[Translate] La Colombe Torrefaction, Chicago: Exterior, Interior, delicate flowers by the window, baked goods display As probably most of you might know, I am a die-hard coffee nerd/addict. I do admit that I’m pretty spoiled by the coffee culture as I’m coming from New York City, I have access to a lot of very good to excellent coffee shops here. When I was planning my trip to Chicago, I was mildly freaking out thinking there might be a lack of my essential need in the morning. I don’t want my travel companion to face the ugly side of me when..
[Translate] Exterior, Interiors of Vosges Haut Chocolat in Lincoln Park, Chicago When I visited Chicago, I had to visit Vosges Haut Chocolat mostly because this company is started and based there. I came with a friend to their Lincoln Park, which is considered Vosges’ flagship. It is much larger shop than the one and looks more of a glamorous romantic than the darker, bohemian chic than New York’s SoHo boutique. I find it quite interesting that each store has its own personality rather than having a “cookie cutter” template of how each store should look like. (more…)
[Translate] Exterior of Floriole; Interior; Galette des Rois; Chalkboard listing local, organic sources used; Owner and Head Baker of Floriole Sandra Holl One of my other pastry stops in Chicago was Floriole on a bright weekend morning. The minute I walked up to this bakery with my friend, I had a feeling this was special. The large, welcoming, warm wooden space feels like a second home to me. Local residents lined up the counter waiting to order their cup of coffee or tea and a couple of beautiful golden brown pastries for themselves or family. The gentle scents of butter..
[Translate] Blackbird (exterior), At the dining room, Floral centerpiece at the hostess stand When I was planning for my trip to Chicago, I had was under the presumption that this city’s fine dining lunch is like New York – you have a lot of restaurants who would serve prix fixe menus. Except when I did my research, there’s barely any at all but the little glimmer of hope was Blackbird, a 1* Michelin restaurant and their Executive Chef Paul Kahan was nominated for the James Beard Award (2011). For that kind of esteem, I booked a reservation. (more…)
[Translate] Alliance Bakery’s Exterior, Old-school neon sign, One of its display cases Alliance Bakery located in Wicker Park, Chicago looks like an old-school American bakery with its neon sign but it’s a bakery as well as a pâtisserie. This two-personality bakery, so to speak, is owned by Peter Rios. Mr. Rios was trained as a hotel pastry chef (his previous title and employer before owning this bakery was Executive Pastry Chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago) and had his skills sharpened by working through many well known pâtisseries and in France like Ladurée and won a number of awards..
[Translate] Arami’s windows and at the bar During my vacation/stay in Chicago, Arami was one of my dinner stops here. After some research, this was considered one of the good Japanese spots to have sushi. As a sushi fanatic, I’m excited to eat here and booked a reservation. What surprised me was that even though the restaurant is located almost in the middle of nowhere (I’m used to the packed areas of Manhattan), the sole signage was within the restaurant’s glass windows, indicating its name and address and yet when I entered the dining room, it was pretty busy for..
[Translate] [I suggest you get yourself something cold to drink or a bowl of ice cream, because this will be a long read…] On the second and last full day of staying in Canada, my family hauled our butts early in the morning (at 7 AM) from Niagara Falls to Toronto, which is pretty much an hour and a half drive. The night before we all tucked into our evening’s slumber, I was pretty much coordinating when and where we’re going to eat. I was freaking out over the fact that I want to do a pastry/bread tour in Toronto..
[Translate] [Note: Not much of a food post but at least you know what I did in Upstate NY/Niagara Falls] My journey up North actually started at 2 AM when my entire family hauled our butts from bed, brewed really strong coffee and set out to upstate New York (by car) to go to our first destination – a farm. Yes, as an urbanite, it’s almost a shock to me since I never seen so many rolling green hills and farm animals. NATURE (more…)
[Translate] Hideho! I’m actually writing this very short post just to say “Hi!” to you all from my hotel’s public computer. Just to let you know, Niagara Falls’ food does suck albeit expensive. Toronto’s food scene is pretty darn good if you know where you going. Patisseries and bakeries that I dropped in were pretty awesome – that my family and I had a carb (and cream) fest of a breakfast. You have to stay tuned on that particular post in the coming week. Summerlicious, a Toronto version of NYC’s Restaurant Week is not bad from where my family and I went for..