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La Maison du Chocolat Icons in XXL

La Maison du Chocolat Icons in XXL

[Translate] The luxury French chocolate brand started by Robery Linxe, La Maison du Chocolat is turning 40. And to commemorate its anniversary, they made their legendary chocolates large (like the size of an espresso cup’s saucer). They are nestled individually within custom-metallic boxes, the ‘Grands Carrés’ collection features three classic and three more contemporary bouchées. The classics Quito (a silky dark ganache tempered with subtle notes of milk and vanilla) and Salvador has the bright acidity of raspberry paired with this dark chocolate ganache with its round, fruity flavor. The Boheme is an airy, silky, lusciousness of milk chocolate ganache..
Poppy Seed Cherry Yogurt Cake

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…)
The Spaniard (NYC)

The Spaniard (NYC)

[Translate] The Spaniard is a lovely gastropub in West Village that is popular with mostly the young professional crowd. The vaulted ceilings and landmark designation, put the owners in mind of iconic New York taverns like Old Town and P.J. Clarke’s, which served as inspiration. The bar is stocked with 100 whiskeys, half of them Scotch, and the cocktail list calls out whiskey drinks like the Penicillin and a rosemary Manhattan. (more…)
Brunch at Street Taco (NYC)

Brunch at Street Taco (NYC)

[Translate] Street Taco is a colorful, cavernous, low-key Mexican spot in Gramercy. It’s an attractive restaurant decorated in white-glazed brick archways dividing the space, cobalt-blue booths and bright yellow chairs, murals by a Manhattan tattoo artist, and a lone golden disco ball. There are plenty of places to post up with a date or a group of friends for happy hour, but the booth by the front near the windows is a prime spot. Throw all fears of imminent headaches or hangovers to the wind and go for a Tsunami, which is a frozen margarita swirled with frozen sangria or..
Benares Tribeca (NYC)

Benares Tribeca (NYC)

[Translate] While I usually don’t stick with Tribeca for dinner but I was in the neighborhood to show a few out of town friends for sightseeing (e.g. 9/11 Memorial, Oculus, etc.). A good option for something flavorful and reasonably priced, you may head to Benares Tribeca. The colorful puffed rice chips with a trio of dips (tamarind, parsley-mint, and ginger orange oil) are to start with. You must order the satisfyingly cold and sweet mango lassi to go with the spicy foods (if you’re not looking for alcohol). (more…)

Travel

Tempo Dulu and Opium at The Danforth (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] The Danforth, as I’ve mentioned on my previous post, is a fantastic, luxury inn and it’s a fascinating place that houses an unexpectedly good upscale Southeast Asian restaurant, Tempo Dulu and a cocktail lounge called Opium. I didn’t have high expectations of eating good Asian cooking since Portland does not have a large Asian population compared to New York City or Boston. I expected great New American, farm-to-table food while I’m in Portland. However, Executive Chef Michael McDonnell and his team cooks dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia while using local ingredients. The food that arrives to..

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..

Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] If there’s something I’m pretty excited to visit in Portland, it would be the famed artisan doughnut shop, Holy Donut founded and owned by Leigh Kellis. All of the doughnuts are hand made and with real, natural ingredients (like fresh blueberries and pomegranate) and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious and there’s some mashed Maine potatoes. (more…)

New England Distilling (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] New England Distilling Co. is located in one of the warehouse-like buildings off Riverside Street that have attracted lots of microbreweries, is a 21st-century update of a 19th-century family business and the only micro distillery in Portland. This distillery is by Ned Wight and he, who used to work at Allagash Brewing Co., got really serious about starting this distillery in the early 2000s. Wight’s great-great-great-grandfather, John Jacob Wight, started making Sherwood Rye Whiskey at his distillery north of Baltimore sometime during the 1850s. (more…)

Brunch at Sonny’s (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Sonny’s is a funky, historical but cool restaurant that has a large bar with two overstuffed couches near the entrance and provides a steady buzz that fills the high-ceilinged rooms overlooking Exchange Street. The ornate, tiled floors and the enormous safe in the back of the restaurant recalls the building’s 19th-century origins as the Portland Savings Bank and the stained-glass windows left over from its incarnation as F. Parker Reidy’s. When you read the brunch menu of Sonny’s, the menu is varied but mainly sticks with the idea of American comfort food with a Latin influence. We started off..

Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Local 188 is a mainstay in Portland since 1999, originally located across the street from its current location, this laid-back eatery is one of the original farm-to-table trendsetters in the area with owner Jay Villani at the helm creating an innovative menu that draws on Spain and the Mediterranean. Local 188 has a relaxed, bohemian vibe with mismatched lounge furniture, including big, comfy couches and retro chairs. It’s a spacious restaurant that can accommodate a variety of needs – dinner, drinks, appetizers, late-night munching – and a mix of patrons. (more…)

Recent Recipes

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…)

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..