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Lovely Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] The Palm Court at The Plaza is arguably one of the best hotel afternoon teas in New York City I’ve had in the longest time. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian re-launched the iconic Palm Court at The Plaza hotel with a renovation by Master Architect Thierry Despont almost a year ago. The renovation does result in bringing natural, floral elements inspired by Central Park (and it has the classic English elements that reminds me of another landmark, The Ritz in London, UK). Despite the fact it sounds quite touristy but you should go there once just to check out the scene...

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café

[Translate] While Montreal is a serious coffee town, they do have some very good options for whole leaf teas. Senthé is a pretty new tea café out on a shopping strip in Rosemont. Senthé specializes in high quality Asian teas with a few tea blends for those who prefer to have other flavors besides the tea leaf itself and espresso, if you really need your caffeine in a different format altogether. There is a small food menu consisting of light sandwiches and pastries of the day are displayed at the counter. Senthé also doubles as a hangout for enthusiasts of..


Matcha with Lots of Possibilities at MatchaBar (Brooklyn, NY)

[Translate] MatchaBar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a hip matcha tea bar and brand founded by brothers Max and Graham Fortgang. Matcha tea was “discovered” by the Fortgangs out the necessity of a caffeine alternative that was healthier for them since they led stressful lives when they were college students. Their Williamsburg storefront offers drinks made with the fine-ground tea, including hot and iced matcha teas, iced specialty drinks, and Matchaccino, a matcha “cappuccino” made with almond milk and vanilla powder. Besides peddling the typical matcha lattes (they are almost everywhere in Manhattan), they want to introduce and educate the masses..

Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] If in Montreal, when you want to grab a serious cocktail but isn’t pretentious, Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (or Necessary Evil). I should add, you should like your tiki drinks. Le Mal Nécessaire is in a basement of a building between a small Chinese restaurant and an Asian shop of some sort in Chinatown. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a glowing, bright green pineapple-shaped neon lights at the stairwell. When you descend into the relative darkness, you hear old school hip hop playing not too loudly on the speakers. Patrons chatting amongst each..

Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Part of my time in Montreal, I was at W Montreal. A very urban, sexy, sleek, luxury boutique hotel in the Ville-Marie area of Montreal. When you enter the glass doors, you’d see the cubic water fountain and glowing red walls of the lobby. One of my evenings I checked out Wunderbar that is located on the ground floor. It’s a cool looking bar that has a wall covered in curved panels set in a rainbow that meant to look like the distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings of Montreal. (more…)

Up On 20 at Hyatt Herald Square (NYC)

[Translate] Summertime calls for outdoor drinking and since we are in the city of skyscrapers, you’d have rooftops to drink in the views and your cocktail. Up on 20 at Hyatt Herald Square is a rooftop bar in Midtown, Manhattan that has the Empire State Building almost up close and you can see glimpses of the World Trade Center and the New Jersey skyline when you are looking at their south terrace. We started our evening with a glass of refreshing glass of Prosecco ($12) and Sunny Honey ($18 – for all cocktails on the menu) cocktail and took the..

Great Coffee Spots in Montreal – Dispatch Coffee, Cafe Plume, Cafe Névé, Chez Boris

[Translate] Montreal is sort of like New York City in regards to having very good to excellent third wave coffee shops. A few notable differences – they are truly indie shops and from a personal perspective as a New Yorker, it pains me to wait for good coffee at 9:00 AM on a weekend. Here’s a couple of coffee shops I’ve managed to visit during my stay in Montreal. Dispatch Coffee is arguably one of my favorite shops I’ve visited in a long time. Dispatch is founded by Chrissy Durcak delivering cold brew in mason jars before acquiring the truck..

Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I’ve went to Patrice Patissier when I was strolling around and ogle at the gorgeous flowers and vibrant farm fresh produce at Atwater Market in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal. Chef and co-owner Patrice Demers is one of the prominent pastry chefs in Montreal. He became well known when he was the opening pastry chef for Les 400 Coups for three years and toiled in many other fine French restaurants prior to. He finally opened the doors to his own pâtisserie and cooking school in early spring 2014 with a team that included his wife, Sommelier and Director..

Fantastic Ice Creams at Le Bilboquet (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Le Bilboquet is an artisan ice cream institution in Montreal. It opened in 1983 by Carole Lavallée and Yves Lebuis and eventually in 2004, Pierre Morin took over, with the hope of serving ice cream that feels like home but cares about using the best ingredients possible. The brand uses only fresh 3.25% milk, 35% pure cream, and 100% fruits and juices without additives or artificial colorants. Cookies, brownies and other confections that are incorporated into Le Bilboquet ice creams are mostly produced by an in-house pastry chef. The sorbets contain up to 80% fruit, and there is no..

