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Taste of Kingston | Twelve Days of Christmas Dishcrawl

On a frigid December evening, a group of about twenty five or so peckish Dishcrawlers made their merry way to Downtown Kingston for the Twelves Days of Christmas Dishcrawl in partnership with the Kingston FoodBank. Snow on the ground and the usual cold chill in the air, all cozy apparel were a sure necessity for this foodie adventure.

Greeted by host Christine McCullough and her helpful elves at our first location situated within the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, was King Street Sizzle. The night started of with handing out twelve gifts from local businesses such as Milestones, Scentsy, Fab Salon, Jack Astors, The Grizzly Grill and several more. A treat indeed followed by Chef Rob Melo and company presenting to us quite passionately what was going to be served. Four appetizer-sized meals were placed on a rectangular dish that highlight each item perfectly. The ramekin of baked brie and cod croquettes were my favourite, whereas the chicken fusion roll was delightful but oh my was the Thai sauce spicy. Now let me tell you, I am not a gal who cares for heat, no no. Keep it mild and I'm a happy camper. Minus the heat, conversations flowed within booths and tables but time came alas to depart.

As we scurried to our next destination, toques securely covering our ears, scarves wrapped around our necks and mitten on, we were led to Luke's Gastronomy to executive chef Luke Hayes-Alexander's restaurant located on Princess Street. 

Unfortunately it is here where the group was split in two to accommodate the small space and we said goodbye to our host as she joined the other half of the group. Though this was a tad disappointing, as it was not told a head of time to guests, first time Dishcrawlers such as my partner were not treated to the full extent of the hospitality and entertainment of our host. With this aside, dining at Luke's was a pleasure as announcement of the restaurant's closure was put forth and sampling tidbits of his menu was a spectacular experience, before he make his big leap to Toronto where exciting opportunities await him with L.U.S.TSeated at a long wooden table with chairs on both sides, our front of the house host and mum to Luke, Carrie Hayes greeted us with smile and took our drink orders. 

Prepping our meals in silence in the kitchen, new friends were made in the casual dining room as we examined the funky menu selection that had a hint of upscaleness along with unique naming dishes such as the Sexy Noodles and Fricken Burger, which was served to us that night along with two other marvelous samplers.

Luke's creativity is certainly unquestionable. The textures and colours present on our plates were not like any I had ever seen, but the most important note is that you did not exactly know what was in front of you. Like a magician or ninja, looks were deceiving. Luke took a twist on comfort food recipes such as the traditional child dish of a Pogo and a burger and infused his own festive ideas into them. Resulting in a Pogurky i.e turkey and stuffing wrapped in cornbread and a Southern fried chicken burger.

 Luke is both innovative and a scientist in the kitchen as he experiments with flavours and techniques. Only 22 of age, his knowledge of food surpasses those of many talented chefs who have built their craft with several years of practice and experience. Luke showed his dedication to his passion this night and I am sure to go back before he closes the doors to a restaurant that started his journey.

Only a few step away was our final destination of the night, MLT DWN known for their motto of "more than just cheese and bread." As groups switched locations, we entered this brightly lit restaurant that had a young fresh ambiance, to be greeted by brothers Rahim and Aly Moloo. It was about time to get cheesy! That oozy gooey cheesiness is what I live for and was most excited to experience a concept of taking once again a classic comfort food of a grilled cheese sandwich and turning it into a niche within the food scene of Kingston. 

I was weak in the knees when I discovered this cheesy goodness a year and half ago. It may be a small space but it sure is modern and home to the brother duo who are full of life and very inviting, plus charming might I add. The grill cheeses they served up to the Dishcrawlers were quite appetizing and I may have been ogling, mouth open just a bit as it lay on the table in front of me. The first tray was filled with two slices of Kraft Dinner and a Thanksgiving feast sandwich respectively, with a variety of cheeses filled inside. Sounds odd, but once you try them, you won't regret it especially with a roasted red pepper tomato bisque on the side as a dunking 'sauce.' But the finale was a raspberry cheesecake in sandwich form of course! Can you believe that? The bread always perfectly golden and crisp, they shared their secret to how they achieve this. Now they may reveal this to you if you go visit, just saying.

