Food Reviews

Alimama (NYC)

[Translate] Alimama is a gluten-free dessert shop owned and operated by Janie Wang that centers on the mochi in Chinatown. (Mochi is made of rice flour and rice is naturally gluten-free.) Wang merged traditional ingredients with modern flavors, so her mochi donuts are available in flavors like matcha with toasted rice krispies, caramelized sugar and salted Nutella caramel, and dark chocolate with coconut. The donuts are dense and chewy like mochi and has a gentle crisp exterior. The glazes and toppings are barely sweet enough to register in my brain that it’s dessert (that is a very good thing if..

Keki Modern Cakes – Great Asian-Style Desserts (NYC)

[Translate] The Asian-style bakery Keki Modern Cakes opened about a year ago. If the name does sound familiar, this is the brand of the “bouncy” or “jiggly” cheesecake Instagram fame. While the fervor simmered down slightly, there’s lots of love for this place since they’ve opened a second location in Korea Town in Manhattan. (more…)

Lobby Bar at The New York EDITION Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] There are times when you want to have drinks that isn’t in a speakeasy atmosphere (general norm in NYC) but feels like you are in an elegant living room. That place would be at The New York EDITION Hotel‘s Lobby Bar. One of the chic hotels in New York City, it’s designed by Ian Schrager known for his minimalist aesthetic, and all of the EDITIONs are trendy spots in hip cities. The building, which was erected in 1909 as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, is known for its picturesque clock tower, blending history with an elegant, modern hotel..

Theatrical Cocktails and Very Good Austrian Fare at Bar Freud (NYC)

[Translate] Being out in Greenwich Village, there’s many options for good cocktails. The relatively new spot that serves delicious (and strong) cocktails with a bit of dramatic flair at Bar Freud. This lovely bar/restaurant is owned by Chef Eduard Frauneder of Edi and the Wolf teamed up with his fellow Austrian Albert Trummer, the ever-inventive mixer of elixirs, and Mr. Trummer’s son, Jakob. (more…)

Pujol (Mexico City)

[Translate] What is arguably the most famous restaurant in Mexico City that would be Pujol owned and run by Chef Enrique Olvera. (He also the man behind New York City’s Cosme.) Seventeen years after putting its city and its chef on the world culinary map with its playfully elevated street food, Pujol, Mexico’s most celebrated restaurant is also taking cues of his New York City restaurant stylistically. The current location of Pujol has a casual, neighborhood spirit with the former’s intimacy. There is a wood-burning oven, terrazzo flooring, a private side room with record player and vinyl collection and a..

Hotel Reviews

Barceló Emperatriz Hotel (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] When we were in Madrid, we stayed at the luxurious Barceló Emperatriz. This hotel is just off the Paseo de la Castellana in the upmarket Salamanca district. The smart boutiques on Serrano and its surrounding streets are temptingly close. The Lázaro Galdiano museum, which has one of the best art collections in the city, is a couple of minutes’ walk away. The Prado is a brisk 20-minute walk down the Castellana. (more…)

Lisboa Pessoa Hotel (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] For a few nights, we have stayed at Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, situated in Lisbon, 200 meters from Chiado, Lisboa Pessoa Hotel features free WiFi access and private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Each room includes a flat-screen TV. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. Rossio is 200 metres from Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, while Dona Maria II National Theatre is 300 metres away. Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport is 6 km from the property. There are a range of facilities on offer to those staying at Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, such as a library and free..

Varanda Restaurant at Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz was built in 1959 by the Dictator Salazar to prove that Lisbon could do luxury as well as any other European capital. More than half a century later it is still setting the bar, managed now by the Four Seasons Group, and still renowned for the service for which they have always been famous. Designed by renowned Portuguese architect Porfirio Pardal Monteiro and built atop one of Lisbon’s many hills to maximize city views, this monolithic structure houses Art Deco-meets-Louis XVI interiors embellished by more than 400,000 square feet of Portuguese marble and Norwegian..

Historic Elegance at Palacio Belmonte (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] Built on the fortress walls of the medieval São Jorge Castle, Palacio Belmonte the oldest palace and the city’s first hotel in Lisbon. The house had been in the same family for more than 500 years. It is a stunning building, a 2197-year-synthesis of Portuguese history and culture. They rediscovered all the different layers of construction, hidden frescos, walled rooms and found fabulous archives, letters of queens and kings of Portugal, an escape dating from the Roman time leading to the Tagus, cisterns, Roman tower, and original 18th-century Azulejo tiles during the process of renovating the palace to a..

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..

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..