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Dinner at North End Grill – Good Savory Food, Amazing Desserts

For my family’s dinner on the second day of the (Chinese) year (we cooked a feast on the day of Chinese New Year), we headed out to North End Grill. I was curious of Chef Floyd Cardoz’s food since his days at Tabla, where he cooked robust, vibrant Indian dishes and I’ve been following Pastry Chef Tracy Obolsky since she was at Esca. North End Grill is an update of the American bar and grill in Battery Park City. When you enter the restaurant, your eyes would fall on the modern, sleek black and white checkered tile floors, clusters of..


Chinese New Year & Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Since Chinese New Year (it’s Year of the Horse) is pretty close to Valentine’s Day this year, I might as well mash them together and give you ideas as to gift giving to your family (if you do celebrate Chinese or Lunar New Year) and loved one (Valentine’s Day). To those who celebrate Chinese New Year: 恭喜發財! Gong xi fa cai! Wines and Spirits Ramey Wines was founded in 1996 by David Ramey and his wife in Healdsburg, California. The winery creates critically acclaimed, award-winning wines ever since, committed to Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah as their primary varietals. Their..


Flour Bakery (Boston, MA)

Entrance to Flour Bakery (Back Bay location); Interior; Sweet orange rolls and Doughnut sugar muffins Flour Bakery (the bakery currently have 4 locations) was our first stop on our weekend holiday trip to Boston. What prompted us to go there first is because of the delicious memories I had when the James Beard nominated Chef Joanne Chang cooked at the James Beard House for afternoon tea. Since then, it was bookmarked in my brain to visit Chef Chang’s bakery and it finally happened. We went to the Back Bay location since it’s close to our hotel, The Mandarin Oriental. This..


Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn’s Private Event

Dining area; Attendees of the event; Our beverages Grand Central Oyster Bar is a 100-year old Manhattan institution for all things bivalves. The brand expanded to Park Slope, Brooklyn and opened last month (there are also two Japanese franchises and a small outpost in Newark airport). The Brooklyn’s décor echoes the signature arches of the original space and lights of the original. They brought some of the main restaurant’s menu to Brooklyn like the freshly shucked bivalves and other seafood specialties based on what’s offered at the market that day. Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn has a bright, mostly white..


Lunar New Year Chocolates at Godiva NYC Headquarters

Godiva’s Senior Chocolatier Chef David Funaro; my spread of Godiva goodies; Godiva chocolate liqueur with my glass of Simple Chocolate Martini I was invited to Godiva‘s New York City headquarters for the launch of their Lunar New Year chocolates with Godiva’s Senior Chocolatier Chef David Funaro. The spacious, streamlined, modern space are shared office space, an open kitchen and a model Godiva store so they could copy the displays to all of their shops around the globe. Along with tasting their standard but delicious line up of bonbons (as seen above) and their sweet Godiva chocolate martini. We were also..


Breakfast at Asana in Mandarin Oriental Boston

Asana’s dining room During our final morning at the serene, luxurious Mandarin Oriental Boston, we had breakfast at their restaurant Asana. Our beverages: Cappuccino, Carafe of Stumptown Coffee; Fresh grapefruit juice; Fresh cranberry-grapefruit juice We started with a flight of fresh squeezed juices (grapefruit and cranberry-grapefruit) and caffeine (cappuccino, organic French pressed coffee, and carafe of Stumptown drip coffee) to wake us up. The juices were delicious and I liked the vibrant colors and flavors of the fruits. The coffee definitely get our minds running in the best way.


M Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental Boston

Mandarin Oriental’s art book; cover and inside During my stay at Mandarin Oriental Boston, I had received a copy of the hotel’s beautiful (albeit heavy), hardcover art book. Flipping through the pages of the gorgeous photographs of the brand’s various locations, I can’t help but be inspired and hope to travel to their international locations, especially in Hong Kong. Toward the middle-end portion of this book, when I came across the photos of the colorful cocktails (seen above) and made me wanted to have a drink downstairs for my nightcap for the evening. We took the elevators down to the..


Holiday Afternoon Tea at L’Espalier (Boston, MA)

Entrance to L’Espalier; Interior of main dining room; the legendary cheese cart Steps away from the luxurious hotel I stayed in Boston, The Mandarin Oriental, is the equally elegant, AAA Five-Diamond awarded restaurant (and James Beard Award to Chef Frank McClelland), L’Espalier. This restaurant is actually one floor above a bank. You would walk through the doors and be checked in with a host, then you get whisked up viewing the stately bank while riding up to the elegant dining room. I had to have afternoon tea with them to see and taste how a fine dining restaurant would serve..


Bold, Gusty Italian Inspired Food at Coppa (Boston, MA)

Interior and Menu of Coppa Coppa is a very popular, Italian-inspired restaurant run by the chef/owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. This small plates restaurant serves platters of salumi, housemade pasta, and pizza crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. Coppa offers a certain urban charm. It sits on a quieter corner behind Peters Park. The intimacy of the space works well as there is little car traffic. Inside, Coppa’s wedge-shaped room with simple black-and-cream-colored décor is also appealing, especially with the taxidermy pig head donning, when we were there, a Christmas hat, and seats about 40. We were aware of Chef..