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Dinner at ROKI Le Izakaya (NYC)

Dinner at ROKI Le Izakaya (NYC)

[Translate] We went to a new (as in one-month young) Japanese restaurant ROKI Le Izakaya. It’s a modern, spacious restaurant that is buzzing with activity ranging with people on dates (or at least pairs of people) seated and dining around the large square bar/open-kitchen. There were many six-top tables for groups around the main dining room and side rooms that were located toward the front of the restaurant. The music was audible to keep it lively but not blasting that I had to shout to my friend. The main issue with any new restaurant that tends to be it overwhelmed..
Dinner at Dominique Bistro (NYC)

Dinner at Dominique Bistro (NYC)

[Translate] Dinner at Dominique Bistro was very solid when my friend and I were there very recently. The atmosphere here reminds me of the cozy Parisian bistros I’ve seen and dined in my trips to France but it has a New York feel to it as well. We started our evening with glasses of lovely brut rosé and Côtes du Rhône. The foie gras poêle was very tasty. The lobes of foie gras were perfectly seared and not overcooked. The waffle could have been cooked a little longer so there would have the textural contrast of crisp waffle melding with..
Tapestry (NYC)

Tapestry (NYC)

[Translate] Tapestry by partner-chef Suvir Saran (formerly of Devi) is a very good Indian fusion restaurant. I know the word ‘fusion’ attached onto any cuisine tends to make stomachs turn sour but this was thoughtfully done and for the most part, executed very well. The underlying flavors are rooted in Indian cuisine but the menu goes global in terms of the actual dishes and cooking techniques like a Mexican taco (which the restaurant does an excellent version of and I’ll get to that soon). The restaurant is lovely with the large windows that faces Greenwich Street look like an upscale..
Caffe Dei Fiori (NYC)

Caffe Dei Fiori (NYC)

[Translate] Recently, we had dinner at Caffe Dei Fiori in the Upper East Side. It’s a very solid Italian neighborhood restaurant. The food isn’t fussy but it feels and tastes familiar. The restaurant is a narrow, cozy dining room with what seems like an outdoor terrace in the back. A waiter comes cover to our table and presents us a large bread tray filled with five different choices, including good housemade focaccia rolls and replenished whenever your bread plate is empty. (more…)
Dinner at TESSA (NYC)

Dinner at TESSA (NYC)

[Translate] TESSA in the Upper West Side is a Mediterranean inspired restaurant that is a solid choice to dine in the neighborhood. Usually when you think of the Upper West Side, you don’t normally think of dining destinations kind of place but there are very great places to shop for food or specialize in a certain dish (e.g. Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass). When we entered the restaurant, there’s exposed white-washed brick walls with the black steel gates on the ceiling that gives it an industrial yet rustic look and a long and deep bar. We were escorted to the main..
JW Marriott Chicago

JW Marriott Chicago

[Translate] The JW Marriott Chicago, is an indisputably opulent outpost in Chicago. The hotel, housed in a solid and stately 1914 neo-Classical structure designed by Daniel H. Burnham, formerly the Continental & Commercial National Bank. The sweeping staircases that lead to second-floor ballrooms and the Florentine, an Italian restaurant, act as bookends to a giant that is all marble and warm colors. (more…)

Travel

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..

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 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…)

Recent Recipes

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…)

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

[Translate] I’ve recently found out and shopped at OurHarvest. Our Harvest is an online farmers market that connects us consumers to local farmers and food producers (currently for the NYC area only). Through partnerships with farmers, fishermen, and food artisans, OurHarvest purchases and sources their products locally to maximize freshness; hence ensuring quality and traceability while keeping costs down and combating hunger at the same time. For every delivery above $25 it receives, OurHarvest also donates a meal to a family in need through its relationship with the Food Bank of New York City. My recent shopping haul consisted of..

Happy 4th of July!

[Translate] Hope all my fellow American readers had a great and safe Independence Day! I celebrated with my friends and family the U.S.’ freedom with style. We started off with a luxe note with Petrossian Caviar. Petrossian started in the 1920s by two Armenian brothers – Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian – to Parisians. The brand has dominated this luxurious trade and continued to strive for the best of the fresh, high quality caviar produced. (more…)