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Dinner at Benjamin Steakhouse (Midtown East, NY)

[Translate] When chef Arturo McLeod left for midtown Manhattan after two decades at Peter Luger’s, he was thinking big when he opened Benjamin Steakhouse in 2006. A grand, soaring double-height with a high ceiling, brass chandeliers and rich brown leather on the seats inside the Dylan Hotel. Portions also come big, of course, with hefty cuts of prime rib eye, filet mignon, and New York sirloin, plus porterhouse prepared Luger-style for two, three, or four. The beef is dry-aged for at least 28 days in the house’s special aging box. The steak comes lightly seared, its subtle savory seasoning the..

Dinner at La Pulperia (Hell’s Kitchen, NYC)

[Translate] Interior; Our cocktails: Watermelon sake margarita & The Smoky Room; Prickly Pear Pisco Sour La Pulperia is a very good Latin restaurant with an excellent cocktail program (based on our visit to their Hell’s Kitchen location; there is an Upper East Side location of this restaurant). A few blocks away from the Broadway theaters and Times Square, the location is convenient if you want to catch a show. This cozy restaurant has a long marble bar with well trained bartenders; exposed brick walls, oxblood red leather banquettes along the wall and blonde wood tables. The dinner menu is pretty..

Father’s Day Gift Suggestions (2015)

[Translate] I’m keeping this year’s Father’s Day gift ideas on the short side this year since I’m working on several things that keeps me from going to the distance I usually do with gift guides. But sticking with the norm of what fathers do like, here’s my favorite three things I would give to my dad. The heritage French mustard brand, Maille had created a handsome gift set containing a trio of delicious flavored mustards ($40) — Cognac, black olive and blue cheese. These robust mustards are fantastic with anything from sandwiches to grilled fish and meats. (more…)

Very Good Brunch at Upland (NYC)

[Translate] Recently, we had a very good brunch Upland. This place would appeal to everyone from the carnivore to the salad lovers; a meal with the parents to coworkers; power lunches to having brunch with friends. The atmosphere is spacious, inviting in its casual-chic way, and the back wall of shelves filled with what looks like large jars of preserved lemons that give a golden glow is pretty striking. The food is by Justin Smillie, the former chef of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria that brought national attention, does not disappoint. It is fresh, vegetable-forward, and packed with packed with..

National Rotisserie Chicken Day & A Giveaway

[Translate] **EDITOR NOTE:** Many thanks everyone for entering the contest. The winner is commenter “Nancy.” Today, June 2nd, is the first National Rotisserie Chicken Day. Since roast chicken is a typical go-to dinner item since it’s cost-effective and delicious, so why not take the day to celebrate this roast bird? I tend to cook my bird simply, as in take a clean chicken, drizzle some olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, finely grated lemon zest (of a whole lemon) and fresh thyme. Roast it at 350 degrees F until it’s cooked through (about 45..

Mother’s Day Brunch at Ristorante Morini

[Translate] This past Mother’s Day, I took my mom and the rest of my family to Ristorante Morini. We planned to go to the Metropolitan Museum and see the new China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition. This exhibition is worth your time. To view the gorgeous, sumptuous gowns and the various ancient Chinese objet d’art that was once a household or personal item. It is a very visual, stimulating exhibition and it does inform the lay viewer how Chinese art inspires the Western fashion designers. Going back to the food, Ristorante Morini is a few blocks away from the Met,..

Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

[Translate] KitchenAid Convection Digital Countertop Oven & Diamond Blender; Pasta Excellence Set Our friends at KitchenAid sent me their amazing household products of the Diamond Blender, Countertop Digital Convection Oven, and Pasta Excellence Set (pasta stand mixer attachments since I own their Artisan Stand Mixer). Since spring is finally here and how can’t you not feel inspired to cook and bake anything? Strawberries are one of the ingredients that are prominent in spring and for breakfast, I like making smoothies besides my cup of coffee. It’s quick and easy for my busy mornings shuffling to work. I made batches of..


Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2015

[Translate] Mother’s Day is nearing — 2 weekends away (Sunday, May 10th)! For those who are trying to decide what to give to your mom on her special day, ranging from chocolates (filled and in vogue bean-to-bars), wines, artisan beers and spirits (she might not be your typical mother and like the hard stuff), other sweets (like French macarons) and savory snacks (like cheeses and crackers): These items are not listed in any particular order, except by category. For ease of navigation, here’s the links to jump: Chocolates, Confections & Desserts Wines, Beer & Spirits Coffee Other Food Items Cookbooks..

Festival del Mar & Luxury Resorts Cusinart & Viceroy (Anguilla)

[Translate] This is a continuation of my press trip to Anguilla. For the first/introductory part, please CLICK HERE. Many thanks again to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Festival del Mar; A vendor’s tray full of freshly grilled Anguillan lobsters; Sailboat ready to sail off The primary reason this press trip occurred is because of Festival del Mar. This annual “festival of the sea” always occur when Easter is around and the locals and tourists alike, celebrate this long weekend by eating the fantastic, freshly caught lobsters and fish; drink up some beers or rum..

7th Annual New York Culinary Experience (2015)

[Translate] Mis en place for Chefs Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonette’s class This year’s 7th Annual New York Culinary Experience took place this weekend on April 11 and 12th. It was co-hosted by Gillian Duffy, culinary editor of New York magazine and Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of International Culinary Center (ICC). The New York Culinary Experience is the only culinary event that gives food enthusiasts and aspiring cooks the chance to enjoy an intimate weekend of hands-on master cooking classes and conversation with more than 30 of the most prominent chefs in the world. Seared scallops dish by..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Festival del Mar & Luxury Resorts Cusinart & Viceroy (Anguilla)

Festival del Mar & Luxury Resorts Cusinart & Viceroy (Anguilla)

[Translate] This is a continuation of my press trip to Anguilla. For the first/introductory part, please CLICK HERE. Many thanks again to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Festival del Mar; A vendor’s tray full of freshly grilled Anguillan lobsters; Sailboat ready to sail off The primary reason this press trip occurred is because of Festival del Mar. This annual “festival of the sea” always occur when Easter is around and the locals and tourists alike, celebrate this long weekend by eating the fantastic, freshly caught lobsters and fish; drink up some beers or rum..
Gorgeous, Fabulous Anguilla

Gorgeous, Fabulous Anguilla

[Translate] Many thanks to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Anguilla has everything one would want in an ideal beach wedding. Fine white sandy beaches, clear blue waters that varies in its varying tones of vibrant turquoise to dark blue depending how the sunlight strikes it, old clapboard buildings meets tony resorts (old/something borrowed and something new), and the island’s style of unfussy chic, barefoot elegance. This Caribbean island, a British overseas territory about seven miles north of St. Maarten/St. Martin, is a tiny island — a mere 35 square miles with just six traffic..
Touring Through Parts of Southern Wales, United Kingdom

Touring Through Parts of Southern Wales, United Kingdom

[Translate] Continuing on my journey in Wales, my group stopped by Llanerch Vineyard. It’s a working vineyard with a boutique hotel, restaurant and a cooking school. We took a brief cooking class with the affable and gregarious Angela Gray. We had tea or coffee with their amazing, homemade bara birth (a dense, dried fruit quick bread soaked in tea) slathered in delicious, creamy Welsh butter and buttery shortbread cookies, while getting acquainted with Angela and the school. We eventually cooked up a few Welsh dishes like lamb chops and a seafood course that had salmon and that are slightly modernized..
Amazing Week in Beijing, China

Amazing Week in Beijing, China

[Translate] Tienanmen Square Back in September, my family and I went to Beijing, China for a week. We had an amazing time at the capital city from shopping for teas and souvenirs, sightseeing the landmarks like Tienanmen Square, Temple of Heaven, and a day trip to The Great Wall of China. We stayed at the gorgeous, luxurious Grand Hyatt Beijing that was in the heart of the city and in walking distance to the main attractions like Tienanmen Square. The public transportation is very efficient and clean (unlike New York City). We also ate very well. We had very good..
Lunch at Ffresh Bar at Wales Millennium Centre (Cardiff, Wales, UK)

