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Amazing Luxury Bed & Breakfast at Canto degli Scali (Florence, Italy)

Amazing Luxury Bed & Breakfast at Canto degli Scali (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I arrived to Florence, I stayed at the luxurious apartment at Canto degli Scali. This place is a beautifully restored and converted from a 14th century palace in the center of Florence into a series of charming apartments. Each of these units has been named after a Florentine “Canto” and they are all furnished with custom fittings. This makes them exquisitely unique and gives our hosts the impression of being in a real home from home. The idea for this project came from two brothers, Marco and Alessio Ducceschi, who were personally responsible for the restyled design of..
Amazing Truffles from Gourmet Attitude

Amazing Truffles from Gourmet Attitude

[Translate] Gourmet Attitude is a New York City-based truffle importer since April 2003 by Céline Labaune. Ms. Labaune always brought the best truffles for her company and ultimately for us, the consumer. Of course, truffles are one of the few ultimate food luxuries to have and I’ve been given the task to create a couple of truffle recipes using Gourmet Attitude’s exceptional truffles. (I am forever humbled and grateful to Gourmet Attitude for sending me their gorgeous and delicious fresh truffles and truffle products to play with (in terms of recipes) and of course, eat.) (more…)
Dinner at Restaurant Assaje at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese Rome (1* Michelin)

Dinner at Restaurant Assaje at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese Rome (1* Michelin)

[Translate] A 19th-century convent that was converted to a hotel, Aldrovandi Villa Borghese has carried a certain panache for years. Another special aspect of this hotel, which sits on the edge of the Villa Borghese garden, is that all of its opulence with antique furniture and wall tapestries when you walk at through the lobby/reception area. When we were escorted down to Restaurant Assaje, we had to walk through a small portion the beautiful garden. The restaurant itself is lovely for the elegant, minimalist with gray and white monotone color scheme that makes feel calm and make you focus on..
Holiday Gift Guide (2017)

Holiday Gift Guide (2017)

[Translate] This year flew warp speed for me that it’s hard to come to terms with reality that it’s almost the end of the year! It’s the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season so here’s some of my picks for the holiday gift guide: If you really want to impress your giftee with one of the ultimate and most luxurious food items in the world—fresh truffles from Gourmet Attitude. When the delivery person walks up to your door with the package of these tubers, you can smell the intense, earthy aroma (prices start at $50 per ounce and up)...
Dinner at Glass Hostaria (Rome, Italy, 1* Michelin)

Dinner at Glass Hostaria (Rome, Italy, 1* Michelin)

[Translate] I’ve recently traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy! Both cities were great and they definitely have different personalities despite both places have a lot of pride for their city. The posts I will be putting up are going to be in relative random order rather than chronological. I will start off with a very good, creative dinner at Glass Hostaria led by its chef and proprietor Cristina Bowerman. Almost as renowned for its design as it is for its food, Glass Hostaria is a culinary fixture of the historic alleyways of Rome. The restaurant itself is a wonderful mix..

New York Taste 2017

[Translate] New York magazine’s annual signature event New York Taste is always a fun and delicious event that closes out the year with the large NYC food events. This event featured more than forty of the city’s most celebrated chefs, mixologists, and rising stars. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to City Harvest to help fight hunger in New York City. Some of the chefs/bartenders and their restaurants that attended that evening were Neal Harden of abcV, Jessi Singh of Babu Ji, Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit, Kenta Goto of Bar Goto, Daniel Alvarez of..

Travel

Amazing Luxury Bed & Breakfast at Canto degli Scali (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I arrived to Florence, I stayed at the luxurious apartment at Canto degli Scali. This place is a beautifully restored and converted from a 14th century palace in the center of Florence into a series of charming apartments. Each of these units has been named after a Florentine “Canto” and they are all furnished with custom fittings. This makes them exquisitely unique and gives our hosts the impression of being in a real home from home. The idea for this project came from two brothers, Marco and Alessio Ducceschi, who were personally responsible for the restyled design of..

