Food Reviews

Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Local 188 is a mainstay in Portland since 1999, originally located across the street from its current location, this laid-back eatery is one of the original farm-to-table trendsetters in the area with owner Jay Villani at the helm creating an innovative menu that draws on Spain and the Mediterranean. Local 188 has a relaxed, bohemian vibe with mismatched lounge furniture, including big, comfy couches and retro chairs. It’s a spacious restaurant that can accommodate a variety of needs – dinner, drinks, appetizers, late-night munching – and a mix of patrons. (more…)

Union Restaurant (Portland, ME)

[Translate] Union Restaurant is located within the Press Hotel, just across the street from Portland’s City Hall. It’s a beautiful and inviting, contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant led by Maine native Chef Josh Berry. The menu is thoughtfully designed and divided into broad categories of small plates, large plates, sides and on the bottom of the menu, must haves. We were informed by our waitress that all of the dishes err on the generously portioned. (more…)

Fantastic “New Indian” Fare at Badshah (NYC)

[Translate] We recently had a delicious dinner at Badshah in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a fairly new restaurant with Executive Chef Charles Mani, an alum of Babu Ji, and he was present throughout the entire evening we were there bringing out the food to various diners. He is an effusive, warm chef who deeply cares about how his food tastes and putting an ancient cuisine (Indian) and taking it in a different direction. We started off with drinks of Indian Rose and mango lassi. The latter is self explanatory and we appreciated the yogurt drink wasn’t too sweet but had enough..

Restaurant Lakasa (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] One of our dinners was at Lakasa in Chamberi. We were pretty excited for this dinner as we have heard good things about this restaurant that does cook according to the seasons and Chef César Martín and his team cooks meat very well (this is to appease one of my picky diners). This restaurant is a beautiful, open dining space with large windows and a large bar/lounge room when you enter. We sat by the windows and our waiter was thoughtful to leave us a tablet with the English version of its menu. (more…)

Tapas at Restaurante Jose Luis (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] We had one of those nights where we wanted to stay in close to our hotel, Barceló Emperatriz since it was a long day of sightseeing Madrid. Our concierge has suggested Restaurante Jose Luis for tapas and it’s about a ten-minute walk. An institution for over 50 years, Jose Luis has locations throughout Madrid, as well as in Sevilla and Barcelona. But the original is in the prestigious Calle Serrano in Madrid. A fashionable establishment of the 60’s, artists, writers, and professionals were drawn by the ambient and the large variety of tapas. Today’s crowd is a mix of..

Recent Recipes

Pork Dai Bao (“Big Bun” 大包)

[Translate] I had the rare cravings for dai bao or what’s literally translated as “big bun” (大包) from Cantonese but originated from Guangdong. These huge steamed buns that’s about the size of a medium grapefruit is densely stuffed with a mixture of pork, a hard boiled egg, Chinese sausage, and mushrooms. The bread itself is more of a sweeter, cake-y, fluffy kind of texture. The issue is the old school Chinese bakeries in NYC’s Chinatown sadly doesn’t make it as good as it used to be and not many places make it either. Since I know how to make dumplings..

Gluten-Free Pistachio Lemon Cake from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

[Translate] Wilderness Poets’ raw nuts and nut butters; President’s Imported Cultured Butters and Cheeses; My copy of Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook; Homemade pistachio lemon cake, Momofuku Milk Bar’s recipe This weekend was my birthday and for those of you who read this site often enough, my annual tradition is to bake my own birthday cake. Ever since this summer, I’ve been browsing through Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and wanting to bake from her book. One of the recipes in there was one of my favorite cakes from the Milk Bar, the pistachio lemon. I love pistachio. It’s my..

OXO & Plated Very Vegetarian Recipe Challenge – Apple Fennel Carrot Salad

[Translate] OXO Good Grips Vegetarian tools and some of the tools used for salad OXO and Plated chose me as one of the few bloggers for this “very vegetarian recipe challenge.” I honestly thought it’s great time for me to go on a relative vegetable cleanse for my diet since I attended and ate at many food events (just look back a few posts or my Twitter and you’ll see what I mean). Since autumn is here, believe it or not, that means apples are at its peak and root vegetables like fennel and carrots are becoming abundant, those were..