Archive for the ‘fine dining’ Category

RoyalOntarioMuseumIf you’re heading to Toronto this summer, The Washington Post has thoughtfully written up a number of good restaurants in the Yorkville neighborhood, around the Royal Ontario Museum – designed by Daniel Libeskind. Libeskind’s tetrahedric design works perfectly for the museum’s restaurant, C5.

“Chef Ted Corrado, who has the boyish looks of a teen pop star, sources local products at C5 to produce a limited yet sublime menu on which the ethnic flavors of Toronto shine through his studied technique. Offerings change with the seasons, but recent choices included porcini papardelle with white anchovy and paquillo peppers, and rack of wild boar with eggplant cream, baby leeks and litchi. On a budget? Order a cocktail and an appetizer, and savor the city view through the enormous tilted windows.”

Read more from The Washington Post.

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Taberna del Alabardero's skin-on, pan-seared monkfish

On the August 22-29, 2009 edition of our classic Great Lakes cruise, we’ve got a real treat in store for you: Dani Arana, Executive Chef of the Taberna del Alabardero, will be your personal guest chef, offering special meals, wine tastings and master classes.

When the Taberna del Alabardero opened its doors in 1989, The New York Times lauded the restaurant for “…finally bringing a sophisticated Spanish kitchen to the nation’s capital.” Designated as “The Best Spanish Restaurant Outside of Spain” by the Spanish Government, the Taberna del Alabardero was recently described by The Washingtonian as one of the “100 Very Best Restaurants”:

Alabardero's paella for purists

Alabardero's paella for purists

“The food, drawn from or inspired by Spain’s regional cuisines, is so vibrant and robust you’ll think you were sitting down to lunch in the Spanish countryside.

Flavors run deep in a plate of squid steeped in a thick black squid-ink sauce, in zurrukutuna, a garlicky Basque soup, and in pork belly with its fat seared wonderfully crisp. Paella purists will stick with the classic seafood version, but two other combos worth trying are the rusticky chicken-and-chorizo and the unusual baby-back-rib-and-scallion. Other notable choices are veal sweetbreads with spinach and pine nuts and a caramel cream custard with caramel ice cream.”

A native of Huelva, Spain, Chef Arana began cooking for his family while still a boy, receiving his formal

Chef Dani Arana

Chef Dani Arana

training at the Escuela de Hosteleria de Sevilla. While at school he completed an externship at Mugaritz, consistently rated one of the top restaurants in the world. After school he began as the sous chef at the Michelin starred Café de Oriente in Madrid, then moved up to the position of chef.

Chef Arana moved to the United States in 2008 and became executive chef at Taberna del Alabardero.

Travel Dynamics International’s classic Great Lakes cruise between Toronto, Canada and Duluth, Minnesota features the Ojibwe Native American community of Manitoulin Island, Michigan’s historic Mackinac Island, and the rugged Keweenaw Peninsula – and transits the seven locks of the Welland Canal which links Lake Ontario to Lake Erie.

The cruises, which operate throughout the summer (though you can enjoy Chef Arana’s splendid Spanish  cuisine only on the August 22-29 departure), are aboard Clelia II, which recently completed a million-dollar refurbishment. It’s a luxurious all-suite cruise ship for just 100 guests. Renowned for its spaciousness, beautiful design, and impeccable service, Clelia II offers travelers an intimate ambiance akin to a private club.

For more information about the Great Lakes cruise with Chef Dani Arana or to make a reservation, please call Amalia Ciprijan toll-free at 1-800-257-5767, extension 511.

