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Lovely Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] The Palm Court at The Plaza is arguably one of the best hotel afternoon teas in New York City I’ve had in the longest time. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian re-launched the iconic Palm Court at The Plaza hotel with a renovation by Master Architect Thierry Despont almost a year ago. The renovation does result in bringing natural, floral elements inspired by Central Park (and it has the classic English elements that reminds me of another landmark, The Ritz in London, UK). Despite the fact it sounds quite touristy but you should go there once just to check out the scene...

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café (Latter Closed)

[Translate] While Montreal is a serious coffee town, they do have some very good options for whole leaf teas. Senthé is a pretty new tea café out on a shopping strip in Rosemont. Senthé specializes in high quality Asian teas with a few tea blends for those who prefer to have other flavors besides the tea leaf itself and espresso, if you really need your caffeine in a different format altogether. There is a small food menu consisting of light sandwiches and pastries of the day are displayed at the counter. Senthé also doubles as a hangout for enthusiasts of..

Matcha with Lots of Possibilities at MatchaBar (Brooklyn, NY)

[Translate] MatchaBar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a hip matcha tea bar and brand founded by brothers Max and Graham Fortgang. Matcha tea was “discovered” by the Fortgangs out the necessity of a caffeine alternative that was healthier for them since they led stressful lives when they were college students. Their Williamsburg storefront offers drinks made with the fine-ground tea, including hot and iced matcha teas, iced specialty drinks, and Matchaccino, a matcha “cappuccino” made with almond milk and vanilla powder. Besides peddling the typical matcha lattes (they are almost everywhere in Manhattan), they want to introduce and educate the masses..

Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] If in Montreal, when you want to grab a serious cocktail but isn’t pretentious, Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (or Necessary Evil). I should add, you should like your tiki drinks. Le Mal Nécessaire is in a basement of a building between a small Chinese restaurant and an Asian shop of some sort in Chinatown. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a glowing, bright green pineapple-shaped neon lights at the stairwell. When you descend into the relative darkness, you hear old school hip hop playing not too loudly on the speakers. Patrons chatting amongst each..

Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Part of my time in Montreal, I was at W Montreal. A very urban, sexy, sleek, luxury boutique hotel in the Ville-Marie area of Montreal. When you enter the glass doors, you’d see the cubic water fountain and glowing red walls of the lobby. One of my evenings I checked out Wunderbar that is located on the ground floor. It’s a cool looking bar that has a wall covered in curved panels set in a rainbow that meant to look like the distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings of Montreal. (more…)

Travel

Vioko (Barcelona, Spain) – Upscale Chocolates and Delicious Gelati

[Translate] During our vacation to Barcelona, we stopped by Vioko since we’ve read the shop has some seriously good gelati (plural for gelato or an Italian version of ice cream) that has more than the basic flavors. Since we were near the beaches of Barcelona and it was a very warm, mid-October afternoon (the high temperature then was near 80°F) this was a great idea. Vioko is owned and run by pastry chef Lucila Baiardi (photographed above), an Argentine expat who studied the fine art of pastry around various kitchens in Europe and eventually settled in Barcelona to open this..

Tickets (Barcelona, Spain) – Fun, Innovative Tapas & Worth The Hype

[Translate] Tickets: Entrance; Busy rush at the door; Menu & tweezers I admit I was one of those people who was completely taken by Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode when he and José Andrés dined at Tickets. The restaurant doesn’t look like it’s taking itself too seriously but serving seriously good food. Since I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the gorgeous beaches of Costa Brava and dine at the famous El Bulli prior to its closing on July 30, 2011, Tickets would be the next best thing especially dining with a few friends. As most of you might..

Alkimia, Barcelona, Spain (1* Michelin)

[Translate] At Alkimia’s foyer: Sign; Modern lamp; Looking at the dining area One of our upscale lunches was at Alkimia. Alkimia is walking distance from Gaudi’s awe inspiring masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, which we have visited prior to having lunch here. Alkimia is a modern and sleek restaurant that almost like a fancy art gallery staging for the beautiful food that will be presented. This is a 1* Michelin restaurant led by Chef Jordi Vilà whose modern Catalan cooking that looks minimalist but it tastes so much more than meets the eyes. Spiced crisp topped with macadamia nuts; glass of..

Breakfast and Spa at Fiesta Americana Grand Resort and Dinner at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico

[Translate] Sleeping by the beach at the Governors Suite, Preparing for breakfast on the beach, and Cabana with a view of the hotel Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort has been recognized with the AAA 4 Diamond Award for 2012. This is one of the few exclusive, luxurious properties in Los Cabos. There is comfort and elegance its 249 rooms and suites that this property offers and the breathtaking views from the many pools and beaches that goes out to the Sea of Cortés. On our agenda for that particular morning at Fiesta Americana Grand, we had..

Camel Back Riding and Real Mexican Food at Los Cabos, Mexico

[Translate] Trucks the droves us to Rancho San Cristobal and a view of the ranch The most interesting part of the trip beyond the picturesque beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico was camel back riding with Cabo Adventures. This particular activity is part of this company’s Outback and Camel Safari where we travel in one large group from various hotels around the area and eventually divided up into small groups (about 12 people) to Rancho San Cristobal, about a 20-minute drive from their home base at the marina. (more…)

Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

[Translate] At the door to Atelier Crenn, interiors and the menu Atelier Crenn is a one-starred Michelin restaurant. This was one of my highly anticipated meals of my trip to San Francisco that I even made it as my first meal when I got off the plane from NYC. I have read many reviews from various newspapers and magazine (and was highly recommended by a palate I trust ChuckEats) that rhapsodize Chef Dominique Crenn’s food is creative, enchanting, beautiful food that tastes delicious. Chef Crenn earned her status over the years, especially her previous tenure at Luce at the InterContinental,..