Latest Articles

Union Square Donuts (Somerville, MA)

Union Square Donuts (Somerville, MA)

[Translate] If there’s a doughnut shop I’ve come to like a lot in the Boston area that would be Union Square Donuts in Somerville. (Union Square does have another location in Brookline but Somerville is the most accessible to where we were staying.) I have heard that this popular doughnut shop sells out early that I dragged my traveling companion out of bed early on a cold, rainy/sleet Saturday morning. The price of a little less sleep was rewarded since we have the flavors we would like to have and manage to have a table to sit at a table..
Smoke Shop BBQ (Cambridge, MA)

Smoke Shop BBQ (Cambridge, MA)

[Translate] One of the few late night places (as in, open past 11:00 PM) – and not many restaurants open late I’ve come to realize – in the Boston area to have good barbecue is Smoke Shop BBQ. Chef/owner Andy Husbands is a man serious about his ‘cue given the fact he’s on the competition circuit and won several accolades over the years. (more…)
Good Doughnuts at Blackbird Donuts (Boston, MA)

Good Doughnuts at Blackbird Donuts (Boston, MA)

[Translate] I’ve recently visited Boston last weekend meeting my dearest’s friends and see the hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts (where we ended up eating and hanging out most of the time). This will start the series of posts related to this weekend trip. Artisan doughnuts is a huge trend that’s been going on the for the past few years. Boston is certainly not immune to it and have a few artisan doughnut shops springing up. One of the places we stopped by is Blackbird Doughnuts is located on Boston’s South End. It’s a small take-out shop outfitted with white brick walls,..
Spring Chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat

Spring Chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat

[Translate] Easter is coming up shortly and that means chocolate! For the chocolate connoisseurs out there who love their serious chocolate but have some bit of cuteness for the holiday from La Maison du Chocolat. Nicolas Cloiseau, Master Chef of La Maison du Chocolat, captures the playfulness of spring and select farm animals and created chocolate bars with their expressive eyes fixed in chocolate. Crackling, crispy, and crunchy textures of the light and airy pralinés of Nicolas Cloiseau reveals the gourmand appeal of each character for this collection. The one I have, seen above, is Monsieur Bunny hops all dressed..
Dinner at ROKI Le Izakaya (NYC)

Dinner at ROKI Le Izakaya (NYC)

[Translate] We went to a new (as in one-month young) Japanese restaurant ROKI Le Izakaya. It’s a modern, spacious restaurant that is buzzing with activity ranging with people on dates (or at least pairs of people) seated and dining around the large square bar/open-kitchen. There were many six-top tables for groups around the main dining room and side rooms that were located toward the front of the restaurant. The music was audible to keep it lively but not blasting that I had to shout to my friend. The main issue with any new restaurant that tends to be it overwhelmed..
Dinner at Dominique Bistro (NYC)

Dinner at Dominique Bistro (NYC)

[Translate] Dinner at Dominique Bistro was very solid when my friend and I were there very recently. The atmosphere here reminds me of the cozy Parisian bistros I’ve seen and dined in my trips to France but it has a New York feel to it as well. We started our evening with glasses of lovely brut rosé and Côtes du Rhône. The foie gras poêle was very tasty. The lobes of foie gras were perfectly seared and not overcooked. The waffle could have been cooked a little longer so there would have the textural contrast of crisp waffle melding with..

Travel

Dinner at NoMI Kitchen at Park Hyatt Chicago

[Translate] Entering the sleek and modern lobby of Park Hyatt, we were whisked by the hotel staff to the seventh floor where NoMI Kitchen resides. It’s a beautiful restaurant that has a large bar/lounge area that opens up to NoMI’s sushi area that shares the semi-open space with the Western style kitchen and the dining room. If you are fortunate to have a table near the windows looking out to the stunning, open view of the Water Tower and parts of Millennium Mile. (more…)

Creative Breakfast at Mortar & Pestle (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] If you’re searching for a really creative breakfast in Chicago, I highly suggest going to Mortar & Pestle in the Lakeview neighborhood. This daytime restaurant is spacious with a cozy, rustic look. There’s a long wooden communal table in the center of the room surrounded with two tops and four tops. The menu is eclectic since it varies ranging from fried cheese curds, classic English breakfast, chicken paprikash to foie gras and eggs. As someone who’s jaded seeing and having the typical eggs benedict, waffles and pancakes for breakfast, I’m pretty stoked to see an interesting menu that crosses..

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

[Translate] If there’s a place to be to have afternoon tea in its most classic form and have great people watching, you should head to Palm Court at The Drake Chicago. There’s a harpist performing on certain times of the hour. Since its opening in the 1920’s, The Drake Hotel has maintained a British vibe becoming the home away from home for many of Britain’s royal family starting with the Prince of Wales who stayed there in 1924. Other royals — both British and non-British — have continued the tradition including Princess Diana and the Empress of Japan. Drake’s afternoon..

Dinner at Steadfast (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] Steadfast is a hotel restaurant tucked within the Kimpton Gray hotel in The Loop of Chicago. This ambitious restaurant for its globally inspired menu with nuances of an upscale American steakhouse. The cocktail program is strong since it’s owned by the restaurant group Fifty/50, the same people behind the Berkshire Room (where we had very good drinks during our stay and will be on a separate post) and other reputable restaurants and bars in Chicago. My friend opted the Knights of Columbus cocktail made with Famous Grouse Scotch, rosemary, stone pine, Angostura. It’s technically a tricky drink to because..

Entente (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] Entente is one of the few new restaurants in Chicago that I had strong, good feelings about when I’ve read preview articles on various Chicago based publications. The various reasons that made me think this restaurant would be very good or even great was knowing where the restaurant team worked previously. Chefs Brian Fisher (formerly of Schwa) and Mari Katsumura (formerly of Grace) putting their personal touches on a plate with a reputable Chicago-based restauranteur Ty Fujimura of Arami. Despite the fact the menu reads fine dining, the restaurant is not stuffy. The people who are front of the..

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at The Langham Chicago

[Translate] For those who celebrate, Happy New Year and 恭喜發財! When we were visiting Chicago two weeks ago, The Langham Chicago was intuitive enough to serve Chinese New Year afternoon tea. The menu is generally inspired by Chinese cuisine while still maintaining the familiar format of tiers of food, served in separate courses, and the pots of very good tea of choice. (more…)

Recent Recipes

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..

Baba al Bee’s Knees

[Translate] Valentine’s Day is coming up and the award winning gin, Bluecoat American Dry Gin has asked me to create a Valentine’s Day inspired cocktail. Instead of doing another cocktail, I wanted a challenge and create a boozy cocktail dessert. Everyone knows baba al rum is a French classic yeast-risen cake soaked in lots of sweet rum syrup and possibly served with a side of fluffy whipped cream. Technically, this yeast cake is a great sponge to soak in any booze or flavored syrup you can dream of. I thought, “Why not something with gin?” Bluecoat gin is a beautiful,..

Blueberry Almond Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Compote for National Blueberry Pancake Day

[Translate] I may be early for National Blueberry Pancake Day (that day in the U.S. falls on January 28th) but I always feel like there’s never a bad day to make a batch of these babies and eat them. There’s something comforting about having a small or tall stack of these warm, fluffy, slightly crisp cakes with a few bright bites of blueberries at home and at your leisure. I have collaborated with Driscoll’s to highlight their fresh, high quality blueberries and incorporate them into my blueberry almond buttermilk pancakes. I wanted to emphasize the blueberries even further by making..