This is their newly opened, second location (after Kensington Market). The menu differs in that instead of the more casual, homey type of the first location, this is upped more as dinner portions designed. The owners describe Pancho Y EMILIANO as Cocina Mexicana.

Several restaurants along the well-known but aging area on King Street West between John Street and Spadina have closed, moved or are undergoing renovations.

This one just opened s month or so ago, and is a welcome redesign in this area. Gone are the cafeteria-style seating, owners packing in as many patrons as possible. I stopped going to these ones years ago for that very reason.

This renovation does away with that crammed concept and, though on the smaller side, the space feels spacious and airy. A good space now between the tables is most welcome for personal comfort and privacy. The spartan appearance is welcome: Less is indeed more!

Immediately upon walking in we were warmly greeted by Patricia. We advised we had no reservation and she did say all 25 (approx) tables are occupied, but we could wait at the bar for the next available table.

We gladly accepted her offer and followed her to the long bar for a seat and a drink.

We enjoyed scanning the space at the fresh paint and art pieces throughout. Much of the art work is by Miguel Romero. The signature piece me by the large photo framed on the wall opposite the bar (Insta shots!) of Mexican revolutionaries Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. A great historical picture you must come and see!

While at the bar waiting for a table, I ordered an Old Fashioned, mixed using Bulleit Biurbon and aromatic bitters. Had a smooth, boozy taste I liked and she had a Margarita De La Casa, which is made with Casa Dores Blanco, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and agave. The glass rim lined with mild chili pepper. She reported it as very tasty.

We waited for just over half an hour when Patricia came by to inform us a table became available. We followed her while a server carried our drinks over to the table. Both were very courteous and pleasant throughout.

We quickly perused the menu and I ordered the Fajitas De Pollo, and she ordered the Enchiladas De Pollo. We started with and order of guacamole and corn chips.

The guacamole is made with freshly mashed avocados, medium heat jalapeño peppers and pico de gallo. It was smooth and tasty. The corn chips were also freshly made and so tasty to the point of addictive.

It was less than half an hour when our entrees arrived. They were very well presented and we’ll received. I would say they are of an average size serving, without much garnishments.

Taste counts, for us, over size. And in this area, both meals delivered. My fajitas consisted of dark chicken grilled tender with sautéed sweet peppers, onions, and fresh pico de gallo. Each bite was delicious of the fresh ingredients brought together as one. Not like a fast food restaurant where the meat tastes warm and the toppings still refrigerator cold. These were so good I did wish the portion was bigger. That’s a compliment!

My companion loved her enchiladas, even describing them as amongst the best she’s ever tasted.

The three corn tortillas are filled with tender pulled chicken, topped with a zesty green tomatillo sauce, sour cream, fresh cheese, and onion.

I did steal a bite, and the taste was sublime. A perfect combo of fresh ingredients, perfectly cooked and served hot.

We ordered also the Rose Margarita which, compared to the first one she had, added the flavours of guava nectar and hibiscus flower. lip-smacking deliciousness!

Overall, our only quibbles were with the table wait (well, it was a Friday night), and due to the outstanding taste of each our meals, wished the portions were bit bigger or a fried bean side included perhaps. Very small quibbles that won’t prevent a visit back.

The drinks were perfectly mixed and tasty; the food all sublime; the decor unobtrusive and pleasing; the staff universally welcoming and very helpful.

Strongly recommended.


291 King Street (at John Street)

Tel: (416) 925-8454

Website link:

MISTER C Bar Review

A Sexy, Dark, Sophisticated Bar With Luxurious Decor But Poorly Mixed Cocktails

Mister C (a/k/a MR. C) is a bar located in the lobby of the Bisha hotel in Toronto. It’s namesake is Charles Khabouth, one of the hotel’s developers and a well-known nightclub owner in Toronto.

Traffic congestion is insane in this area (King/Spadina) so come by Lyft or foot! You’ll walk up to the entrance of the Bisha hotel where doormen will usher you inside to the lovely black and white marble design of the lobby (the floor alone cost over one million dollars) and, on the right side is the guest check-in counter. Front-centre ahead is the elevators to the rooms or roof-top restaurant and pool. On your left are two burgundy wing chairs (perfect for Instagram)

Opposite them is the manager’s desk, behind which is a black stand holding a stunning pink hand-blown glass statue of a pregnant woman, safe under an alarmed glass dome (valued approx at $70,000) I’m told by staff that inside it is a vintage bottle of Dom Pérignon. Of course it made sense when they said this is from Charles’ private collection. Get pics!

In between the wing chairs and art piece is the entrance to Mr. C bar. Walk past the purple velvet drapes into the welcoming dark interior.

As you come in, the bar is facing you, and you can be seated there or turn to your right and wander down the long, narrow length of the seating areas. It is usually quite dark, but do notice throughout the luxurious decor of the many original Alexander McQueen prints adorning the walls, again courtesy of Charles Khabouth. They are gorgeous, with the late, great designer’s skull motifs throughout.

