Jua Restaurant Review in Flatiron

Finally, a Korean restaurant breaks into my top 10 restaurants list. I had a very impressive meal at Jua, the new fine dining Korean restaurant run by Chef Hoyoung Kim, who used to be the executive chef at Jungsik. The nine course Jua tasting menu consisted of Korean dishes that I grew up eating, only fancier and better. The cooking was on par with what we expect from a highly esteemed Western restaurant. It makes me proud of how far Korean food has come in extending its reach far beyond just the humble bbq restaurant (which is still awesome) and joining the ranks of elite institutions, a status that tends to be reserved for the fancy European place or the pricey sushi omakase.

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Lunch at Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin is Eric Ripert’s world famous, three Michelin star restaurant in Midtown where the dinner tasting menu will run you $187 per person, $282 if you include a wine pairing. A meal here may seem inaccessible, but one trick to getting around the prices is to eat in the Lounge, where you can order off of the a la carte menu or enjoy the $57 3 course City Harvest prix-fixe, which is offered exclusively in the Lounge.Read More

A Scandinavian Lunch With a Side of Two Michelin Stars at Aquavit

aquavit in midtown, cozy and refined

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

The New Eleven Madison Park 2017

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

Lunch at Quintonil in Mexico City

embarking on a long and leisurely lunch at quintonil

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