EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

IMG_7632Lady Gaga at Barney’s Uptown

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IMG_7637Saturdays Surf NYC, Soho

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IMG_7639Ginger Bread people and the home at Mulberry, NYC

IMG_7640Fresh off the mail from Philadelphia. Home baked cookies just arrived from Emi’s client Fina. So Fab. Thank You Fina!

IMG_7642A pre Christmas surprise for me from Emi and Gael. A little yet Sexy and Mega Mighty  IPod Nano. And Extra Love.

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IMG_7652And the favorite, Beanfield for my run and plus 1000 artists. Emi, You ROCK!

IMG_7657December 17 SNL hosted by Jimmy Fallon and a musical guest, Michael Buble

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IMG_7658Gael Holiday shopping in a matching hat and a warm sweater.

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IMG_7662Best Holiday Cheap and Cheerful eat at Christina’s Restaurant, Green Point, Brooklyn

IMG_7673Feeling cosy watching Emi and Gael…  And those sweaters…!

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IMG_7694At home!

Be Merry, Bright and Happy!

LOvE NYC!

IMG_7381Gael and Emiliano, just about to step into Morimoto, NYC

It’s Emi’s Birthday and this time we decided to go to Morimoto for some great food to celebrate!  It’s our very first time being at Morimoto and we are bit excite and but also nervous because we really would not like an Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant being disappointing. So many of these foodie places we find over rated. Not that great at the end…

Oh Chef, Please, you better be Awesome!!!

IMG_7382Chef’s cook books greet you the second you walk into the restaurant.

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IMG_7384We get seated in one of the smaller section of the restaurant. Not so open, but then also quite intimate. We are quite happy so far. And the drink and main menu.

IMG_7387This is the very first dish of 7course tasting menu both Emi and I had chosen.  All the On trays sound excellent in good range of fish and meat.  There’s also a list of Sushi and Sashimi, but we pretty much knew we would go for the Chef’s choice 7 course tasting menu: Morimoto Omakase, a multi course tasting menu to allow you to experience the essence of Morimoto’s Cuisine. This first dish is ” Toro Tartar” on a bamboo plate over a sheet of banana leaf underneath with 6 small portion of garnish that were unbelievably flavorful. This plate is a size of any guy’s palm, so the portion is small but then perfect as a starter and it was absolutely satisfying with gorgeous flavors.  THANK YOU CHEF!

IMG_7389You will scrape off bit of tartar with this stainless steel flat spoon sort of, then also steal bit of any garnish then dip the whole thing in the light Dashi in a small bowl that came together. It’s amazing.

IMG_7391While Emi and I are tasting Omakase, Gael’s having a hot stone bowl Yellow Tail Buri. A sort of Korean Dolsot Bibimbap but with Morimoto’s twist. No chili paste here. Fresh Shiso leafes and delicate and light sweet soy based sauce adds quite powerful flavor to this super fresh Yellow Tail Sashimi over the rice. There are some Japanese mountain veggies and toasted nori and raw egg to be all mixed together. The serving staff who was helping was friendly and casual.

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IMG_7403Our turn again for the second course. The Yellow tail Crudo with Pea shoots, Mushroom and sesame infused warm olive oil and drop of soy and yuzu. It’s a perfection. It’s just so delicious. The first and the second courses were our two favorite. I can probably have this everyday.

IMG_7405The third dish. OK. Just OK. This one we didn’t care for much. We actually didn’t need this at all. It’s sort of ” Veggie” dish with dipping sauce idea. The anchovy reduction was just all right and veggie were not substantial enough. I would’ve rather not had this at all or maybe would’ve liked something very simple and refreshing salad like.  Chef, Please don’t let us down for the rest..!

IMG_7407The fourth one. A fresh oyster accompanied by Foie Gras and warm drizzle of delicate Teriyaki sauce.  This one was quite lovely. Emi liked this much more than I did perhaps. Still the first and the second course is lingering on the tip of my tongue….!

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Too busy eating and chatting, forgot to take a snap of Course 5, a plate of assorted 6 piece Sushi. They were bit small at bite size with impeccable freshness. They were excellent!

IMG_7413Now the On tray, course 6.  Surf and Turf. A lobster tail over a slightly fried sweet potato sticks and lightly seared Korean style marinated Yagyu beef accompanied by whipped up lemon mousse.  DELICIOUS!!!  It was quite satisfying as portion wise and the lobster tail was perfectly cooked tenderly with amazing seasoning and the beef just melts in your mouth… This On tray made our quite pricy Omakase experience all worth it!

IMG_7415The Lobster tail on the front and the Yagyu beef on the back.