I usually go all the way to the back near the large, round, silver framed fireplace. The tables have very cozy swivel seats and couch seating against the walls. Very, very cozy.

Seat yourself and soon one of the uniformly gorgeous servers will come by to greet you and drop off both the drinks and (limited) food menus as well as a bowl of seasoned popcorn. Which is usually tasty and thirst inducing (no surprise why it’s given out!)

It is darkest back here; very romantic and private. The chairs are spacious, the tables small, so you’ll be close together (games of footsies begin!)

Your server will light the candle on your table, and watch the flickering flame’s warm glow cast across your date’s face. So lovely!

The wine menu is of a good, varied range and several of my dates have tried and enjoyed all their selections.

The food menu is limited and of bar-snack size. I’ve tried the Waygu beef tacos, which consists of four 1.5″ (approx) tacos. They are just the Waygu beef with a seasoned sauce, no lettuce, cheese or whatever else tacos usually are prepared with. It’s a unique, good taste but for the price ($20) just not enough to satisfy hunger. Nice to accompany a glass of red wine or a Whisky Sour or such cocktail. I have had their Caesar salads several times, too, and have been generally fine enough.

Now, the cocktails, sadly, have largely been of poor quality of taste due to poor mixing. Very disappointed that, in over 6 months as a weekly customer (more than once a week average even likely) one after another cocktail has just been near awful or of poor quality.

I’ve had at least three Old Fashioned’s; all were poorly made. Overpowered by soda water (!), with on one occasion, barely a register of any bourbon. I also hate my OF’s garnished with Lemons or Limes like they do here. I prefer the traditional Orange rind in a nice corkscrew twist adorning the drink. Not here. They didn’t have cherries, either, when I asked once, as an alternative. So I switched to Highballs. Oh no, a simple drink as that was, of the 6-7 I have had here, 4-5 were of poor taste quality.

I also tried several from their own cocktail menu. This is from 5-7pm every day, it is their 2-for-1 ‘Happy Hour’. The ones I tried were not enjoyable (the OF’s especially) but, also the Aviation, which I have only have ever had mixed with Crème De Violette, creating it’s trademark purple colour (to match the bar’s own purple tapestry’s, no?) but, alas, not here. They substitute with lemoncello or some such. Even tho their own menu lists a ‘Crème De Violet’. Clarify with the server as, not even being told of any substitution, it was an insult to us. And they were awful. And certainly not ‘Aviations’.

On a visit there last August, I tried ordering a Mojito, but they don’t make this drink as they don’t carry mint leaves! WTF

On another occasion, my date ordered the ‘Penicillin’ cocktail from their Premium section ($35.00), and, when served, she gladly took a sip. And then almost gagged! She said it was awful so of course I said I wanted to sip it. And it tasted awful. It was if they cleaned the glass with bleach but didn’t rinse it. It tasted and smelled like a household cleaning solution. I called the server back to complain and refuse the drink. The one and only time I’ve done that. Even badly made drinks are ok enough to at least drink some of them. Not this disaster!

I generally just order Ginger Ales now and just enjoy the lush, cosy, dark ambiance and the company of my very closely seated dates. That’s good enough for me!

Overall, I do actually recommend coming here at least to see if you enjoy the quality of the decor and the dark, romantic setting.

The servers have always been friendly, attentive and keep bringing the popcorn over!

I’d say come for the ambiance, try drinking from the wine list, sample food without expecting to satisfy your hunger, and enjoy the company of a good friend or friends.

I must point out that while the background music comes in by 7, at a usually not too loud level, it is maxed out to club levels (seriously) by approx 9 pm or soon after. Then the throngs of regulars show up (it gets quite crowded on Friday and Saturday nights) and the music is set to pounding levels. Looks best or intended for larger groups, which I noticed some appeared to be clusters of work colleagues (suits), and ‘Girls Nite Out’ girl groups (dressed to the nines) and all having loud, boisterous fun.

I’d say come here early for a romantic, private date where food is not necessary beyond for light snacking, and when the music is jacked up at around 9 pm, use that as an excuse to sweep bae off to your place…for dessert!

Conversely, if you have a group of friends, or colleagues looking to blow off some steam, and don’t mind the pounding music and yelling to each other as way of communicating, arrive after 9 pm: This is the perfect place for you!


Cuisine: American

Price: Food <30

Drinks: >10

Bisha Hotel

80 Blue Jays Way

Toronto, ON

M5V 2G3

Tel: (437) 800-5938



SUITE 114 – Toronto Cocktail Bar Review

An Oasis In The City

Toronto cocktail bar Suite 114 has no installed signage marking its existence on this busy commercial block it resides on near the downtown intersection of Bay Street and Dundas Street West.

