Food Reviews

Serene Deliciousness at Aquavit (2* Michelin)

Partially open kitchen seen at Main Dining Room Non-alcoholic beverages: Glacial Melt & Ligonberry Spritz I’m happy to say after eating at Aquavit after all of these years, it is still very good for both the food and service. This restaurant opened back in 1987 and it made the reputation of Marcus Samuelsson and moved in 2005 from a light-drenched atrium with a defining waterfall to a more prosaic space in a pink-granite tower in the East 50s, where it stands now. The restaurant had a renovation that finished this past October now has a 40-seat bar and lounge area..

Yong Yi Ting at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China; 1* Michelin)

Entrance to Yong Yi Ting Yong Yi Ting was my final dinner destination while in Shanghai. This restaurant sits 21 feet underground at the basement level of the luxury hotel with floor-to-ceiling views of a specially created sunken patio that bathes the dining room in natural light during the day.Opulence greets you as soon as you step through the floor to ceiling glass doors of this fine dining restaurant. Ceramic lanterns shaped like Chinese wine jugs float along the eight-foot ceilings and complement the extensive wine cellar behind the elegant bar. The local chef Tony Lu, the celebrated mastermind behind..

PHÉNIX eatery & bar at The PuLi Hotel (Shanghai, China) – 1* Michelin

I’m straying from the Mandarin Oriental Pudong for a moment and briefly talk about my dinner at the 1* Michelin restaurant, PHÉNIX eatery & bar at The PuLi Hotel. This restaurant has Chef Pierrick Maire at the helm who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in France like the 3* Michelin chef Yannick Alléno. His dishes deliver on flavor without being overly complicated and come with rustic touches and subtle Italian influences.  The eatery has been divided into two dining rooms, split in the middle by a bar area, which smartly creates a sense of arrival. Taking..

Fantastic Stay (Humbled, Really) at Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China)

Street view of Mandarin Oriental Pudong before heading up the driveway The hotel I’ve stayed in Shanghai is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. If you ever talked to anyone who lives and/or works in Shanghai and you mention that you’re staying at the mentioned hotel, its reputation preceded it, whether or not he or she stayed there. So when I rolled in my bags and arrived at the door, we were treated like VIPs. My reservation was an Executive King room so we were escorted to the second floor (you need a special key swipe to access that floor) and checked..

Cafe Gray Deluxe at The Middle House – Fine French Cuisine Meets Luxurious Chinese Ingredients (Shanghai, China)

Usually I don’t seek another cuisine outside of where I’m traveling. For example, when I’m in Shanghai, I would typically eat Chinese food or eat the local region’s cuisine. However, I made an exception with Cafe Gray Deluxe at The Middle House. Chef Gray Kunz, who is named after this restaurant and owns, is one of the most revered chefs in the world. He made his name at the New York City restaurant called Lespinasse in the 1990s and started his own restaurant Cafe Gray at the Time Warner Center in 2004-2008. I remembered eating at the latter back in..

Hotel Reviews

Yong Yi Ting at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China; 1* Michelin)

Entrance to Yong Yi Ting Yong Yi Ting was my final dinner destination while in Shanghai. This restaurant sits 21 feet underground at the basement level of the luxury hotel with floor-to-ceiling views of a specially created sunken patio that bathes the dining room in natural light during the day.Opulence greets you as soon as you step through the floor to ceiling glass doors of this fine dining restaurant. Ceramic lanterns shaped like Chinese wine jugs float along the eight-foot ceilings and complement the extensive wine cellar behind the elegant bar. The local chef Tony Lu, the celebrated mastermind behind..

PHÉNIX eatery & bar at The PuLi Hotel (Shanghai, China) – 1* Michelin

I’m straying from the Mandarin Oriental Pudong for a moment and briefly talk about my dinner at the 1* Michelin restaurant, PHÉNIX eatery & bar at The PuLi Hotel. This restaurant has Chef Pierrick Maire at the helm who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in France like the 3* Michelin chef Yannick Alléno. His dishes deliver on flavor without being overly complicated and come with rustic touches and subtle Italian influences.  The eatery has been divided into two dining rooms, split in the middle by a bar area, which smartly creates a sense of arrival. Taking..

Fantastic Stay (Humbled, Really) at Mandarin Oriental Pudong (Shanghai, China)

Street view of Mandarin Oriental Pudong before heading up the driveway The hotel I’ve stayed in Shanghai is the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. If you ever talked to anyone who lives and/or works in Shanghai and you mention that you’re staying at the mentioned hotel, its reputation preceded it, whether or not he or she stayed there. So when I rolled in my bags and arrived at the door, we were treated like VIPs. My reservation was an Executive King room so we were escorted to the second floor (you need a special key swipe to access that floor) and checked..

French Opulence at Le Pavillon Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Grand staircase from the lobby to lower level Part of Cachette 1907 looking toward the lobby and reception desk This Romanesque white stone building is one of the most architecturally dramatic hotels in the city. The lobby is no less elegant, with towering ceilings, marble columns, and large crystal chandeliers. Marble floors and gilded ceilings surround a lobby covered in art and sculptures. The hotel’s original owners had grand plans, and stated them clearly with the construction of the striking, 15-foot monumental limestone pillars that frame the entrance. A refurbishment in the 1960s had artifacts and interiors sourced from Europe,..

Excellent Stay at Windsor Court Hotel (New Orleans, LA)

Entrance at Courtyard When I was in New Orleans, I stayed at The Windsor Court Hotel. It’s a very elegant hotel just a few blocks away from the French Quarter, making it accessible to the main touristy neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the overall stay didn’t make me think I’m that close to the boisterous crowds of Bourbon Street. The ornate decor (British 19th-century antiques, furniture, and artwork) is courtesy of the hotel’s original Anglophile owner, and would be over-the-top if it wasn’t so consistent. A full gym, heated outdoor pool, high tea service, and delicious food all add to a decadent..

Recent Recipes

Thai Green Curry Puff Pastries

This post is sponsored by Hatfield Easter is approaching and while I do not celebrate that holiday for religious reasons but only for the secular, food holiday like Christmas. Easter for my family involves a lot of delicious food that has a mix of vibrant flavors that is not necessarily traditional. Since pork is a mainstay in my household and I care about sourcing, I like cooking with Hatfield. Hatfield is committed to animal care and to sustaining American family farms. They raise their pigs without hormones, steroids and growth promotants. What is even better is Hatfield has prepared fresh..

Amazing Truffles from Gourmet Attitude – Dessert Recipes with Truffles

Gourmet Attitude is a New York City-based truffle importer since April 2003 by Céline Labaune. Ms. Labaune always brought the best truffles for her company and ultimately for us, the consumer. Of course, truffles are one of the few ultimate food luxuries to have and I’ve been given the task to create a couple of truffle recipes using Gourmet Attitude’s exceptional truffles. (I am forever humbled and grateful to Gourmet Attitude for sending me their gorgeous and delicious fresh truffles and truffle products to play with (in terms of recipes) and of course, eat.) (more…)

Poppy Seed Cherry Yogurt Cake

I recently worked with Nounos Creamery using their incredible Greek-style yogurt (and it’s locally made in Long Island, NY) into my recipes. (more…)