Tokyo House

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Nigiri Sushi Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant

I am a big fan of sushi and my son is also.  So while visiting my son in Raleigh, North Carolina I asked him if he had a recommendation for a good sushi restaurant.  He suggested that we go to Tokyo House.  We were able to get in without a reservation and we asked for seats at the sushi bar.  We had a great experience there.  The restaurant has a loyal group of customers many of whom shared there admiration for the restaurant and it’s owner while we were there.  We both ordered Nigiri sushi dinners which came with soup and salad.  The sushi was excellent; very fresh and well presented.  So this s just the prelude to the real review.

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Vegan Sushi Dinner Tokyo House

On another trip to Raleigh my wife joined us for dinner at Tokyo House.  My wife is a vegan so she asked the server if the restaurant could make her a vegan sushi entree.  The owner came over to the table and said that he could prepare something special for her.  And from the photo you can see that it was truly special.  My wife loved it.  A beautiful presentation of vegan sushi – all vegetables with rice and seaweed, some special sauces and lots of care.

I had the typical nigiri entree once again and it was also outstanding.  All the fish was very fresh, beautiful sliced and perfectly presented.  For personalised service and excellent food it doesn’t get any better than the Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina.  If you’re in the Raleigh area and are looking for an excellent sushi restaurant, I highly recommend the Tokyo House.  Let David Lee and his excellent staff prepare you an authentic Japanese sushi dinner that you will truly remember.

 
Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant
7439 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27615
Telephone: (984) 212-8416
Website: www.tokyohousesushi.com 
 

 

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Ercklentz

I have the good fortune to be working in the area near Düsseldorf, Germany and I found this wonderful restaurant in the town of Kempen.  Das Ercklentz is a culinary jewel in the middle of the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.  We were walking down the street one night and we decided to have a look at the menu outside the restaurant.  My wife noticed right away that the restaurant offered some vegan choices so we decided to go in and give it a try.  Fabulous!

Ercklentz_SauerbratenOne of my favorite German dishes is Sauerbraten and they make a really good “niederrheinischer” Sauerbraten complete with Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) and potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöse).  I was in my element: my favorite German meal in a lovely restaurant with great service, a nice glass of wine and my wife by my side.

My wife had the Celery (Sellerie) Schnitzel served on a bed of mashed potatoes and endive (Endivienuntereinander).  Wow – what a great dish.  I was able to get a taste before my wife cleaned her plate and it was really good.  Ercklentz_Celery_Schnitzel

If you ever get the chance to visit Düsseldorf, do take the time to drive out to Kempen and enjoy a meal at Das Ercklentz.  I hope you are as charmed by this lovely town and this great restaurant as I was.  Chefs Patrizia, Sascha and Uwe will deliver a great dining experience for you in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  Enjoy!

 
Das Ercklentz
Judenstrasse 8
47906 Kempen
Germany
Telephone: +49 2152 54465
Website: www.das-ercklentz.de

 

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Le Vigne Restaurant

While visiting our friends in Canton, Georgia just north of Atlanta we took a drive northeast of where they live to visit some vineyards. We made a reservation at Le Vigne Restaurant located at Montaluce Vineyards for lunch. It took about an hour and a half to drive there from their home, but it was well worth the trip. The vineyard is located at one end of a rather large development of estate homes. It’s a beautiful landscape of rolling hills covered with lot of grape vines.

The restaurant is located in the same building that houses the winery. It’s high ceilings and large windows offer a fantastic view of the vineyards. Our friends ordered off the menu, but my wife and I were looking for something vegan.; so we asked the chef to come up with something special just for us, and oh boy, did he ever.

Heirloom vegetables on rainbow Quinoa from Le Vigne
Heirloom vegetables on rainbow Quinoa from Le Vigne

He prepared a medley of sautéed seasonal heirloom vegetables and mushrooms served on Rainbow Quinoa. It was absolutely fabulous; very light and flavorful. We all ordered a glass of wine with our meal, so we could do a little sampling before we went on a tour of the winery. The wines were quite nice and went very well with our meals. Our friends ordered the Grouper, which was brought in fresh that morning and served with heirloom vegetables and roasted fingerling potatoes.

