While Notch has evolved to service the entire food and beverage industry, including suppliers and distributors, we’ll never forget the beginning days of our platform when we catered to mainly food service establishments, restaurants and bars. We’ve always championed the restaurant industry, and always will!

Restaurants have our heart. And to no surprise, most of us Notchers are huge foodies! So we thought, what better way to wind up the year than by sharing some of our most memorable dining experiences of 2023? 

From Toronto to the East Coast of Canada, and beyond – Notchers ate well this year!

[Tonnarello] “Best Carbonara of my life”

Renee Rodgers, Notch’s Senior Manager of People Operations, shares her favourite meal on a recent trip to Italy.

“​​I absolutely loove pasta, I could never get sick of it!

So in May of this year, when I was in Rome, I went to Tonnarello. It is in the heart of Trastevere, this adorable area in the middle of the city. Hands down the best Carbonara of my life. Carbs don’t count when you’re eating fresh pasta in Italy right?”

[Darna Middle Eastern Kitchen] “Vibrant flavours and cozy ambiance made it a standout experience”

Stanley Tao, Account Executive, shares his most memorable experience close to home in East York, Ontario.

“I recently had an unforgettable meal with my family at Darna Middle Eastern Kitchen in Leaside. The vibrant flavors and cozy ambiance made it a standout experience. We kicked off with the Darna Sampler, a delightful trio of Hummus, Labneh, and Mutabal served with their home-made bread that set the perfect tone for the evening. We also had the Arnabeet, a shared dish featuring fried cauliflower, zucchini, bell pepper, tahini sauce, & zucchini labneh dressing.

For the main course, I got the Lamb Fukhara, a braised stew served in a clay pot, accompanied by some Casalboco Chianti from Tuscany. The tenderness of the lamb and the rich, aromatic stew made it an awesome experience! Would recommend this spot to anyone who’s a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine.”

[Je me’en Fish] “Best razor clams, swordfish ceviche and frites I’ve ever had”

Jess Cooper, Notch’s Director of Content Marketing, dishes on a meal she had on her honeymoon in Ghent, Belgium.

“One of my favourite dining experiences this year was at a little seafood restaurant in Ghent, Belgium called Je me’en Fish. My husband and I stumbled in on our honeymoon and they had the best razor clams, swordfish ceviche and frites I’ve ever had!”

[The Press Gang] “Oysters are fresh and from every province on the East Coast”

Michael Green, Business Development Rep, talks about a stand-out seafood feast on Canada’ beautiful East Coast.

“One of my favourite restaurants/meals from this year was at The Press Gang in Halifax. Go to date night spot when I go and visit my girlfriend since we discovered it last year. Oysters are fresh and from every province on the east coast. 

Their seafood risotto is the best seafood dish I’ve ever had, has lobster, halibut, shrimp, and scallops to cover all seafood cravings! The owner I guess was dining that night also, and thought we looked like a nice couple and sent us over some free dessert (which made us love the restaurant even more).”

[Donna’s] “I never pause to take a photo of their pea salad when it hits the table because it’s too good!”

Stella Kim, Senior Engineering Manager, continues going back to a local Toronto favourite, Donna’s for their seasonal menu.

“Over the years, I keep returning to Donna’s to try their seasonal dinner menus and for their cozy interior and friendly service. They usually have a crudo on the menu using different fish, which are always a must-try: very light and refreshing. 

A couple months ago, their steak was the highlight, with a super tasty green onion garnish and roasted potatoes that really made it special. I never pause to take a photo of their pea salad when it hits the table because it’s too good!”

[Aloette] “The ambiance and customer service are exceptional”

Rosemarie, BDR Team Lead, shares another local favourite right down the street from Notch HQ.

“Since I started at Notch, I’ve visited Aloette, located right next to the office, a few times this month for meals and lemon meringue pie with my friend. We enjoy sharing several of their dishes. The ambiance and customer service are exceptional, which keeps my best friend and I coming back after work.”

