July 2018. After spending a bit of time in the wonderland of the Beatles Suite it was time for dinner, so I ventured to the main floor of the Brown Palace Hotel to enjoy a hot meal at their famed Tavern restaurant.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

Since it was a Sunday night the seating was plentiful – there really wasn’t too much of a crowd in the Tavern just after 4pm.
I liked the bright colours of the tavern and the staff was very helpful & friendly.
The steak dinner I ordered was delicious – with fingerling potatoes and fresh asparagus … it was just perfect!

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

After that satisfying meal it was time for an after-dinner cigar at the Palace Arms Churchill Bar.

Churchill Bar was really busy when I walked in.
There was only a couple of tables available so I settled into a table in the centre of the room.
Please note that for privacy reasons, I didn’t take any photos while there were other identifiable patrons in the room.

photo credit: Brown Palace Hotel

The bartender, Ibrahima, arrived to my table with a drinks menu and then escorted me to the hotel humidor where I selected an AVO cigar.

As Ibrahima was expertly lighting my AVO cigar, I decided on a glass of Bourbon from the extensive Spirits menu.
I was absolutely impressed with the cigar & whiskey knowledge Ibrahima communicated.
Without a doubt, he was an absolute professional cigar sommelier & whiskey connoisseur.
It was a real pleasure listening to his calm demeanour as he described the cigar humidor & the selection of spirits.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw
2018 Scotch Menu

Overall, the visit to the Churchill Bar in the Brown Palace Hotel was a a really nice way to spend the evening.

As I headed back to the Beatles Suite for a good nights rest, I stopped by the fountain to refill my water bottle.
This hotel is very proud of their well-water supply.
There was a plaque honouring the Natural Artesian Water.

As well as plaques showcasing the hotel numerous awards:

If you’re planning a trip to Denver, Colorado, I highly recommend the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa.
https://www.brownpalace.com

July 2018. After driving 1400kms / 900miles from SK, Canada to CO, USA, I was ready for the overnight stay at the legendary Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in downtown Denver, Colorado.
This hotel was recommended to me by my cigar-friend Patrick Carr, based on the fact I was looking for a hotel with a cigar-lounge.
Walking into this grand establishment, I was awe-struck by the beauty of it all.

photo credit: Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

Diners were just finishing Sunday Brunch and there was a buzz of excitement & joy through the entire building.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

I was greeted heartily by Tom, the front desk clerk who welcomed me to both the hotel and to the city of Denver.
As he checked me in, Tom proceeded to tell me about the different amenities the hotel offered – of which there are many … so many!
Of course, I was interested in hearing all about the spa, the shopping, the dining options, the water … but finally – almost hesitantly – he mentioned
“Churchill’s – The Cigar Bar” within the Brown Palace Hotel.
That’s when I smiled, handed him my @CigarHerf business card and replied …
“That’s why I’m here”.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

Tom was genuinely happy to get to know a sister cigar-smoker!
We started talking about premium cigars, with the conversation soon turning to whiskey & bourbon.
It turned out Tom knew his Brown Spirits as well as he knew the
Brown Palace Hotel!
I do wish I’d had more time to visit with Tom, but I could hear the call of a Robusto, so I accepted the suggestion of a suite, collected my luggage from the valet who was parking my SUV and headed toward what would become one of the most exhilarating days of my life!

When I opened the door to the “suite” I was thrilled with the sights before me! The hotel’s “Beatles Suite” is a vision to behold!
According to legend, this is the room the Beatles stayed in when they played Denver in the early 60’s.

photo credit: Brown Palace Hotel

There are so many things to see in this room, it’s astounding!
There’s the brilliant Wurlitzer Juke-Box just to the right of the lobby of the suite. It’s loaded with tons of Beatle’s Tracks which I started playing as soon as I saw it!
Love, Love Me Do!

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

Directly across from the BeatleMania Juke-Box is a collage of tickets & photos from The Beatles one night stay at the Brown Palace Hotel on Wednesday August 26, 1964.
Can you imagine paying Six Dollars & Nine Cents ($6.60 with tax) to see THE BEATLES! at the Red Rock Amphitheatre?
The Beatles, people. Think about it!
I’m thinking I’m pretty lucky to just be in the same room they stayed in
– in 1964!
When I’m 64? in 2021!