IMG_7421The last course, Dessert. A cup of Sweet potato flan/custard sort of. With a soy stick, poached pear slices, black berry and dollop of cream fresh and an edible flower on the side.. The Soy stick I didn’t go for. I don’t know why. I love the potato flan! Ahh, It also had passion fruit syrup over the flan!

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Thank you Chef Morimoto for a great experience! It was quite amazing!

and Happy Happy Birthday to you Emi!  Thank You and Gael for everything we have together!

and….LOvE, NYC!

IMG_6151Beautiful Sunday morning at Orient State Park, North Fork, New York

After many of quite dreadful humid and wet September days for New York to prep crisp real Autumn, this was maybe the first truly gorgeous weekend weathers we had!  It was dry and warm yet accompanied by cool clean air to compliment spotless amazing perfect blue sky! The Autumn has officially kicked off!  Still in a half sleep  in the bed Saturday morning, we could see gorgeous sun coming through our bedroom window’s grainy blinders… The sliver of warm sun light was just enough to make us jump out of the bed and just take off to be out of the city!  And where we are heading to? North Fork in Long Island, NY!

Just one briskly packed small bag for all of us, we are excite to explore North Fork! It’s our very first time and all I knew was there are many mini vineyards lined up. Yes, some wine tasting, good food and pick up couple of fresh corns… Hopefully we can stumble into a cozy B&B tucked in somewhere. It all sounds good to my soul and my belly! It’s going to be a heck of good weekend!

IMG_6067About little over 2 hours, we are getting into the beginning of North Fork. What can we say…. It got Surf and Turf kind of thing going on here in North Fork. I know we are near the ocean and I see ton of handsome pumpkin farms, small yet swanky vineyards already starting from the very beginning. We know we are really going to like here. Above is a back yard at ” Material Object“, a home furnishing and wine related object store in Jamesport. This 1870′s farm house converted into wine tasting and home decor shop sure shows envious eclectic taste of the shop owner. The natural light filled space is to die for!

IMG_6059The Main house of Material Object, The picture can’t justify the actual space. Here only showing a fraction of entire house. Everything you see here is for sale.

IMG_6065The Barn house/ Cottage like second home which is set back. This felt like a newly built with much charm. But Not the original structure.

IMG_6079Arriving at Greenport. Almost the end of North Fork. It’s a real cute town with many good restaurants, antique and vintage shops as well as oyster and lobster shacks by the water! Here we are chasing early fall but boy I have to say we just can’t complain about warm sun on your back and perfect breeze! It feels sort of early summer and early fall at the same time!

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IMG_6093Claudio’s restaurant was opened back in 1870′s! There’s the main one on the main street and also 2 clam bars right by the water. Bit touristy but all good here.

IMG_6076Yeap! It sounds perfect! Lobster roll anyone? It’s already Lunch time!

IMG_6096Hmmm choices choices…

IMG_6098OK waiting for our number to be called.  We are at # 2 Clam bar of Claudio’s. This place is run by self service and there’s no live band playing ( sort of wedding band, Haha!) Which we consider as a good thing.

IMG_6102Both are $29.95 plates. Not so cheap. Skip the fake butter, Who needs it? Cole slaw, I always love! Lemon works for anything.

IMG_6100Gael’s too busy eating his creamy clam chowder!

IMG_6078After lunch town strolling begins.

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IMG_6070The Greenport town has a good mix of old and new including a tiny Greenport jail ( not pictured..)!  It’s charming and not touched by big chain stores yet. There’s a Calypso boutique as far as a known brand shop. No Starbucks or Ben & Jerry’s. Instead there’s ” Sand pipe Ice cream shop” where I had the best ice cream in entire US for only 4 bucks! Maple syrup Walnut and Vanilla black cherries. Yum!

IMG_6108This is The best vintage and antique shop in Greenport! Beall & Bell, 430 Main Street. Right items at right prices. We saw some of the best pieces here!

IMG_6110This old School gym acrobat pads were sold!  I was happy that quite many pieces in the shop are marked as sold!  Which means we are in the right place! How good are these? Emi had a great idea! One of these would easily doll up your bed as a head board. Especially for guys, that’s awesome I think!

IMG_2480 One next to the Beall & Bell. This one also sells home furnishing materials such as textiles and things.

IMG_2518After we checked in at our motel ( yes everything was booked and we were lucky to find quite lovely and affordable motel right outside of downtown Greenport), we came to restaurant, Noah’s for dinner. It’s not the high season since it is already October, but you want to make reservations ahead for better and really good restaurants in Greenport. They get booked up fast.  Literally any restaurants in the town will have a some sort of raw bar going on and also good seafood dishes.  We wanted to check out Frisky Oyster, but it was too late by the time we called for the reservation. Bit old school and bit groovy here with hefty price tags. We quite enjoyed our meal at Noah’s as they offer many great small dishes are not actually that small. You could call it generously portioned tapas of seafood, great salad and meat bites. We ended up having 5 small dishes and 2 bottles of local 2010 Chardonnay, ” Bedell” from one of the North Fork’s wineries, Bedell . It reminded me of Sauvignon Blanc, Oyster bay from New Zealand.

