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Great Stay (and Good Food to Boot) at Andaz Ottawa Byward Market (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] Andaz Ottawa Byward Market was our home base when we were staying in Ottawa. This hotel juts up as the most prominent new high-rise in the ByWard Market, a 19th-century commercial district that now hums with both artisan goods shops and venerable Canadian department stores like Simon’s and Hudson’s Bay. Trendy bars and a few of the city’s best restaurants round out the mix. Art also meets power in this area between the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill. All of these locations are within a fifteen to twenty minutes of walking so a car isn’t needed to..

Afternoon Tea at Zoe’s Lounge at Fairmont Château Laurier (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] If there’s a hotel that is famous in Ottawa, it is the Fairmont Château Laurier. Not only for the stunning architecture but there’s so much history involved in this hotel. It was built as one of the classic railroad hotels by the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada a century ago, it is a massive turreted structure, a venerable castle that is remarkably spacious and very lovely inside. A friend and I decided to have afternoon tea here despite the fact it was still in the middle of a heat wave. (more…)


Black Walnut Bakery (Cumberland, Ontario, Canada)

[Translate] A surprising find from my drive from Montebello to Ottawa was Black Walnut Bakery. This bakery is very charming as it’s a large house painted in a sunny yellow and outfitted with a porch. It makes me think I will be entering my Southern grandmother’s home when I walked up the porch and through the white wooden door. As you walk down the hallway, there’s a door opened to a kitchen that was wrapping up the day’s work but not too far is the room where the display counter and small seating area lined up with locals waiting for..

Fantastic Coffee at Little Victories Coffee (Ottawa, Canada)

[Translate] Little Victories Coffee is an independently owned coffee shop between two coffee professionals (and friends) Andrew Bassett and Jeremie Thompson, who became disenchanted with Canada’s coffee industry. After experiencing the incredible divide in coffee quality between Canada and other parts of the world they felt obligated to help Ottawa compete on the global stage. Several global sourcing trips later, Little Victories Coffee Roasters began retail and wholesale operations across Ottawa. Within a year the fledgling company had contracts with over a dozen small and independent coffee shops supplying top shelf coffee beans and training across the Ottawa Valley. Since..

Creative Flavors at Supply and Demand (Ottawa, Canada)

[Translate] As a brief introduction for my readers out there who do not follow me on Instagram, I have been posting photos and occasional Stories of my recent travel to Ottawa, Canada. Now, most of you might look at me quizzically wondering “why Ottawa?” like many of my friends and acquaintances have. I have been to the well known Canadian cities of Montreal, Toronto (though admittedly, it’s been a while) and Vancouver and I want a short getaway for the summer holiday week. Also not everyone has been there and I don’t mind visiting a place that is relatively under..

Drunken Dumpling (NYC)

[Translate] One of the few restaurant niches that fares well in New York City are Chinese-style dumplings. One of particular fast-casual restaurant that is Instagram-famous particularly for its giant soup dumpling is Drunken Dumpling that is a mother-and-son operation in the East Village. (more…)

Delicious Moroccan Fare at Mekki NYC

[Translate] Mekki NYC is a new Moroccan restaurant in Greenwich Village. It’s a beautiful restaurant done in a cobalt blue with some furnishings (like the beautiful light fixtures and the many pairs of babouche, traditional slippers) from Morocco. We walked to the back of the restaurant where the main dining area is located and started off with a lovely Moroccan Sauvignon Blanc (yes, Morocco makes wine for a millennia). The wine was had citrus and touch of floral notes on the nose. It is bright then fills the mouth with soft tannins and flavors of grapefruit and pineapple that lead..

The Tang (NYC)

[Translate] A recent dinner with a few friends at The Tang in East Village, we were pretty surprised how good this very small Szechuan restaurant is. It’s essentially a narrow restaurant that have about seven two-tops and a four top right behind the compact open kitchen that’s up at the front end of the restaurant. We started off with a smattering of (cold) small plates. The tofu dishes – Naughty tofu and Sesame tofu – were very tasty. For the ones who are sensitive to chili heat, the sesame tofu is your best bet. Cold, soft tofu wading in a..