As I made my way through the living room of The Beatles suite at the Brown Palace Hotel, I took a moment to look through the many coffee-tables books dedicated to The Beatles.

Although it was only 4pm in the afternoon, when I saw the luxurious bedroom of the Beatles Suite / Brown Palace Hotel, I was tempted to just crawl under the opulent covers and sleep the rest of the day away!

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

But, I couldn’t lose sight of my reason for booking a nights stay at the
Brown Palace Hotel … which was to enjoy a cigar at the Churchill Bar … after all, the purpose of this journey is right there in the headline:
“the Cigar road-trip to IPCPR2018!”
I’ll be writing about the cigar lounge in the next instalment of this blog.

Until then, here’s a bit of history about the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver Colorado:

Henry Cordes Brown, a carpenter-turned-real-estate entrepreneur from Ohio, came to Denver in 1860 after several adventures in California, Peru, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri. In Denver, Brown purchased several acres of land, including a triangular plot at the corners of Broadway, Tremont and 17th street, where he grazed his cow. Brown made a name for himself by donating land for the State Capitol building, and by giving $1,000 for the founding of the city’s first library.

Henry Brown had made a fortune selling off the rest of his land on Capitol Hill and no expense was spared for his “Palace Hotel”, hiring Architect Frank E. Edbrooke to design the hotel.

Work on The Brown Palace began in 1888 with efforts to make it one of the best hotels in Colorado. Edbrooke designed Brown’s hotel in the Italian Renaissance style, using Colorado red granite and Arizona sandstone for the building’s exterior. For a finishing touch, artist James Whitehouse was commissioned to create 26 medallions carved in stone, each depicting Colorado animals. The hotel’s “silent guests” can still be seen between the seventh-floor windows on the hotel’s exterior.

For the interior, Edbrooke designed an atrium lobby, with balconies rising eight floors above ground, surrounded by cast iron railings with ornate grillwork panels. No one knows for sure whether it was done intentionally, but two of the grillwork panels were installed – and remain – upside down. Edbrooke imported onyx from Mexico for the lobby, the Grand Salon (now the Onyx Room) on the second floor, and the eighth-floor ballroom. No wood was used for the floors and walls, which were instead made of hollow blocks of porous terracotta fireproofing, making The Brown Palace the second fire-proof building in America.

After an expenditure of $1.6 million – a remarkable sum for the time – and another $400,000 for furniture, The Brown Palace celebrated its grand opening. It had 400 guest rooms (compared to 241 today) that rented for between $3 and $5 a night.” courtesy: Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

Want to know more? Here’s the link to the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa.
https://www.brownpalace.com

July 8, 2018. It was a full day planned for the Colorado leg of my 2018 Cigar Road-Trip! Cigar Lounges visited: Havana Manor & Cigars on 6th.

My 1st visit to Havana Manor in Longmont, CO was amazing!
It’s very easy to find – adjacent to a Smoker Friendly right on Main St.

As I walked through the front doors of Havana Manor, I realized the storefront is a little deceiving because the design makes the location look quite narrow.
In fact, the place is massive!

Immediately upon entry, there’s 2 banks of big, comfy chairs to the left, so I thought I’d settle in there for a smoke.

But after Thomas Bliss sold me a Padron cigar from their gigantic humidor, I was guided ’round the corner to a couple more fantastic seating areas.

photo credit: Havana Manor

There’s several tables & chairs for individuals or groups who want to have an informal meeting or …

photo credit: Havana Manor

… go down a couple of steps to enter a huge media | entertainment lounge where there’s coffee & other beverages.
There’s also the option to sit outside – the fabulous Havana Manor Patio area is perfect!

photo credit: Havana Manor

I decided to make myself comfortable at one the tables in the front lounge area where there are plug-ins for computers and lots of room to spread out whatever files are needed to get work done – just like being at the office!

I lit the Padron and enjoyed an hour and a half of pure #CigarHerf relaxation … and got caught up on Social Media!

After Havana Manor/ Longmont, I drove into Denver to visit Cigars on 6th … keep scrolling down!

