eating out

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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…)

Dinner and Very Good Drinks at The Tuck Room (NYC)

[Translate] I recently had an after-work dinner with a friend at The Tuck Room and found myself pleasantly surprised to know there is an upscale cocktail bar and restaurant found on the second floor of the iPic movie chain in South Street Seaport. When I peruse through the menu of The Tuck Room, it’s filled with pages of various cocktails that primarily contains New York State spirits and produce. (more…)

Tempo Dulu and Opium at The Danforth (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] The Danforth, as I’ve mentioned on my previous post, is a fantastic, luxury inn and it’s a fascinating place that houses an unexpectedly good upscale Southeast Asian restaurant, Tempo Dulu and a cocktail lounge called Opium. I didn’t have high expectations of eating good Asian cooking since Portland does not have a large Asian population compared to New York City or Boston. I expected great New American, farm-to-table food while I’m in Portland. However, Executive Chef Michael McDonnell and his team cooks dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia while using local ingredients. The food that arrives to..

Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] If there’s something I’m pretty excited to visit in Portland, it would be the famed artisan doughnut shop, Holy Donut founded and owned by Leigh Kellis. All of the doughnuts are hand made and with real, natural ingredients (like fresh blueberries and pomegranate) and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious and there’s some mashed Maine potatoes. (more…)

Brunch at Sonny’s (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Sonny’s is a funky, historical but cool restaurant that has a large bar with two overstuffed couches near the entrance and provides a steady buzz that fills the high-ceilinged rooms overlooking Exchange Street. The ornate, tiled floors and the enormous safe in the back of the restaurant recalls the building’s 19th-century origins as the Portland Savings Bank and the stained-glass windows left over from its incarnation as F. Parker Reidy’s. When you read the brunch menu of Sonny’s, the menu is varied but mainly sticks with the idea of American comfort food with a Latin influence. We started off..

Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Local 188 is a mainstay in Portland since 1999, originally located across the street from its current location, this laid-back eatery is one of the original farm-to-table trendsetters in the area with owner Jay Villani at the helm creating an innovative menu that draws on Spain and the Mediterranean. Local 188 has a relaxed, bohemian vibe with mismatched lounge furniture, including big, comfy couches and retro chairs. It’s a spacious restaurant that can accommodate a variety of needs – dinner, drinks, appetizers, late-night munching – and a mix of patrons. (more…)

Union Restaurant (Portland, ME)

[Translate] Union Restaurant is located within the Press Hotel, just across the street from Portland’s City Hall. It’s a beautiful and inviting, contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant led by Maine native Chef Josh Berry. The menu is thoughtfully designed and divided into broad categories of small plates, large plates, sides and on the bottom of the menu, must haves. We were informed by our waitress that all of the dishes err on the generously portioned. (more…)

Fantastic “New Indian” Fare at Badshah (NYC)

[Translate] We recently had a delicious dinner at Badshah in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a fairly new restaurant with Executive Chef Charles Mani, an alum of Babu Ji, and he was present throughout the entire evening we were there bringing out the food to various diners. He is an effusive, warm chef who deeply cares about how his food tastes and putting an ancient cuisine (Indian) and taking it in a different direction. We started off with drinks of Indian Rose and mango lassi. The latter is self explanatory and we appreciated the yogurt drink wasn’t too sweet but had enough..