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Now at Travel Dynamics International, for remarkably discounted rates, you can:

Voyage into the classical world with antiquities experts from Antiques Roadshow. Enjoy an epic cruise down the entire Pacific coast of South America, from the Panama Canal to Ushuaia. Explore the lives of famous women of antiquity. Take a once-in-a-lifetime repositioning cruise from Morocco to Patagonia, following the route of Magellan. Continue in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton with Peter Hillary, son of the first man to ascend Everest. Cruise the Falklands and South Georgia in the far southern Atlantic en route to Cape Town, South Africa. Discover South America from the Amazon to Uruguay. Take an astounding voyage along the entire Atlantic coast of Africa. Sail from coastal Brazil into the depths of the Peruvian Amazon. Or perhaps the Orinoco and Amazon, with the beaches of Trinidad? Delve into the rich cultures of the Western Mediterranean from Seville to Venice. Circumnavigate Newfoundland. Or cruise up the entire Atlantic coast of North America, from Palm Beach to the Canadian maritimes? Listen to exquisite music, and enjoy top-chef Mediterranean cuisine, from Seville to Naples.

The epic journeys you’ve been waiting for, available now for less.

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Corinthian II is a thoroughly comfortable ship with a relaxed house-party atmosphere—no formalities—configured for a discerning crowd who expect the best.”

From Ships&Cruises.com:

Travel Dynamics’ flagship Corinthian II offers an intimate luxury onboard with a high level of educational opportunities that include full days of exploring ashore, in whatever waters the ship is cruising—which is mostly in the Mediterranean. The Corinthian II was originally built in 1992 for the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises, sailing under several names. In 2005, following an extensive refurbishment, she entered service for Travel Dynamics.

This spring, I traveled on a ten-day, seven-country voyage from Cadiz, Spain to Piraeus, Greece with calls in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, and Crete along the way. While the ship offers a high standard of expedition cruising she actually represents more of a crossover travel experience for her guests— from expedition cruising to educational travel.

Easy on and Easy off . . .
One of the charms of Corinthian II’s small scale and her limited passenger list is the ease of slipping onboard and settling down in your cabin. The ship’s accommodations are spread over five levels —connected with an elevator—and are more spacious than the “good” grade on a superliner. (more…)

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R.W. Apple, JrWe at Travel Dynamics International were very saddened to learn of the death of R.W. Apple, Jr. in 2006 — gourmand, politico, and one of the New York Times’ very best writers. In 2004, he traveled with us along the Dalmatian Coast, and was so inspired by the fantastically fresh seafood he encountered there, he immediately returned to Manhattan to write this tantalizing, delectable survey of Croatian coastal cuisine. He was particularly impressed with Proto, one of Dubrovnik’s finest restaurants, where we took our guests for lunch one afternoon:

But restaurants like Proto — a few steps off Dubrovnik’s pedestrian-only main drag, whose limestone paving blocks have been polished to a high gloss by hundreds of thousands of feet — buy the best and know just what to do with it. We were stunned by the sweet, magically tender shrimp, cooked on a wooden skewer, and the ruddy scampi, which were so plump they could almost have passed for baby lobsters.

They were rockets of flavor intensity that scored direct hits with us both. The young waiter told us why: “They were alive when they came in this morning, and they’re barely cooked — two or three minutes on the grill, depending on size.”

Our lunch at Proto was one of those meals where everything worked perfectly. Our table, covered with a sea-blue cloth, was shielded from the fierce midday sun by an awning and cooled by a fresh breeze. I am not much of a fish salad fan, but my starter was exemplary — a mixture of delicately flavored baby octopus, succulent little mussels, chopped red onion, ripe tomatoes, fleshy black olives and round, wonderfully juicy Mediterranean capers. Betsey’s shrimp came with a mound of saffron rice, every grain distinct and slightly crunchy, and a salad of tart rocket dressed with oil from Korcula.

The espresso, with a perfect head of crema, would have pleased Dr. Illy, and it went very nicely, I thought, with a slug of slivovitz, the local plum eau-de-vie. Well, not exactly local; I thought I detected a note of regret in the waiter’s voice as he took the order, and then I realized that slivovitz is Serbian, not Croatian. The last time I had been in these parts, the rival countries were both part of Yugoslavia.

Read more of his culinary adventures with Travel Dynamics International in the Adriatic here.

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