From the creators of Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill, the Boiler House and Archeo and in the Boiler House space, comes the Mexican-inspired El Catrin restaurant. Spectacular design, inside and out, is an homage to the Mexican cantina. The vivid floor-to-ceiling mural by Mexican street artist, Oscar Flores, is a dramatic backdrop for the … Read more

40,000 people can’t be wrong – no Megaquarry!    

Wisconsin Shines

More than 35 wineries, 600 cheeses, 6,000 lakes and the dazzling Cream City brick of Milwaukee. “After a visit to Italy, we decided to model our winery after a Tuscan villa,” Steve Johnson tells me.  A Tuscan winery in Wisconsin? Yes. Parallel 44, high on a hill, overlooking the vineyards in the glacial-etched valley of … Read more

A Chocolate and Culinary Celebration in the Birthplace of Cocoa

It’s the cusp of rainy season, in Belize’s rainiest and remotest southern region, Toledo. The keel-billed toucan sits on his painted perch high up in the rainforest canopy of the town’s clock tower mural. The national bird of Belize knows the tropics will soon be at their most tropical. Punta Gorda, Fat Point in Spanish Read more

The Caribbean’s Little Italy

At Los Roques, off Venezuela, you can have an island all to yourself Article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen When Spanish explorers arrived at Lake Maracaibo in what is now Venezuela, the natives were living in huts on stilts and using boats shaped like gondolas, which reminded the Spaniards of Venice. They promptly called the … Read more

No etiquette in Seville’s oldest tapas bar

Article appeared in the Toronto Star  Dishes, glasses and menus fly past my head as I try to hold on to my corner spot at the El Rinconcillo bar in Seville, Spain. One man slices jamon, or ham with olympian dexterity, while another chops bread with equal precision. The waiter spins the glasses he has … Read more

Get lost in Eastern Ontario’s most eclectic store

Rideau Antiques is a great place to hunt for hidden treasures Article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen ‘Better not leave your bike in there, you’ll never find it again,” a man warns me as I dismount outside Rideau Antiques, in Eastern Ontario’s Rideau Lakes District. The store’s sign is almost completely obscured by rusted bric-a-brac, … Read more

Not home for the holidays

LISBON — It was the beginning of Christmas week, and I was alone in Lisbon. I had come to the Portuguese capital to avoid looking at the same lights and living rooms as the year before. I hadn’t chosen Lisbon because of the weather, but the rain became an intrinsic part of the experience. The showers were warm, gentle, silky, ethereal — I found myself gliding through them, like a canoe on a rainy lake where sky, skin and water merge. By the time Christmas was over, I had memorized the Portuguese … Read more