Havana Manor
1136 Main St | Longmont, CO 80501 | (303) 776-2332
Havana Manor: Davidoff Appointed Merchant
Member of Tobacconist Association of America

Since I had some time before I could check into The Brown Palace Hotel, I decided to squeeze in one more lounge visit:
Cigars on 6th
707 East 6th Avenue | Denver, CO 80203 | 303.830.8100

July 2018.
Cigars on 6th is a really cozy cigar lounge that’s very popular with cigar enthusiasts in the area.

photo credit: Val Bradshaw

There’s a very vintage feel to Cigars on 6th.
The seating in the 2 main lounge areas feels like a throwback to the Speakeasy / BarberShop days.

photo credit: Cigars on 6th

Just like the establishment itself, Cigars on 6th has all kinds of hidden gems within & along its walls.
Seeing some of their collectibles is like being part of a treasure hunt!

But one of the biggest delights for this Canadian was seeing the packaging for World Whiskey of the Year – Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye!
Go Canada!

photo credit – Val Bradshaw

From the humidor, I selected a nice Lancero for my #CigarHerf at Cigars on 6th.

And for a little privacy, I chose to sit in the quiet back room area where I was able to just reflect on the hundreds of miles I’d driven to that point and all the wonderful experiences along the way.
And then I really started to look forward to the things to come … like the long-awaited stay at The Brown Palace in Denver, Colorado.

** Please Note:

⚠ HAVANA MANOR IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED
POSTED ON: APRIL 2, 2020
Attention Customers, in cooperation with the City of Longmont shelter-in-place order during the COVID-19 pandemic, Havana Manor Longmont is temporarily closed. Premium cigars can still be purchased at the Smoker Friendly next door. Be safe out there!
http://havanamanor.com
http://www.cigarson6th.com/denver-colorado-cigar-shop/

A road-trip to the 2018 PCA cigar trade show – formerly known as IPCPR – was my only option … I’d developed a reluctance to get on an aircraft.
The shortest distance from Regina SK Canada to Las Vegas Nevada is 2,292 kilometres (kms) / 1,424 miles, but there were good reasons to add a few miles.

July 7, 2018. The 1st leg of the trip included a stop at Underriner Volvo in Billings MT to get some minor service done on the XC90.
After checking into the hotel, it was time to grab a bite to eat.
Shrimp & Grits dinner was enjoyed at Cajun Phatty’s, a restaurant that I highly recommend. Food was astounding & service was great!

Bright and early the next morning, I headed south to another interesting stop – the Sinclair gas station in Kaycee, Wyoming.
I loved the map with pins showing “Where Are You From?
If you look really close, you can see the pin on Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada!

After that stop, the Casper Cigar Company wasn’t too far off the I-25, so I decided to take a break & enjoy a cigar.
For the @CigarHerf blog, I interviewed Josh – the store manager who showed me the store humidor & coveted Espinosa / Cigar Dojo accreditation – before moving into the lounge to chat with a couple of friendly patrons.
It was a great experience learning all about Casper & the surrounding Wyoming area.


The CigarHerf selection was the Southern Draw – “Rose of Sharon

In 2018, it was a cigar that had been getting plenty of attention from the cigar community and it delivered a great smoking experience.

“The Rose of Sharon embraces a unique blend that will enhance the current Southern Draw Cigars core line including the Kudzu – Oscuro and Firethorn – Rosado blends.
A very well-balanced cigar with Mild Body – Medium Flavor.

The natural cloud cover of Ecuador has supplied us with a prized wrapper, a velvety feel, gentle sweetness and a toasty burn, our beloved Nicaragua has gifted us with rich and elegant binder and filler tobaccos while the distinct Piloto Cubano of the Dominican Republic adds a dose of boldness and spice that allows this blend live up to its moniker. “She don’t know she’s beautiful!”