Bellies filled with holiday inspired plates, Dishcrawlers were presented with a box filled with goodies from Jennifer Moon of Card's Bakery as our dessert for the night. To my delight, the box contained moist brownies, sugar cookies, thumbprint cookies, butter tarts and date squares. Good thing I was taking it home as I was as stuffed as could be. Instead I enjoyed these traditional homemade baked goods with tea in the comfort of my own home all wrapped up in fleece blanket on the couch over the next few days. Card's Bakery is all about starting from scratch, using only the finest ingredients and baked with love with the same recipes that Jen Moon's grandma used.

As the group parted ways and said their goodbyes, I made note that with the New Year approaching, Dishcrawl Kingston would be the perfect way to get exposed to the local culinary talent in our city, meet new people,  network or even make it a date night!

Remember though to bring some extra money for beverages and this experience does cater to those with food allergies as long as prior notice is given, so don't feel left out if you have one. The element of suspense of Dishcrawl is fun and exciting as when tickets are purchased, only few hints are given as to what the restaurants will be. So join fellow Kingstionians and discover what our city has to offer!

As 2014 is right around the corner, remember to give generously to Food Banks and those less fortunate!

A full detailed description of food served:

Luke's Gastronomy | 264 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Fricken Burger
Southern fried chicken, creamy slaw, secret sauce, biscuit bun.

Pogurky (Turkey Dinner Pogo)
Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin on a bed of cranberry sauce and pumpkin.

Chickpea Fries

With groovy garlic mayo.

King Street Sizzle | 285 King E, Kingston, Ontario

Baked Brie with Cranberry Corn Relish
Layered with apple cranberry chutney, served with crispy flat bread.

Asian Sesame Salad

Cantonese noodles, crispy chicken, fresh mixed greens, julienne carrots, sweet peppers, green onions, sesame seeds and almonds tossed in a an Asian vinaigrette.

Chicken Fusion Rolls

Cajun chicken, a blend of cheeses, shredded carrots, onion and peppers are rolled in flour tortilla shell.
Served with sweet and spicy Thai sauce.

Cod Croquettes
Golden fried cod and mash potato combined with sautéed garlic, onions, peppers and herbs.
 Served with caper aioli.

MLT DWN | 292 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Mac n Cheese Grill Cheese
American cheddar, aged cheddar, Kraft Dinner on Texas White.

Turkey Dinner Melt Grill Cheese
Havarti, brie, turkey, stuffing and gravy on Texas white, served with house made cranberry apple butter sauce.

Cheesecake Grill Cheese
House made raspberry spread, cheesecake and graham cracker dust.

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Bisque

Card's Bakery | 304 Bagot St, Kingston, Ontario

Home made baked goods:
 Shortbread, brownie, sugar cookies, thumbprint cookies, brownies, butter tart and date square.

Next Events: 

Winter Wonderland Kingston Dishcrawl - January 28, 2014

Kingston Battledish - February 9, 2014

Here's a treat:

Use promo code {rosalynBDdiscount} to get $10 off your Kingston Battledish ticket!
That's worth two free dishes out of six!

For more information:

Facebook: Dishcrawl Kingston
Twitter: @DishcrawlKin


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my lovelies!

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a bit more." - Dr. Seuss

And a bit more it does! This may be one of my favourite quotes from a movie I truly adore, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I love Christmas and all its festivities (especially the food) but sometimes presents around a tree isn't all that you should look forward to this time of year. To be honest, I would rather give than receive and home made or DIY gifts as well as baked goods are always a plus in my books. You should be grateful for what you have and inspire those around you. Praise people who deserve it and support local talent within your community.  


Today I would like to introduce you to Lucas and Melissa of Winding Violets, a boutique photography studio in Kingston, Ontario that specializes in couture wedding photography. The first thing I noticed about the duo was Lucas. But who may this gentleman be you ask? Well his preppy J.Crew style certainly distinguishes him and he may just be Canada's version of F.E Castleberry, well I think. Their pictures are simply remarkable, details are exquisite and they truly know how to capture the beauty in a moment, wedding or not. 

Let's give them some holiday love as you tour their lovely abode:


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Winter Wonderland | Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera

As a Rogers Social Insider, I had the great opportunity to try out a Nokia Lumia 1020. A device that is literally the best of both worlds - smartphone and camera. This post is specifically dedicated to the camera that captures moments like no other, hard to believe right? This device is serious about photography so let's get started!

