Food Reviews

Azul Historico (Mexico City)

[Translate] Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita has several restaurants in the Mexican capital, and the best of them is Azul Histórico, located in the Downtown México hotel and retail complex in the Centro Histórico neighborhood. The setting is atmospheric: rough-hewn wooden tables sit on a stone courtyard of the 17th-century building, surrounded by trees draped with lights. The restaurant is a favorite among locals, who make reservations here for special celebrations and business meetings, as well as out-of-towners in the know. (more…)

Altesi Downtown (NYC)

[Translate] If you want of some tiny bit of solace from the craziness of SoHo, there’s Altesi Downtown. This Italian (Tuscan cuisine, to be a little more precise) restaurant is spacious and even though it has a fair amount of diners, it never gets too loud while we were dining there on a recent evening. The dining room features an elevated platform that can open to the street, offering quick alfresco dining. Meanwhile, further to the rear, a wine wall dominates the back of the restaurant as the seats transition into more of a cozy vibe. Visible from all seats..

Guzina Oaxaca (Mexico City)

[Translate] Oaxacan food is praised throughout Mexico for its rich moles, umami-rich insects, stewed meats, and deep nuances. Guzina Oaxaca (translated: Oaxaca Cuisine) is by proprietor/chef Alejandro Ruíz. Chef Ruíz is a native from Oaxaca and opened this restaurant in the affluent neighborhood of Polanco in 2014, to have the Mexico City natives (and tourists) believe in the fact that Oaxacan food can be upscale, despite the fact it’s culturally rich. The restaurant is decorated like I’m in an elegant beach-type of restaurant – light colors of creamy beige, soft greens, and warm wood, embroidered pillows; green cantera stone salt..

Jules Basement (Mexico City)

[Translate] When it opened, Jules Basement was intended to be a speakeasy-style bar, a secret spot known only among friends and friends of friends who spread the news that there was an literal underground bar behind a refrigerator door in a taco restaurant at Julio Verne 93. Jules Basement has become a magnet for bar hoppers who love craft cocktails and hangouts where decor is as important as drinks. With respect to the former, expect a black-and-white color scheme, lots of texture on the ceiling and bar, and Damien Hirst-esque skulls (minus the shimmering diamonds). Since we were there on..

Dinner at Dulce Patria – A Vibrant Expression of Mexican Cuisine (Mexico City, MX)

[Translate] There’s a healthy number of fine dining Mexican restaurants in Mexico City. The most obvious and most talked about restaurant is Pujol, which I will write about soon but there’s also a restaurant led by a strong woman, chef and restauranteur Martha Ortiz called Dulce Patria, meaning Sweet Homeland. (Ms. Ortiz has another restaurant, Ella Canta in London, U.K.) This restaurant is consistently listed among Latin America’s top 50 restaurants for the past few years. The restaurant had tables filled with diners on a Wednesday night and enjoying Chef Oritz’s bold, vibrantly flavored food that has an artistic, sensual,..

Hotel Reviews

Luxurious Dim Sum Afternoon Tea at La Chine at Waldorf Astoria (NYC)

[Translate] La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria is a grand, luxurious haute Chinese restaurant. Renovated in colors of black, gleaming gold and silver, fuzzy banquettes and a black marble bar. The layout is like an old-school power room surrounded by orchids and dim lighting. I’ve been in the search for solidly good high-end Chinese food in New York City (I’m speaking of the ones I’ve eaten Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong) and based on this dim sum afternoon tea experience, I think this is a good bet. The service was professional and friendly. The plush atmosphere feels comfortable. The food..

Lovely Stay at Hôtel du Louvre (Paris, France)

[Translate] When my traveling companion and I were in Paris, we stayed at the grand Five Star Hôtel du Louvre, a Hyatt property. The hotel is located at the busy intersection of the Avenue de l’Opera and Rue de Richelieu near the famed I.M. Pei pyramids at the Louvre. It’s very conveniently close to the Opéra Garnier and the Palais Royal. Place Vendôme, Place de la Concorde, the Marais neighborhood, and the Tuileries Garden. Built in 1855, this hotel is one of the oldest in the City of Lights (it was a former mansion of the Champagne family Taittinger). It..

Heaven on Earth – Hotel Hermitage (Monte Carlo, Monaco)

[Translate] I would daresay, I have stayed and visited at a fair number of luxury hotels but by far my favorite is Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo. Everything about this hotel is beautiful and luxurious from the moment you step through the rotating doors and be greeted by the sight of fresh flowers (we saw hydrangea first then orchids) at the comfortable, pastel colored main lobby, all done up in Belle Époque style. This hotel was built in the early 1900s and is one of the two best luxury hotels in Monte Carlo. Its competition the Hotel De Paris is..

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Metropole (Monte Carlo)

[Translate] Note: While we were traveling around Paris, we’ve stopped over to the glamorous principality of Monte Carlo. I will be writing an overview post of this side trip summarizing it all but I’m writing the individual dining establishments first before getting to the aforementioned. During our stay in Monaco we stopped by Hotel Metropole for afternoon tea (there is an epic lunch at Joël Robuchon but I’ll get to that post in due time). The beautiful pastries and confections on display are from Robuchon’s kitchen. This is not exactly the traditional afternoon tea fare that you’d presume; there’s a..

Lovely Afternoon Tea at Le Meurice (Paris, France)

[Translate] If you have been following my Instagram for the past week or so, I’m traveling around Paris, Nice and Monaco and eating quite well. Please note, these posts are not in any particular order (chronological or even about preference of a restaurant, hotel, etc.). Le Meurice is a beautiful seven-story, hotel palace located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, it’s in the best location in all of Paris, especially for museum lovers (but beware the flood of tourists). The opulent Restaurant Le Meurice (2* Michelin) looks pulled straight out of Versailles with its gilded moldings and..

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..