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Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby; Our Harbour City Suite and its huge bathroom; View of Huangpu River from the suite Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong is luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai hotel in May 2013. The hotel sits just east of the Huangpu River in the new Harbour City development, east of the Pearl Tower, and next to the newly opened Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club. The 362 guest rooms come with opulent gold and teal decor, iPod docks and luxurious toiletries from London perfumer Ormonde Jayne. We loved our Club level room and its giant bowl-shaped bath tub to soak our..

Infinity Brunch at Agua Restaurant (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Agua is an upscale Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant in the trendy Santilun neighborhood in Beijing. Decorated in dark brown leather banquettes line the back wall, and roomy tables and plush velvet chairs occupy a spacious dining room that is elegantly lit. The restaurant’s Infinity Brunch is 298 RMB per person and the optional 168 RMB unlimited drinks (options are cava, sangria, Spanish Mimosa, or wine). The brunch menu has a list of tapas that vary in sizing from single serving to sharing with another person and everything is cooked and/or plated to order. We started with the boiled large..

Farine Bakery – A Piece of France in Shanghai, China

[Translate] Farine Bakery – Exterior and Interiors Farine Bakery is an upscale French bakery owned by French chef Franck Pecol in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. This bakery is a godsend for any Western expat in Shanghai who craves excellently made artisan bread and pastries. The staff could crank out solid cups of espresso-based drinks, especially for this New Yorker spoiled by the Third Wave movement. All of their dairy and flour is organic and imported from France. The light and open space features a glass counter down one side, a small coffee bar and a handful of bar stools..

Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB), China

[Translate] Entrance to TRB; View on my right from where I sat; Our amuse bouches Very recently, my family and I went to China, specifically the cities of Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing, for two weeks to see (and taste) the sights of those three cities. Our eyes were opened by the varying locals who reside there. The way they dress and carry themselves. The feel and look of each city is so distinctive even though they are about a two-hour flight away from each other. We have walked (sometimes hiked) a lot, seen a lot, and without a doubt, ate..

Brunch at Root & Bone

[Translate] Exterior of Root & Bone; Brunch menu; Whiskey Cobbler A recent brunch I had with D, we headed out to a new Southern restaurant in Alphabet City of East Village called Root & Bone. This a small, popular, already popular restaurant is owned by Top Chef alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. With a long line leading out of the restaurant’s door full of people vying for a table just barely 15 minutes past brunch opening time (11:45 AM). We were fortunate enough to get a seat at the bar with a view of the open kitchen and see..

Brunch with the Girls at Boulud Sud

[Translate] Exterior and part of the interior of Boulud Sud This past Labor Day weekend, I had brunch with my girl friends at Boulud Sud. As you might know, I am a fan of this restaurant when lunch with my mother and my friends are familiar with the Boulud brand but ate at this particular restaurant for the first time. Heck, even one of them lives close by one particular dessert (I’ll inform you soon which) convert her here to be a regular. Large format spicy Moroccan hummus, hummus, taramosalata, babaganoush and various flatbreads and dill potato chips for our..

First Class from Emirates at the US Open 2014

[Translate] The crowds on the grounds of the U.S. Open; Looking out to Arthur Ashe Stadium from inside the Emirates VIP Suite The past week I was invited by Emirates to one of their exclusive VIP suites to eat and watch a game at the U.S. Open. This was such an honor to be invited by such a first class (literally) airline brand. They pay attention to details like comfort of your seat (you’d have slightly more leg room, even on coach and can recline more than the average airplane) and the huge A380 plane has private suites, shower spas..

Dinner at ChicoJulio Bodega del Mar

[Translate] Recently we had a solid Mexican taco dinner at ChicoJulio in the Upper West Side. Once you step through the doors, it opens to an airy space with a handsome stocked with flights of mezcal, bacanora and pechuga (a Mexican liquor distilled using a chicken). As great as this was, we’re here for the food and here’s what we started with: The classic ceviche ($8) was nicely done. Bright and refreshing with fresh seafood and creamy avocado to balance. The queso fundido with chorizo ($7) is a must if you love ooey gooey cheese with bits of rendered paprika..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby; Our Harbour City Suite and its huge bathroom; View of Huangpu River from the suite Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong is luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai hotel in May 2013. The hotel sits just east of the Huangpu River in the new Harbour City development, east of the Pearl Tower, and next to the newly opened Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club. The 362 guest rooms come with opulent gold and teal decor, iPod docks and luxurious toiletries from London perfumer Ormonde Jayne. We loved our Club level room and its giant bowl-shaped bath tub to soak our..
Infinity Brunch at Agua Restaurant (Beijing, China)

Infinity Brunch at Agua Restaurant (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Agua is an upscale Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant in the trendy Santilun neighborhood in Beijing. Decorated in dark brown leather banquettes line the back wall, and roomy tables and plush velvet chairs occupy a spacious dining room that is elegantly lit. The restaurant’s Infinity Brunch is 298 RMB per person and the optional 168 RMB unlimited drinks (options are cava, sangria, Spanish Mimosa, or wine). The brunch menu has a list of tapas that vary in sizing from single serving to sharing with another person and everything is cooked and/or plated to order. We started with the boiled large..
Farine Bakery – A Piece of France in Shanghai, China

Farine Bakery – A Piece of France in Shanghai, China

[Translate] Farine Bakery – Exterior and Interiors Farine Bakery is an upscale French bakery owned by French chef Franck Pecol in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. This bakery is a godsend for any Western expat in Shanghai who craves excellently made artisan bread and pastries. The staff could crank out solid cups of espresso-based drinks, especially for this New Yorker spoiled by the Third Wave movement. All of their dairy and flour is organic and imported from France. The light and open space features a glass counter down one side, a small coffee bar and a handful of bar stools..
Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB), China

Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB), China

[Translate] Entrance to TRB; View on my right from where I sat; Our amuse bouches Very recently, my family and I went to China, specifically the cities of Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing, for two weeks to see (and taste) the sights of those three cities. Our eyes were opened by the varying locals who reside there. The way they dress and carry themselves. The feel and look of each city is so distinctive even though they are about a two-hour flight away from each other. We have walked (sometimes hiked) a lot, seen a lot, and without a doubt, ate..
Finger Lakes – Beautiful Region, Great People, and Good Food

Finger Lakes – Beautiful Region, Great People, and Good Food

[Translate] This past weekend, I was generously invited and flown up (a very short flight clocking under 1 hour) to the Finger Lakes region by the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection and see and taste the area for three days. When I first thought of the said region, I thought it would be essentially very good local wine, lots of farms, and nature set in a cluster of sleepy, small towns. But meeting and talking to the locals it is a dynamic, thriving region that still has its “small town” charm and hospitality and have big plans to evolve to something..
First Day at St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands – Mountain Top, Dinner at Fat Turtle, Night Kayaking at Adventure Center

First Day at St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands – Mountain Top, Dinner at Fat Turtle, Night Kayaking at Adventure Center

[Translate] View of various islands and a part of town at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas Last week the US Virgin Island Department of Tourism took me along for the fun, whirlwind press trip to visit two of its three islands — St. Thomas and St. John — with seven other digital storytellers. For both of these islands, you can’t help but be enchanted by the breathtaking views of the coastlines, the crystal sapphire blue skies, and the swirling or puffy white clouds. The things I’ve come to realize, from a native New Yorker’s perspective, is that everyone runs on island..
Amazing Day Trip to the Hudson Valley with Buick (Part 2) – Dinner at Fish & Game

Amazing Day Trip to the Hudson Valley with Buick (Part 2) – Dinner at Fish & Game

[Translate]   Entrance to Fish & Game; Interiors on the lounge/ground floor Despite the fact we’re buzzed thanks to the wonderful whiskeys and bourbon from Hillrock Estate Distillery and the cheeses served with them, we headed back to our respective Buick and driver to dinner about 30 minutes away to Fish & Game. Fish & Game is owned by chef Zakary Pelaccio. He used to be in New York City proper for over a decade and had a mini Asian-influenced empire of restaurants, Fatty Crab and Fatty Cue that were very good (especially the watermelon and pork belly salad) but..
Amazing Day Trip to the Hudson Valley with Buick (Part 1) – Montgomery Place Orchards & Hillrock Estate Distillery

Amazing Day Trip to the Hudson Valley with Buick (Part 1) – Montgomery Place Orchards & Hillrock Estate Distillery

[Translate] Yesterday was arguably the most fantastic day trip I have been in a long time. The perfect summer day when it’s not so humid and hot, mixed with a gentle breeze, and puffy, friendly white clouds in the blue sky. Heading up to the historic and very charming Hudson Valley that’s about 2 hours from Manhattan in a shiny black Buick LaCrosse with our driver of the day, Eddie. Many thanks to the generous people of Buick/Drive the District and our hosts of the day, Montgomery Place Orchards, Hillrock Distillery, and dinner at Fish & Game. The dinner will..
The Clove Club (London, UK)

The Clove Club (London, UK)

[Translate] Of all my snacking and meals I have had in London, The Clove Club is definitely one of my favorite meals that really stuck with me even months after eating there. The food is very different and exciting compared to the U.S. or New York City are having these days (see Adam Platt of New York Magazine’s interview.). The Clove Club is sort of out of the way for those who are residing on the west part of London but certainly worth the trek. When you enter the light blue doors of The Clove Club, the first thing you..

Recipes

Celebrating International Bacon Day 2014

Celebrating International Bacon Day 2014

[Translate] International Bacon Day is today! It seems pretty convenient that this year it falls on the long Labor Day weekend so if we overindulged in bacon-centered dishes, we can either sleep it off or go on a longer workout to burn it off. At any rate, the inaugural Famrland Bacon Treasure Hunt is commencing and folks who are located in Denver, St. Louis and Kansas City can participate. But us New Yorkers will celebrate by baking, cooking, and eating a whole bunch of bacon. Trust me, when you have a bacon loving boyfriend, he thinks this is Christmas and..
Maple Pecan Thyme Cayenne Pie

Maple Pecan Thyme Cayenne Pie

[Translate] Tonewood Maple Syrups and Maple Cube; Schermer Pecans Tonewood is a Vermont based brand that creates one of the most superior maple syrups I have ever tried. They recently took home the with Sofi Gold award. Schermer is a Georgia farm established in 1946, growing one of the finest buttery pecans. As they are great by themselves as well as together. As much as every American knows maple pecan pie, I wanted to make it a bit savory and throw in some dried thyme and a pinch of cayenne. Also to play along the savory note, I used Four..
Miso Chocolate Hazelnut (Nutella) Rugelach Bars Recipe

Miso Chocolate Hazelnut (Nutella) Rugelach Bars Recipe

[Translate] My love for desserts has never deterred but my preferences has certainly changed and yearn for something unusual. Don’t get me wrong. I still love my chocolate but it has to be dark and not too sweet (unless I have a craving for sugar). I remembered recently reading the Wall Street Journal about (white) miso accented desserts and it’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments since I adore and obsessed with salted caramel or anything sweet and salty in a dessert, it makes sense for miso and its fermentation adds an umami effect that bridges..

 

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