eating out

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Lunch with a Spectacular View of Florence at B-Roof at Grand Hotel Baglioni Firenze (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I was researching my trip to Florence several moths ago, I have come to understand that food in Florence is fairly traditional. Tuscan food is based on the Italian idea of cucina povera or “poor cooking.” A concept that started very literally, it’s about simple meals that are inexpensive and could easily be made in large amounts. Today it remains largely the same – but by choice instead of economy. Tuscan cooking doesn’t use complicated seasonings or elaborate creations because they’re not needed. Instead it’s made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring out the natural flavors in each..

Modern Sicilian at Arà è Sud (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When you travel through Florence, almost all of the food you will encounter will be traditional Tuscan fare that tends to be the hearty food because of its longtime history of cooking peasant food. Arà è Sud is a good option if you are looking for Sicilian fare that is tends to be lighter with the extensive use of seafood in its cooking but it’s still flavorful. Arà è Sud is a bistro type of restaurant that has a casual vibe but serves really good Sicilian food led by Chef Carmelo Pannocchietti. (more…)

Dinner at Restaurant Assaje at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese Rome (1* Michelin)

[Translate] A 19th-century convent that was converted to a hotel, Aldrovandi Villa Borghese has carried a certain panache for years. Another special aspect of this hotel, which sits on the edge of the Villa Borghese garden, is that all of its opulence with antique furniture and wall tapestries when you walk at through the lobby/reception area. When we were escorted down to Restaurant Assaje, we had to walk through a small portion the beautiful garden. The restaurant itself is lovely for the elegant, minimalist with gray and white monotone color scheme that makes feel calm and make you focus on..

Dinner at Glass Hostaria (Rome, Italy, 1* Michelin)

[Translate] I’ve recently traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy! Both cities were great and they definitely have different personalities despite both places have a lot of pride for their city. The posts I will be putting up are going to be in relative random order rather than chronological. I will start off with a very good, creative dinner at Glass Hostaria led by its chef and proprietor Cristina Bowerman. Almost as renowned for its design as it is for its food, Glass Hostaria is a culinary fixture of the historic alleyways of Rome. The restaurant itself is a wonderful mix..

Dinner at Le Coucou (NYC)

[Translate] When you think of recent restaurant openings for the past few years (decade, really), it feels like elegant fine dining is dying. There are a select few restaurants that really drum up the food press of fine dining are places like the revamp of the legendary Four Seasons hotel’s restaurants led by the Major Food Group — and where I chose to celebrate my mother’s birthday at Le Coucou that opened about a year ago. Once you enter the doors of Le Coucou, it feels grand and sophisticated with the large circular chandeliers, plush leather stuffed banquettes but with..

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)

[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)

[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…)