As visitors approach the rustic 1927 heritage farmhouse, they're greeted with the familiar aroma of homemade country-style classics. Little Farmhouse in the City welcomes travellers, diners, and lost Girl Scout Cookie salesgirls alike with first-class bed-and-breakfast suites as well as a full-service restaurant. Within the dining room, plates of hearty breakfast omelettes are soon replaced by homemade pastries and scones served at high tea, followed at dinner by entrees of hearty homemade soups, perogies, and shepherd's pies. An on-site gift shop peddles cards, chocolates, and artwork as well more than 150 fine teas.
Before diners place their orders at Thai D'or waiters will often inquire, "Can you handle spicy food?" True to Thai culinary techniques, many of its dishes brim with fiery spices and chili-infused sauces, but chefs are eager to adjust spice content to suit each individual palate. Named for the French word for gold, the Thai restaurant lives up to its title with its fresh, authentically prepared curries, noodles, and specialties and its commitment to cultural traditions of hospitality. Servers bear blended cocktails and simmering meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes into the dining room, where guests recline on cushy leather chairs beneath the glow of red lanterns. Eastern decor adorns the wall, and water trickles down from stone mosaics. The restaurant opens its function room to private parties, designing customized menus for family gatherings, business meetings, and kindergarten graduations.
The coffee-drinking cultures of Seattle and Old World Europe intertwine at The Wired Monk. Baristas swirl steamed milk into organic, fair-trade coffee drinks, which guests sip beside hand-painted art and a roaring fireplace. Meanwhile, the scent of cinnamon rolls wafts from the bakery case, past aromatic tea leaves by Zhena Gypsy and Mighty Leaf. Red espresso, a roobois tea from the mountains of South Africa, fills caffeine-free lattes with flavours as bold and smooth as a saxophone’s pick-up lines. Healthy treats such as fruit smoothies and gluten-free muffins round out the menu with a touch of sweetness. The sound of tapping toes fills the shop on Thursday nights, when artists such as Harma White and Vaughan McKay flaunt their rock ’n’ roll chops. Large-screen TVs draw sports fans to the couches on game days, and drink specials lure wine lovers on Wednesday nights.
Champions of adhering to traditional recipes and culinary practices, a father-and-son team serves as both the owners and head chefs of New Passage to India. Their kitchen staff whips up dishes native to a variety of Indian regions, granting diners a taste of the subcontinent without the paper cuts that come from eating maps. They handcraft ingredients such as house-made paneer cheese, garden-fresh mushrooms, and fresh lamb with pinches of hand-ground spices. Sensitive to varied tolerances of piquancy, the chefs customize the heat levels of many of their creations to individual preferences. Affable servers wend from table to table within the dining room’s deep-green walls and wooden columns.
Beef, turkey, and ham covered in mozzarella cheese and tucked into a ciabatta bun. Hot Tommy’s specialty sandwich, the Wrangler, may not appear to have the same Mexican flavour profile as its fellow menu items until diners take a bite. Inside, a drizzle of hot black-bean sauce brings the spicy flavour that weaves the eatery’s whole menu together. Chicken enchiladas and banana-pepper-covered nachos recall the hot sun and natural hot-sauce springs found closer to the equator, and chili dogs and a bavarian sausage slathered in barbecue sauce blend a hint of old Europe into the mix.
Three generations after John Taves bought his first plot of land in the 1930s, grandson Loren Taves and his wife Corinne still keep the family farm running. At Taves Family Farms Applebarn, guests can navigate the expanded Corn Quest Maze, greet lovable critters at the petting barn, or tour the grounds on a hayride. A zipline lets thrill-seekers soar above the farm, and down below, edible ammo flies at non-ziplining targets from the corn gun and pumpkin cannon.