Besides the apparent beauty of The Rose of Sharon in its semi box pressed format, the release is a celebration of Grace and the devotion of Sharon Holt as she continues her daily service via strong faith and daily fellowship. “Much like a Rose, Sharon exemplifies the Southern Draws brand with her beautiful soul, humility and a “subtle” boldness which has made an incredible impact on so many lives. We truly needed to acknowledge her.” – courtesy of Southern Draw.

https://www.southerndrawcigars.com/rose-of-sharon

https://www.caspercigar.com

… next stop: Colorado

Imagine being at a huge trade show, chatting with a customer who suddenly stops talking because he’s spied a luxury backpack … “Is that a HENK?” he asked.
To set the scene – the HENK ipack wasn’t in a showcase, it doesn’t have a gazillion logos splattered all over it.
The ipack was 30 feet away, tucked safely under a table, with a whole bunch of other things blocking the view!

That speaks to the eye-catching features that HENK produces in each of its luxury leather products!

2019 Henk backpack under table close-up WP
Can you spot the HENK ipack?!

I first learned of HENK while researching material for Smooth Draws Cigar Radio. It was 2017 and at the time, HENK wasn’t that well known in North America, but I definitely wanted to find out more!

It was fascinating to learn HENK made bullet-proof briefcases and the company president is a cigar aficionado.

Val & Heiko IPCPR17

During the largest cigar trade-show in North America, I met with Heiko Poerz who dazzled us with the history of HENK and the marvellous products they make – Travel Goods, Travel Accessories, Cigars & Fine Spirits … maximum luxury!

HENK Maximum Luxury iPac backpack open
Photo Courtesy of HENK

MEET THE IPACK

The interior has been designed to allow a maximum of load you really need for your daily trip, for example, plenty of accessories, a 15“ laptop or a big tablet. Also Flight tickets, passports and business cards are easily accessible from the front. Your laptop/tablet is stored securely at the upholstered back compartment. The main compartment in the middle is big enough to put in a big file folder or some extra clothes for an overnight stay.

Photo Courtesy of HENK

The front compartment is a real organizer. You‘ve got space for your glasses, flight tickets, passport, business or credit cards. Also all necessary power cables, chargers, adapters or a powerbank find their place there. For the cables and chargers you have an extra pouch that is retractable and is located right at the top for easy access. Even when you have your iPack® in the overhead bin. Just open the compartment and you have access to all what you need without taking the iPack® out. And perhaps, the zipplock inner front pocket has a RFID protection so your cards are safe – courtesy of HENK website.

HENK ipack ope
Photo Courtesy of HENK

If you love premium cigars, the HENK Carbon attache is perfect for you!

HENK Carbon Attache
Photo Courtesy of HENK

PASSION FOR DETAIL

THAT’S WHAT DRIVES US.

Excellence is achieved  when every detail is perfected. That’s why we do not just make products … we go further! And, we take into account your personal wishes, down to the smallest detail.

The unique HENK story was inspired by the desire to succeed where others had made compromises in the world of luxury travel goods. Dissatisfied by the briefcases and hand luggages he used on his frequent trips around the world, a Dutch businessman – named Henk – decided to create something better … much better!

He assembled a team of the world’s most experienced designers and engineers to develop the ultimate hand luggage. The team was instructed to spare no expense and make no compromise. The aim was to fulfill the demanding needs and desires of business people and international travelers who required ultimate style, luxury, convenience and efficiency.

Henk and his team spent ten years doing research and development to meet these objectives. His design brief called for an extremely strong, yet exceptionally light case. A case, which would not only be functional and very comfortable to use, but also a real eye-catcher. Henk refused to rest before having found the ultimate balance between these essential – yet often contradictory – demands.

BESPOKE CUSTOMISATION

We don’t believe in off-the-shelf solutions. Tell us how you want your HENK and we’ll make it just for you. Each of our products is made by hand through our master craftsmen. An infinite range of options is available to make your HENK unique. We will create your custom product according to your own demanding standards and fulfill your design wishes. – courtesy of HENK website

… for more information, visit the HENK website:
https://www.henk-suitcase.com

This year Spirit of Toronto offered a unique tasting experience by inviting participants to receive a tasting kit accompanied by a Zoom session.
We registered for the”Whisky & Sherry” option which sold out within a couple of hours.

A couple of weeks prior to the Zoom session, we received the “Spirit of Toronto 2020 Whisky & Sherry Kit”.

Four Scotch Whiskies, tightly packed in a keepsake wood container, accompanied by a tasting mat & a pipette.
We were able to purchase branded Glencairns at an additional cost.
All-in, with FedEx shipping, it came to about $250.00.