The Main Attraction:

With a 41 megapixel camera with PureView technology, optical image stabilization and high resolution zoom, can you ask for anything more? Well here's another one, the camera shots in HDR, hence capturing a greater range of exposure levels from very light to very dark. I found shooting in low lightening phenomenal along with the ability to snap a sequence of photo using the Nokia Smart Camera. I discovered this when reviewing pictures and being able to choose my favourite shot, remove unwanted objects or combine several photos in one! As a blogger, it's important to have the perfect picture and the Smart Camera makes this possible. No more need to take over a bajillion pictures!

The most interesting feature of the camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 was that it resembles those seen on a DSLR. You must think I'm crazy but it's true. You have full control of the look of your final image. The two step shutter release allows the user to focus and snap with a button specifically designed for that purpose. The manual control over ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance is truly amazing and I honestly only figured it out a day after playing around with the camera. However with a camera like this, expect some lag in start up, so patience is a virtue!

Camera Grip

Now Rogers is offering the Nokia Lumia 1020 with a free camera grip! Ah hello that's amazing as this snap on attachment is valued at $75, give the gift of capturing moments with the perfect accessory that turns your smartphone into a fully fledged camera. The detachable camera grip fits nicely in your hand and is surprisingly very ergonomic, don't don't worry about it being bulky.

Be sure to hurry as the offer ends on December 22!

Let's just say the Nokia Lumia 1020 takes photos like a pro.

So the day after I got this smartphones, the city I live in was graced with a snow storm, with dark clouds looming, can you guess what I did?



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The Lobby: Kingston's Lifestyle Blog Launched

"Open the door to Kingston"

If you have ever seen a yellow door around the City of Kingston, Ottawa or Toronto, then you had the wonderful opportunity to stumbled upon a marketing tactic that was taken directly to the people in target markets with ingenious creative executions.

By whom? Kingston Accommodations Partners of course!

Who are they though?

Kingston Accommodation Partners represent Kingston's premier Hotels and Inns. The Partners have chosen to work together to promote the city f Kingston as a great place to visit, but also to assist the development of festivals, events and tournaments that make Kingston an even more attractive and diverse destination to visit.

Kingston Accommodations Partners have re-branded themselves and have made themselves more visible with the goal of promoting Kingston as a tourism destination. With the new image in place, a new lifestyle blog dedicated to the great city of Kingston and all of the great stories within was launched this past Monday!

Check it out:

This is Kingston:

Visit Kingston Tourism at www.visitkingston.ca | 209 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario

Rosalyn Gambhir
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First Impressions | Nokia Lumia 1020

"Capture your special moments with a Nokia Lumia 1020"

Now that would be the catch phrase I'd use for this smartphone. The thing is, this isn't your regular old smartphone as the Nokia Lumia 1020 powered by Windows Phone 8, doubles as a camera.  You must be thinking, don't all smartphones have this capability? Well the Lumia 1020 is a rare specimen as it is truly the main selling feature.

First Thoughts:

Upon first glance, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a sleek build to it, fitting nicely into the palm of my hand. My natural instinct though is to tilt the phone to its side and immediately snap pictures. To my amazement, this phone takes your photos to a whole new level with a 41 megapixel PureView imaging sensor. Along with a 4.5 inch screen, unibody polycarbonate design, and a highly sensitive touch screen, the image quality compares to that of a DSLR giving the phone a thumbs up in my books.

As a new user to Windows Phone, navigating and swiping through applications I once used to know, seemed so very different. The layout of each one was not something I was familiar with. This phone was a learning curve as I had to adjust from being an iPhone user to Android (2 months now) to now Windows Phone but after a few hours, things became second nature. The live tiles on the start screen were my first encounter. A neat feature that allows users the ability to re-size and move them as to arrange the start screen just the way they like it, even matching it to your outfit perhaps. Continually swiping and tapping, new elements of the Nokia Lumia 1020 were catching my eye.

