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Dinner at Dominique Bistro (NYC)

Dinner at Dominique Bistro (NYC)

[Translate] Dinner at Dominique Bistro was very solid when my friend and I were there very recently. The atmosphere here reminds me of the cozy Parisian bistros I’ve seen and dined in my trips to France but it has a New York feel to it as well. We started our evening with glasses of lovely brut rosé and Côtes du Rhône. The foie gras poêle was very tasty. The lobes of foie gras were perfectly seared and not overcooked. The waffle could have been cooked a little longer so there would have the textural contrast of crisp waffle melding with..
Tapestry (NYC)

Tapestry (NYC)

[Translate] Tapestry by partner-chef Suvir Saran (formerly of Devi) is a very good Indian fusion restaurant. I know the word ‘fusion’ attached onto any cuisine tends to make stomachs turn sour but this was thoughtfully done and for the most part, executed very well. The underlying flavors are rooted in Indian cuisine but the menu goes global in terms of the actual dishes and cooking techniques like a Mexican taco (which the restaurant does an excellent version of and I’ll get to that soon). The restaurant is lovely with the large windows that faces Greenwich Street look like an upscale..
Caffe Dei Fiori (NYC)

Caffe Dei Fiori (NYC)

[Translate] Recently, we had dinner at Caffe Dei Fiori in the Upper East Side. It’s a very solid Italian neighborhood restaurant. The food isn’t fussy but it feels and tastes familiar. The restaurant is a narrow, cozy dining room with what seems like an outdoor terrace in the back. A waiter comes cover to our table and presents us a large bread tray filled with five different choices, including good housemade focaccia rolls and replenished whenever your bread plate is empty. (more…)
Dinner at TESSA (NYC)

Dinner at TESSA (NYC)

[Translate] TESSA in the Upper West Side is a Mediterranean inspired restaurant that is a solid choice to dine in the neighborhood. Usually when you think of the Upper West Side, you don’t normally think of dining destinations kind of place but there are very great places to shop for food or specialize in a certain dish (e.g. Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass). When we entered the restaurant, there’s exposed white-washed brick walls with the black steel gates on the ceiling that gives it an industrial yet rustic look and a long and deep bar. We were escorted to the main..
JW Marriott Chicago

JW Marriott Chicago

[Translate] The JW Marriott Chicago, is an indisputably opulent outpost in Chicago. The hotel, housed in a solid and stately 1914 neo-Classical structure designed by Daniel H. Burnham, formerly the Continental & Commercial National Bank. The sweeping staircases that lead to second-floor ballrooms and the Florentine, an Italian restaurant, act as bookends to a giant that is all marble and warm colors. (more…)
Fantastic Meals at The Purple Pig (Chicago, IL)

Fantastic Meals at The Purple Pig (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] The Purple Pig is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants to have a casual but excellent food. (I’ve been there years ago so this isn’t like I’ve eaten there one time for this trip.) What I really adore about this place is the robust flavors and the chef isn’t afraid to serve offal. We’ve also realized after having two large lunches on this trip that the restaurant does change the menu (not its entirety but a few dishes are swapped out). We started off with an incredible house cured sardines on toast. The thick, olive oiled country bread is..

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JW Marriott Chicago

[Translate] The JW Marriott Chicago, is an indisputably opulent outpost in Chicago. The hotel, housed in a solid and stately 1914 neo-Classical structure designed by Daniel H. Burnham, formerly the Continental & Commercial National Bank. The sweeping staircases that lead to second-floor ballrooms and the Florentine, an Italian restaurant, act as bookends to a giant that is all marble and warm colors. (more…)

Fantastic Meals at The Purple Pig (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] The Purple Pig is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants to have a casual but excellent food. (I’ve been there years ago so this isn’t like I’ve eaten there one time for this trip.) What I really adore about this place is the robust flavors and the chef isn’t afraid to serve offal. We’ve also realized after having two large lunches on this trip that the restaurant does change the menu (not its entirety but a few dishes are swapped out). We started off with an incredible house cured sardines on toast. The thick, olive oiled country bread is..

The Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago

[Translate] Another hotel bar in Chicago’s Millennium Mile that has really great drinks is The Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago. The atmosphere is much more casual and laid back but the drinks are a little wacky and ingenious but seriously good and balanced. There are some bar food served at this establishment but we stayed here for the drinks since we had dinner right afterwards. (more…)

Dinner at NoMI Kitchen at Park Hyatt Chicago

[Translate] Entering the sleek and modern lobby of Park Hyatt, we were whisked by the hotel staff to the seventh floor where NoMI Kitchen resides. It’s a beautiful restaurant that has a large bar/lounge area that opens up to NoMI’s sushi area that shares the semi-open space with the Western style kitchen and the dining room. If you are fortunate to have a table near the windows looking out to the stunning, open view of the Water Tower and parts of Millennium Mile. (more…)

Creative Breakfast at Mortar & Pestle (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] If you’re searching for a really creative breakfast in Chicago, I highly suggest going to Mortar & Pestle in the Lakeview neighborhood. This daytime restaurant is spacious with a cozy, rustic look. There’s a long wooden communal table in the center of the room surrounded with two tops and four tops. The menu is eclectic since it varies ranging from fried cheese curds, classic English breakfast, chicken paprikash to foie gras and eggs. As someone who’s jaded seeing and having the typical eggs benedict, waffles and pancakes for breakfast, I’m pretty stoked to see an interesting menu that crosses..

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

[Translate] If there’s a place to be to have afternoon tea in its most classic form and have great people watching, you should head to Palm Court at The Drake Chicago. There’s a harpist performing on certain times of the hour. Since its opening in the 1920’s, The Drake Hotel has maintained a British vibe becoming the home away from home for many of Britain’s royal family starting with the Prince of Wales who stayed there in 1924. Other royals — both British and non-British — have continued the tradition including Princess Diana and the Empress of Japan. Drake’s afternoon..

Recent Recipes

Pear Coffee Cake

[Translate] I love coffee cake, especially those with huge knobs of buttery crumb topping and have it with a cup of coffee. When I came across the pear coffee cake recipe from the famed restaurant team of Eleven Madison Park’s book, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes it struck me as an interesting variation of that cake since I never had it made with fruit. Since it is a fancy recipe with no calories spared, I thought of toning down the fat content ever so slightly by replacing the crème fraîche with Icelandic Provisions skyr. Skyr is a cultured product..

Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

[Translate] When it comes to the holiday season and I’m entertaining my family and friends, it’s a constant feeding, baking/cooking frenzy that I have to get up at the early hours of the morning to prep for the day of the big dinner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, you name it). The best way to keep the crowds at bay and away from the kitchen is to provide them with snacks and a drink. While it’s easy to provide them with bowls of fresh roast nuts and platters of cheese and charcuterie, I like to give them something savory like these..

Whole Wheat Pistachio Yogurt Cakes and Pistachio Crust, Pistachio-Orange, Balsamic Vinegar Tarts with California Figs

[Translate] I go through food moods that I will obsess on a certain dish or ingredient for an intense period of time and seek them whenever I go out to eat. Figs was (and sort of is still) my ingredient obsession ever since I was having an incredible lunch at Joel Robouchon in Monte Carlo and saw and ate slices of the gorgeous, gold leafed fig tarts on the dessert cart and the best ones I’ve had were from the large, juicy, super ripe figs from Cours Saleya market in Nice. Figs hold a special place in my heart because..