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Maison Kayser 1535 Third Avenue

[Translate] The newest and fifth location of Maison Kayser opened a few weeks ago on the Upper East Side, not too far from its first location, a 120 seat café and an extended coffee bar. Arriving on that early Saturday morning, the retail section was bustling with activity from mostly locals who reside around the area picking up their morning coffee, a pastry and maybe a few loaves of bread. I went in to dine with a friend for brunch and tried out Master baker Yann Ledoux’s seasonal breads for the summer, like the delectable crusty, thin ficelles of black..

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..

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..

Ample Hills Creamery Gowanus – Amazing, Decadent Ice Cream

[Translate] Ample Hills Creamery Gowanus: Exterior, front retail part of the shop, and the rooftop Ample Hills Creamery opened their new location at Gowanus about two weeks ago. It’s exciting for ice cream lovers since Ample Hills churns out some insane ice cream. I meant insane as a good thing for creating pretty imaginative flavors and techniques to create their ice cream and appeal to both kids and the adults who still have their inner kid. They also have a rooftop that you can sit outside and get a view of the Gowanus. We sampled a couple of flavors that..

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..

Brunch at The Derby

[Translate] The Derby is a restaurant newcomer to the Lower East Side. The menu is American Southern. The place has a large sidewalk dining area and interior is simply done of wooden tables and yellow chairs. All the windows and doors were open as it was a very warm, humid summer afternoon. D and I met up for brunch here. He wanted the Peach Smash, a strong whiskey cocktail with a touch of peach and fresh mint to make it refreshing, while I need my caffeine and had a mug of drip coffee. (Alas, they don’t have iced coffee yet.)..

Dinner at The Nomad Bar

[Translate] View of the bar (taken with my iPhone); The view of the bar looking down The NoMad Bar, a freestanding extension of the handsome, sophisticated Elephant Bar within The NoMad Hotel opened several months ago by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. One of my friends visiting from London wanted to eat something new so I thought we should head here since I’ve been hearing good things about the food, and of course the cocktails. While I was waiting for her arrival, the first thing I noticed was the boisterous conviviality of the happy hour crowd of mostly young professionals..

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

[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..