Food Reviews


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…)

Upscale Korean BBQ at HYUN (NYC)

Open seating toward the front of the restaurant Peering into the semi-private booth, which was my table for the night HYUN is a new upscale Korean BBQ restaurant in Manhattan’s Koreatown. What makes them slightly different compared to other upscale Korean BBQ restaurants is focusing on using beautiful traditional Korean tableware and flatware and serving Korean pickles that aren’t typically served, which I will get into later. (more…)

Michaeli Bakery (NYC)

Interior Individual sized kugelhopfs Michaeli Bakery opened about two weeks ago on the edge of Lower East Side and Chinatown. This bakery sells a multinational array of baked goods, with a nod to some Jewish classics like babka, rugelach and challah. It’s a small to-go kind of bakery since there’s about eight chairs with a bar to sit in front and a bench for outdoor seating. This smallness does make room for you to talk to the staff members and chat about the pastries and it makes it feel like a neighborhood kind of place.  The chef and owner, Adir..

Hotel Reviews

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..

Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea at The Langham Chicago

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…)

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

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 as..

Recent Recipes

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..

Baba al Bee’s Knees

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, floral..

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

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 a..