An observant patron may notice, however, the image of a martini glass beamed onto the sidewalk below directly in front of a clear glass door which opens to a rising staircase. This is, perhaps, in keeping with it’s description by the owners as a secret speakeasy in the heart of the City. Oops! I guess the secret’s out!

Follow the staircase up to the third floor, you’ll see a large steel door closed shut. Beside it is a digital display with a set of push buttons taken from a landline telephone. You read the display for the clue: answer it by dialing the buttons. If you guess correctly, the large door will slowly swing open to give to entry into the bar. Fail it; keep trying or wait for someone to exit!

The door open to reveal a small, very cozy, eclectically decorated, dimly lit space. Directly in front of you as you walk in is the well-stocked, mirrored bar, where one of the experienced mixologists (who may be one of the owners) greet you warmly into their -Prohibition era ‘speakeasy’. This is as close as it gets to having the ‘Cotton Club’ in Toronto. Have a seat!

The contemporary Spotify playlist music filling the air notwithstanding, you feel as if you walked into a 1920’s bar. The drapes wisely closed to maintain the illusion of disconnect to current time or place. Smart!

Be seated at one of the 2-4 seat tables or even sofas and then peruse the extensive cocktail menu list. There is even a secret cocktail menu revealed only by answering one of the puzzles written on the menus. Good-luck!

This is a bar with a small non-heated food selection. I believe there’s a charcuterie choice; an olives and cheese selection and a brioche with roasted red pepper dip, which I’ve had several times, and is quite fresh and delicious. Bon Appetit!

But for connoisseurs of finely mixed cocktails, it’ll be difficult to find a better selection of both drinks and expert bartenders. There’s a huge range of drinks, of course, but, I can heartily recommend my favourite, the Old Fashioned. A fairly simple drink to mix, but, surprisingly, difficult to get one perfectly mixed to perfection from many restaurants and bars I’ve been to. Some obviously hired on skills other than cocktail knowledge or creation. Here, the staff is qualified on all levels, the most important being mixing drinks well.

I’ve had Old Fashioned’s mixed by Colin, Calvin and Mary, all uniformly perfectly mixed and lip-smacking delicious in taste. The proper glass, the huge ice cubes, top-quality liquors, mixers and fresh fruits are only used. I’ve been to some very popular joints where none of the above were used, leaving the writer shaken and stirred in the worst ways!

Each companion with me on each visit had different drinks with one common denominator between them: high praise for the quality and taste of their cocktails. Salut!

Be advised, the weekends can be very busy after 9pm, with standing room only. Go earlier when it’s much less busy if you want a bit of peace and privacy for conversations with your partner.

Also, they have regular monthly performances by an old-school magician, as charming as he is skilled (ask him to make your bar bill disappear!) James Alan; speed dating nights; comedy performance called ‘Tinder Tales’, which Colin told me is quite hilarious and popular, and on at least one occasion I attended, a musical performance by one of the bartenders, Cal Trask, which was terrific!

So whether you want to sip quietly on your own, cozy up with a significant other, or take in a night of entertainment while enjoying a superbly mixed cocktail in an atmosphere invoking the spirit of a law-breaking Prohibition Era 1920’s secret speakeasy, step into Suite 114!

And when you see either of Colin, Cal, or Mary, or any of the other mixologists at the bar, whisper quietly into their ears that Steven sent ya…and stay thirsty!


116 Dundas St W (remember to look for the martini glass beamed onto the sidewalk in front!) MAP:,+116+Dundas+St+W,+Toronto,+ON+M5G+1C3/@43.6560761,-79.3849436,18z/data=!4m6!1m3!3m2!1s0x882b34cbb906fa69:0x5005c0820265ac8d!2sSuite+114,+116+Dundas+St+W,+Toronto,+ON+M5G+1C3!3m1!1s0x882b34cbb906fa69:0x5005c0820265ac8d?gl=ca



Cal Trask music video:

Tel: (647) 874-5353

Hours: Mondays: Closed

Tuesday to Thursday: 5:30pm to 12

Friday: 5:30pm to 1am

Saturday: 7:30pm to 1am

Sunday: 7:30pm to 12

Check website or call as occasionally closed for private events



Tom Ford Jeans For Men Review

Ford…Tom Ford


If you ever decide to treat yourself to designer jeans, then Tom Ford’s must go on your list to consider!

I understand price concerns, but, who doesn’t love Tom Ford?! The very name is a byword for seductive opulence, unabashed masculine confidence, and sharp sophistication. Don’t forget; Tom dresses 007 as well!

The Tom Ford lineup of jeans are no exception. With three styles to choose from: Straight, Slim, and Regular, there should be something for most men of any size or shape. All are made in the USA.

The crown dark denim pair retail for approximately $900, and are made of selvedge denim, the front button is plated in 18k gold and it’s pockets lined with the same silk used for Tom Ford suits. They also aren’t supposed to colour bleed which may be important for some.

