By now, you’re probably aware of the popular Scandinavian concept of “hygge” or coziness. That’s the word I’d use to describe my experience at Aquavit, the two Michelin star Scandinavian restaurant in Midtown run by chef Emma Bengtsson. High end lunches at restaurants of this caliber tend to feel pretty formal and efficient–order the prix fixe, then get in and out in less than an hour for your next business meeting–but at Aquavit, our meal felt relaxed and pleasant. With peaceful jazz music playing in the background and tasteful throws placed on the backs of chairs, the main dining room at Aquavit feels like a refined lounge that calls on you to put your feet up and enjoy yourself for awhile.Read More
After some summer fun in the Hamptons, it’s back to business for Eleven Madison Park, which has returned to its NYC address with some big changes in store. The first is the physical renovation, in which the black booths have been removed to make way for blue fabric banquettes that open up the dining room space and make things feel more like a lively but intimate parlor room. The bar has also expanded, which is good news for those who might want to walk-in or do the less fussy 5-course $155 bar tasting experience. Even the place settings have also undergone a makeover, which you can read about more here in the NY Times.Read More
I left the fate of my lunch at Quintonil in the hands of my friends Alejandro and Liz, two Mexico City insiders who I was confident would steer me towards the right dishes. While the menu was in English, there were too many unfamiliar Spanish words highlighted in quotations that I just didn’t recognize. Terms like “escamoles”, “cuitlacoche” and “cegueza” were beyond my scope of “tortilla”, “mole” and “tacos”. So rather than try to translate everything, I let the locals do their job while I nursed my lovely avocado mezcal cocktail.Read More
The excitement is palpable outside the doors of Pujol. A crowd of diners, mostly foreigners, are patiently waiting the first dinner seating at 6:30 pm. Most have probably seen the profile of Chef Enrique Olvera on Netflix’s Chef’s Table and are undoubtedly excited to experience his cooking in the flesh, thus subjecting themselves to an ungodly early hour for dinner by Mexican standards. These are the things you have to put up with for a seat at a restaurant that is ranked No. 25 on the Top 50 San Pellegrino list.
A trip to Costa Brava should not be rushed. Physically, it’s impossible – the village roads are much too narrow or your car might get stuck in several tight corners. And though the sights are few, what they lack in quantity they make up in sheer substance. Just getting through the first floor of the Dali Theatre-Museum is exhausting – there’s whimsy in nearly every corner, and then you realize you’re not even halfway through it. Leave the type A, cram-it-in mentality at home and just focus on taking in a few things, or maybe even nothing, one day at a time.Read More