Lunch at Ffresh Bar at Wales Millennium Centre (Cardiff, Wales, UK)

[Translate] Wales Millennium Centre & Exterior of Ffresh Bar When I was in Cardiff, Wales, UK, one of my stops in this cool city was at the Millennium Centre, right off of Cardiff Bay. Before we had a tour of this fantastic performing arts center, we had a quick but very tasty lunch at Ffresh Bar. This restaurant is recommended in the Michelin Guide 2015 and Good Food Guide, with menus designed by the consultant chef Sean Hill of the Walnut Tree Abergavenny. (more…)
36 Hours in Cardiff (Wales, UK)

36 Hours in Cardiff (Wales, UK)

[Translate] Riding First Class on Rail Europe; Looking down High Street Visit Wales recently invited me to fly over and have a week-long trip to explore southern and western parts of their beautiful country. The first stop was Cardiff. Cardiff is the Welsh capital, located in the southern part of Wales. This city was largely built during Britain’s 19th-century coal boom and was generally not considered one of the country’s most attractive cities. But times are changing. Major regeneration projects since the 1990s — a new performing arts center, a revamped waterfront and a 74,000-seat stadium, to name a few..
Chapel 1877 (Cardiff, Wales)

Chapel 1877 (Cardiff, Wales)

[Translate] Exterior, interior, and architectural details of Chapel 1877 I recently went to a press trip to South Wales and had an amazing time. While I will write an appropriate introductory piece about the great city of Cardiff in the next post, I’m going straight to one of my dinners at Chapel 1877. Chapel 1877 is a buzzy restaurant in Cardiff, Wales that opened in 2008. It was former Pembroke Terrace Chapel and it’s respectfully restored the church’s beautiful French Gothic architectural details (it’s a Grade II listed building). The restaurant is divided into three spaces, a bar dining area,..
Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests. The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles,..
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Washington, D.C.)

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] I’ve come to realize during my trip to D.C. is the renaissance of artisanal doughnuts. Doughnuts that are meticulously made by hand and in small batches. Another great doughnut destination is found in the Metro-Downtown Center called Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. THey are convenient if you are either giving your credit card a workout with the many department stores and shops in the area or if you’re working here since the business district is not too far from here. Astro Doughnuts is a storefront shop that sells nine flavors (when I was there) and during the late weekday..

Recipes

Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

[Translate] KitchenAid Convection Digital Countertop Oven & Diamond Blender; Pasta Excellence Set Our friends at KitchenAid sent me their amazing household products of the Diamond Blender, Countertop Digital Convection Oven, and Pasta Excellence Set (pasta stand mixer attachments since I own their Artisan Stand Mixer). Since spring is finally here and how can’t you not feel inspired to cook and bake anything? Strawberries are one of the ingredients that are prominent in spring and for breakfast, I like making smoothies besides my cup of coffee. It’s quick and easy for my busy mornings shuffling to work. I made batches of..
Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

[Translate] PARTNER POST – Get creative with any of Castello’s uniquely crafted cheeses. Click here for a $1 off coupon to create your own gourmet masterpiece. Castello Jalapeño Havarti cheeses; Jalapeño Havarti & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche Castello Cheese is an historical cheese brand that started since 1893 and they create more than 40 different types of delicious cheeses. I’ve recently been selected to be one of Castello’s collaborators to come up with a unique recipe with their jalapeño havarti cheese that’s more than just a grilled cheese sandwich or cheese dip. Havarti cheese is a Danish-style cow’s milk cheese that..
Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

[Translate] Chinese New Year (or what others would generalize this holiday, Lunar New Year) is coming up this Thursday and if you really want to make a dessert to impress your family and friends, this pistachio, yuzu, chocolate feuilletine cake, would be it. I chose these flavors centered on the pistachio. Even though pistachio is my favorite nut and flavor, in Chinese New Year traditions, this nut means happy nut and symbolizes happiness. Thankfully, my family isn’t staunchly stuck on tradition; I’ve incorporated a mix of Chinese tradition with French pastry technique for this dessert. (more…)