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...

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..

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 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!

[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…)

Dinner at Benjamin Steakhouse (Midtown East, NY)

[Translate] When chef Arturo McLeod left for midtown Manhattan after two decades at Peter Luger’s, he was thinking big when he opened Benjamin Steakhouse in 2006. A grand, soaring double-height with a high ceiling, brass chandeliers and rich brown leather on the seats inside the Dylan Hotel. Portions also come big, of course, with hefty cuts of prime rib eye, filet mignon, and New York sirloin, plus porterhouse prepared Luger-style for two, three, or four. The beef is dry-aged for at least 28 days in the house’s special aging box. The steak comes lightly seared, its subtle savory seasoning the..

Father’s Day Gift Suggestions (2015)

[Translate] I’m keeping this year’s Father’s Day gift ideas on the short side this year since I’m working on several things that keeps me from going to the distance I usually do with gift guides. But sticking with the norm of what fathers do like, here’s my favorite three things I would give to my dad. The heritage French mustard brand, Maille had created a handsome gift set containing a trio of delicious flavored mustards ($40) — Cognac, black olive and blue cheese. These robust mustards are fantastic with anything from sandwiches to grilled fish and meats. (more…)

Very Good Brunch at Upland (NYC)

[Translate] Recently, we had a very good brunch Upland. This place would appeal to everyone from the carnivore to the salad lovers; a meal with the parents to coworkers; power lunches to having brunch with friends. The atmosphere is spacious, inviting in its casual-chic way, and the back wall of shelves filled with what looks like large jars of preserved lemons that give a golden glow is pretty striking. The food is by Justin Smillie, the former chef of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria that brought national attention, does not disappoint. It is fresh, vegetable-forward, and packed with packed with..

National Rotisserie Chicken Day & A Giveaway

[Translate] **EDITOR NOTE:** Many thanks everyone for entering the contest. The winner is commenter “Nancy.” Today, June 2nd, is the first National Rotisserie Chicken Day. Since roast chicken is a typical go-to dinner item since it’s cost-effective and delicious, so why not take the day to celebrate this roast bird? I tend to cook my bird simply, as in take a clean chicken, drizzle some olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, finely grated lemon zest (of a whole lemon) and fresh thyme. Roast it at 350 degrees F until it’s cooked through (about 45..