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 to..
< 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 Saturday..
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 wine..
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 that..
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 same..
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 sleek,..
Tickets: Entrance; Busy rush at the door; Menu & tweezers I admit I was one of those people who was completely taken by Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode when he and José Andrés dined at Tickets. The restaurant doesn’t look like it’s taking itself too seriously but serving seriously good food. Since I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the gorgeous beaches of Costa Brava and dine at the famous El Bulli prior to its closing on July 30, 2011, Tickets would be the next best thing especially dining with a few friends. As most of you might know,..
At Alkimia’s foyer: Sign; Modern lamp; Looking at the dining area One of our upscale lunches was at Alkimia. Alkimia is walking distance from Gaudi’s awe inspiring masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, which we have visited prior to having lunch here. Alkimia is a modern and sleek restaurant that almost like a fancy art gallery staging for the beautiful food that will be presented. This is a 1* Michelin restaurant led by Chef Jordi Vilà whose modern Catalan cooking that looks minimalist but it tastes so much more than meets the eyes. Spiced crisp topped with macadamia nuts; glass of Vinedo..
At the lobby of Loews Philadelphia Hotel Loews Philadelphia Hotel is a national historical landmark (earned its status in 1979), as it was the first International style skyscraper built in the United States. This building was formerly the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building, or PSFS Building, the nation’s first savings bank. The bank commissioned the construction of a 36-story, 491-foot skyscraper that would provide for the banking and office activities of the Society, designed by architects William Lescaze and George Howe. The bank eventually failed and was bought by developers to turn into a Loews Hotel. Conversion into a hotel..