 One main difference from any other phone I've used is the full capabilities of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications. This slim powerful phone means business and the larger screen allows for easier function of the above mentioned. Talking about size, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is fairly big compared to its counterpart's of the Moto X or most popular Androids. While the camera's raised back i.e. the hump does not allow you to lay the phone flat, this is slight concern making it more susceptible to scratches. However this is the price you will pay for the stunning images produced with this phone. As for display, it is quite pleasant with good viewing angles and rich over saturated colors that just wow the user.

Overall, the experience with the Nokia Lumia 1020 was a smooth ride with a few bumps but for once this techie here actually learned something new with this smartphone, who knew!

The best part? Thanks to Rogers, when you buy a Nokia Lumia 1020, they will throw in a free Nokia Camera Grip case for free - making it even easier for you to take the perfect shot.

This is a great offer as the camera grip retails for $75! 

It is the perfect companion but be sure to HURRY as the offer ends on December 22!

With the grip case on, it truly feels like you are holding a camera and not a smartphone!

The camera grip also comes with a micro usb charging connector!

Look out for another blog post this week dedicated to the amazing camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020!

Fun tidbit

Want a better idea of the camera/video capability? Watch my favorite singer Ellie Goulding's How Long Will I Love You music video, it is a moving story which shows the versatility of the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Check out Behind the Scenes as well!



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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Shine On {Bespoke}

an English word meaning an item made to a buyer's specifications.

Bespoke makes things... and the spaces that hold them.

~ Custom Woodwork
~ Design Consultation
~ Project Management
~Decorating & Staging
~ Kitchens & Interiors
~ Renovation

"Art is in everything. There are no limits."

Community is most important and highly valued at Bespoke.

A few snaps of my fav items:

Keep calm and help your community!

Visit Bespoke at www.bespokegan.com | 21 King St, Gananoque, Ontario


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Holiday Gifts for Him

When it comes to men, I personally find shopping a breeze. With these gift ideas, there's no need to get him yet another sports jersey or shaving supplies. From stocking stuffers to larger items, these gift will not disappoint! Your man deserves to be pampered so sit back and relax, get your mug of hot cocoa and whip your laptop out! All these items are all available at a click of a mouse, saving you the hustle and bustle of going to a crowded mall between now and Christmas eve!

holiday gifts for him


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Holiday Gifts for Her

It's that time of the year and while I may not be a shopaholic or as materialistic as you think, getting a little gift during the holiday season is always nice. Putting together this gift guide has been terribly hard as it makes me go online shopping, something I avoid at all cost,  to find the perfect gifts. I am a frugal shopper and will literally only shop sales i.e Cyber Monday. My wish list may be long but patience is a virtue I have come to abide by.

Everything on this list is something I either totally want or I know someone who would be more than delighted to receive one of them!

Gifts for her

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Preppy Obsessions

A person once commented on an outfit I wore saying it resembled that of one you would find in a J.Crew catalogue and that's when I knew what "my style" was, stylish preppy. My inspiration, Sarahbelle93x and Carly of College Prepster. One a Beauty Guru, the other a Blogger, both preppy in their own way influencing other young women.

My definition of preppy: Classic timeless pieces that tie into a lifestyle

Lately I have been obsessing over these wish list items and cannot wait to get my hands on them!

What are your obsessions this holiday season?

Preppy Obsessions


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Giveaway {Twelve Days of Christmas Dishcrawl Kingston}

With the holiday season rolling around, I thought it would be perfect to do a foodie giveaway. The theme to the next dishcrawl is all about The Twelve Days of Christmas. So if you are looking to find the perfect foodie gift for that special someone, be sure to enter to win a 2 for 1 ticket to the event on December 11th!

This could be YOU, enjoying scrumptious meals made especially for YOU by local Kingston chefs.

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below!

Ready. Set. Go!
The winner will be contacted via email once giveaway has expired.

Also, in the spirit of giving, 12 lucky Dishcrawlers will each WIN a gift at the Twelves days of Christmas Dishcrawl!


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Taste of Kingston | Gluten-Free Dishcrawl

With a mix of older people and a few young ones in their twenties, the Gluten-Free Dishcrawl Kingston was once again a success on November 19th.

But you may ask, what is gluten-free? In lamest terms, being a Celiac means an individual cannot consume the substance of gluten found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye as it will damage their small intestine.

