Latest Articles

Exquisite Lunch at Restaurant Les 400 Coups (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I recently went to Montreal, Canada*. To those of you who have been there before, you know it’s pretty accessible by train and it’s doable if you want to drive in about 6 hours but I took the plane. Generally, you’d think it’s an easy ride in since it shouldn’t take more than an hour to fly in. But your presumption is wrong. I would anticipate flights being delayed if it’s terrible weather despite the fact it was perfectly blue skies and my flight was delayed just because we’re waiting for the plane from Columbus, Ohio to arrive. My..
Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

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…)

Dinner at Benjamin Steakhouse (Midtown East, NY)

[Translate] When chef Arturo McLeod left for midtown Manhattan after two decades at Peter Luger’s, he was thinking big when he opened Benjamin Steakhouse in 2006. A grand, soaring double-height with a high ceiling, brass chandeliers and rich brown leather on the seats inside the Dylan Hotel. Portions also come big, of course, with hefty cuts of prime rib eye, filet mignon, and New York sirloin, plus porterhouse prepared Luger-style for two, three, or four. The beef is dry-aged for at least 28 days in the house’s special aging box. The steak comes lightly seared, its subtle savory seasoning the..

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…)

Travel

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..

Lunch at Blackbird, Chicago

[Translate] Blackbird (exterior), At the dining room, Floral centerpiece at the hostess stand When I was planning for my trip to Chicago, I had was under the presumption that this city’s fine dining lunch is like New York – you have a lot of restaurants who would serve prix fixe menus. Except when I did my research, there’s barely any at all but the little glimmer of hope was Blackbird, a 1* Michelin restaurant and their Executive Chef Paul Kahan was nominated for the James Beard Award (2011). For that kind of esteem, I booked a reservation. (more…)

Alliance Bakery, Chicago – Bakery Meets Pâtisserie

[Translate] Alliance Bakery’s Exterior, Old-school neon sign, One of its display cases Alliance Bakery located in Wicker Park, Chicago looks like an old-school American bakery with its neon sign but it’s a bakery as well as a pâtisserie. This two-personality bakery, so to speak,  is owned by Peter Rios. Mr. Rios was trained as a hotel pastry chef (his previous title and employer before owning this bakery was Executive Pastry Chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago) and had his skills sharpened by working through many well known pâtisseries and in France like Ladurée and won a number of awards..

Dinner at Arami, Chicago

[Translate] Arami’s windows and at the bar During my vacation/stay in Chicago, Arami was one of my dinner stops here. After some research, this was considered one of the good Japanese spots to have sushi. As a sushi fanatic, I’m excited to eat here and booked a reservation. What surprised me was that even though the restaurant is located almost in the middle of nowhere (I’m used to the packed areas of Manhattan), the sole signage was within the restaurant’s glass windows, indicating its name and address and yet when I entered the dining room, it was pretty busy for..