Dinner at Restaurant Assaje at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese Rome (1* Michelin)

[Translate] A 19th-century convent that was converted to a hotel, Aldrovandi Villa Borghese has carried a certain panache for years. Another special aspect of this hotel, which sits on the edge of the Villa Borghese garden, is that all of its opulence with antique furniture and wall tapestries when you walk at through the lobby/reception area. When we were escorted down to Restaurant Assaje, we had to walk through a small portion the beautiful garden. The restaurant itself is lovely for the elegant, minimalist with gray and white monotone color scheme that makes feel calm and make you focus on..

Dinner at Glass Hostaria (Rome, Italy, 1* Michelin)

[Translate] I’ve recently traveled to Rome and Florence, Italy! Both cities were great and they definitely have different personalities despite both places have a lot of pride for their city. The posts I will be putting up are going to be in relative random order rather than chronological. I will start off with a very good, creative dinner at Glass Hostaria led by its chef and proprietor Cristina Bowerman. Almost as renowned for its design as it is for its food, Glass Hostaria is a culinary fixture of the historic alleyways of Rome. The restaurant itself is a wonderful mix..

Tempo Dulu and Opium at The Danforth (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] The Danforth, as I’ve mentioned on my previous post, is a fantastic, luxury inn and it’s a fascinating place that houses an unexpectedly good upscale Southeast Asian restaurant, Tempo Dulu and a cocktail lounge called Opium. I didn’t have high expectations of eating good Asian cooking since Portland does not have a large Asian population compared to New York City or Boston. I expected great New American, farm-to-table food while I’m in Portland. However, Executive Chef Michael McDonnell and his team cooks dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia while using local ingredients. The food that arrives to..

The Danforth Inn (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Raymond Brunyanszki, owner of Camden Harbour Inn and its Natalie’s Restaurant — two located in mid-coast Maine — had wanted to open an upscale Southeast Asian restaurant ever since he worked in the region as a tour guide early in his career. He knew he found the right place when he walked into The Danforth Inn while scouting Portland for a second hotel location. The building’s brick exterior and white columns exude elegance. Brunyanszki purchased the Danforth in May 2014 and has been renovating each of the 1823 hotel’s nine rooms, one by one, while keeping the property open..

Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] If there’s something I’m pretty excited to visit in Portland, it would be the famed artisan doughnut shop, Holy Donut founded and owned by Leigh Kellis. All of the doughnuts are hand made and with real, natural ingredients (like fresh blueberries and pomegranate) and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious and there’s some mashed Maine potatoes. (more…)

Recent Recipes

Pear Coffee Cake

[Translate] I love coffee cake, especially those with huge knobs of buttery crumb topping and have it with a cup of coffee. When I came across the pear coffee cake recipe from the famed restaurant team of Eleven Madison Park’s book, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes it struck me as an interesting variation of that cake since I never had it made with fruit. Since it is a fancy recipe with no calories spared, I thought of toning down the fat content ever so slightly by replacing the crème fraîche with Icelandic Provisions skyr. Skyr is a cultured product..

Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

[Translate] When it comes to the holiday season and I’m entertaining my family and friends, it’s a constant feeding, baking/cooking frenzy that I have to get up at the early hours of the morning to prep for the day of the big dinner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, you name it). The best way to keep the crowds at bay and away from the kitchen is to provide them with snacks and a drink. While it’s easy to provide them with bowls of fresh roast nuts and platters of cheese and charcuterie, I like to give them something savory like these..

Whole Wheat Pistachio Yogurt Cakes and Pistachio Crust, Pistachio-Orange, Balsamic Vinegar Tarts with California Figs

[Translate] I go through food moods that I will obsess on a certain dish or ingredient for an intense period of time and seek them whenever I go out to eat. Figs was (and sort of is still) my ingredient obsession ever since I was having an incredible lunch at Joel Robouchon in Monte Carlo and saw and ate slices of the gorgeous, gold leafed fig tarts on the dessert cart and the best ones I’ve had were from the large, juicy, super ripe figs from Cours Saleya market in Nice. Figs hold a special place in my heart because..