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La Maison du Chocolat for Mother’s Day

[Translate] My longtime favorite French chocolate brand La Maison du Chocolat has many delicious and sophisticated chocolate options for the mother in your life and in a range of budgets. Knowing my mom this long, she’s a woman who adores Champagne and all things elegant so giving her the Effervescence Gift Box is a no brainer. This collection contains a mix of milk ganache with rosé champagne and dark ganache with brut champagne in a rose gold box. The creamy chocolates stand out but meld with each champagne’s flavors wonderfully and it’s never too sweet.

Theatrical Cocktails and Very Good Austrian Fare at Bar Freud (NYC)

[Translate] Being out in Greenwich Village, there’s many options for good cocktails. The relatively new spot that serves delicious (and strong) cocktails with a bit of dramatic flair at Bar Freud. This lovely bar/restaurant is owned by Chef Eduard Frauneder of Edi and the Wolf teamed up with his fellow Austrian Albert Trummer, the ever-inventive mixer of elixirs, and Mr. Trummer’s son, Jakob. (more…)

Altesi Downtown (NYC)

[Translate] If you want of some tiny bit of solace from the craziness of SoHo, there’s Altesi Downtown. This Italian (Tuscan cuisine, to be a little more precise) restaurant is spacious and even though it has a fair amount of diners, it never gets too loud while we were dining there on a recent evening. The dining room features an elevated platform that can open to the street, offering quick alfresco dining. Meanwhile, further to the rear, a wine wall dominates the back of the restaurant as the seats transition into more of a cozy vibe. Visible from all seats..

Dinner at Acqua Restaurant NYC (NYC)

[Translate] There are times when I crave simply cooked seafood in an unpretentious restaurant – and having both requirements eating out is kind of hard to find. But there is Acqua Restaurant. It’s down at the South Street Seaport area and this charming Italian seafood restaurant feels comfortable and cozy during the cold winter’s evening that a friend and I visited. (more…)

2018 Luxury Easter Chocolates

[Translate] This year’s Easter luxury chocolates are colorful, adorable and of course, absolutely delicious. One of my personal favorite French chocolate brand, La Maison du Chocolat has the traditional Easter chocolates like a chocolate rabbit (this one is the Dulcey, seen above the post’s title) filled with foiled covered chocolate praline eggs (both milk and dark chocolate). For something much more playful and whimsical, there are Easter Fish chocolate bars that comes in four varieties. The one shown here is the Clown Fish made of a luscious ivory chocolate, layered with milk praliné with almonds. The fish is available for..

Ophelia Lounge – Come For The Drinks, Stay For The Stunning Views (NYC)

[Translate] There are lots of rooftop bars in New York City. Some would get your attention having the relatively close-up views of the Empire State Building, while others give you another perspective of this grand city. When it comes to Ophelia Lounge at the Beekman Tower from Merchants Hospitality and Public Agenda, it’s a very chic setting with amazing views of Long Island City and the eastern end of Midtown. You’re greeted with soaring 30-foot ceilings and a 24-foot-long pewter bar when you step off the elevator. Vintage lighting and 13-foot windows showcase 360-degree views, while the maroon and red-velvet..

MakiMaki – Fast, Casual Sushi That’s Delicious (NYC)

[Translate] If you ever been to Midtown West, namely the five to seven block radius of Carnegie Hall, you’d be surrounded with the extremes of dining – either it’s incredibly delicious but it’s very expensive (maybe even Michelin starred) or unsatisfying food that is moderately priced (you can do street food cheap with the halal carts but I’m talking about sit-down type of dining). There is a glimmer of hope with MakiMaki, owned and run by Kevin Takarda, offers reasonably priced maki sushi (rolled and cut up) or temaki (hand roll) sushi that is fresh and delicious. Takarada saw a..

Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote (NYC)

[Translate] If you want an easy meal that has a moderately priced, simple, straightforward menu of salad and steak frites, head over to Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote . This restaurant’s name might sound familiar if you been to Paris, as this is the famous Parisian steakhouse in the 17th Arrondissement. (more…)

Very Good Japanese Fare at Sushi Seki Times Square – Kappo Room and Mini Omakase

[Translate] It’s been a while since I’ve dined at Sushi Seki Times Square. What I liked when dining there was primarily for their sushi when I’m in the neighborhood for dinner (may it be for dinner before a show or if I’m meeting up with friends who are near the west side of Manhattan). Recently, this spacious flagship location of the Sushi Seki restaurants started a mini omakase menu at the main floor bar area. If anyone is aware of what an sushi omakase is, these are the chef’s choice of various nigiri sushi that tends to be ten or..