Was it worth it?
I’d say yes.

Shipping alone was $45.00 and the glasses were well-priced for a box of 6.
So, for ease of math, the whisky clocked in at about $150.00 for 4 drams, for an average of 37.50 per pour.

It took the group, led by Regis Lemaitre, about 2 hours to go through the tasting. So, that’s $75.00/ hr … not a lot of money to pay for solid whisky education & the opportunity to taste the following:
Linkwood 1992. 48%
Glen Moray 1994. 56.7%
Glen Scotia 19y. 59.6%
The Macallan 8yo – made for the Italian market.

These were very special offerings and I considered myself fortunate to be able to taste a bit of each.
The pipette was a nice touch, giving everyone a chance to experience what a controlled drop of water can to do enhance or subdue a dram.

Spirit of Toronto Whisky & Sherry Tasting Kit

The actual Spirit of Toronto event has been re-scheduled for Oct 15, 2020.
I’d attended in 2014 and consider it one of the best whisky experiences in North America.

http://www.spiritoftoronto.ca

One of the most popular movies of the season is “The Gentlemen” directed by Guy Ritchie. One of the most frequently asked questions from that movie is:
What is the Scotch they’re drinking?”

They’re drinking the Glenfarclas “Grant Edition” 1976 40 year old/ 43.7% abv.
A coveted & rare release, with only 1500 bottles made available.

It’s the 6th in a series, profiling 6 generations of  members from the Grant family, responsible for some of the finest Highland Scotch you’ll ever taste: Glenfarclas.

In my opinion, the Scotch qualifies for star billing as much as the fantastic performances by the stars.

This particular bottling was in honour of the 40th Birthday – in 2016 – for
George S Grant, Sales Director/ Glenfarclas.
George S. Grant 6th Generation Glenfarclas

The packaging of the series is sensational, with each of the 6 Grant Editions of Glenfarclas highlighting either age or finish & a nameplate to honour its namesake:
I. John Grant (1805-1889) 1966 Fino Casks
II. George Grant (1830-1890) 1956 Sherry Casks
III. George Grant (1874-1949) 50 Years Old
IV. George S. Grant (1923-2002) 1981 Port Cask
V.  John L.S. Grant – Chairman: 1986 Refill Sherry Butts
VI. George S. Grant – Sales Director: 1976 40 years old Scotch

20200421 Glenfarclas 6 Grant editions
Glenfarclas. The Grant Editions

In my conversation with George S. Grant – the whisky’s namesake –  he mentioned that he and the movie’s director, Guy Ritchie, share mutual friends & interests.
Mr. Ritchie loves the Glenfarclas Grant Edition 1976 40 years old Scotch.
That’s how it wound up in the film & facilitated a pivotal role in the character development between Ray – played with right proper bravado by Charlie Hunnam –
and Fletcher – brilliantly acted by Hugh Grant. 

20200421 I knew you couldn't resist Glenfarclas 40 yo
Script Line Sub-title from “The Gentlemen”

 

 

 

Glenfarclas-Whisky-in-The-Gentlemen-1
Scene from the movie “The Gentlemen”

#TheGentlemen … a must-see movie!
Glenfarclas 1976 Grant Edition 40 years old Scotch – a celebratory whisky!

 

 

The Gentlemen movie image

Glenfarclas

The Gentlemen

“The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distillers is the Portable Expert to over 200 Distilleries & the Spirits they make” … is a must have book for every bartender, whisky & spirits writer & enthusiast and sommelier.
Award-Winning author Davin de Kergommeaux has been writing about Canadian Whisky for as long as I can remember.
His 1st book paying tribute to the subject of spirits in Canada – “Canadian Whisky – The Portable Expert” – was published in 2012.

20200406 Cdn Whisky LineUp with Davins Books

Now, The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distillers by Davin de Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips provides a fascinating tour & tribute to the 200+ commercial & artisanal distilleries currently operating in Canada.

In addition to Canadian Whisky, Davin & Blair also explore the world of Canadian Spirits complete with tasting notes from the big brand names to those hard-to-find bottlings.

