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Bold, Gusty Italian Inspired Food at Coppa (Boston, MA)

[Translate] Interior and Menu of Coppa Coppa is a very popular, Italian-inspired restaurant run by the chef/owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. This small plates restaurant serves platters of salumi, housemade pasta, and pizza crafted from local, seasonal ingredients. Coppa offers a certain urban charm. It sits on a quieter corner behind Peters Park. The intimacy of the space works well as there is little car traffic. Inside, Coppa’s wedge-shaped room with simple black-and-cream-colored décor is also appealing, especially with the taxidermy pig head donning, when we were there, a Christmas hat, and seats about 40. We were aware of..

Mandarin Hotel Boston – Excellence & Luxury in the Back Bay

[Translate] During our holiday weekend getaway to Boston, we stayed at Mandarin Oriental located in the Back Bay neighborhood. This hotel is luxury at its best. When you enter the spacious lobby, which was designed with local granite and artwork, a traditional New England color scheme and the principles of feng shui. The lobby’s long, gas fireplace is a wonderful place to relax surrounded by fresh flower arrangements, tasteful Christmas decorations, and personable staff ready to create a quiet oasis within the busy city hotel. It’s situated in the heart of an equivalent to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue shopping area; near..

Afternoon Holiday Tea at Fairmont Battery Wharf – Not Your Grandmother’s Tea

[Translate] Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Battery Wharf is what I would consider, a modern take of what the age-old version of afternoon tea. Their dining room is streamlined and modern, evoking a luxury yacht with cozy touches like comfortable leather sofas and chairs, a fireplace toward the back, and floor to ceiling windows looking out to the majestic wharf. It’s more of a handsome place rather than a feminine or frilly dining room. The food has a modern take to it and service is friendly and not uptight. The diners there were a mix of tourists and locals who..

Driving to Boston, MA with the luxurious Cadillac CTS

[Translate] My 2014 Cadilac CTS: At home and in Boston This past holiday weekend, the luxurious American automobile company, Cadillac lent me their best car to me, the fully equipped 2014 CTS Sedan. It’s a striking, powerful car with a 3.6L V6 engine, premium Bose® Active Noise Cancellation sound system, plenty of leg room – even in the rear seats – and it’s loaded with tons of safety features with the Driver Awareness Package (like the rear view cameras, Safety Alert Seat, etc.). I’m highlighting a few details but it’s truly a fantastic car. Since I have this amazing car..

Thoughtful Asian-Spanish Fusion at Dos Palillos (Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] < One of the unique meals I’ve eaten in Barcelona was at the 1* Michelin restaurant, Dos Palillos. Dos Palillos technically has two locations, one being in Barcelona (where I ate and the original location) and Berlin, Germany. It’s a thoughtful, fusion restaurant merging Asian, mostly Japanese, cuisine with Spanish food sensibilities; not some weird mash-up of cuisines that doesn’t make sense on a plate. The results were mostly good (with a few dishes bringing up my childhood memories) but a few little details that could have made certain dishes excellent. This place is very popular, especially on the..

Dinner at Espai Sucre (Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] Interior of Espai Sucre; Our Amuses; Pouring Josep M Ferret Guasch Gran Reserva Brut Nature Cava Espai Sucre in Barcelona means “Sugar Space.” It’s an intriguing restaurant and cooking school concept started by patissier Jordi Butrón. The menu is mostly devoted to tapas-style desserts that has a few savory dishes. The school aspect is teaches both the professional and amateur students. We headed here for dinner since we do adore desserts and their savory dishes does read tasty. Entering this minimalist decor dining room is a mix of Industrial (open steel racks containing glass jars of colorful candies and..

Beachside, Leisurely Lunch by the Beach at Xiringuito Escribà (Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] Xiringuito Escribà: Exterior, Interior, Table setting When you go to Barcelona and want to be out and about on a Sunday, you should plan to do little or an activity that can take a very long time because many shops and museums don’t open on a Sunday. It’s an European thing, I guess, to pace yourself and enjoy the weekend before the grind of the work week comes. Unlike in New York City, where it’s the norm for a shop open seven days a week unless it’s a major holiday. We were fortunate to have a sunny, balmy Sunday..

Pasteleria Escribà (La Rambla location, Barcelona, Spain)

[Translate] Interior of the cafe; Savory mini bocadillos; various pastries on display One of the mornings while we’re in Barcelona, one of my friends who were traveling with me was up at an early morning and wanted a very simple breakfast (unlike the hearty one we had at El Quim). And well, our mutual friend was still in deep sleep and refuses to get up. We did recall while walking to the Boqueria was this small bakery on the Rambla called Pasteleria Escribà. This bakery brand (it has two locations) was established in 1906 and is still owned by the..

Vioko (Barcelona, Spain) – Upscale Chocolates and Delicious Gelati

[Translate] During our vacation to Barcelona, we stopped by Vioko since we’ve read the shop has some seriously good gelati (plural for gelato or an Italian version of ice cream) that has more than the basic flavors. Since we were near the beaches of Barcelona and it was a very warm, mid-October afternoon (the high temperature then was near 80°F) this was a great idea. Vioko is owned and run by pastry chef Lucila Baiardi (photographed above), an Argentine expat who studied the fine art of pastry around various kitchens in Europe and eventually settled in Barcelona to open this..