If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to drive out to the wine region near Dahlonega, please stop by Monteluce Winery and try their restaurant Le Vigne. Let Executive Chef Austin Rocconi satisfy your taste buds with one of his very special creations. Reservations for lunch and dinner are recommended. Check their website for availability because they host private parties and weddings, especially on weekends.

 
Le Vigne
Montaluce Winery & Estates
946 Via Monteluce
Dahlonega, Georgia 30533
Telephone: 706-867-4060
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.montaluce.com

 

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Pitchers Place

We were visiting my sister- and brother-in-law near Cobourg, Ontario; which by the way, is a great place to visit. It’s located on the north shore of Lake Ontario about an hour north of Toronto. We had been doing some work around the house, so on our last night there we decided to try a local restaurant nearby called Pitchers Place. It’s a great little restaurant located at Gores Landing near Rice Lake and it is a real gem! If you’re in this area definitely give Pitchers Place a try.

Stuffed Eggplant from Pitchers Place
Stuffed Eggplant from Pitchers Place

One of their house specialties is the Stuffed Eggplant. I decided to try that and my brother-in-law opted for the fresh House Smoked Fish Cakes. Both entrees were outstanding – nice presentations and very well prepared. The eggplant was stuffed with roasted apple, sweet potato, walnuts, rice and topped off with a minted yogurt sauce. I enjoyed it very much.

House Smoked Fish Cakes from Pitchers Place
House Smoked Fish Cakes from Pitchers Place

 

 

 

I got to taste the fish cakes that my brother-in-law ordered and they were delicious. The fish cakes were served with sauteed Kale and a roasted red pepper sauce. They were delightful – very light and tasty.

I don’t usually eat dessert, but I couldn’t help myself this time, because they had so many freshly made treats. I selected the homemade blueberry pie. WOW – fresh blueberries, homemade crust, delicious whipped cream topping! I love fruit pies, especially blueberry and this was one of the best I’ve ever had (sorry mom!).

Homemade Blueberry Pie from Pitchers Place
Homemade Blueberry Pie from Pitchers Place

If you get the chance to visit the Cobourg area, be sure to give Pitchers Place a try. You’ll be glad you did. Pitchers Place is open for lunch and dinner. They are closed on Tuesdays.

Pitchers Place
8642 Lander Road
Gores Landing, Ontario
K0K 2E0
Telephone: 905-342-2832
Website: http://pitchersplace.ca

 

 

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The Fiction Kitchen

The Fiction Kitchen
The Fiction Kitchen

If you’re visiting Raleigh, North Carolina I recommend that you try The Fiction Kitchen. We were looking for a vegan restaurant to try while I was visiting my son in Raleigh. Several people recommended that we try The Fiction Kitchen and that was a great recommendation!

Farmer's Market Plate from The Fiction Kitchen
Farmer’s Market Plate from The Fiction Kitchen

We started off with some Root Vegetable Chips with edamame Hummus and seasonal Pesto as an appetizer. Yummy! My son ordered the Farmer’s Market Plate which is a medley of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. I had the Tinga Tacos – spicy mock chipotle chicken on corn tortillas served with slaw, black beans, and seasoned grains. Wow – were they ever good. We both really enjoyed our meals and we were more than willing to share a little taste from our plates with each other. Warm and friendly service and a table-side visit by the chef all made for a very enjoyable evening at The Fiction Kitchen. I’m a fan and I will definitely be going back to this restaurant on my next trip to Raleigh.

