eating out

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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…)

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…)