[Taverne Bernhardts] “Each dish was extremely fresh and flavourful – and was just how you’d imagine comfort food to be”

Martina Ialacci, Business Development Rep, had incredible service and amazing comfort food at this Toronto spot.

“As a part of our farewell weekend to my bestie moving to England, we visited Taverne Bernhardts in Toronto! It was hands down one of the best meals I’ve had in the city so far. For the app, we ordered the Burrata. Followed by their infamous Rotisserie Chicken, Lamb Sausage, and a side of Potatoes+Fries. Each dish was extremely fresh and flavourful – and was just how you’d imagine comfort food to be. We finished with the seasonal soft serve which was grape + vanilla swirl with a cinnamon crumble. 

Aside from the meal, the staff and ambiance of the restaurant were incredible. Our server gave us great recommendations and always made sure we were taken care of. I will definitely be returning here to try the additions to their menu, and a few more Tom Collins to wash it all down.”

[Biff’s Bistro] “Shoutout to our server, Allen, who has been at Biff’s for the last 25 years”

Business Development Rep, Tanisha Chowdhury’s, favourite spot was one of Notch’s own customers, O&B Restaurant’s Biff’s Bistro.

“One of my favourites was actually an O&B Restaurant, Biff’s Bistro. I went there for my birthday earlier this month, with my husband. We had the chicken liver parfait (which is one of my favourite things to eat), Braised beef and Duck for a main and then the chocolate mousse which had a fancy French name that I forgot. But it was absolutely delicious! 

Shoutout to our server Allen, who has been at Biff’s for the last 25 years, he was super nice and provided exceptional service”

[Astoria] “Classy date spot along Queen West”

Account Executive, John Wales’, favourite meal includes incredible cocktails and a classic, mussels and frites.

“I would like to highlight a meal I had at Astoria (1087 Queen St W) earlier this year. As it so happens, my girlfriend is friends with Shivan Munjal, Chef de Cuisine of Bar Poet. When she heard from him that they were opening a new location across the street we knew we had to try. 

Astoria is a French-American Eatery & Cocktail Bar. They offer both Brunch and Dinner service – both of which are worth trying. One noteworthy meal we enjoyed was their Mussels & Frites. A sizeable portion of Mussels in a delicious broth that was a perfect pairing with their fresh bread. We enjoyed a variety of classic cocktails (Paper Plane & Last Word) and finished it off with Espresso Martini’s. I would recommend Astoria to anyone looking for a classy date spot along Queen West.”

[Nawi] “The breathtaking ocean views added a special touch to our meal”

Andrew Vaillancourt, BDR, had a fresh, tasty meal ocean-side at this incredible spot in El Salvador.

“My girlfriend and I had an unforgettable dining experience at Nawi, a charming day club in El Salvador, situated right on the Pacific Ocean. In November, we savored their exceptional fried fish, which was perfectly crispy on the outside and tender inside. The highlight was not just the food but also the setting – the breathtaking ocean views added a special touch to our meal.

We enjoyed a day of Aperol Spritz’s, which perfectly complemented the fresh flavors of the fish. The experience was made even more memorable by swimming in the Pacific, adding a sense of adventure and relaxation to our visit. This delightful combination of exquisite food, stunning location, and the serene ocean made our time at Nawi truly memorable.”

[Claudio’s] “Elegant hospitality while feeling right at home”

Taylor Battista, Director of Finance, loves a cozy, Italian spot close to home.

“Now that we have a baby, my wife and I haven’t been travelling much, but we’re lucky to have a lot of excellent restaurants where we live in Hamilton. My favourite meal of 2023 was a simple Italian place in Hamilton called Claudio’s

Traditional, delicious Italian food that felt like a seasoned Nonna’s home-cooking. I went with my wife and her parents and was made to feel completely relaxed. We have high standards for Italian food and absolutely loved the Calamara, Strozzapretti and Ossobucco.  The service was so friendly and attentive, we felt loved. We’ll certainly back, once we can get a babysitter!”