Tinga Tachos
Tinga Tachos from The Fiction Kitchen
 
 
 
 
 
The Fiction Kitchen
428 S. Dawson Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Telephone: 919-831-4177
Website: http://thefictionkitchen.com/

 

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Century House Tavern

We were visiting friends of ours who live in Canton, Georgia just a little north of Atlanta. They invited us to go to one of their favorite restaurants in the town of Woodstock, Georgia. What a treat!

The Century House Tavern is a charming little restaurant with a diverse menu that has a little something for everyone. It was a beautiful summer evening so we asked for a table outside on the porch.

I heard a lot about their Risotto, so I decided to give that a try. It was cooked absolutely perfectly with some locally grown, sautéed seasonal vegetables. My friends enjoyed the Ahi Tuna Burger and the Woodstock Traditional Angus Burger. My wife had the Vegetable Sandwich which she said was very tasty. It was made with Portabella mushroom, red peppers and grilled onion.

Vegetable Risotto - Century House Tavern
Vegetable Risotto – Century House Tavern

 

It’s too bad we were there on our last night because I would have liked to have gone back to try another entree (like the Low Country Shrimp and Grits).  Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until my next trip to the Atlanta area.

Whatever your tastes, let Chef Daniel Porubiansky satisfy your appetite with his wonderful menu filled with lots of fresh, local ingredients.

Century House Tavern
125 E. Main Street
Woodstock, GA 30188
Telephone: 770-693-4552
Website: http://www.centuryhousetavern.com

 

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Burma Superstar

We were visiting our friends Jocelyn and Barry in Oakland, California and they suggested that we try this Burmese restaurant for dinner one night. That was a great recommendation.

I had never been to a Burmese restaurant before; so I was really looking forward to going to dinner at the Burma Superstar. We got there fairly early, around 7:00 o’clock and the place was already packed. We were fortunate and were able to get seated without too much of a wait, but if you have to wait, please do so.  You will not be disappointed.

Our friends suggested that we start with the Tea Leaf Salad (vegetarian style), so we ordered a portion big enough for us all to share. I highly recommend that you try this salad. It is absolutely fabulous! They say they go to Burma to get the tea leaves for this salad. Hey, I don’t know about that; but what I do know is that it was a medley of flavors dancing around in my mouth. Yummy!

Green Tea Leaf Salad from Burma Superstar
Green Tea Leaf Salad from Burma Superstar

We each ordered something different for our main courses. Well almost, as Barry and I ordered the same main course, Fiery Tofu with Vegetables. I was looking for something spicy and this was a great choice. The dish is made with their own special “sweet heat” sauce and it is really, really good. We ordered Jasmine rice to accompany our main course. Well, what can I say, I just couldn’t stop eating it. The ladies offered us samples of their main courses, and they were also very good, but the Fiery Tofu, now that’s the dish!

The Burma Superstar offers wine, beer, and other beverages. I ordered a glass of beer from a local micro-brewery; which went perfectly well with the spices in my main course.

If you get out to Northern California, please be sure to go to the Burma Superstar.  They have three locations in the Bay area to serve you. Many thanks to our friends Jocelyn and Barry for a great evening and a lovely stay in Oakland, California.

Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
Telephone: (510) 652-2900
Website: http://www.burmasuperstar.com

 

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Linger

Linger
Linger

Denver, Colorado is a great place to visit. I feel fortunate that I was able to visit Denver to attend a work-related conference there. When we travel, my wife and I always like to try new restaurants. We asked for a restaurant recommendation at the Denver Marriott City Center and they encouraged us to try Linger. Great recommendation! We took a cab from our hotel to the restaurant because we didn’t know our way around the city that well (other than how to get to the 16th Street Mall). We arrived in what seemed to be a fairly residential area of Denver. We walked up the stairs to restaurant entrance, where we were greeted with a big smile by one of the hostesses. We were a bit early, so they suggested that we go up to rooftop patio for a drink. It was a beautiful summer day and this was a great place to enjoy a refreshing cocktail with my wife while looking out over a great view of the city of Denver. After finishing our drinks we went downstairs and the hostess showed us to our table. The restaurant was quite busy and there was a great “vibe” inside. We started with a couple of glasses of red wine and a French Lentil salad as an appetizer. The salad was delicious and was a good lead in to our main courses. I ordered the Masala Dosa and my wife ordered the Tofu Shrimp and Grits. We shared a few bites of each others dinners so we could both enjoy the wonderful flavors of these delicious entrees.

