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Tapas at Restaurante Jose Luis (Madrid, Spain)

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..
Hermosos y Malditos (Madrid, Spain)

Hermosos y Malditos (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] Hermosos y Malditos is located in Totem Hotel in the upscale Salamanca district of Madrid. Spanish for ‘The Beautiful and The Damned’, Hermosos y Maldito is a culinary hotspot that nods to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, the morality tale, ‘The beautiful and damned’ about elite urban socialites, the decadent lost generation. Food, by Rodolfo de Bernardi and Nacho Tirado’s is health-conscious Mediterranean home-style cooking, while the damned comes in the form of a round-the-clock Prohibition-style bar, featuring a vast menu of classics along with bespoke creations by mixologist Fran Camino. The menu is an intelligent mix of Mediterranean..
Boconó Coffee (Madrid, Spain)

Boconó Coffee (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] When I was researching for my trip to Madrid, I have realized there aren’t many specialized coffee shops in the city. Though coffee has long been ubiquitous in the city, it’s consistently been of poor quality–over-roasted and drenched in milk. Like many traditional European coffee markets, the idea of “third wave” is new to most locals. However, I have found Boconó on Plaza de Cascorro, at the start of the Rastro flea market. This coffee shop reminds me of most Brooklyn coffee shops – part hipster and cozy with the exposed brick and furniture and art pieces that are..
Barceló Emperatriz Hotel (Madrid, Spain)

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…)
Lunch at Sobrino de Botín (Madrid, Spain)

Lunch at Sobrino de Botín (Madrid, Spain)

[Translate] Sobrino de Botín is one of the oldest restaurants in Madrid operating since 1725. First opened as an inn, the landmark eatery was founded by French cook Jean Botín and his wife. It is the world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records. Today, Botín is famed for its rustic Castilian cuisine, including succulent roast meats fired in an wood-fired oven made of cast iron that’s close to 300 years old. Botín has four floors and the air of a traditional Spanish tavern. There are three dining rooms: the bodega (“cellar”), the Castilla room, and the Felipe..
Lisboa Pessoa Hotel (Lisbon, Portugal)

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..

Travel

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..

Pasteis de Belém (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] One of the days when we were in Lisbon, we headed out to the historic town of Belém that’s about 30 minutes out west by tram. This particular town is picturesque and has the most important tourist attractions. Belem is situated on the northern banks of the River Tagus and from the ancient harbors of Belem, ships set sail around the world, and many of the 14th century “voyages of discovery” departed from here. The Belem Tower was constructed to guard Lisbon from sea bound attacks and was positioned in the centre of the Tejo Estuary but today, due..

A Fun Dinner at Mini Bar by José Avillez (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] If you want dinner that is expertly prepared and cooked with seriously good cocktails without the pretense in Lisbon, I would steer you to Mini Bar, one of Chef José Avillez’s eight restaurants in Lisbon and he’s the few chefs in Portugal pushing the country’s cuisine to the modern times (and he is also a Michelin-starred chef). For those who have been to Barcelona and dined at Tickets, Mini Bar’s casual atmosphere and food feels like an homage to the restaurant, since Chef Avillez has worked with Ferran Adria at El Bulli. The ‘El Bulli olives’ that kick off..

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..

O Prego da Peixaria (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] In a relaxed environment, where different people come together and share tables is what Prego da Peixaria is all about. Situated right next to the Botanical Gardens in the heart of Príncipe Real, it’s a restaurant with a contemporary rustic touch, urban and unpretentious, whose beautiful graffiti, illuminated by the lovely skylight, jumps right out at you. It’s a buzzing restaurant with lots of locals hanging out here when we arrived. The restaurant’s name, a prego is a Portuguese version of a burger except it’s made of thin slices of beef steak. Or in the case of peixaria, a..

Palacio Chiado (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] The Príncipe Real district recently transformed into a shopping gallery, came the transformation of Quintela Palace in Chiado into a gastronomic destination. Each of the beautiful 18th-century rooms, spread over two floors, have different concepts (a total of seven. (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…)