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Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

Holy Donut (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] If there’s something I’m pretty excited to visit in Portland, it would be the famed artisan doughnut shop, Holy Donut founded and owned by Leigh Kellis. All of the doughnuts are hand made and with real, natural ingredients (like fresh blueberries and pomegranate) and still be intensely pleasurable and delicious and there’s some mashed Maine potatoes. (more…)
New England Distilling (Portland, Maine)

New England Distilling (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] New England Distilling Co. is located in one of the warehouse-like buildings off Riverside Street that have attracted lots of microbreweries, is a 21st-century update of a 19th-century family business and the only micro distillery in Portland. This distillery is by Ned Wight and he, who used to work at Allagash Brewing Co., got really serious about starting this distillery in the early 2000s. Wight’s great-great-great-grandfather, John Jacob Wight, started making Sherwood Rye Whiskey at his distillery north of Baltimore sometime during the 1850s. (more…)
Brunch at Sonny’s (Portland, Maine)

Brunch at Sonny’s (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Sonny’s is a funky, historical but cool restaurant that has a large bar with two overstuffed couches near the entrance and provides a steady buzz that fills the high-ceilinged rooms overlooking Exchange Street. The ornate, tiled floors and the enormous safe in the back of the restaurant recalls the building’s 19th-century origins as the Portland Savings Bank and the stained-glass windows left over from its incarnation as F. Parker Reidy’s. When you read the brunch menu of Sonny’s, the menu is varied but mainly sticks with the idea of American comfort food with a Latin influence. We started off..
Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

Brunch at Local 188 (Portland, Maine)

[Translate] Local 188 is a mainstay in Portland since 1999, originally located across the street from its current location, this laid-back eatery is one of the original farm-to-table trendsetters in the area with owner Jay Villani at the helm creating an innovative menu that draws on Spain and the Mediterranean. Local 188 has a relaxed, bohemian vibe with mismatched lounge furniture, including big, comfy couches and retro chairs. It’s a spacious restaurant that can accommodate a variety of needs – dinner, drinks, appetizers, late-night munching – and a mix of patrons. (more…)
Union Restaurant (Portland, ME)

Union Restaurant (Portland, ME)

[Translate] Union Restaurant is located within the Press Hotel, just across the street from Portland’s City Hall. It’s a beautiful and inviting, contemporary American farm-to-table restaurant led by Maine native Chef Josh Berry. The menu is thoughtfully designed and divided into broad categories of small plates, large plates, sides and on the bottom of the menu, must haves. We were informed by our waitress that all of the dishes err on the generously portioned. (more…)
Fantastic “New Indian” Fare at Badshah (NYC)

Fantastic “New Indian” Fare at Badshah (NYC)

[Translate] We recently had a delicious dinner at Badshah in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a fairly new restaurant with Executive Chef Charles Mani, an alum of Babu Ji, and he was present throughout the entire evening we were there bringing out the food to various diners. He is an effusive, warm chef who deeply cares about how his food tastes and putting an ancient cuisine (Indian) and taking it in a different direction. We started off with drinks of Indian Rose and mango lassi. The latter is self explanatory and we appreciated the yogurt drink wasn’t too sweet but had enough..

Travel

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…)

Historic Elegance at Palacio Belmonte (Lisbon, Portugal)

[Translate] Built on the fortress walls of the medieval São Jorge Castle, Palacio Belmonte the oldest palace and the city’s first hotel in Lisbon. The house had been in the same family for more than 500 years. It is a stunning building, a 2197-year-synthesis of Portuguese history and culture. They rediscovered all the different layers of construction, hidden frescos, walled rooms and found fabulous archives, letters of queens and kings of Portugal, an escape dating from the Roman time leading to the Tagus, cisterns, Roman tower, and original 18th-century Azulejo tiles during the process of renovating the palace to a..

Recent Recipes

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…)

Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

[Translate] KitchenAid Convection Digital Countertop Oven & Diamond Blender; Pasta Excellence Set Our friends at KitchenAid sent me their amazing household products of the Diamond Blender, Countertop Digital Convection Oven, and Pasta Excellence Set (pasta stand mixer attachments since I own their Artisan Stand Mixer). Since spring is finally here and how can’t you not feel inspired to cook and bake anything? Strawberries are one of the ingredients that are prominent in spring and for breakfast, I like making smoothies besides my cup of coffee. It’s quick and easy for my busy mornings shuffling to work. I made batches of..