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Tapestry (NYC)

Tapestry (NYC)

[Translate] Tapestry by partner-chef Suvir Saran (formerly of Devi) is a very good Indian fusion restaurant. I know the word ‘fusion’ attached onto any cuisine tends to make stomachs turn sour but this was thoughtfully done and for the most part, executed very well. The underlying flavors are rooted in Indian cuisine but the menu goes global in terms of the actual dishes and cooking techniques like a Mexican taco (which the restaurant does an excellent version of and I’ll get to that soon). The restaurant is lovely with the large windows that faces Greenwich Street look like an upscale..
Caffe Dei Fiori (NYC)

Caffe Dei Fiori (NYC)

[Translate] Recently, we had dinner at Caffe Dei Fiori in the Upper East Side. It’s a very solid Italian neighborhood restaurant. The food isn’t fussy but it feels and tastes familiar. The restaurant is a narrow, cozy dining room with what seems like an outdoor terrace in the back. A waiter comes cover to our table and presents us a large bread tray filled with five different choices, including good housemade focaccia rolls and replenished whenever your bread plate is empty. (more…)
Dinner at TESSA (NYC)

Dinner at TESSA (NYC)

[Translate] TESSA in the Upper West Side is a Mediterranean inspired restaurant that is a solid choice to dine in the neighborhood. Usually when you think of the Upper West Side, you don’t normally think of dining destinations kind of place but there are very great places to shop for food or specialize in a certain dish (e.g. Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass). When we entered the restaurant, there’s exposed white-washed brick walls with the black steel gates on the ceiling that gives it an industrial yet rustic look and a long and deep bar. We were escorted to the main..
JW Marriott Chicago

JW Marriott Chicago

[Translate] The JW Marriott Chicago, is an indisputably opulent outpost in Chicago. The hotel, housed in a solid and stately 1914 neo-Classical structure designed by Daniel H. Burnham, formerly the Continental & Commercial National Bank. The sweeping staircases that lead to second-floor ballrooms and the Florentine, an Italian restaurant, act as bookends to a giant that is all marble and warm colors. (more…)
Fantastic Meals at The Purple Pig (Chicago, IL)

Fantastic Meals at The Purple Pig (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] The Purple Pig is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants to have a casual but excellent food. (I’ve been there years ago so this isn’t like I’ve eaten there one time for this trip.) What I really adore about this place is the robust flavors and the chef isn’t afraid to serve offal. We’ve also realized after having two large lunches on this trip that the restaurant does change the menu (not its entirety but a few dishes are swapped out). We started off with an incredible house cured sardines on toast. The thick, olive oiled country bread is..
The Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago

The Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago

[Translate] Another hotel bar in Chicago’s Millennium Mile that has really great drinks is The Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago. The atmosphere is much more casual and laid back but the drinks are a little wacky and ingenious but seriously good and balanced. There are some bar food served at this establishment but we stayed here for the drinks since we had dinner right afterwards. (more…)

Travel

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…)

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] I love desserts in many forms but pie is special because it can be either sweet or savory and typically encased in a flaky pastry. I was craving American Southern style comfort food and we’ve come to love Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. It’s a cozy space that serves and specializes pie and biscuits in a setting of a neighborhood coffee shop with a cool antique chandelier. (more…)

Dinner at Baptiste & Bottle at Conrad Chicago (Chicago, IL)

[Translate] I’m back in Chicago for a couple of days (started last week, if you’re following me on Instagram) and I can’t believe it’s been five years since I’ve been to this beautiful city! Not to mention, the food scene was and is great here. It always feel like a short visit whenever I’m in town and I have yet to explore and taste the diverse ethnic foods of this city (shame on me) but there is always a next time. To start things off on a classy note, my friend and I had dinner at a new restaurant that..

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..

Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] The Marriott Taipei is one of the newest luxury hotels in Taipei. The largest complex of its kind in Taipei, the Taipei Marriott Hotel comprises a five-star 320-room hotel, restaurants, lounge, convention center, shopping mall and apartments. It is located on the north bank of the Keelung River, in the Dazhi district, near Songshan International Airport. As part of Marriott’s “Green Hotel Development” initiative, indigenous shrubbery and flowering plants are found throughout the hotel grounds and are interspersed with pieces of nature inspired art and sitting areas. (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..