Food Reviews

Sublime Dinner at Restaurant Beau Mont (Montreal, Canada)

Entrance Lounge area Restaurant Beau Mont feels like you’ve walked into one of your charming, well-heeled artistic or fashionable friend’s spacious apartment for dinner. One who cares and loves food deeply and has the food philosophy of using the best, locally sourced ingredients, cooks it well but simply and make the dishes look beautiful yet effortless even though it’s not. That’s how I felt overall when I dined here. Beaut Mont is led by the same team of the famous Montreal upscale and avant garde restaurant Toqué! While it feels a little bit relaxed compared to its older sister restaurant,..

Boulangerie Le Toledo (Montreal, Canada)

Interior Seating area toward the back Many loaves of delicious levain bread Breakfast pastries One of the newest boulangerie-type bakeries in Montreal is Boulangerie Le Toledo in the Plateau neighborhood nearly four months ago. This vast space has 14-feet ceilings and has this charming vintage look for its open seating area that has a children’s play area, a large communal table with bench seating and the back area where there’s an elegant lounge area with a marble coffee table. This bakery is led by head baker/chef Riccardo Arnoult and owner François Barriere. The coffee beans are from Structure Coffee Roasters,..

Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar (Montreal, Canada)

Cappuccino, vegan raspberry financier and artwork for sale There are many great third-wave style coffee shops in Montreal. Unfortunately, I had time for only one during my visit here and that is at Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar. If you translated this cafe’s name it is, why not? It is a cute name and it makes sense to call itself as that. Why not go to a personable coffee shop with baristas who wouldn’t mind suggesting to you about places in the city that you could eat or check out or just talk about coffee? Besides the people (which is a..

St Viateur Bagels (Montreal, Canada)

Exterior of Mont Royal location Interior Mug of coffee An open secret that you might know about me is that I prefer and adore Montreal-style bagels over New York-style. This might be blasphemous since I am a native New Yorker. I enjoy Montreal-style bagels because it’s smaller in diameter and thickness so it’s not as doughy and heavy like its New York cousin. Also it’s more crisp crust ratio since there’s less bread. (more…)

Dinner at Restaurant Hà (Montreal, Canada)

Dining room Fried tofu In the neighborhood of the Old Port where restaurants skew expensive (but good) French or the typical mediocre casual eateries that one would tend to find in a touristy area. However, there is a Southeast Asian inspired restaurant called Restaurant Hà on Avenue du Mont-Royal that may make your night if you order wisely. (more…)

Hotel Reviews

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

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 architects..

Amazing Luxury Bed & Breakfast at Canto degli Scali (Florence, Italy)

When I arrived to Florence, I stayed at the luxurious apartment at Canto degli Scali. This place is a beautifully restored and converted from a 14th century palace in the center of Florence into a series of charming apartments. Each of these units has been named after a Florentine “Canto” and they are all furnished with custom fittings. This makes them exquisitely unique and gives our hosts the impression of being in a real home from home. The idea for this project came from two brothers, Marco and Alessio Ducceschi, who were personally responsible for the restyled design of the..

The Danforth Inn (Portland, Maine)

Raymond Brunyanszki, owner of Camden Harbour Inn and its Natalie’s Restaurant — two located in mid-coast Maine — had wanted to open an upscale Southeast Asian restaurant ever since he worked in the region as a tour guide early in his career. He knew he found the right place when he walked into The Danforth Inn while scouting Portland for a second hotel location. The building’s brick exterior and white columns exude elegance. Brunyanszki purchased the Danforth in May 2014 and has been renovating each of the 1823 hotel’s nine rooms, one by one, while keeping the property open and..

Barceló Emperatriz Hotel (Madrid, Spain)

When we were in Madrid, we stayed at the luxurious Barceló Emperatriz. This hotel is just off the Paseo de la Castellana in the upmarket Salamanca district. The smart boutiques on Serrano and its surrounding streets are temptingly close. The Lázaro Galdiano museum, which has one of the best art collections in the city, is a couple of minutes’ walk away. The Prado is a brisk 20-minute walk down the Castellana. (more…)

Lisboa Pessoa Hotel (Lisbon, Portugal)

For a few nights, we have stayed at Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, situated in Lisbon, 200 meters from Chiado, Lisboa Pessoa Hotel features free WiFi access and private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Each room includes a flat-screen TV. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. Rossio is 200 metres from Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, while Dona Maria II National Theatre is 300 metres away. Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport is 6 km from the property. There are a range of facilities on offer to those staying at Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, such as a library and free Wi-Fi...

Recent Recipes

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

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 strawberry..

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

PARTNER POST – Get creative with any of Castello’s uniquely crafted cheeses. Click here for a $1 off coupon to create your own gourmet masterpiece. Castello Jalapeño Havarti cheeses; Jalapeño Havarti & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche Castello Cheese is an historical cheese brand that started since 1893 and they create more than 40 different types of delicious cheeses. I’ve recently been selected to be one of Castello’s collaborators to come up with a unique recipe with their jalapeño havarti cheese that’s more than just a grilled cheese sandwich or cheese dip. Havarti cheese is a Danish-style cow’s milk cheese that is..

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

Chinese New Year (or what others would generalize this holiday, Lunar New Year) is coming up this Thursday and if you really want to make a dessert to impress your family and friends, this pistachio, yuzu, chocolate feuilletine cake, would be it. I chose these flavors centered on the pistachio. Even though pistachio is my favorite nut and flavor, in Chinese New Year traditions, this nut means happy nut and symbolizes happiness. Thankfully, my family isn’t staunchly stuck on tradition; I’ve incorporated a mix of Chinese tradition with French pastry technique for this dessert. (more…)