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New Year’s Eve Eve Dinner at Gramercy Tavern

[Translate] As long as you might have learned by now, my dear readers, Gramercy Tavern is my perennial favorite restaurant in New York City. Besides the fact it’s consistently a 1* Michelin restaurant and firmly believes in serving seasonal food philosophy and as local as possible, the food (both sweet and savory) is incredibly delicious, service was approachable yet professional, and it feels rustically refined here. We went to there for the eve of New Year’s Eve just to celebrate without the crazy hubbub of crowds. Except that was the Platonic ideal. Many diners packed in but it makes for..

Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests. The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles,..

Brunch at Central Michel Richard

[Translate] We had Sunday brunch at Central Michel Richard is a six-year old restaurant that still manage to cook delicious American food with a touch of French flair. This restaurant was conveniently close to the National Mall. Festively decorated and bustling with the holiday brunch crowd, our server still managed to be friendly and efficient. It’s an upscale bistro that serves a very fair priced prix fixe menu for $25 and bottomless drinks $10. We started off with drinks of Bellini, Bloody Mary, mimosa, and orange juice — all were nicely made. One of my friends started out with the..

Very Solid Malaysian at Rasa

[Translate] At Rasa One of the most underrated Asian cuisines in New York could arguably be Malaysian. Malaysian food is incredibly vibrant, sometimes spicy and tantalizes the palate with so many different tastes and flavors. On a random craving, we headed to Rasa for a quick but flavorful dinner down in West Village. We started off with their skewers of chicken satay. Tender slightly smoky chicken meat with the thick peanut sauce was delicious. (more…)

Luskus at Tørst (Brooklyn, NY; 1* Michelin 2015)

[Translate] Luskus at Tørst is a unique, 1* Michelin tasting menu only restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. When you’re around this particular neighborhood, Tørst is a beer-only bar and it’s certainly no dive bar either. My friends and I hanged out with a mix of locals, hipsters, yuppies, and to our relative surprise, business people from Denmark in casual suits while waiting for our table. So you’re wondering, where is Luskus? It’s actually behind the heavy sliding door in back. Luskus is a small shoebox dining room that might fit around two dozen diners with an open kitchen with three cooks..

The Hundred Foot Journey DVD Release Dinner at White Street Restaurant

[Translate] The private room where we dined; Chef Floyd Cardoz; Richard Morais In celebration of the December 2nd Blu-ray and DVD release of The Hundred-Foot Journey — starring Helen Mirren, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. I was invited to join the author of the novel that this movie adapted Richard Morais and Chef Floyd Cardoz (Executive Chef of White Street) who was one of the four culinary consultants for the movie, and others, for an exclusive culinary experience and discussions about the film, culinary arts, food and family dining at White Street. What..

Great Japanese Kaiseki at Kyo Ya (1* Michelin)

[Translate] On a recent weekend, D and I had an excellent, multi-course, seasonal kaiseki dinner at Kyo Ya. This hidden gem, 1* Michelin Japanese restaurant is found in East Village and it’s opened at least six years now. The restaurant does not have a website, any social media channels, and if you want to make a reservation (you need to make one at least 2 days in advance for a kaiseki), it has to be done the old school way — calling them. Even when you arrive at the restaurant, the only sign posted is “Open” and leads you to..

Great Roman-Style Pizza at Marta

[Translate] Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Chef Nick Anderer (formerly of Maialino), recently started a rustic Roman pizzeria, Marta inside the Martha Washington Hotel. A self-proclaimed Rome fanatic, Anderer fell in love with the capital city’s thin, crackly crusted rounds, which he pulls from two wood-burning ovens and a nine-foot-long wood grill. This place was buzzing within the first few weeks of opening. Tables were fully booked when my friend and I thought just to head over there for dinner on a recent, cold and wet, early Saturday evening. Since we didn’t have reservations at least they have..

All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

[Translate] One of our most expensive dinners while we were in China was at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai. What makes the place expensive? They specialize in the coveted hairy crabs (大閘蟹) ever since the Qing Dynasty (around 1640s) and they are primarily shrimp. Hairy crabs are a seasonal delicacy only found in Asia. The small window of time when the female crabs produce the coveted roe (during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year, meaning during the autumn season). We ordered a feast just all about this delicious crab, from whole steamed hairy crab (our..