Food

Le Pigeon

23 Dec 2018

Le Pigeon has been on my list for a little bit. On a previous trip to Portland, I had managed to get reservations to its sister restaurant, Little Bird, situated downtown. Le Pigeon, however, has been constantly booked and I could never get a reservation for when I’d be in town. I gave them a call and discovered that they have a handful of bar-style seats sitting around the kitchen that are ...

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50 by 50 for 2018

13 Dec 2018

2018 comes to a close with a formidable first year of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Only one North American restaurant remains: Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Tackling the North American restaurants was an “easy” way to kick off this challenge. The rest of the list may prove more difficult, needing more time to travel farther to reach the other restaurants on the list. One technique is...

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Pujol

13 Dec 2018

Quick on the heels of Quintonil, was a popover to Pujol. They are in the same city, after all. The two restaurants are merely blocks away from each other. And fun fact, the husband and wife team that own Quintonil used to work at Pujol. Pujol was the 9th restaurant on my quest to visit 50 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. It ranked 20th on the list in 2017 and 13th in 2018. I signed us ...

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Quintonil

11 Dec 2018

I feel like an addict seeking desperately for his next fix. Each restaurant I go to, I wonder how many of those Ratatouille moments will hit me. We arrive at Quintonil, just as it opens, and are quickly taken to our seats. The decor is simple, with maybe a dozen tables in the restaurant. Our table is right at the back, near the entrance to the kitchen. Sadly, without a view of the fre...

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Relae

11 Dec 2018

Relae was the 7th restaurant on the quest to visit 50 of the World's 50 Best Restaurants before I turn 50. It was ranked 39th in 2017 and, unfortunately, fell out of the top 50 for 2018. It’s also a Michelin 1-star restaurant. Relae was a more relaxed and intimate vibe than Geranium. We were placed at the bar at the edge of the kitchen—an ideal spot to watch everything going on, includi...

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Geranium

11 Dec 2018

Geranium is the 6th restaurant on my quest to go to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. It’s 19th place for both 2017 and 2018 and is a Michelin 3-starred restaurant in Copenhagen. The restaurant is situated on the 8th floor of the building where the Danish national football club plays—an interesting location to be sure. From the moment we walked in the restaurant, the service was fant...

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Little Bird, Portland

13 Sep 2018

I love Portland. It’s a lovely city filled with plenty of great food and definitely plenty of great coffee. Almost every morning is spent at a different coffee shop. Matthew sent me a link to Le Pigeon. Sadly, it had no availability while I was in town. On the upside, there are two sister restaurants, one of which is Little Bird. It was not only open, it had availability. With Foie Gras ...

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Petit Trois

01 Sep 2018

Majordomo

28 Aug 2018

Likely the last restaurant adventure on this L.A trip was to Majordomo—a David Chang restaurant. With all the cooking shows I’ve watched, I was excited to go here and excited to be able to book a reservation a month ago. Earlier today, in trying to track down a dress code—there really isn’t one except maybe “don’t look slovenly” but they still let me in and anyways—I came a...

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Mastro Steakhouse

27 Aug 2018

Kitt, “the vegetarian”, was in the mood for meat. I’m certainly not going to pass up an opportunity like this. She looked up the best steakhouse in L.A. and Beverly Hills’ Mastro seemed to be the place. With A5 Wagyu listed on the menu, I was definitely in. Lucky for us, we were able to squeeze in a last minute reservation. The dress code required pants and collars, which meant gripes ...

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Felix Trattoria

26 Aug 2018

Both of my boys, when asked where they’d like to go for our summer trip, simultaneously and without consulting the other, answered: “Los Angeles.” We were staying at an Airbnb near Venice Beach, which is also very close to a strip of hip places on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. I dubbed it Portland Avenue since it reminded me of the Oregonian city, including a Salt & Straw location. In r...

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Alinea

24 Aug 2018

The 50 Before 50 Challenge continues. This time, in Chicago for the fifth of fifty restaurants. I flew in just for this, arriving the morning of the reservation and leaving the next day. They were very specific about not arriving late, so as not to miss any of the show. We arrived a half hour early, rain beginning to come down. There’s no bar at the restaurant. We walked two doors down to a...

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New York Food Adventures

24 Aug 2018

After some rather ambitious efforts to go to five Michelin-starred restaurants in a week, a new—and possibly more ambitious—goal has begun: Go to 50 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants before I turn 50. In San Francisco, we went to Saison, which just so happened to be on The List. That meant only 49 more to go. New York is a short hour-long flight from Ottawa and, thus, it made sense to...

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Rating Restaurants

24 Aug 2018

Having begun the quest of 50 before 50, I realized that it would be good to have a way to rate each of the restaurants that we go to. Between the dozen or so Michelin-starred restaurants and the now handful of restaurants on the World’s Best list, differing factors have revealed themselves. I’m finding a number of ways that these restaurants differ from each other: experience, valu...

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50 Before 50

24 Aug 2018

I turned 44 this year. Not a monumental year by any means. It’s not one that most people pay attention to. It was rather uneventful for me. A week after my birthday, however, I found myself in Amsterdam. (Well, I suppose “found myself” isn’t the right way to phrase it. I didn’t just wake up one morning and unknowingly woke up in a different country. That would be astonishing. And a l...

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That Time I Ate at Five Michelin-starred Restaurants in a Week

21 Apr 2018

Not every idea is a smart one. I’ve heard stories of how difficult it is to get a reservation at an upscale restaurant. They’re booked for months. We had ten days planned in San Francisco, Kitt and I. Her speaking at Imagecon and then us attending Smashing Conf the following week. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to a plethora of restaurants including seven 3 Michelin-starred restaur...

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