Food Reviews

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…)


Seafood-Focused Lunch at Joséphine (Montreal, Canada)

Bar area Indoor meets outdoor seating Menu Sardines, gribiche, grilled bread If you are craving the feel of the beach, seafood-forward cuisine but set in a nice restaurant that isn’t stuffy, and in Montreal, I’d suggest Joséphine. The restaurant has a beach meets modern decor with the streamlined chandelier lights that hangs over most tables, the contemporary, minimalist artwork and the touches of palm type plants strewn on parts of the restaurant. (more…)

Lovely Lunch at La Fabrique (Montreal, Canada)

Interior of dining room Toasted bread and house made rhubarb and yuzu soda Beef tartare, watermelon, jalapeno and house made cumin breadstick One of my lunches while I was in Montreal was at La Fabrique. It’s right on the popular Plateau/Mont Royal neighborhood and about a 12-minute brisk walk from my hotel.  During the weekday afternoons, La Fabrique serves brunch and a 2-course table d’hôte, a fixed price menu with an option for dessert that’s a la carte. (more…)

Hotel Reviews

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...

Varanda Restaurant at Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz (Lisbon, Portugal)

Four Seasons Lisbon, Hotel Ritz was built in 1959 by the Dictator Salazar to prove that Lisbon could do luxury as well as any other European capital. More than half a century later it is still setting the bar, managed now by the Four Seasons Group, and still renowned for the service for which they have always been famous. Designed by renowned Portuguese architect Porfirio Pardal Monteiro and built atop one of Lisbon’s many hills to maximize city views, this monolithic structure houses Art Deco-meets-Louis XVI interiors embellished by more than 400,000 square feet of Portuguese marble and Norwegian granite...

Historic Elegance at Palacio Belmonte (Lisbon, Portugal)

Built on the fortress walls of the medieval São Jorge Castle, Palacio Belmonte the oldest palace and the city’s first hotel in Lisbon. The house had been in the same family for more than 500 years. It is a stunning building, a 2197-year-synthesis of Portuguese history and culture. They rediscovered all the different layers of construction, hidden frescos, walled rooms and found fabulous archives, letters of queens and kings of Portugal, an escape dating from the Roman time leading to the Tagus, cisterns, Roman tower, and original 18th-century Azulejo tiles during the process of renovating the palace to a hotel...

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Chicago

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 tea..

Recent Recipes

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…)

Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

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 a..