DSC08861-3Kōst | 80 Blue Jays Way | ★★★★ | $$$

The warm weather has finally arrived to Toronto, meaning all of the winter hermits (read: me) are crawling out of their hibernation dens, stretching their stiff limbs, and are ready to reconnect with old friends and explore the city’s gems once again.

Kōst is the BISHA Hotel’s 44th floor rooftop restaurant. The food is Baja-Mexican, and the space is absolutely beautiful. The hotel itself is still relatively new, having opened last September. In the warmer months, the doors to the patio open up to the pool and bar, offering unreal views of the city and the CN Tower. I can’t stress how valuable it is to begin your meal here while the sun is still shining so you get the full experience of the restaurant’s design and great location. Kōst is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Kōst has “sunset hour” every day from 4-7pm – buck a shuck and half-priced wine. Our reservation was at 6:30pm, so when our server came around and told us to act fast, we acted fast. Who can say no to dollar oysters and cheap wine!?

The interior design of this restaurant is every Cali-lover’s dream. Bright and airy, filled with light warm wood and punches of white, green, and blue. It’s the perfect aesthetic. The restaurant also opens up to a beautiful full-perimeter patio in the summer months, featuring the BISHA Hotel’s Instagram-famous pool and a bar. The Thompson Hotel has some stiff competition here.

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After the oysters, we started with the ahi tuna ceviche (very refreshing) and the littleneck clams (made with a mezcal broth). For our shared mains, we split the dry-aged ribeye (the truffle crema is to. die. for.), the ricotta agnolotti, and a side of broccolini. My only wish was for the agnolotti to come in a bigger portion. I could have eaten four plates of that alone.

For dessert, we shared the tres leche cake and the chocolate molten lava cake. As expected, the lava cake was extremely rich and decadent, but the tres leche cake was a masterpiece. I could have eaten a whole 16″x24″ pan of just that cake.

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Overall, we really enjoyed the food and the service was very friendly. We had so much catching up to do after not seeing each other for so long that our meal spanned 4 hours. It was a perfect night.

I absolutely can’t wait to come back soon in the warmer months – both for the food and the incredible views of the city.

Every month, my friends and I try a different restaurant in Toronto that we’ve never been to before in search of great food and delicious drinks. Have a recommendation for us to try? Let me know in the comments below!

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Last week, I stopped by the Everyday Allergen-Free kitchen (i.e. Amanda’s condo) to help review another cookbook. Like the last time I had been invited over to do this, I was looking forward to trying a few new dishes and collecting a little inspiration for my own cooking. I’m not a big recipe person (except when it comes to baking), so I often eat the same short list of things cooked and assembled in the easiest way possible. I’m lucky I have friends like Amanda to remind myself that cooking can be fun.

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We prepared three dishes together from Meike Peters’ Eat In My Kitchen – read on about our Tuesday night cooking adventure over on Everyday Allergen-Free. As for the little nuggets of inspiration I drew from the evening? I discovered that I really enjoy cooked fennel, and rediscovered that oranges are delicious. Yum.

Shot by //
Amanda at Everyday Allergen-Free

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Christmas is just over a month away, and while I’m quietly stressing that the year has blown by in a blur, it means the flux of holiday parties and dinners is upon us.

To kick off the season of eating (because isn’t it, though?), my friends at Everyday Allergen-Free invited me over for dinner. Mind you, it wasn’t just any dinner. The menu was designed and served by Chef Scott Roberts, former head chef of Smoking Goat in London. Scott uniquely used each dish to highlight the different parts of a turkey and creatively accompanied the courses with locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients.

The best part? While many elements of the meal would usually contain common allergens that my best friend, Amanda, wouldn’t be able to eat, Scott crafted each dish completely free of dairy, nuts, peanuts, and legumes.

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Of course, no Christmas party is complete without seasonally-appropriate, Pinterest-worthy decorations. The evening’s decor was sponsored by The Home Depot and I am completely obsessed with the white reindeer accent Joella used for the table centrepiece.

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Head on over to Everyday Allergen-Free to dive into the full menu and see more drool-worthy photos of food!

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I’ve spent a lot of time over the course of this year learning and unlearning how to be healthy. I’m simultaneously an ambitious person and a lazy person, so long-term commitments can be difficult for me. But, I promised myself that this would be one of the important facets of life I’d dedicate myself to in 2016, so I had to follow through.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but someone once told me that it’s all about the journey, not the destination – and I’ve been making progress. This is how I did it.

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Turtle Bay Resort | 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI | ★★★★ | $$$$

Turtle Bay Resort is the major resort on Oahu’s North Shore. The resort sits on one of the world’s most scenic peninsulas and boasts beautiful guest rooms, suites, villas, and beach cottages, and a host of outdoor activities – all on its 850 acres of land. It’s also where one of my favourite comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was filmed. I had visited once with my family (no overnight stay) when I was much younger, so I knew I had to take the chance to come back and fully experience the luxury resort.

The Room

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Our room was spectacular. We were on the 5th floor, outfitted with a king bed, a very spacious room, and a balcony looking out onto the resort’s marvellous pools and a breathtaking view of the ocean. I’ve also always loved the design and colour scheme of Turtle Bay, especially with its signature turquoise blue. It just exudes a “you’re in Hawaii, it’s time to relax!” quality. (more…)