Now days, the food industry has come a long way since we were younger and most mainstream grocery stores have a line of gluten-free products in their health food section but sometimes it's nice to dine out and not worry about picking a restaurant based on your restrictions. Well that is not the case in Downtown Kingston!

The guessing game of Dishcrawl Kingston and a slight chill in the air, the Grizzly Grill was the first location of the evening. Guests gathered at the back of the restaurant in a cozy type living room atmosphere. With a warm fire to sit around and a bar steps away, this was a good chance to mingle before our meal as Chef Ryan Pitt prepped them. With hunger setting in, patience exited the room (for me at least, as a slight hunger headache settled in) and we were directed to our table at the front of the restaurant where our platters swiftly came out of the kitchen. The food was delightful and presentation was well executed in terms of keeping it simple but highlighting each portion served. The maple pepper bacon was most definitely my favourite!

Once done, we bundled up and made our way to The Works Gourmet Burgers just down the street. General Manager Evan Cheetham dubbed "Easy Cheesy Cheetham" was full of life as he greeted the group as we took our seats. He introduced The Works new menu which featured some fabulous new items and classic ones too. The look of the menu was spectacular with keeping with the brand of the franchise. We were treated to two assortments of burgers with gluten-free buns where one of which had avocado. Ah hello it was amazing! A gluten-free Magnum's cider was graciously paired with the meal as well. Talk about Manager with the most, get it? Host with the most!. Ha! I crack myself up sometimes.

With satisfied tummies and freebie shake for our next visit (mmm strawberry), a brisk ten minute walk brought us to Frankie Pestos on Ontario St. An Italian eatery, this was my first visit to the restaurant and it was very welcoming but Italian and gluten-free? Yes, it is possible! Frankie Pestos did a great job at incorporating traditional dishes such as pasta and serving it gluten-free. As a Celiac, an individual should be treated like every other client and not stand as an advocate. Asking for food without gluten should be effortless and restaurants in Downtown Kingston are very accommodating to medical conditions and allergies. 

Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar was the perfect place to end the evening. The group was spoiled with a marvellous looking flourless turtle cheesecake. Silence took over the room as everyone indulged in their first few bites and sipped on warm bevies. This place is must for a first date, study spot or emerging yourself in cheesecake heaven.

Despite the cold walks from each restaurant, learning about gluten-free foods was an eye opener and a treat.

Come experience your own culinary adventure!

Scrumptious details of the dishes from our gluten-free crawl:

The  Grizzly Grill | 395 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad 
Sliced beets, pecan crusted goat cheese, maple pepper bacon, arugula and persevered red onions dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.

Grilled Lamb Chop
Mixed greens with a citrus vinaigrette, honey Dijon mustard sauce, simple grilled lamb chop.

Yellow Fin Tuna
Grilled yellow tuna served on a delicious tomato arugula quinoa.

{The Grizzly Grill}

The Works Gourmet Burgers Kingston | 289 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Waldork Salad
Leafy spring mix, red onions, chopped beets, ripe avocado, walnuts, grilled pear, crumbly blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette.

Tony Nirvana
Fresh avocado, beachhouse sauce, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese on all beef patty with a gluten free bun.

Growler Five-0
A chicken burger with field mushrooms, smokey BBQ, cheddar and double smoked bacon on a gluten free bun.

{The Works}

{The Works}

Frankie Pestos Italian Eatery | 167 Ontario Street, Kingston, Ontario

Caesar Salad
Housemade dressing with romaine lettuce and fresh parmesan shavings.

Penne Pasta
Gluten free penne tossed in a house tomato sauce, white wine, garlic, chopped basil, mussels.

Gluten free pizza dough with basil pesto, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, balsamic onions, goat cheese.

{Frankie Pestos Italian Eatery}

Sipps Coffee & Dessert Bar | 33 Brock St, Kingston, Ontario

Flourless turtle cheesecake with a walnut base, gluten free snicker doodle cookie baked with coconut flour.

{Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar}

To accommodate my tree nut allergy, I was given the best tasting lemon tart I've ever had thus far. 

{Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar}

Oh and wait!

There is a 2 for 1 ticket giveaway on FRIDAY for the Twelve Days of Christmas Kingston Dishcrawl!


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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether it's exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure within Kingston, Ontario and beyond. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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