is transformed into a romantic place for dinner. The executive chef Lee Parsons, who trained with Raymond Blanc, uses local seasonal ingredients in his lusty French cuisine – BC Salmon with roasted salsify, or braised oxtail and veal cheeks with parsnip puree and Bordelaise sauce. As you would expect in a restaurant of this calibre, the service is impeccable.

3. Bloedel Floral Conservatory: At the pinnacle of Queen Elizabeth Park you’ll come across the spacious geodesic dome that houses the Bloedel Floral Conservatory. Step from the cool park air into the climate-controlled conservatory to experience environments that run from tropical rainforest with trickling water to bone-dry desert with exotic palms. More than 100 birds – including Charlie the (charismatic) Cockatoo – fly free. Myriad blooms add to the colour.

TORONTO:

WHAT TO DO:

1. Momofuku noodle bar: noodle bar is a sister-restaurant to our restaurant of the same name in new york city. The menu features a large format fried chicken meal, bowls of ramen and a roster of dishes like steamed buns and rice cakes. Walk-ins and reservations are accepted.

2. Get drinks at the bar at the Shangri-La hotel.

3. Patria: a  restaurant with beautiful art and decor pieces.

4. Guu Izakaya: young &loud Asian place. Amazing food, good spot to get drinks and have fun.

5. The Second City: The Second City specializes in sketch comedy and improv and has been delighting audiences for over 50 years.

MONTREAL:

WHAT TO DO:

1. Visit the holy trinity of restaurants: Joe Beef, Liverpool House & Le Vin Papillon. Montreal chefs/ restauranteurs David McMillan & Frédéric Morin have 3 of the most delicious and popular restaurants in Montreal and they cannot be missed. Make sure to make reservations in advance for Joe Beef & Liverpool House, Le Vin Papillon does not take reservations.

2. Walk through the Jean – Talon Food market for fresh and delicious produce & flowers.

3. Visit Griffintown for its bars and locals-only nightlife.

4. Old Montreal has beautiful old world architecture and cobblestone roads. It is a beautiful sight to see but beware the touristy restaurants and get lost in the small winding roads.

SAN FRANCISCO:

WHERE TO HAVE FUN:

1. 111 Minna Gallery: Smartly morphing into a happening hotspot most nights, 111 Minna is a laid-back urban hangout that features great art, drinking, dancing and a monthly indie film series. The gallery is home to an impressive roster of local and international artists, with tunes spun by a peerless collection of jet-set DJs.

2. Impala: In the otherwise honky-tonk heart of North Beach, this buzzing, popular restaurant is surprisingly chic. It aims to raise Mexican cuisine to a higher level and, in many aspects, it succeeds. Mains focus on fish dishes, slow-roasted meats and Mexican classics; the crowd eats them up with as much enthusiasm as it does the lounge-style atmosphere, a combination of candlelight and DJ-spun music. The bar is open until 2am.

3. 222 Club: One of the funkiest little clubs in San Francisco, the 222 Club hosts hip hop, house, techno and electro nights, alongside a smattering of experimental live performances, in a hipper-than-hip yet nonetheless eminently friendly atmosphere. This is the place to scope out the upper crust of the city’s underground as they munch away on gourmet pizzas or sip their moderately priced cocktails.

4. Golden Gate Park: With more than 13 million visitors each year to Golden Gate Park is one of San Francisco’s greatest treasures. From a vast, windswept expanse of sand dunes, park engineer William Hammond Hall and master gardener John McLaren carved out an oasis–a verdant, horticulturally diverse, and picturesque public space where city dwellers can relax and reconnect with the natural world

5. Chinatown: Take a walk, try some dim sum and shop!

CHICAGO:

WHERE TO EAT:

1. 42 Grams

The tiny Uptown restaurant is easily the most exciting fine dining restaurant to open in Chicago in years. It’s BYOB, so load up on wine, and get ready for a masterful series of dishes. While the summer menu is different from the one I had, anything chef Jake Bickelhaupt puts in front of you is going to be delicious.

2. Cicchetti

The sole Italian restaurant to make my list of favorite openings, Cicchetti is the kind of place you want to eat at all the time. There’s an excellent brunch, which includes a meatball-garnished bloody mary. There are salads and panini if you want a quick lunch break. And if you want a dinner filled with excellent pastas, inventive bruschetta and a soulful fish stew, look no further.

3.High Five Ramen

Brendan Sodikoff does many things well, but ramen is among his best. The new ramen spot, located underneath Green Street Smoked Meats, is serving up just a few bowls of killer ramen, including the namesake High Five, with a Sichuan pepper and Japanese chile-laden broth that’s fiery, but deep and luscious.

4.The Roost

For a city obsessed with fried chicken, there are few (if any) places serving it that I like as much as the Roost. The restaurant started as a food truck (and it still roams the streets), so you’ve got a couple options for tracking down the gloriously buttery buns, which come with spicy or Nashville hot chicken breasts. Both are wonderful, but I’m partial to the Nashville hot, a super spicy style that comes with a pile of pickles on top.

5.Tête Charcuterie

The sausages and meat pates they’re serving are delicious. But The seasonal vegetable cocotte is a must order, and shows how seriously chefs Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski take their whole menu.

BROOKLYN:

WHAT TO DO:

Founded in April 2008, Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City’s top attractions, operating flea markets every weekend of the year that feature hundreds of top vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food. The New York Times called the Flea “One of the great urban experiences in New York”; Travel + LeisureCountry LivingBudget Travel, and Fodor’s have ranked the Flea one of the best markets or antiques shows in the U.S. and the world; and Time Out NY named the Flea one of New York’s Essential Pick-Up Spots.

From April through Thanksgiving, the markets take place outdoors: on Saturdays in Fort Greene, on Sundays in Williamsburg, and Saturdays and Sundays in Park Slope at PS 321.

They also operate Smorgasburg, two giant all-food markets in Williamsburg (Saturdays) and Brooklyn Bridge Park (Sundays) featuring 100 local and regional vendors. From Thanksgiving through March, the market moves indoors. Additionally, every summer you can find some of the food vendors at the Central Park SummerStage outdoor concert series, where the Flea operates the food and beverage concession, and at Jones Beach on Long Island, where a SmorgasBar featuring six food vendors is open at the Central Mall through Labor Day.

Click here for a map and directions to all locations.

 

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