Food Reviews

Excellent Florentine Steak Dinner at Buca Lapi (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] If you have read anything about Florence’s cuisine, it’s a city that takes immense pride for its locally raised beef and eating it. Buca Lapi is one of the oldest restaurants in Florence and serves a fantastic steak. When you enter the subterranean restaurant, you’d see the open kitchen with immense sides of Chianina beef, This restaurant is part of the winery, which is located in Palazzo Antinori, the Renaissance palace that has been the winery’s home since the 1500s. What I adore about this restaurant is its unpretentious and friendly attitude on top of the fact their food..

3* Michelin Dinner at La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri (Rome, Italy)

[Translate] Chef Heinz Beck has a mini-empire of restaurants, stretching from Italy (Rome and Tuscany) to Portugal, Dubai (which just opened), London (Ora by Heinz Beck at Brown’s Hotel) and (from late 2014) Tokyo. His flagship, La Pergola, opened in 1994 and is situated on the top floor of the Cavalieri hotel, which is perched on one of the hills of Rome and overlooks St Peter’s Basilica. The dining room tables are arrayed around the picture windows overlooking the city. The wine cellar here is vast: an array of rooms containing 65,000 bottles of wine, with 3,500 different labels offered..

Hotel Eden – Gorgeous Hotel with Great Views and Food to Boot (Rome, Italy)

[Translate] The stunningly beautiful Hotel Eden is located above the fray near the top of the Spanish Steps, which gives it breathtaking views over the whole centro storico to St. Peter’s and beyond – especially from the rooftop bar/restaurants. But at the same time, it’s just a 10-minute walk from the buzz, sights and shops of Piazza di Spagna. Even Termini train station is within walking distance – though few of the Eden’s clients would ever dream of arriving or leaving on foot. It was closed for a 17-month renovation, the hotel re-opened in April 2017. The design by French..

Excellent Cocktails at Hotel Locarno (Rome, Italy)

[Translate] Much loved and frequented by celebrities, especially during Apertivio (7:00 PM – 10:00 PM), the historic lounge bar inside the four-star Hotel Locarno dates back to 1925. Antique Art Nouveau style furnishings, a fireplace and original decorations take you on a journey back to the Twenties whilst the music, informally dressed staff and creative cocktails offer a modern twist. There are 1920s inspired drinks and Head Barman Nicholas Pinna even offers Masterclasses. (more…)

Lunch with a Spectacular View of Florence at B-Roof at Grand Hotel Baglioni Firenze (Florence, Italy)

[Translate] When I was researching my trip to Florence several moths ago, I have come to understand that food in Florence is fairly traditional. Tuscan food is based on the Italian idea of cucina povera or “poor cooking.” A concept that started very literally, it’s about simple meals that are inexpensive and could easily be made in large amounts. Today it remains largely the same – but by choice instead of economy. Tuscan cooking doesn’t use complicated seasonings or elaborate creations because they’re not needed. Instead it’s made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring out the natural flavors in each..

Hotel Reviews

Dinner at Wit & Wisdom at Four Seasons Baltimore

[Translate] Four Seasons Baltimore opened its doors in 2011. This property is located on the edge of Baltimore’s historical and picturesque Harbor East waterfront. Apart from the top-notch location, the stylish lobby, gorgeous rooftop pool area and, of course, the Four Seasons’ signature impeccable service. The hotel has elegant accommodations, appointed with marble bathrooms, plush down comforters, cozy terrycloth robes, flat-screen TVs, and a beautiful spa with plunge pools. We had dinner at one of their restaurants, Wit & Wisdom, a casual fine dining restaurant by Michael Mina is one of the hottest restaurants in Baltimore. Chef Zack Mills helmed..

Luxurious Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam & Lunch at Jansz

[Translate] On my recent trip to Amsterdam last week, I stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam. This hotel has heritage and prestige given its twenty-five restored 17th and 18th century houses that were once homes of prosperous trade merchants and the decadent and flamboyant Dutch aristocrats. The hotel grounds now encompass nearly an entire city block along Prinsengracht, the canal dedicated to the Prince of Orange. This hotel is still under renovations when I was there but when I entered the hotel, it felt like entering a high-end private residence. On the left of the door, you enter the..

Wonderful Stay at Alexis Hotel (Seattle, WA)

[Translate] Alexis Hotel is an upscale boutique hotel, featuring 121 eclectic guestrooms that cater to every possible personality, is about as perfectly located as a downtown hotel can be. Many of Seattle’s most desirable sightseeing destinations are within easy walking distance, as are a vast selection of top-notch restaurants. It also sits right on First Avenue, directly above Puget Sound; a few rooms do have partial water views but many face neighboring buildings. Better harbor views can be found at hotels a few blocks north. We stayed at the Fireplace Suite where it feels very cozy to curl up by..

Understated Luxury at St. Regis Vancouver

[Translate] St Regis Vancouver is an excellent, luxury boutique hotel in the center of downtown Vancouver. This hotel has no relation to the Starwood St. Regis Hotels but it is just as luxurious thanks to its attentive customer service and ample amenities. Rooms are outfitted with complimentary Fiji water (replenished daily), complimentary Wi-Fi access, L’Occitane toiletries and LCD TVs. But the free perks don’t stop with the accommodations: Guests also receive a complimentary breakfast for two and complimentary daily passes to the Steve Nash Sports Club, located one block west of the hotel. Located at corner of Dunsmuir and Seymour,..

Excellent Dim Sum at 8 Restaurant at Grand Lisboa Hotel 新葡京酒店賭場 (Macau)

[Translate] When you think of Macau, you would associate this former Portuguese controlled region for the glamour of Las Vegas. Except Macau has a fantastic dining scene from fine to street food like its neighbor Hong Kong. On the fine dining spectrum, 8 at Grand Lisboa Hotel is a glamorous 3* Michelin rated restaurant (since 2014. up to its current list for 2016) in Macau. It’s a very sleek restaurant that does serve the best dim sum I ever ate. Ever since that having 8’s dim sum, every other dim sum meal didn’t match up the deliciousness of what we..

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..