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Dinner at La Pulperia (Hell’s Kitchen, NYC)

[Translate] Interior; Our cocktails: Watermelon sake margarita & The Smoky Room; Prickly Pear Pisco Sour La Pulperia is a very good Latin restaurant with an excellent cocktail program (based on our visit to their Hell’s Kitchen location; there is an Upper East Side location of this restaurant). A few blocks away from the Broadway theaters and Times Square, the location is convenient if you want to catch a show. This cozy restaurant has a long marble bar with well trained bartenders; exposed brick walls, oxblood red leather banquettes along the wall and blonde wood tables. The dinner menu is pretty..

Father’s Day Gift Suggestions (2015)

[Translate] I’m keeping this year’s Father’s Day gift ideas on the short side this year since I’m working on several things that keeps me from going to the distance I usually do with gift guides. But sticking with the norm of what fathers do like, here’s my favorite three things I would give to my dad. The heritage French mustard brand, Maille had created a handsome gift set containing a trio of delicious flavored mustards ($40) — Cognac, black olive and blue cheese. These robust mustards are fantastic with anything from sandwiches to grilled fish and meats. (more…)

Very Good Brunch at Upland (NYC)

[Translate] Recently, we had a very good brunch Upland. This place would appeal to everyone from the carnivore to the salad lovers; a meal with the parents to coworkers; power lunches to having brunch with friends. The atmosphere is spacious, inviting in its casual-chic way, and the back wall of shelves filled with what looks like large jars of preserved lemons that give a golden glow is pretty striking. The food is by Justin Smillie, the former chef of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria that brought national attention, does not disappoint. It is fresh, vegetable-forward, and packed with packed with..

National Rotisserie Chicken Day & A Giveaway

[Translate] **EDITOR NOTE:** Many thanks everyone for entering the contest. The winner is commenter “Nancy.” Today, June 2nd, is the first National Rotisserie Chicken Day. Since roast chicken is a typical go-to dinner item since it’s cost-effective and delicious, so why not take the day to celebrate this roast bird? I tend to cook my bird simply, as in take a clean chicken, drizzle some olive oil all over the chicken and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, finely grated lemon zest (of a whole lemon) and fresh thyme. Roast it at 350 degrees F until it’s cooked through (about 45..

Mother’s Day Brunch at Ristorante Morini

[Translate] This past Mother’s Day, I took my mom and the rest of my family to Ristorante Morini. We planned to go to the Metropolitan Museum and see the new China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition. This exhibition is worth your time. To view the gorgeous, sumptuous gowns and the various ancient Chinese objet d’art that was once a household or personal item. It is a very visual, stimulating exhibition and it does inform the lay viewer how Chinese art inspires the Western fashion designers. Going back to the food, Ristorante Morini is a few blocks away from the Met,..

Insightful Gluten-Free Bread Book – Bread & Butter

[Translate] Erin McKenna, founder of BabyCakes NYC written Bread & Butter dedicated to the savory aspect of baking. The recipes cover a wide range of breads, including making pizza and focaccia, but also puff pastry and crackers. The main area of the book is the bread though, so I wanted to give it a go and see for myself whether Gluten Free (GF) bread could ever be tasty! Overall the book is cute, and well put together, with plenty of pictures of almost all of the end results of the recipes, and also including a lot of information about all..

Travel

Hot Doug’s in Chicago – Encased Meats Heaven

[Translate] Hot Doug’s and the line…before opening For the past few years, I heard so many great things about Hot Doug’s. Besides my meal at Alinea, this was my other highly anticipated stop. I know that this place was popular and has a cult following but I didn’t expect a line that goes inside that restaurant and wrap outside about a third way down the block – and that was just opening time of 10:30 AM. Menus & Interior By the time my friend and I made it through the doors, this place was decorated in hot dog kitsch. Mainly..

Alinea, Chicago – A Meal with A Touch of Mystery

[Translate] My copy of Alinea’s cookbook (without its slipcover) A friend of mine gave me a copy of Alinea‘s cookbook and it was part of my inspiration to head to Chicago earlier this month. The gorgeous, colorful photos and the food presentations looked very unique (though I can’t fathom of cooking from this book). Also hearing and reading many good things about this restaurant, I simply have to eat here. Booking a table for this restaurant is, to say the least, a relatively nerve raking telephone game, especially for those who want dine there in less than 2 months in..

The Purple Pig, Chicago

[Translate] Gate to The Purple Pig; Interior shots; A purple pig; The menu When I was doing my research for places to eat around Chicago and asking friends about this question, many mentioned The Purple Pig. Even I asked the friendly baristas and staff of La Colombe Torrefaction (Chicago) and they even said, “This place is awesome.” With both tourists and locals loving this restaurant, this should be fail-safe to have a meal here. The Purple Pig is located in the neighborhood of The Magnificent Mile where it is tucked away in between the glitzy, middle to high-end boutiques and..

La Colombe Torrefaction in Chicago

[Translate] La Colombe Torrefaction, Chicago: Exterior, Interior, delicate flowers by the window, baked goods display As probably most of you might know, I am a die-hard coffee nerd/addict. I do admit that I’m pretty spoiled by the coffee culture as I’m coming from New York City, I have access to a lot of very good to excellent coffee shops here. When I was planning my trip to Chicago, I was mildly freaking out thinking there might be a lack of my essential need in the morning. I don’t want my travel companion to face the ugly side of me when..

Visiting Vosges Haut Chocolat in Chicago

[Translate] Exterior, Interiors of Vosges Haut Chocolat in Lincoln Park, Chicago When I visited Chicago, I had to visit Vosges Haut Chocolat mostly because this company is started and based there. I came with a friend to their Lincoln Park, which is considered Vosges’ flagship. It is much larger shop than the one and looks more of a glamorous romantic than the darker, bohemian chic than New York’s SoHo boutique. I find it quite interesting that each store has its own personality rather than having a “cookie cutter” template of how each store should look like. (more…)

Floriole Cafe & Bakery, Chicago – A Great Rustic, Elegant American Bakery

[Translate] Exterior of Floriole; Interior; Galette des Rois; Chalkboard listing local, organic sources used; Owner and Head Baker of Floriole Sandra Holl One of my other pastry stops in Chicago was Floriole on a bright weekend morning. The minute I walked up to this bakery with my friend, I had a feeling this was special. The large, welcoming, warm wooden space feels like a second home to me. Local residents lined up the counter waiting to order their cup of coffee or tea and a couple of beautiful golden brown pastries for themselves or family. The gentle scents of butter..