I opted for lesser expensive pairs of similar quality (basically just not ‘selvedge’ cotton) but less ‘perks’.


I do love both the dark pair and lighter, distressed pair I have, so far. Those were in the $6-700 price range, approximately. I can live without 18k gold buttons and silk pocket liners! This range is as high as I want to go for jeans. To each his own tho; no judgement!

The dark denim pair I have are constructed of: 95% cotton, 4% polyester, and 1% elastane. They add up to a very soft feel and comfortable fit! They have a modern, simple look, with a horizontal stitch sown across each seat pocket. These are definitely great for a sharp, dressed-down evening look, paired with a linen, cotton or chambray shirt with a sport jacket. A summer evening on a restaurant patio, or at a wedding reception, perhaps.

I wear either my suede sand colour or black leather Chelsea boots with either of them often, which are fine for both summer or winter wear.

My distressed colour pair are made of 100% cotton, with a slightly less ‘pampered’ feeling, but very nicely form fitting without feeling tight at all. The seat pockets don’t have the same horizontal stitching on them, rather a colour imprint instead. Subtle and stylish for otherwise more rugged appearing jeans. I have my various Chelsea or slip-on style boots or black athletic trainers or a white leather slip-ons I pair them with usually.

There are several cuts available, mine are both ‘TFD0002’, meaning ‘Straight leg’. Tom himself wears ‘TFD0001’, which are ‘Boot Cut’ (why do you think they’re designated ‘001’??)

I have to agree with what Tom Ford himself says about the fit of his jeans, “The important thing about jeans is the cut and the butt” His jeans pass the test on both points as far as I’m concerned!

Overall, I’m very happy with the quality, comfort, fit and looks of both my Tom Ford jeans. Pricing is up to every individual to justify. I didn’t invest getting my first pair until I hit the half-century mark; At that point I really wanted them and when price came up, I just said, “What the fuck” and bought them. The second pair, I acquired about a year later. Two very different looks and styles. After struggling justifying over investing in a pair of Tom Ford jeans the first time, the second was quite easy…

Tom Ford Men’s Jeans purchased from:

Harry Rosen stores, Yorkville location

Tom Ford Outlet Cabazon, Palm Springs


Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs – Boutique Hotel Review

Go Back In Time At This Desert Oasis

Go back to the 1920’s and enjoy a tranquil stay at this Mediterranean and Moroccan design influenced desert paradise in the heart of Palm Springs. You want peace and relaxation? This is your new home away from home!

A short shuttle from the open air Palm Springs International airport, you will arrive at Korakia Pensione in about 5 minutes; very convenient, especially for travel-worn guests!

S. Patencio Road actually divides the property; the Moroccan side on the East side and the Mediterranean design compound on the West side. Guest registration is based in the Moroccan side, so walk through the gorgeous key-hole shaped entrance and you’re there!

Just inside the open design office is a desk where one of the all-female staff will greet you and get you registered in and walk you to your room. The first stay I was warmly helped by Daiana and she made me feel very welcome. So far, so good!

Bedside the office area is a Moroccan tea stand I highly recommend to enjoy throughout your stay – I did! Beside that is a lovely library (a hangout of Scottish painter Gordon Coutts, who owned the Moroccan villa in the 1920’s) with seating (don’t sit in one of the resident cats who sleep there sometimes, Roosevelt & Sasha!) so you can peruse the historical reference books and perhaps make friends with other guests at the same time.

I choose the ‘Bedouin’ room, both for its simplicity and tucked away location. Slightly set back from the pool and nicely tucked in between other suites, it was perfect for me. Enjoy the walk to your rooom, as you pass the gorgeous Moroccan style fountains and antiques dispersed throughout the property. Most of the white washed stone buildings are covered in beautiful Bougainvillea vines (breathe!), with citrus blossoms, olive trees, oleander bushes and soaring date palms filling in the empty spaces of the compound perfectly. Gorgeous!

Walking into the stone building the Bedouin room is set in, one feels the cool temperature as the insulation of thick stone work keeps out most of the heat very nicely. I believe there is an air conditioner inside, but, it was cool enough naturally that I never used it.

We were greeted upon entry of this antique filled room by the voice of (the late, great) Amy Winehouse, who’s vinyl record was playing on the Crosley record player set on a wall unit shelf. Nice touch! Otherwise, there are no other electronic entertainment devices: no tv or radios here! A remote control for the a/c unit was on a serving trolley where a Keurig coffee machine rested, as well as, at my request, an electric kettle, as I prefer tea. Nice touches!

Walking past the entry area through a stone arched entry into the bedroom space is a Queen mattress footing the approx 250 Sq. Ft. room on the left, set on a high stone platform, and was very comfortable – a soft firm. The washroom was small but with all the essentials including a stone shower stall. A nice assortment of bathroom amenities were supplied, by Damana, and were of very good quality.

