Food Reviews

Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard – Lovely Island but An Adventure to Get There

[Translate] I recently went to Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) for a weekend getaway with a friend — and what a getaway that was. The journey to the island was admittedly much more arduous than what we have anticipated. Originally we have booked flights directly from JFK to the island but for both ways, it’s been either extensively delayed (for the first leg) and canceled on the way home. Like I’ve overheard from one of the locals say on my van taxi ride to the ferry terminal at Oaks Bluff from MVY airport, it’s a lovely island because it’s relatively remote and..

Greek Seafood Fare at Akrotiri (Astoria, NY)

[Translate] I am aware I don’t write much about Queens since I feel sometimes Manhattan or Brooklyn has a lot more interesting restaurants shaking up the food scene. But I’ve recently eaten at Akrotiri since I have friends who live nearby and thought might as well check out this Greek seafood restaurant. (more…)

Lunch at Neta (NYC)

[Translate] Neta an unassuming sushi restaurant called Neta, which opened in 2012 among the scruffy bars and cut-rate West Village shoe stores along 8th Street near Sixth Avenue. In the tradition of discreetly ambitious sushiyas everywhere, the façade of the storefront space is painted in black trim and covered in pale curtains. There are a few tables set along the walls inside, but most of the narrow, railroad-car-size space is taken up by the bar, which is made of polished ebony. The gray-shaded room is so devoid of artifice and decoration that it makes me wonder that it’s intentional so..

Contemporary Indian Cuisine at Rahi (NYC)

[Translate] A few nights ago, I had dinner at Rahi with a friend (and a skeptic on Indian cuisine). My sole intention was to have both hopes that this contemporary Indian restaurant would change my friend’s mind on the many great things about Indian cuisine, primarily for its bold and mostly spicy flavors. Did the restaurant change his mind? In the end, yes. My friend is started off with a glass of crisp, clean white Burgundy and I had their homemade ginger beer that was extra ginger-y in a great way. Not too long after our food order was taken,..

Art-Is-In Bakery (Ottawa, Canada)

[Translate] One of my other favorite stop/meals in Ottawa was at Art-Is-In Bakery. This bakery was buzzing with energy and excitement over the food and baked goods served the Saturday morning we were there. The scent is pure toast and crispy pig fat. A growing lineup stretches right out the door from the pastry counter, winding past a display of fine French tarts, beyond metal cooling racks filled with pizzas, signature rustic breads, and baguettes that have become recognizable fixtures at farmers’ markets and sandwich shops all over town. It’s a downtown detour into the parking lot of an industrial..

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..