“To call Davin de Kergommeaux the soul of Canadian Whisky is an understatement – he is its guide, its historian and its leading advocate as seen with Canadian Whisky. Now this book, written with Blair Phillips, is as astounding in its breadth of coverage as its depth of insight. Make room in your library, spirits fans: this is a must-own book”Clay Risen, author of American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye and Single Malt.

The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

One of the things I love best about Skye Cafe & Bistro is that everyone involved is passionate about living on the prairies.
It starts with their commitment to local , organic, Made-In-Saskatchewan ingredients with seasonal creations adorning the plates in the restaurant.
Even when the seasons change, Skye Cafe & Bistro offer their loyal clientele special events during Regina’s chilly winter season.

This evening we enjoyed a 5-course Seafood Dinner.

Lobster Roll:
Cucumber wrapped Lobster & Avocado with baby greens.

Artfully presented, the Avocado & Lobster are cocooned within a cucumber roll, with the baby greens & aioli providing color & depth to the dish.
The Avocado & Lobster is a match made in heaven.
I also love how Chefs Milton & Louise manage to surprise us with caviar, too!

New England Style Clam Chowder
Puff Pastry Shell

Milton is a Magician with this dish! First of all, as mentioned, the aromas are astounding yet subtle. The flavors are mesmerizing. This is a true testament to the skill of the chef when the soup finishes to its perfect pastry bowl, from starting like this:

Every step in the kitchen is carefully orchestrated to ensure each dish is a masterpiece.

But equally masterful is the ambiance of the dining room.
Allow me to talk about mood & setting.
Fur Elise aka Bagatelle No. 25 by Beethoven, is playing gently in the background.

I’ve always loved this piece of music. It’s one of the few classical pieces I learned to play on the piano. Checking Wiki, maybe now I understand why I have an affinity for this particular piece of music.
Since childhood I’ve believed in the power of 27. As I grew into adulthood, I came to appreciate how 27 can either help you or haunt you.
It’s always helped me.
Fur Elise was composed 27 April 1810.
Talk about karma.
Thanks, Skye!
& Wikipedia!

Back to the excellent music selection during the Seafood Dinner at Skye Cafe & Bistro.
There have been studies done regarding the effect music has on food & wine.
In this case, it truly does provide an emotional & an olfactory journey.

Ha! I have to laugh. The couple sitting next to me … and I apologize for eavesdropping … but he said to her “I hope you don’t like the Chowder” to which she replied “I do like it!”
… I’m sure he was hoping he might be the fortunate recipient of an extra bowl and I can’t say I blame him!
This soup transcends any pre-conceived notion of chowder. It’s in a class by itself.
So delicious … and like my neighbor said: “The pastry is amazing!”

Sea Food Trio
Garlic butter poached Tiger Prawn.
Crispy Oyster with roasted pepper aioli.
Salt Cod croquette accompanied by lemon aioli & crispy capers.

I probably sound like a broken record, but I cannot state clearly enough how much of a role “aroma” plays in the enjoyment of this Seafood Dinner.
I was just served the Seafood Trio and it’s like being right by the ocean.
It’s almost like I’m catching a hint of saltwater that’s so common when visiting an ocean coastline.
Yet, here we are, in landlocked Regina SK Canada … giving thanks to Skye Cafe & Bistro for finding a way to make this Seafood Dinner true to its natural habitat.

OMG. I just took a bite of the crispy oyster!
Milton! Louise! How did you do this? How did you take it beyond seafood?
The seasonings are a triumph!
Accompanied by equally triumphant Crispy Kale with Crispy Capers, it’ s a joy to experience.
Every restaurant in the world should serve this!

Salt Cod. Love it!
I love it even more when reminiscing about my trip to Portugal a few years ago.
It was there that I walked into a supermarket to find myself surrounded by dried, salt-laden cod piled high in giant bins.
Cod. In a region more typically known for other kinds of fish. Like sardines.
Upon return to my hotel, I asked the concierge about the blindingly white fish I saw at the supermarket.
That’s when I learned that Portugal prides itself in their legendary “1000 ways to prepare Salt Cod”
Well, Portugal might have half a millennium of experience with Salt Cod, but there’s no doubt that Skye Cafe & Bistro found a way to make it its own in the most delicious way!
We’re lucky to have this restaurant in #YQR.