Otherwise, an antique wall unit held the record player, records and an assortment of books. Beside it are the double French doors that open onto the small but very cozy stone patio which has a bistro table and two chairs. It was perfect to sit out in the shade early mornings enjoying my tea and the sounds of so many birds hustling and bustling about.

After settling in, changing into our bathing suits and slathering plenty of high-SPF sun protection lotion on, we walked out to rest poolside. It’s a short walk past a lovely wall fountain area, and the lush foliage with so many lovely scents of their own throughout. We found a couple metal lounge chairs and (noisily) pushed them into sun facing positions and crashed. Every twenty minutes or so in the 80+ November temps heat we would step into the gorgeous infinity design salt water pool and lay in the water on our backs, gazing at the Palm leaves waving lazily high above us, taking in the warmth of the desert Sun. This was incredibly relaxing for me!

Fortunately, each pool has a stand where large dispensers of iced water infused with lemons or limes and cups are set to help keep hydrated. This is very important and necessary, so we were thankful as being newly arrived, we had still to go out to get some groceries for our stay.

We were still in time for lunch, so we ordered a salad with fresh fruit drinks and enjoyed poolside. Service was quick and very friendly. The wifi worked great out in the compound so plenty of pics were taken and sent to family and friends enjoying the cold Fall temperatures back in Toronto. Sorry, not sorry!

The sun here does fall behind the San Jacinto mountain range a bit early, by approximately 4pm it was gone. We enjoyed a few hours so soon after we retreated to our room to shower and change. It was time to pick up some sundries for our stay. At the office area you can ask for complimentary use of their bikes, so we made the 10-15 minute ride up to Ralph’s grocery store. It is huge with everything one would need and we filled up a few bags of essentials like water bottles and snacks for our stay.

Later, after returning from the pleasant ride, we walked back out to the main drag (it was pitch black by 7:30pm) S. Palm Canyon Drive, where many restaurants, bars, clothing and souvenir shops await. It’s very clean and safe to walk to and fro, checking out so many places I was dizzy by the end! The stops we made to eat were all very nice in design, service, food quality and prices. There shouldn’t be a problem finding something to suit your own tastes. Or, instead order in as many fast-food delivery options are at your disposal too. Enjoy!

We walked back to the Mediterranean side compound to the rear area afterwards, and joined a small group already seated/laying on the wooden deck used for both weekend yoga classes (do register and enjoy this!) and nighttime outdoor classic films projected onto a wall. On this night we enjoyed a Marilyn Monroe Classic, ‘The Prince And The Showgirl’. We lay against some of the many pillows of different sizes and got comfortable and enjoyed the evening (a bit cool, we grabbed our hoodies when we got back) under the millions of twinkly stars above. Beautiful and very romantic mood setting!

I might as well say the following days were Groundhog Days, as we woke up early to sit outside and enjoy freshly made breakfasts (included) with other guests on the patio area at the entrance. The kitchen staff made wonderful pancakes, bacon, huevos rancheros and crepes with plenty of fresh fruits and juices on the side. Absolutely delicious!

Then we spent the day poolside, with hours of suntanning, floating in the pool, and drinking plenty of water. Relaxing and daydreaming the only activities until the sun set each night! Of course, walk around both compounds and get some lovely keepsake photos to remember your stay by. Some of ours are included here. Be careful, as I believe photo taking cannot be done in a manner that may disturb other guests, or if you are part of a group, you may be asked by staff to book a photo session for a fee but in areas they will prepare and clear for you. Something to be aware of and you should ask about on arrival. They have a strict ‘do not disturb other guests’ policy. I get it, that’s the mantra of this relaxing, quiet, peaceful paradise!

By the end of five days, we both felt completely relaxed and rejuvenated. Never were we bothered by loud noises in or outside the room. The rest and quiet does do miracles to recharge oneself. Only getting away like this do you realize the importance of escaping the rat race of work life and noises and stresses of big city living to rehabilitate one’s soul and re-energize oneself back to optimum levels. Just what the doctor ordered!

It’s always hard to leave a paradise like this, and especially after making new friends with this most wonderful and welcoming staff of this most unique and special desert hideaway. Do get down here and get a dose of rest and rejuvenation for yourself!

Rating; 10/10 Superb!

Korakia Pensione

257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs

Tel: (760) 864-6411



Tips: Least busy on weekdays; No alcohol is served here, so if required, pick some up outside; A no ‘party’ type of resort, keep that in mind; part or all of resort occasionally rented out for weddings; Not a ‘full-service’ property, breakfasts only included, lunch for fees, no room service (no phones anyway) except for cleaning; no loud conversations in the pool areas; no children under 13 allowed; most rooms just a mini bar fridge included, but ask staff for kettles or special needs for assistance; couples massages avail for fee; bikes and wifi are included; get ready to relax and enjoy the quiet!


Eat Well In Great Comfort

I have eaten at ONE restaurant, located within the Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville, Toronto, many times. It’s about time I spread the word how lovely it is here!