Masala Dosa from Linger
Masala Dosa from Linger

We were tempted to try one of their dessert offerings (because they all sounded so good!) so we ordered a Peanut Butter Bar to share. Wow! Fabulous. The memory is still so fresh and vivid in my mind that I can still taste it. Yes, I’ll have another please! Linger offers a very creative and diverse menu. We chose to dine vegan on this occasion; but there are many other menu options on their menu. It was a great night. A big thank you to everyone at Linger, who made our dining experience so memorable. If your looking for a great dining experience in Denver, I recommend you try Linger. A reservation is recommended.

 
 
 
 
 
Linger
2030 W. 30th Avenue
Denver, CO 80211
Telephone: (303) 993-3120
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://lingerdenver.com

 

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WaterCourse Foods

I had the chance to visit Denver, Colorado in June to attend a conference there. Wow – Denver is a really great city. The people are amazingly friendly. We stayed at the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel which had the friendliest and most professional staff that I have ever encountered – anywhere!

We were only one and a half blocks from the famous 16th Street Mall. It’s a great place to walk around, to shop or to have something to eat. You might even find someone playing one of the pianos the city has strategically placed all along the mall.

On our second night there we thought we would venture to the “Up Town” part of the city and try a vegan restaurant called Watercourse Foods. Great choice. It was a beautiful summer day; so we were able to get a table outside on their patio. We started our meal with an order of their Cauliflower Wings – crispy cauliflower with a spicy “buffalo sauce” and served with your choice of vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing. Wow – were they ever good. For my main course I ordered the Street Tacos – black bean and sweet potato tacos served in a soft taco shell with cilantro lime sauce.  They were really fantastic – just bursting with a medley of flavors. I also ordered a side of their homemade onion rings. If you like onion rings, you will love these.

Watercourse Foods offers a few specially selected wines as house recommendations, or you can choose one from their wine list.

Their dessert menu offers some very tempting treats. I usually pass on dessert, but if I would have tried one, it would have been the Reeses Cake – roch chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse, chocalate ganache and peanut butter icing. Tempting for sure!

If you make it to Denver be sure to visit Watercourse Foods. They serve breakfast all day, lunch, and dinner.

WaterCourse Foods – Eat the Path of Least Resistance

WaterCourse Foods
837 E. 17th Avenue
Denver, CO 80218
Telephone: (303) 832-7313
Website: http://www.watercoursefoods.com
 
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The Grand Concourse

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The restaurant is located in the former Pittsburgh and Lake Erie (P&LE) railroad station. The elegant main dining room is simply breathtaking.

I like their menu as it consists of one page (for me a multi-page menu is a real turn-off) and offers a great variety of seafood and land fare, appetizers, soups, fresh salads and desserts. I find the seafood entrees particularly good here and I frequently order one of their “market fresh” entrees. On this occasion I ordered the seafood trio which consisted of one of their Maryland-style crab cakes, a piece of grilled salmon, and 4 coconut-crusted shrimp. Delicious!!!

The Grand Concourse offers a nice variety of wines from arround the world to accompany your meal. If you need some help with making a selection, just ask your server for some advice. The staff at the Grand Concourse is very friendly and accommodating. My wife is a vegan. She spoke to the chef about her dietary requirements and he prepared a delicious vegetable curry over rice for her. She said it was fabulous.

If you’re looking for an excellent restaurant with a great ambiance while visiting Pittsburgh, I recommend that you try The Grand Concourse. Reservations are recommended.

The Grand Concourse
100 West Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Telephone: 412-261-1717
Website: www.muer.com

 

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