IMG_6123Now Sunday morning, We are at Orient Beach State Park in North Fork, a short car ride from Greenport!  Water’s quite amazing here!

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IMG_6127You will see lagoons and ocean everywhere in North Fork. It’s really beautiful!

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IMG_6130Running me, Emi and Gael.

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IMG_6191Nice run, shower and pack and we go. Here we are at one of farm stand on the road.

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IMG_6200Gael loves to shop produces. He loves to touch and smell them. We were peeking inside to see they are full and healthy. And these corns are so sweet and juicy!  We also like them raw!

IMG_6234These are called MUMs and they are cheap. 3 mums for $12!

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IMG_6205And we didn’t skip one thing!  Now checking out a few antique store by the road. We scored a real cute picnic basket filled with 4 of wine glasses, silver wear, plates, cheese knife and wooden cutting board and wool matching blanket to the plaid liner of the basket, probably never used before. All these for $30!  Now, that’s a good deal!

IMG_6209I always like these!

IMG_6210Honestly, we were bit tip toeing around the wine tasting as we realized there are hundreds of wineries in North Fork area! Then after the last antique shop we stopped in, we saw the sign if ” Bedell” winery. We love the Chardonnay from them last night! So here we are we are stopping in.

IMG_6214It looks sort of Nespresso shop.

IMG_6216It’s about noon. There are lot of people tasting wine. We realized most of wineries here has small Raw bar. Mostly Clams and Oysters.

IMG_6220Live Jazz is not so bad!

IMG_6218It feels like we are in Napa!

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IMG_6223You can also bring your own food and just hang out here with some wine from the winery. It”s a perfect day to do it! I mean look at that sky!

IMG_6227You will find these many little lovely trails that connects to vineyards or the beach in North Fork. So charming!

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It was the perfect 2 day getaway to truly enjoy beautiful sun, last minute lingering lovely summer but surely it was beginning of Autumn for us. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and if you like to get out of city a little, try North Fork!  It is a real little gem that has little of everything you can taste what water and the land can offer!

LOvE North Fork!

IMG_5643On Denny’s Birthday, At the beautiful Grill Bar at Robataya NYC

Emi’s dear nephew Denny’s visiting us from Italy for about 2 and a half weeks. He has just arrived in time for his 24th birthday! I can’t believe our little Denny I met 18 years ago ( then 6!) is now all grown up handsomely with a great job as well!  It’s always nice to have Denny at our home and  it’s just really nice to have your family visit from oversea when especially we are the only ones away from home. Before Denny arrived we had a few things in our mind to do together with him and for sure we knew where to take Denny for his big 24th birthday.

Robataya on the 9th street in East village!

I have been eyeing on this place since the last James Blake concert Heidi and I went near the restaurant. We were looking for an easy quick dinner before the show and ended up walking into little Japan area that is happening around the 9th street. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few cute Japanese restaurants and tea houses on one single block. It quickly brought me fun memories from my numerous trips to Tokyo!  Bit small and tucked in… A hole on the wall… A little place on the second floor somewhere selling delicious food and drinks…

Robataya is bit fancier than any other ones on the block. The concept of Robataya is not something too up-scaled or so unique as Robatayaki ( Japanese grilling) in Japan is sort of common street food or hearty quick bar food, but this particular one in East village sure scores higher note on the beautiful setting of their Grill bar consisting of wood banquets and chairs that mimics the setting of an open market. The setting is grand but also intimate enough to enjoy the company of rest of the customers sitting at the bar. There’s this sense of “Togetherness” sitting around watching and admiring 2 master chefs’ well skilled clean cooking as a center focus. I really like this.

IMG_5636It’s very common to order directly to the chef as normally the grill bar scale is smaller and also customers sit closer to the chef. Think Sushi Bars. But at Robataya, there are a couple waiters will assist you.  I think they wanted to make this easier for both the chefs and the customers and it felt definitely more up-scaled. The guy with a head wrap was one of them.

IMG_5657Our cool 2 chefs for the night. The chef on the left cooked all the dishes we had. The wooden panel in front of him displays his proud name.

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IMG_5640I must say watching chefs’ moves at this Robataya is quite entertaining. They don’t put up any sort of show but their whole cooking and getting things are just very interesting! As you can see most of ingredients for any grilling is displayed in front of chefs and it’s sure an eye candy.