This is chef Mark McEwan’s creation, and it lives up to his reputation for ultra-fine dining and quality. It is French & Italian cuisine, with seafood options, with food sources from Ontario farms wherever possible.

The decor inside is Yorkville lux with low-level lighting and textured walls to set a lush ambiance, perfect for date nights, business meetings or any special occasion, really. The patio, open for summer, is a must visit for both the delicious food and drink offerings as well beautiful people watching. Make reservations here at anytime in the summer as it is very busy. Torontonians do love their short summer season patios and this is one of the most popular. It’s my favourite patio spot in Toronto for sure!

One side benefit of being inside a hotel is that you can wait in the cozy lobby lounge of the Hazelton Hotel while you wait for friends to arrive. Then just walk over from inside once arrived. Very nice on rainy or cold days!

You’ll be greeted by a friendly hostess at the restaurant’s entry, whether from coming in from outside or the hotel area. You’ll be escorted and seated and soon after welcomed by the wait staff. A glass of water while perusing the menu is appreciated. Even when busy, the hum of the diners is audible but never too loud. The heavy curtains left closed but the room is large enough and has high ceilings so never felt too enclosed.

The tables match the decor being dark in colour and thankfully are very sturdy. I hate restaurants that don’t fix wobbly, uneven tables and don’t usually go back as a rule. No issues ever here, glad to report!

The servers come by regularly to check on you if ready to order and throughout the meal. I appreciate the attention for sure, but here it probably could be dialed back a bit in order to preserve customer privacy and enjoyment of the meal. I have no issue for staff to wait elsewhere waiting for a look or wave to come over, instead. A small quibble in otherwise perfect, professional service by all staff.

For myself, I always start off with, and sometimes dine just on, their signature salad, the One Caesar Salad. To me, it is a perfect portion size, towards oversized, but, so delicious I never have trouble finishing one. The creamy garlic dressing is tasty without being overbearing, the locally sourced lettuce is very fresh & crispy; the croutons, bacon and reggiano just as tasty and flavourful. Again, without being an overbearing or heavy garlic taste. Just enough, just right.

The main course I ordered on this occasion was the Veal Parmesan. It was a large bone-in portion with an ample amount of fresh San Mariano tomato sauce throughout, which I prefer. More is better! The meat was very soft and tasty, the buffalo mozzarella cheese on top melted in my mouth with each bite. Very well prepared and cooked.

My companion enjoyed her Oysters very much and described them as being tasty as if just pulled out of the ocean. Hope that helps the seafood lover out there! She was also pleased with their gluten-free options.

My favourite dessert there are their Boston Creme Doughnuts. They are made fresh, of course, served as 3 on a wooden tray. They are filled with the most delicious vanilla bean pastry creme, topped with chocolate glaze and honeycomb. Delicious and decadent!

The red wine I ordered, on the recommendation of the server, was light in taste and complimented the red meat dish. The cocktails I had before were very well mixed and robust in taste. The mojito was so refreshing and served with a generous portion of fresh mint leaves, as I prefer. Wonderful.

The meals, the table service were excellent and though not a budget meal restaurant, you do get quite a bang for your buck for your meals, drinks and service. I would make this my first choice for a date night or special occasion such as an anniversary. If you need a room, just walk into the hotel lobby and get one! Doesn’t get easier than this!

Overall, I enjoyed this dinner occasion very much, and highly recommend a visit to this pillar of the Yorkville community.

Try it out, and let me know if your experience in the comment section below.

ONE restaurant (located in the Hazelton Hotel)

116 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto

Tel: (416) 961-9600

Map & Directions link:,+Toronto,+ON+M5R+1C2/@43.6708595,-79.3934235,17z/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!1m3!3m2!1s0x882b34a5126ac493:0xf7812acc616d61b!2s116+Yorkville+Ave,+Toronto,+ON+M5R+1C2!3m1!1s0x882b34a5126ac493:0xf7812acc616d61b?hl=en

Welcome To Hotel Melancholic!

Welcome Back, Tokio Hotel!

They’re baaaaack!