Excellent Loaves of Bread at Boulangerie Guillaume (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Boulangerie Guillaume is a popular Mile-End bakery on St-Laurent Boulevard. The proprietor Guillaume Vaillant learned his craft on the job and opened this bakery in 2010. He combines traditional methods and artisanship to produce a unique selection of loaves, baguettes and savory treats. When you enter this small bakery (on the retail front) on an early Saturday morning, you’re greeted by the delicious aroma, the sight of beautiful shades of golden brown deliciousness of fresh baked bread and the sweet ladies at the front with a gentle bonjour. There were at least thirty different loaves when I arrived and..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café

[Translate] While Montreal is a serious coffee town, they do have some very good options for whole leaf teas. Senthé is a pretty new tea café out on a shopping strip in Rosemont. Senthé specializes in high quality Asian teas with a few tea blends for those who prefer to have other flavors besides the tea leaf itself and espresso, if you really need your caffeine in a different format altogether. There is a small food menu consisting of light sandwiches and pastries of the day are displayed at the counter. Senthé also doubles as a hangout for enthusiasts of..
Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] If in Montreal, when you want to grab a serious cocktail but isn’t pretentious, Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (or Necessary Evil). I should add, you should like your tiki drinks. Le Mal Nécessaire is in a basement of a building between a small Chinese restaurant and an Asian shop of some sort in Chinatown. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a glowing, bright green pineapple-shaped neon lights at the stairwell. When you descend into the relative darkness, you hear old school hip hop playing not too loudly on the speakers. Patrons chatting amongst each..
Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Part of my time in Montreal, I was at W Montreal. A very urban, sexy, sleek, luxury boutique hotel in the Ville-Marie area of Montreal. When you enter the glass doors, you’d see the cubic water fountain and glowing red walls of the lobby. One of my evenings I checked out Wunderbar that is located on the ground floor. It’s a cool looking bar that has a wall covered in curved panels set in a rainbow that meant to look like the distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings of Montreal. (more…)
Great Coffee Spots in Montreal – Dispatch Coffee, Cafe Plume, Cafe Névé, Chez Boris

Great Coffee Spots in Montreal – Dispatch Coffee, Cafe Plume, Cafe Névé, Chez Boris

[Translate] Montreal is sort of like New York City in regards to having very good to excellent third wave coffee shops. A few notable differences – they are truly indie shops and from a personal perspective as a New Yorker, it pains me to wait for good coffee at 9:00 AM on a weekend. Here’s a couple of coffee shops I’ve managed to visit during my stay in Montreal. Dispatch Coffee is arguably one of my favorite shops I’ve visited in a long time. Dispatch is founded by Chrissy Durcak delivering cold brew in mason jars before acquiring the truck..
Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I’ve went to Patrice Patissier when I was strolling around and ogle at the gorgeous flowers and vibrant farm fresh produce at Atwater Market in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal. Chef and co-owner Patrice Demers is one of the prominent pastry chefs in Montreal. He became well known when he was the opening pastry chef for Les 400 Coups for three years and toiled in many other fine French restaurants prior to. He finally opened the doors to his own pâtisserie and cooking school in early spring 2014 with a team that included his wife, Sommelier and Director..
Fantastic Ice Creams at Le Bilboquet (Montreal, Canada)

Fantastic Ice Creams at Le Bilboquet (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Le Bilboquet is an artisan ice cream institution in Montreal. It opened in 1983 by Carole Lavallée and Yves Lebuis and eventually in 2004, Pierre Morin took over, with the hope of serving ice cream that feels like home but cares about using the best ingredients possible. The brand uses only fresh 3.25% milk, 35% pure cream, and 100% fruits and juices without additives or artificial colorants. Cookies, brownies and other confections that are incorporated into Le Bilboquet ice creams are mostly produced by an in-house pastry chef. The sorbets contain up to 80% fruit, and there is no..
Excellent Loaves of Bread at Boulangerie Guillaume (Montreal, Canada)

Excellent Loaves of Bread at Boulangerie Guillaume (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Boulangerie Guillaume is a popular Mile-End bakery on St-Laurent Boulevard. The proprietor Guillaume Vaillant learned his craft on the job and opened this bakery in 2010. He combines traditional methods and artisanship to produce a unique selection of loaves, baguettes and savory treats. When you enter this small bakery (on the retail front) on an early Saturday morning, you’re greeted by the delicious aroma, the sight of beautiful shades of golden brown deliciousness of fresh baked bread and the sweet ladies at the front with a gentle bonjour. There were at least thirty different loaves when I arrived and..
Delicious, Vegetable-Forward Fare at Le Café Bloom (Montreal, Canada)

Delicious, Vegetable-Forward Fare at Le Café Bloom (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I wanted to eat outside of Downtown Montreal since it would be too easy for me to be complacent to not explore. I headed out in Point St. Charles, Montreal. If I had to compare this neighborhood to New York, it reminds me of Williamsburg before 2010 when gentrification is taken over but it’s not totally gotten insane with the luxury condos that’s springing up all over NYC. Le Café Bloom is a charming, welcoming café outfitted with lots of vintage, wooden tables and chairs, an open kitchen in the back. There’s even a small area for children to..

Recipes

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

[Translate] I’ve recently found out and shopped at OurHarvest. Our Harvest is an online farmers market that connects us consumers to local farmers and food producers (currently for the NYC area only). Through partnerships with farmers, fishermen, and food artisans, OurHarvest purchases and sources their products locally to maximize freshness; hence ensuring quality and traceability while keeping costs down and combating hunger at the same time. For every delivery above $25 it receives, OurHarvest also donates a meal to a family in need through its relationship with the Food Bank of New York City. My recent shopping haul consisted of..
Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

[Translate] Hope all my fellow American readers had a great and safe Independence Day! I celebrated with my friends and family the U.S.’ freedom with style. We started off with a luxe note with Petrossian Caviar. Petrossian started in the 1920s by two Armenian brothers – Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian – to Parisians. The brand has dominated this luxurious trade and continued to strive for the best of the fresh, high quality caviar produced. (more…)
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..