eating out

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Greek Seafood Fare at Akrotiri (Astoria, NY)

[Translate] I am aware I don’t write much about Queens since I feel sometimes Manhattan or Brooklyn has a lot more interesting restaurants shaking up the food scene. But I’ve recently eaten at Akrotiri since I have friends who live nearby and thought might as well check out this Greek seafood restaurant. (more…)

Lunch at Neta (NYC)

[Translate] Neta an unassuming sushi restaurant called Neta, which opened in 2012 among the scruffy bars and cut-rate West Village shoe stores along 8th Street near Sixth Avenue. In the tradition of discreetly ambitious sushiyas everywhere, the façade of the storefront space is painted in black trim and covered in pale curtains. There are a few tables set along the walls inside, but most of the narrow, railroad-car-size space is taken up by the bar, which is made of polished ebony. The gray-shaded room is so devoid of artifice and decoration that it makes me wonder that it’s intentional so..

Contemporary Indian Cuisine at Rahi (NYC)

[Translate] A few nights ago, I had dinner at Rahi with a friend (and a skeptic on Indian cuisine). My sole intention was to have both hopes that this contemporary Indian restaurant would change my friend’s mind on the many great things about Indian cuisine, primarily for its bold and mostly spicy flavors. Did the restaurant change his mind? In the end, yes. My friend is started off with a glass of crisp, clean white Burgundy and I had their homemade ginger beer that was extra ginger-y in a great way. Not too long after our food order was taken,..

Art-Is-In Bakery (Ottawa, Canada)

[Translate] One of my other favorite stop/meals in Ottawa was at Art-Is-In Bakery. This bakery was buzzing with energy and excitement over the food and baked goods served the Saturday morning we were there. The scent is pure toast and crispy pig fat. A growing lineup stretches right out the door from the pastry counter, winding past a display of fine French tarts, beyond metal cooling racks filled with pizzas, signature rustic breads, and baguettes that have become recognizable fixtures at farmers’ markets and sandwich shops all over town. It’s a downtown detour into the parking lot of an industrial..

YO! Sushi (NYC)

[Translate] If you are looking for a casual Japanese meal and it involves with a conveyor sushi belt in the Flatiron district,YO! Sushi is an option. The futuristic looking, British chain restaurant has a long conveyor belt going through about the front half the restaurant, dividing the space with the open kitchen and two-top bench style seating right next to the belt. There were larger tables in the back for parties more than two. The restaurant is generally setup for a quick meal to pick up a couple of those conveyor belt plates but since it’s nicely designed and the..

Crave Fishbar Upper West Side (NYC)

[Translate] I admit I rarely go to the Upper West Side unless it’s attending a show at Lincoln Center, the Museum of National History, or there’s really good food and a few friends are able to meet up with me. For this time around, it’s the latter and we met up at Crave Fishbar (Upper West Side). This spacious second location of the original (in Midtown East) is a seafood restaurant that is inviting with the spacious bar area with a dedicated oyster shucking area and the charming herringbone wood ceiling. What makes this particular restaurant brand unique is it..

Unique Flavors of Booza at Republic of Booza (Brooklyn, NY)

[Translate] If you want delicious and unique type of ice cream, you should go to Republic of Booza. Booza is an Arabic ice cream known for its stretchy texture and resistance to melting (at regular ice cream temperatures). It is claimed to be one of the oldest forms of ice cream, and is most commonly found in the Levant. For the most part, booza is made with standard ice cream ingredients like milk, cream, and various flavorings, though it does not contain any egg. The base does get mixed with salep and mastic, however salep is a flour traditionally made..

Luxurious Dining at Le Baccara at Casino du Lac-Leamy (Gatineau, Canada)

[Translate] We had dinner at Le Baccara. It might seem a little unusual to have dinner in a casino that is about 10 minutes away from downtown Ottawa but I couldn’t help but be curious how is it like to dine there. It is a five-star French restaurant where service is first class, from the choice of complimentary spring or sparkling water to the fresh linen napkin waiting every time you return to your table. We had a table by the window with a lovely view and see kayakers paddling around. (more…)

Wonderful Stay at Fairmont Le Château Montebello & A Visit to Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site (Montebello, Canada)

[Translate] If all of you are wondering why did I go to Montebello? It’s because it’s close to Ottawa (about an hour away by car) and I wanted to be away from the city (any, not just New York). Fairmont Le Château Montebello Montebello is located on a bank of the Ottawa River with its own marina. This grand log-built hotel provides rustic luxury, local flavor, beautiful grounds, great views, and heaps of activities to do for both summer and winter. It’s an annual family destination for many well-heeled Canadians (or tourist within the northeastern part of the U.S., it..