[Translate] Valentine’s Day is coming up and the award winning gin, Bluecoat American Dry Gin has asked me to create a Valentine’s Day inspired cocktail. Instead of doing another cocktail, I wanted a challenge and create a boozy cocktail dessert. Everyone knows baba al rum is a French classic yeast-risen cake soaked in lots of sweet rum syrup and possibly served with a side of fluffy whipped cream. Technically, this yeast cake is a great sponge to soak in any booze or flavored syrup you can dream of. I thought, “Why not something with gin?” Bluecoat gin is a beautiful,..
[Translate] Interiors of Ocean Grounds; Jim Lee the owner of Ocean Grounds Coffee When you travel to China, it’s generally hard to find a very good cup of coffee. I’m talking about the Third Wave kind of places we have in the U.S. like Stumptown or Blue Bottle, not that international chain that has a bright grass green logo with a white mermaid printed over it or similar ones that are born from Asian countries. I’ve “discovered” Ocean Grounds Coffee owned and run by Jim Lee. Lee is an American-born Chinese expat trying to educate the local Chinese what is..
[Translate] Lobby of Le Méridien; Interior of 789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge 66th Floor; The view from our room on the lounge’s 66th Floor Le Royal Méridien’s 789 Bar is another great spot to enjoy cocktails and a wide selection of Champagne. What makes this hotel bar stand out from others is the 360-degree uninterrupted views of Shanghai since the hotel is the tallest in Puxi and bar takes up the 65th and 66th floors. On the lower level, plush crimson armchairs gathered in intimate clusters encourage quiet conversation. Live music, original modern artwork and soft lighting underscore the..
[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..
[Translate] I had the good fortune to visit the New York Palace Hotel recently. Granted, I’ve eaten the wonderful, whimsical, and delicious confections of Chef Michel Richard’s at Pomme Palais during the holiday season. But that evening of potently good cocktails, dining at Villard Michel Richard, and go up to one of the hotel’s signature Tower suite, the Jewel Suite, it’s incomparable. The New York Palace is an historical landmark that is a combination of the Villard Houses and the Helmsley Tower. The Villard House was built in 1882 and was originally owned by Henry Villard, a well-known railroad financier...
[Translate] 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..
[Translate] Exterior of Nectar; Looking down the dining room; Tall ceilings with dramatic orange lampshades; Executive Chef/Partner Patrick Feury and interior of main dining room Nectar is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Philly, where we eventually end up in a town that sort of feels like the Hamptons in New York. Dotted with small strip malls along the road and some, like this restaurant, are large freestanding places. When you enter the heavy doors of Nectar, you would encounter a soaring, dramatic space designed by David Rockwell that is centered by a huge Buddha tapestry and a U-shaped sushi..
[Translate] Hawker Bar exterior, back garden & menus Hawker Bar focuses on foods from Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on street food like skewers of chicken hearts dunked in sake and soy sauce. This space used to be the Sunburnt Calf, where many locals adored this bar to have a drink and conversation in this Prospect Heights neighborhood. Cocktails No. 1 & 3 Their cocktails were very refreshing for the humid evening we were there. The No 1 (on right) made of 42 Below Vodka, Thai Basil infusion, rhubarb bitters, lemon juice, and soda. The No 3 Zu Bison Grass..
[Translate] I recently ate at Mihoko 21 Grams last week for an event. Exterior, interior, one of the tables, shelf of top-shelf liquor, the beautiful crowd This restaurant is founded by a former Japanese ballerina, Mihoko. She collected most of the items from her travels and used them to decorate and/or be sold at this restaurant such as these rare, utilitarian teapots I photograped. The dining room space is gorgeous, it feels and looks like I’m eating at a Baroque dining room. It’s opulent but it’s not overdone. The name of this restaurant is refers to the purported weight of..