Sea Food Paella
Mussels, Shrimps, Scallops, Clams, crispy Snapper & Calamari
Saffron Rice.

I can’t even begin to describe this dish. It’s a seafood-lovers dream!
Tender Calamari. Succulent Lobster. Clams! Mussels! Scallops!
The variety of seafood & shellfish in this dish goes on and on … on a bed of fluffy, saffron-rice. Skye Cafe & Bistro uses only the finest saffron and it totally shines in this Paella.

Dessert
Lemon Saskatoon Berry Tart
Here’s where Skye brings it all home. The Saskatoon berry is a Saskatchewan mainstay and Skye likes to keep it local … so it’s the perfect end to a perfect evening.

… prior to Skye’s 5-course Seafood Dinner, Milton Rebello and Louise Lu gave me a tour of the Skye Kitchen.
The size of the area where all the food is prepared is very interesting.
It’s relatively small, considering the size of the restaurant seating are.
But most impressive is how it’s incredibly quiet. Really quiet.
For someone like me, who spent years in the restaurant business and remember most kitchens as a place of clanging & banging & chatter at various decibels … this one is serene to the point of being spiritual. Meditative. Zen-like.
This is one of the things Milton & Louise consciously aspired to … a quiet kitchen.
It’s an oasis.

While in the kitchen, I was fortunate to have Milton offer me a taste of the Clam Chowder.
For anyone who’s done sensory training, you’ll know what I mean when I say the entire soul of that soup was captured even before it hit my lips.
The aroma was astoundingly subtle and the flavors matched the aromas.
Subtle, yet full bodied without being overpowering.
It’s the kind of chowder that once you’ve tasted it – you want another bowl very soon.

Louise & Milton are also very proud of the ceramics she creates for Skye.
Let’s face it, how many restaurants create not only the culinary but also craft the vessels upon which they are served?!

The world – and particularly Regina #YQR – is lucky indeed to have Milton & Louise grace us with their culinary expertise, creativity, artistry and friendship.
Like they say:
At Skye, There is no Limit!

http://www.skyecafeandbistro.com

Someone once said to me “eggs are eggs … but they can do things with chicken”.

To put it in context, I was booking a day trip by train to Quebec City from Montreal and the agent advised that I not book 1st class in the morning because, in his opinion, the value in terms of meal options just wasn’t there.
“Skip the cost of breakfast.
Spend your dining-out dollars on dinner” … was his advice.

Well, that might be true when traveling by train but from the moment you step into a CORA – Breakfast & Lunch restaurant, that theory simply doesn’t hold.

Besides a warm & appetite-appealing decor with a menu that has something for everyone, the food is not only delicious, in some cases, the dishes – like the Samira wake-up – are works of art!

If you’re after a breakfast that can hold it’s own as a lunch, the totally satisfying “Holiday Surprise” is CORA’s famous sweet & salty dish: “2 eggs, ham, bacon and potatoes served with a delicious crepe stuffed with a creamy cocoa-hazelnut and raspberry mix – decorated with ribbons of raspberry coulis finished with a dollop of whipped cream”

For $14.95, this is a great meal. The potatoes are crispy on the outside – fluffy on the inside. I ordered my eggs “over-medium” and they were done to perfection! Bacon was crispy & the ham was perect. Included is a choice of toast accompanied by a selection of peanut butter & fruit spreads.

CORA’s menu has breakfast standards they’ve made their own, like the “Eggs Ben et Dictine”.
There’s options for all ages and appetites.
You can also choose from a wonderful assortment of skillets, French Toast Pancakes and Waffle dishes.
Fruit plays a big role at CORA with many of the plates having huge amounts of citrus, berry & tropical fruit.

CORA is open for breakfast & lunch.
Service at the location which I was at was be a little slow if you’re wanting a refill on your water, but when the staff does take a break from their conversations about cars, it’s with a smile.

Make sure you grab a piece of CORA’s in-house made fudge, which is offered by the piece. It’s delicious … and really rich!

Make sure you sign up fo r the CORA Loyalty Card – totally worth it for the points, promotions and dishes to savour.

https://www.chezcora.com/en