German alternative rock/pop/electronic band Tokio Hotel just dropped the new single, ‘Melancholic Paradise’, and, with patience (cause we are all excited TH is making new music!) this mellow electronic beat influenced throwback to the 80’s grows on you on repeated listens.
Imagine driving a convertible on a late summer’s night, along the weaving roads of Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, in 1985 -That what this song reminds me of!
Released just the other day, as lead-up for the album drop coming when the TH Melancholic Paradise World Tour kicks off in Manchester, UK, on April 26th, 2019.
Can’t wait!
This slow burner song is set to a cool 80’s funky-style beat that kinda has a Nile Rogers influence to it. Nice!
I believe the song is an homage to Los Angeles, and if they mean of an L.A. from back in the 80’s, it’s perfect! It has that laid back Cali vibe you’d see up and down the Santa Monica – Malibu beach areas of L.A.
To lock down the 80’s vibe, listen to the song’s beginning, the sound of the hiss and crackles that those of us who grew up with vinyl records will recognize right away! A not-so subtle clue!
I’m first to agree we’ve come a long way musically from their intro album, ‘Humanoid’. But let’s see where they’re musically evolving into before making pointless comparisons to past efforts. Do we do that to ourselves?? Build up, not tear down!
Maybe the song-title reference ‘Melancholic’ is made for those who do still prefer analog recordings, especially on long play vinyl records, over the tin can, right sound of modern digital recordings. Maybe! 479BD044-A9CD-47B1-9BA3-641883E90EFC
The vocals by Bill Kaulitz (a/k/a ‘Billy’) are just as stellar as 10 years ago; a relief! He invokes the same melancholic vibe with low-key notes with an almost robotic cadence. The lyrics are simple, carefree and catchy: give it a few listens and you’ll be rapping them, too! He then pops free with his familiar and still powerful voice capable of hitting falsetto notes! I bet when he sings this live, he’ll punch up the recorded, and intended,  ‘auto-tune’ sound by quite a few notes! Imagine when Bill sings the line, ‘Let’s get high on life, in this melancholic paradise’, how he can play it repeatedly, using a rising scale, and get the crowds involved with a clap-along! Exciting!
I do love the 80’s musical instrument sounds on this song, from brass (trumpets) to synthesizer to drum beats used throughout. Tom Kaulitz obviously has a love for these instruments as they are the backbone of the song’s construction. Go with it!
So, though a bit mellow and truly melancholic, perhaps as the band also reflects on itself from its loud splash on the music world over 10 years ago, the song is a perfect reintroduction to this great band, and imagine they just brought the fun 80’s back to the cold, processed world of 2019. Isn’t that cool enough?!
We welcome back old friends who brought memories of a wonderful time from the past and leave us anticipating future musical experiences with them!
Not so melancholic now, is it!

TOKIO HOTEL IS: Bill Kaulitz Tom Kaulitz Gustav Schäfer Georg Listing

My Review Of ‘The Wife’

A Glenn Close Acting Class 

‘The Wife’

Starring:  Glenn Close, Johnathan Pryor, Max Irons, Christian Slater

Director:  Bjorn Runge

Screenplay By:  Jane Anderson

Novel Written By:  Meg Wolitzer


Glenn Close stars as Joan Castleman, Johnathan Pryce stars as Joseph Castleman, Max Irons as their son David, and Christian Slater as reporter Nathaniel Bone.

The film begins in the bedroom of the Castleman’s, when the phone rings and Joseph is informed that he has been selected to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm. We watch and hear his delight grow with increasing  obnoxiousness at the expense of his wife, Joan, who quietly congratulates him with expressions going from happiness to concern to sadness.

It is from here the drama begins and Glenn Close gives an astonishing tour-de-force performance that is sure to resonate throughout the film industry rewards season (And Glenn just won the Golden Globe award for Best Actress last week).

The plot develops, the deep, dark secret that has existed between them threatens to blow across the screen like a ticking time-bomb that Joan is; one can see her facial expressions calculating the when and where to explode at.

Flashbacks are used well to reveal their beginnings as a couple and reveal Joseph as something less than one thinks of him at the film’s start: His character flaws are revealed and hers are buried to help carry him to eventual successes as a writer.  Tick…tick…

But really, it’s the chance to see a veteran actress like Glenn Close just consume the film and everyone in it.  Though fellow veteran actor Jonathan Pryce keeps up with her gamely, the other sub characters flail away unrestrained to a degree of distraction and annoyance.

Max Irons as the troubled son, David, is seen in one hissy fit after another, overwrought and, to me, unbelievable. This could be the fault of direction and/or editing. Thank God he calms down by the end!

Veteran actor Christian Slater plays on his natural ability to ingratiate to no end as the obvious TMZ-style reporter convinced,  on a weak premise really, that he and only he can expose Joseph Castleman, not for any sense of social justice, but for his own desire for fame. The food chain of literary life as it seems! It plays clumsily against the measured and restrained performances of the leads.

If this ever gets written as a play, and it should, these two supporting characters need to be reduced in scale, if not eliminated entirely. The films is really the ‘Joseph And Joan Show’ or, is it, ‘The Joan And Joseph Show’?

Note the parochial play of their surname even:  ‘Castleman’, or, man of his castle? He certainly acts the part, and she knows it! Even Joan says the one zinger to underscore her role as his lessor: ‘I am a kingmaker’   Her ambitions and needs long ignored for his.  Until now!

Watch ‘The Wife’ and you’ll see Close take command of the film part way in: Still, observing, formidable, visibly calculating her moment of reckoning that will leave you breathless.

Glenn Close has been Iscar-nominated six times for her acting without ever winning one. After watching her incendiary performance as ‘The Wife’, her seventh nomination (to be) will be the charm!

