Upper East Side


Mondo Lambrusco Dinner featuring Chef Cesare Casella & 1* Michelin Chef Emilio Barbieri at Salumeria il Ristorante

Chef Emilio Barbieri & Chef Cesare Casella; the menu and the bar/dining room area A few nights ago, Chef Cesare Casella and Chef Emilio Barbieri cooked together at Chef Casella’s latest restaurant Il Ristorante in the Upper East Side. (This special one-night dinner is $110 per person.) Chef Barbieri is the executive chef of the 1* Michelin restaurant Strada Facendo in Modena, Italy. His style of cooking is taking flavors and scents of his childhood in Reggio Emilia and make it contemporary. This special collaboration occurred primarily for Mondo Lambrusco, an annual event to promote Lambrusco wines (a young bubbly,..

Bareburger (Upper East Side)

Interior; Banana raspberry shake & Sweet Potato Croqs The idea of Bareburger started in 2009 and is currently a micro-chain of organic burger restaurants. As of today, they have ten locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The restaurants are environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly. The menu features a variety of meats, including traditional beef, chicken, turkey and lamb; exotic options such as elk, bison, ostrich and boar; and mushroom, veggie and black bean burgers for our vegetarian and vegan diners. I went for Sunday brunch with a friend at their Upper East Side location when it was one of those rare..

Japanese Sake Tasting Event at the Ambassador of Japan’s Home

On Wednesday night, I was one of the limited number of honored guests who were invited by Japan Sake Association and Ambassador and Consul of Japan into the stately home of Ambassador of Japan, Shigeyuki Hiroki in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We were treated to an informal sake seminar, led by Dr. Masaki Okuda, as to how sake is made, the process, grading and what differentiates sake from wine and beer.

Ladurée Holiday Party in NYC 2012

At Ladurée’s Holiday Party On Thursday night, I was invited to Ladurée‘s New York City flagship location for their first holiday party. Their windows were decked out in ornate holiday attire of gold and rich forest green. Attendees were chic Upper East Siders and fashionable people (I saw Frederic Fekkai, the famous hair stylist to the celebrities and Reed Krakoff, the handbag and clothing designer, and Mr. Krakoff’s wife) while I was there.

Francois Payard’s Newest Flagship FP Patisserie in Upper East Side

Exterior & Macaron towers by the window To those of you who are native New Yorkers like myself or lived here for almost a decade, you would be aware of Payard Patisserie & Bistro, an Upper East Side institution that closed on June 2009 because his landlord raised the rent by a ridiculous rate. We were shocked about the loss and disheartened that Chef Payard would return back to the neighborhood over the years as the many rumors were false that he’s opening there. But within a couple of weeks ago, he did do a opening preview of this flagship..

Dinner at Papadam

Interior, Menu, Papadam with chutneys, Indian inspired cocktails Papadam located in the Upper East Side is one of the fewest neighborhoods I would imagine having very good traditional Indian food at a very reasonable price that we went on a recent Saturday night. Admittedly, I’m a novice to the realm of Indian cuisine but I am fascinated by the complexity of flavors and spices used in their food and I think this restaurant is a good stepping stone. This narrow restaurant that has an exposed brick wall with a long leather banquette looks pleasant and relaxing to be in. We’re..

Maison Kayser in NYC

Interior of Maison Kayser and pastries in the display case Maison Kayser opened its first New York City bakery/café back in early last month. This international artisanal bakery was prevalent in Paris when I vacationed at that amazing city back in 2010 (here’s my photo set of just that bakery’s visit in Paris). Back then when I researched the numerous boulangeries (bread bakeries) and patisseries (pastry bakeries), Kayser was mainly known for baking excellent breads (which was true) and does a good job on the pastries (I didn’t get to try them in Paris, only loaves of bread). Since Kayser..

Rosé and Macarons at Ladurée for its SoHo Opening Announcement

Ladurée’s window Last Wednesday, Ladurée thrown an intimate party for a select group of VIPs to celebrate its (almost) one year anniversary and their official announcement (of the long rumored) opening in SoHo (to read more details at The New York Times’ article toward the end). Essentially, this SoHo boutique will be at the current Barolo space at 398 West Broadway (at Broome Street). It will feature the famed tea salon and pâtisserie that most of us who been to Paris knows and craves, and a large garden. Supposedly, this would be the largest flagship, even larger than their Champs-Élysées,..

Best Graduation Gift Ever from La Maison du Chocolat – Andalouise Cake

I’ve been a long time fan of La Maison du Chocolat‘s sublime French chocolates and pastries, founded by chocolatier Robert Linxe in 1977. I even had the privilege to have a tour of their factory in Paris two years ago because they were aware of my fanaticism. Even though their name does mean (when translated from French) “The Chocolate House” they are more than just chocolates, they create the most sublime and beautiful cakes, eclairs and French macarons. Since we’ve known each other for a few years shy of a decade, they’ve known of my graduation from graduate school and..