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Olive et Gourmando’s Dyan Solomon

Olive et Gourmando's Dyan Solomon on the travel she missed most - and making up for lost travel time.By Doug Wallace

WHAT RESTAURANT DID YOU MISS MOST DURING LOCKDOWN?

Leméac — crammed with people all day and late into the night, open seven days a week with continuous service, even in-between menu changes. It’s a true brasserie. These big, bustling places will always feel like the ultimate restaurant experience for me. I craved that feeling of being part of the controlled chaos unique to institutions like Leméac — a direct contrast to the solitude of lockdown.

 

WHERE DID YOU WANT TO GO WHEN TRAVEL WASN’T POSSIBLE?

Mexico! My girlfriend and life partner is from Mexico City and my mother has spent the last 15 winters in San Miguel de Allende [in Guanajuato]. I have a mad crush on all things Mexican — the culture, people, geography, history, and, of course, the cuisine. I love the balance of spice, salt, and acid.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST TRIP WHEN TRAVEL WAS BACK?

Paros, Greece. I went to a yoga retreat — for the fourth time. Greece is one of my top five favourite [destinations].

 

WHAT RESTAURANTS DID YOU VISIT THERE?

Lots of sleepy local restaurants. Small family-run places hanging over the cliff, looking out at the ocean. These are the kinds of restaurants I like — authentic, local, fresh, and rustic. I’ve never really been into “fancy” food.

 

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT DESTINATION?

I haven’t been to Toronto in almost three years and I have lots of friends working in the food industry there. There is a new Mexican restaurant called Fonda Balam, co-owned by a couple I met many years ago when they were working in Montreal — Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo, along with famed chef Matty Matheson. I’m very excited to eat their food!

 

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT STAYING PUT IN 2020?

Spending quality time with my sweetie and learning how to slow down a bit. Not working! Very weird but nice.

 


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