Verdict:  Highly Recommended!

Where To See It:  

TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St W., (416) 599-8433

Get Tickets Here:






Tom Ford ‘Fucking Fabulous’ Body Spray Review


Marketed as unisex, I found this new Tom Ford release a perfect light, long lasting scent suitable for the more confident, active man.  It is a great alternative to heavier scented colognes in an age of workplace scent sensitivities.

I usually apply after my morning shower, on freshly cleansed skin around the neckline and wrists. Do not rub in. Spray indirectly and let the spray fall unheeded upon your skin and settle in.

Immediately, you’ll sample its vivid, bright, fresh bold lavender bouquet anchored by touches of clary sage and and orris root which give it its masculinity that provides a solid foundation as it nuzzles into your skin.

A forward scent is picked up, driven by the luscious Tonka bean and oriental leather which create a warm glow in which to bask in. Yummy!

I found it to be a very sexy, breezy, luxurious and confident scent.  Great to wear for presentations or meetings over dinner and drinks.  Awesome to wear when socializing out!

For me, I love wearing this scent prior to going out on a date, to spark up my mood and confidence levels.  When we get back home, I sneak a quick spritz on my lower body area. So far, only knowing complimentary remarks made in response.  About the scent, I mean lol.

Overall, wearing this body spray and it’s associated notes  combined remind me of a lovely summer drive in a countryside setting, in an Italian convertible sports car, slowing down when passing the lavender fields amongst the forest just enough to enjoy the fresh, bold scents dancing in the air.  And breaking into a warm happy grin as I speed up again.

As Tom Ford himself describes this:  “ ‘Fucking Fabulous’ is a decadent, oriental leather with an intoxicating grip.  It evokes the private exchanges where fantasies come true.  It’s undeniably the most straightforward name for such a beautiful scent.”

Or as I simply sum this new Tom Ford product as:



Bought at:  Harry Rosen (Sold Out)

Find At:

Price: $102 CDN plus tax


Key Notes 

Almond bitter oil, Tonka resinoid, Orris accord,

Cashmeran, Leather accord, Clary Sage oil

How To Use

On clean skin, spray once or twice on desired areas. Do not rub the fragrance on skin, as this will alter how the fragrance develops.



My Review Of Hazelton Hotel Toronto – Compilation


There is no better luxury hotel than the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto; I’ve stayed at all or certainly most of the luxury-branded hotels in Toronto, here about 12 times over the years. Home!

I call this a compilation as this is the only hotel I could pull up a past review up and almost word for word, read of the superlatives and praise for its consistency and high standards of guest care on every visit. Love

As soon as you walk to the entrance, the doors fly open for you by welcoming staff. You pass through the small but well decorated, cozy lobby and stay left to the reception desk.  Stylish

Immediately you are greeted and the process of checking in is done within a couple of minutes and you are escorted to the elevator to take you to your suite.  Cheers!

The halls are quiet, dimly lit (which I find soothing) and its walls adorned with various interesting art work.  Pretty!

I always book one of the rooms set in an alcove of its own shared with one other room. The extra doors provide an extra layer of privacy and quiet. Nice.

Upon opening the door, the large room (350ish sf) shows a very tastefully decorated area in awash in muted neutral tones (the colour seen all throughout the hotel) and a huge spa bathroom of dark marble construction.  Beautiful.

The room has French doors that open onto a terraced size balcony to enjoy some Yorkville views.  Lovely.

The King size bed has a very satisfying firm feel to it; as if it was just delivered from the factory.  Comfy af.

A large panel tv is set on the wall and higher end coffee machine as well (I prefer tea – lots of various flavours provided). Sweet.

Once in the room, you feel so at peace and so cozy and comfy you really don’t want to leave. Nice!

the bathroom is huge and plenty of space for a couple to manoeuvre around each other whilst getting ready.  There is a large spa shower as well as a bathtub. Lots of towels, robes and amenities provided. Any thing you may be in need of will be immediately solved with one call to the front desk. Of course!

A desk sits in one corner area of the room and a comfy padded chair on the opposite side. Everything is built for your comfort. Thanks!

For what you pay; you get what you would expect but don’t really get these days in many hotels:, warm greetings upon arrival; painless and quick check in;  a room tailored perfectly to your request; a spacious, ultra clean room adorned in fine materials and furniture with more amenities than you need. And the spa bathroom to die for. Perfect!

I’ll leave it at this; check out their website and scan the different room types and book yourself a much-deserved break! And also make use of their incredible Valmont Spa downstairs for the ultimate spa pampering! And on the main floor is ONE restaurant: my favourite in the city! Brilliant!

The Hazelton Hotel is my home away from home:  The place I retreat to whenever I need a rejuvenation break from the hectic rush of everyday life and need the peace and quiet luxury service this amazing hotel provides in spades! BOOK!!