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Creative Breakfast at Mortar & Pestle (Chicago, IL)

Creative Breakfast at Mortar & Pestle (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] If you’re searching for a really creative breakfast in Chicago, I highly suggest going to Mortar & Pestle in the Lakeview neighborhood. This daytime restaurant is spacious with a cozy, rustic look. There’s a long wooden communal table in the center of the room surrounded with two tops and four tops. The menu is eclectic since it varies ranging from fried cheese curds, classic English breakfast, chicken paprikash to foie gras and eggs. As someone who’s jaded seeing and having the typical eggs benedict, waffles and pancakes for breakfast, I’m pretty stoked to see an interesting menu that crosses..
Sophisticated Cocktails at The Berkshire Room (Chicago, IL)

Sophisticated Cocktails at The Berkshire Room (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] One of the best bars in Chicago we went to was The Berkshire Room inside the Acme Hotel in River North by the Fifty/50 group. The Berkshire Room is an old-time cocktail lounge that harks back to when the hotel was called The Berkshire Hotel from the 1920s to 1950s. The space is dark and cozy with black-and-white tiled floors and a long, glossy bar. (more…)
Very Fresh Noodles (NYC)

Very Fresh Noodles (NYC)

[Translate] Very Fresh Noodles is one of the newest casual restaurant additions to the Chelsea Market that serves steaming bowls of biang biang noodles. It’s a small stall that has one chef stretching and pulling the fresh balls of dough with such force that you hear the broad bands of dough vibrate at the pull and loud thwack on to the counter. It’s a popular place to have these bowls of delicious noodles that even arriving during opening time on a Saturday morning, there’s a small crowd of people patiently waiting for their food. The flavor profiles of these noodles..
Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

[Translate] If there’s a place to be to have afternoon tea in its most classic form and have great people watching, you should head to Palm Court at The Drake Chicago. There’s a harpist performing on certain times of the hour. Since its opening in the 1920’s, The Drake Hotel has maintained a British vibe becoming the home away from home for many of Britain’s royal family starting with the Prince of Wales who stayed there in 1924. Other royals — both British and non-British — have continued the tradition including Princess Diana and the Empress of Japan. Drake’s afternoon..
Dinner at Virginia’s (NYC)

Dinner at Virginia’s (NYC)

[Translate] Virginia’s is located in the far east side of East Village that serves a tightly edited menu that showcases eclectic American cuisine and their cocktail program is strong. The look is old-world bistro (marble bar, smoked mirrors, tan banquettes, vintage restaurant menus) and it feels like an elegantly easygoing neighborhood restaurant. We started out with a Maplebrook Farms Burrata that’s set on a pistachio, salsa verde spiked with yuzu kosho and a glass of Henry Varnay Ugni Blanc Brut, Loire NV. The burrata was fresh and it had good flavors but it lacked the unctuous creamy center that’s expected..
Dinner at Steadfast (Chicago, IL)

Dinner at Steadfast (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] Steadfast is a hotel restaurant tucked within the Kimpton Gray hotel in The Loop of Chicago. This ambitious restaurant for its globally inspired menu with nuances of an upscale American steakhouse. The cocktail program is strong since it’s owned by the restaurant group Fifty/50, the same people behind the Berkshire Room (where we had very good drinks during our stay and will be on a separate post) and other reputable restaurants and bars in Chicago. My friend opted the Knights of Columbus cocktail made with Famous Grouse Scotch, rosemary, stone pine, Angostura. It’s technically a tricky drink to because..

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Dinner at Steadfast (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] Steadfast is a hotel restaurant tucked within the Kimpton Gray hotel in The Loop of Chicago. This ambitious restaurant for its globally inspired menu with nuances of an upscale American steakhouse. The cocktail program is strong since it’s owned by the restaurant group Fifty/50, the same people behind the Berkshire Room (where we had very good drinks during our stay and will be on a separate post) and other reputable restaurants and bars in Chicago. My friend opted the Knights of Columbus cocktail made with Famous Grouse Scotch, rosemary, stone pine, Angostura. It’s technically a tricky drink to because..

Entente (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] Entente is one of the few new restaurants in Chicago that I had strong, good feelings about when I’ve read preview articles on various Chicago based publications. The various reasons that made me think this restaurant would be very good or even great was knowing where the restaurant team worked previously. Chefs Brian Fisher (formerly of Schwa) and Mari Katsumura (formerly of Grace) putting their personal touches on a plate with a reputable Chicago-based restauranteur Ty Fujimura of Arami. Despite the fact the menu reads fine dining, the restaurant is not stuffy. The people who are front of the..

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at The Langham Chicago

[Translate] For those who celebrate, Happy New Year and 恭喜發財! When we were visiting Chicago two weeks ago, The Langham Chicago was intuitive enough to serve Chinese New Year afternoon tea. The menu is generally inspired by Chinese cuisine while still maintaining the familiar format of tiers of food, served in separate courses, and the pots of very good tea of choice. (more…)

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] I love desserts in many forms but pie is special because it can be either sweet or savory and typically encased in a flaky pastry. I was craving American Southern style comfort food and we’ve come to love Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. It’s a cozy space that serves and specializes pie and biscuits in a setting of a neighborhood coffee shop with a cool antique chandelier. (more…)

Dinner at Baptiste & Bottle at Conrad Chicago (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] I’m back in Chicago for a couple of days (started last week, if you’re following me on Instagram) and I can’t believe it’s been five years since I’ve been to this beautiful city! Not to mention, the food scene was and is great here. It always feel like a short visit whenever I’m in town and I have yet to explore and taste the diverse ethnic foods of this city (shame on me) but there is always a next time. To start things off on a classy note, my friend and I had dinner at a new restaurant that..

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..

Recent Recipes

Pistachio Oil, Yogurt Lemon Cake

[Translate] Nounos Creamery is a family-owned creamery in based in Southampton, Long Island, NY. What makes their Greek-style strained yogurt distinctive are the cute glass jars besides the very delicious yogurt. These yogurts come in various flavors like plain, forest berries, orange fig to seasonal flavors like apple pie a la mode. The yogurt itself isn’t sweet. It has the thick, tangy characteristics that you’d expect from this style of yogurt. The fruit that accompanies the yogurt aren’t too concentrated nor sweet which really appeals to me. (I have eaten certain brands of Greek yogurt where I feel like I..

Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Mango Ginger Lime Jam, White Chocolate Lemongrass Frosting

[Translate] I’ve been a long time fan of eating and baking with Valrhona chocolate. This brand creates one of the world’s finest chocolate in the small village of Tain L’Hermitage, France since 1922. They are dedicated to creating unique, artisan quality chocolate with complex, balanced and consistent flavors. This mission of excellence continues as the gastronomic traditions of the renowned Rhone Valley find expression in every mouthwatering taste of Valrhona’s superb chocolate. Valrhona has created a range of unique and recognizable aromatic profiles by perfecting techniques for enhancing the flavor of rare cocoa beans, grown on land masterfully selected for..

Apple Cardamom Yogurt Cake

[Translate] This weekend was truly autumn. Leaves turning from shades of green to vibrant colors of reds, golden yellows, and orange. Autumn is also prime apple season. I’m not in the mood to bake a somewhat finicky pie but wanted to do an apple cake. I’ve tried out the Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt; a thick, tangy yogurt that has natural creamline on top that would make a perfect addition to the cake. The natural acidity would make for a tender cake and add some moisture and fat. (more…)