Food Reviews

Solid Tapas Brunch at Lamano

[Translate] Over this weekend, a friend of mine and I made the treacherous trek out in the Arctic frozen city for brunch at Lamano. What I like about Lamano that it is tapas and you can eat small plates and since we both traveled to Barcelona a few years back, it brought moments of nostalgia. While the tapas served for brunch are classics, they were done very well. We started off with brunch focused cocktails of a Sherry Mary and a peach Bellini. Lamano’s unique take on the Bloody Mary was interesting. It replaced the tomato juice with beet juice..

Good Food and Cocktails at Villanelle (NYC)

[Translate] Villanelle refers to a 16th-century Neapolitan style of melodic poetry consisting of 19 lines. The space has a subdued, earthy look with pine beams running along the bar area, and white brick walls and gray banquettes in the dining room. We stopped by one frigid evening to have dinner and started off with cocktails that run the spectrum from creative takes on classics like the Paul Revere – a nod to the period and it’s a fantastic, smoked version of the Old Fashioned. The Merciless Beauty, as we were informed by the wait staff, a take on the martini...

Three Pillars Bar Lounge – Cozy, Upscale and Great Drinks and Japanese Food (NYC)

[Translate] There’s lots of bars in New York City and its nightlife give you a wide range to choose from the bustling, hole-in-the-wall to the really nice, upscale lounges that may reside in hotels. A relative newcomer from the Suzuki Hospitality Group (the group that owns the 1* Michelin sushi and seasonal kaiseki restaurant called Suzuki and a sushi bar counter seating restaurant, Satsuki) has Three Pillars Bar. This upscale yet cozy lounge is found across the hall from Suzuki restaurant. When you enter through the doorway, you’d see the short foyer filled with crystals dropping from the ceiling making..

Solid, Upscale Szechuan Cuisine at Hwa Yuan (NYC)

[Translate] Hwa Yuan is a new upscale Szechuan restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This restaurant started by the son of one of New York’s legendary Chinese restaurants. Hwa Yuan (the original opened in the 1980s) closed years ago and seminal Chinese restaurateur Shorty Tang died, his son Chen Lieh Tang reopened this current restaurant in hope to revitalize this part of Chinatown. The restaurant is spacious having three floors, taking up the space of what was Bank of China. The basement is the kitchen and private dining room that was the safety deposit room of the bank. The main floor and..

Relaxing Time at Loews Miami Beach Hotel – SOAK Cabanas and Lure Fishbar (Miami, FL)

[Translate] If there was a day I felt like a pampered (and very well fed) person while in Miami, it was spending the day at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This hotel recently underwent a $50 million dollar renovation that gave the hotel a fresh, sophisticated look. When we walked through the tall palm tree-lined path to the pool, we were mesmerized how stunning it is. It looked glamorous and it’s not too far from the beach. We had the cabana and it’s practically a mini studio apartment. We had our private bathroom fitted with a walk-in shower with a large..

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..

Afternoon Tea at Ritz Carlton Buckhead (Atlanta, Georgia)

[Translate] Ritz Carlton Buckhead is set in an upscale neighborhood of Atlanta (there is another Ritz Carlton Atlanta that is about 10 miles south in Downtown Atlanta), not too far from the tony shopping boutiques and the city’s most prestigious shopping venues – Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza. When we arrived to the Lobby Lounge, it’s a handsome, dark lounge set with a large bar toward the front, plush upholstered sofas and chairs dotted throughout the lounge. Afternoon tea is a staple at this luxury hotel. Here, the traditional afternoon tea takes place Wednesday through Sundays at 2 PM and..

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman

[Translate] The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman is currently considered the best luxury hotel in the Cayman Islands. It is a AAA Five Diamond property and occupies 144 acres across the Caribbean to the North Sound, facing Seven Mile Beach’s shoreline. When we entered the spacious and beautiful Silver Palm dining area that divides into two sections — a handsome, dark wood bar on one end and an elegant tea room flooded with lots of natural light. (more…)

Excellent Afternoon Tea at The Pembroke Room at The Lowell Hotel (NYC)

[Translate] I’ve recently went to The Pembroke Room at The Lowell Hotel for afternoon tea with my mother this past weekend. The Lowell is a boutique hotel in the tony neighborhood of the Upper East Side. When you do enter the charming Pembroke Room upstairs, it felt like I went to an elegant, wealthy grandmother’s home. It’s warmly lit with chandeliers, tables set with heavy tablecloths and fine china, and comfortably padded chairs. (more…)

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..

Recent Recipes

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

[Translate] 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..

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

[Translate] 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…)

Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

[Translate] I love fudgy brownies. But I’ve been wondering over the years as I’ve been baking these rich, fudgy squares does it really require the half pound of butter in that batch, even if I do melt a substantial amount of chocolate? After some naval gazing and an opportunity to collaborate with Four Roses Bourbon, I had an eureka moment. I know it sounds insane to not bake with butter (and I do love my butter) but for the sake of curiosity and experimentation, you can have a fudge-y, dense brownie. Partially inspired by the macaron cookie, you can create..