Food Reviews

Very Good Upscale Indian Dinner at Zaika (NYC)

[Translate] While there are a number of fine dining Indian restaurants in Manhattan, Zaika is a pretty darn strong contender. Located several blocks away from Grand Central Station, this restaurant is lovely as it has a lounge area with a water feature near the bar and hostess stand. The dining room is quite spacious and the decor is modern and there’s different prints on the walls of the Buddha and nature scenes inspired by India. When it comes to the food, the seafood dishes were stellar but everything else we had were delicious as well. The flavors are on-point and..

Preview Opening of Boucherie Gramercy Park (NYC)

[Translate] Earlier last week, the French steakhouse bistro Boucherie opened a new location in Gramercy. If you ever stopped by their original location in the West Village, it’s a similar look and feel. The yellow, dim lights that reminds me of a romantic Parisian bistro but this place has a charcuterie counter right off the entrance of the new location. The cocktails were strong and the drinks are created by head bartender Anthony Bohlinger formerly of Maison Premiere. The Birds of Paradise, a tall drink made of Beefeater gin, Sotol, Bigallete thyme, fennel, beet, lemon and egg white that isn’t..

Solid Dinner at Flinders Lane (NYC)

[Translate] A few evenings ago, a friend and I had a solid dinner at Flinders Lane. This modern Australian restaurant draws a heavy influence on southeastern Asian cuisine, especially when reading through the tightly edited menu. The décor pays homage to the gritty history of Flinders Lane, a former rag-trade district in Melbourne, with concrete walls and floors, bare bulbs suspended from skinny metal cages and a mural of adjacent Hosier Lane in its neon-graffiti glory. (more…)

Comforting Bowls of Mixian – Weekend Lunch at Little Tong (NYC)

[Translate] The brutal cold winter in New York City makes many people yearn for a large steaming bowl of soup and noodles to warm themselves inside and out. While there are many options for that general food category, I was curious to eat at Little Tong with a few friends. Little Tong, run by chef Simone Tong, specializes on mixian rice noodles and overall this place is worth the hype. (more…)

Dinner at Char Sue (NYC)

[Translate] I’ve recently had a dinner with an old college friend of mine Char Sue since we haven’t seen each other for several months. Char Sue is the kind of place where you would want to hang out with a few friends and have a casual dinner. The Asian inspired food menu tends to be on the heavier side since it’s catering to the Lower East Side neighborhood where you’re primarily surrounded by bars and you would want to pad your stomach with something carby, fatty and preferably, delicious before you start imbibing. While we aren’t going for a night..

Hotel Reviews

Relaxing Time at Loews Miami Beach Hotel – SOAK Cabanas and Lure Fishbar (Miami, FL)

[Translate] If there was a day I felt like a pampered (and very well fed) person while in Miami, it was spending the day at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This hotel recently underwent a $50 million dollar renovation that gave the hotel a fresh, sophisticated look. When we walked through the tall palm tree-lined path to the pool, we were mesmerized how stunning it is. It looked glamorous and it’s not too far from the beach. We had the cabana and it’s practically a mini studio apartment. We had our private bathroom fitted with a walk-in shower with a large..

Hotel Eden – Gorgeous Hotel with Great Views and Food to Boot (Rome, Italy)

[Translate] The stunningly beautiful Hotel Eden is located above the fray near the top of the Spanish Steps, which gives it breathtaking views over the whole centro storico to St. Peter’s and beyond – especially from the rooftop bar/restaurants. But at the same time, it’s just a 10-minute walk from the buzz, sights and shops of Piazza di Spagna. Even Termini train station is within walking distance – though few of the Eden’s clients would ever dream of arriving or leaving on foot. It was closed for a 17-month renovation, the hotel re-opened in April 2017. The design by French..

Amazing Luxury Bed & Breakfast at Canto degli Scali (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I arrived to Florence, I stayed at the luxurious apartment at Canto degli Scali. This place is a beautifully restored and converted from a 14th century palace in the center of Florence into a series of charming apartments. Each of these units has been named after a Florentine “Canto” and they are all furnished with custom fittings. This makes them exquisitely unique and gives our hosts the impression of being in a real home from home. The idea for this project came from two brothers, Marco and Alessio Ducceschi, who were personally responsible for the restyled design of..

The Danforth Inn (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Raymond Brunyanszki, owner of Camden Harbour Inn and its Natalie’s Restaurant — two located in mid-coast Maine — had wanted to open an upscale Southeast Asian restaurant ever since he worked in the region as a tour guide early in his career. He knew he found the right place when he walked into The Danforth Inn while scouting Portland for a second hotel location. The building’s brick exterior and white columns exude elegance. Brunyanszki purchased the Danforth in May 2014 and has been renovating each of the 1823 hotel’s nine rooms, one by one, while keeping the property open..

Barceló Emperatriz Hotel (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] When we were in Madrid, we stayed at the luxurious Barceló Emperatriz. This hotel is just off the Paseo de la Castellana in the upmarket Salamanca district. The smart boutiques on Serrano and its surrounding streets are temptingly close. The Lázaro Galdiano museum, which has one of the best art collections in the city, is a couple of minutes’ walk away. The Prado is a brisk 20-minute walk down the Castellana. (more…)

Recent Recipes

Amazing Truffles from Gourmet Attitude – Dessert Recipes with Truffles

[Translate] Gourmet Attitude is a New York City-based truffle importer since April 2003 by Céline Labaune. Ms. Labaune always brought the best truffles for her company and ultimately for us, the consumer. Of course, truffles are one of the few ultimate food luxuries to have and I’ve been given the task to create a couple of truffle recipes using Gourmet Attitude’s exceptional truffles. (I am forever humbled and grateful to Gourmet Attitude for sending me their gorgeous and delicious fresh truffles and truffle products to play with (in terms of recipes) and of course, eat.) (more…)

Poppy Seed Cherry Yogurt Cake

[Translate] I recently worked with Nounos Creamery using their incredible Greek-style yogurt (and it’s locally made in Long Island, NY) into my recipes. (more…)

Savory Choux Pastry, Pâté with Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves

[Translate] One of my favorite preserves brand is Bonne Maman. They use time-honored traditional French recipes, their preserves and jellies are made with natural ingredients and feature the finest quality fruit. They are Non-GMO Project Verified, have no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial coloring or no preservatives added so you taste the pure essence of the fruit. Besides having the great preserves, also being able to find them at almost every grocery store. (more…)