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IMG_5645Chefs serve the finished dishes and beer bottles to customers at the bar on that long wooden stick with flat tray at the end. Can you see it…? One guy grabbing a beer bottle off the wooden stick!

IMG_5659This is THE SLAT Robataya uses for all their cooking. DELICIOUS!!!  Anything you eat you can really taste the deep flavor of this real good salt. I think good salt does the half of the job for any cooking! Maldon from England is also my favorite!

IMG_5618So we were seated in front of Mushroom area and we had tasted 2 kinds. The super big one ( no it’s not porcini) and the little ones on the front on the right side. Sorry didn’t get all the names…

IMG_5647Kobe Beef. Yes it was tender!

IMG_5625Also we had ordered fried oysters in a graded radish sauce. It was bit odd I must admit.

IMG_5649Here comes another pass of beer bottle from the chef!

IMG_56242 and a half of handsome generations!  From left Denny the birthday boy, Gael the lucky one and my man, Emiliano!

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IMG_5663Happy birthday to you, Denny again!  We love you Denny!!

This is what we had for the night: Snow crab dumplings in clear broth, fried oysters in graded radish sauce, 2 kinds of grilled mushrooms and fresh lemon squeeze, repeat the mushroom because it was so good! Grilled yam with butter, grilled Kobe beef, duck and lamb, simmered pork belly in soy and ginger, simmered short rib in clear broth and chunk of radish, roasted rice balls in 2 ways: one with miso and the other one with soy sauce ( soooo goooddd!), lots of beer for guys and Junmai Ginjo for me the whole time.

Check it out! You will love it!

IMG_3827Entrance at Osteria Terra Masci , Santa Maria di Leuca, Puglia

After a long day of swimming and a rewarding refreshing outdoor shower, it always comes down to one important question, ” What’ for dinner?!!”  As we are making our lunch at home or grab something easy to go to move forward our days, fabulous local dinner is always a hot topic when we are traveling. As much as we love all those Prosciutto and Specs and all, let’s not forget that Italy is a one big Peninsula. Yes, the blessed rich country is surrounded by all that gorgeous water , especial saltier one. Is that why any fish and seafood tastes way way better in Italy than many other countries?  The rich ocean life is something you can’t just pass in Italy and we are totally up for a big feast of  freshest local fish and seafood for the night right here in Santa Marina di Leuca!

Our 2 bedroom rental home base during this trip, friendly homeowners had given us a few tips regarding good restaurants. The top of the list was this place “Osteria Terra Masci” which is located at the borderline of Santa Maria di Leuca on Via Castrignano , Tel 0833 758224 ( You MUST make a reservation).  It was so wonderful , we ended eating here twice during our  6 day trips. With Beppe and Dani then one more dinner with Philipp and Kit.  100% sitting this time around at their front garden. It is true an experience dinning Al fresco. With perfectly pleasent evening temperature down her at Leuca, it would be shame if you don’t dine somewhere outside with romantic dimmed light at a delicious glass of wine…

Anyway, Here I like to share our wonderful dining experience with you at Terra Masci, so come follow me!

IMG_3780It’s about 9:30 pm weekdays. Calculate this. After the ocean, shower, change… Apperitivo.  People are ready to eat by 9-9:30.  Lightly washed in pale blue wood trims and white outdoor parasols are bit shabby and bit Greek like. You can definitely feel this is a place for seafood.

IMG_3783Our super professional and friendly waiter for both dinners showing off the freshest stock ups for the night.  Such a classic way to serve the customers. Even the stake houses sometimes will bring out their proud cuts for the night to show what they are serving to customers.

IMG_3785For our main course in a family style, We ended up choosing a handsome big fish over the lobster. It will be roasted with thinly sliced potatoes and herbs on top.

IMG_3786The waiter will take care of portioning for the size of the group and just bring arrays of Appetizer dishes. It feel almost like Tapas. Here Shrimp Crudo (Raw) with herbs and fresh olive oil and salt. Delicious!

IMG_3787Lightly grilled Branzino with herbs, fresh garlic, Olive oil and lemon.

IMG_3788I believe this was Sole. Sort of Ceviche, but much lighter on amount of lemon juice. Super delicate. The Olive oil can just kill you. So amazing!

IMG_3789Grilled eggplant stuffed with fresh tuna and olive oil. “The” local veggie. Any restaurant you go, they will have good 5-6 different ways to serve egg plant as an appetizer.

IMG_3790Breaded and fried fish balls. Yum!

IMG_3792Peperonata Picante. Slowly cooked down mixed peppers with tomato. Peppers are also one popular veggie down here and these are always spicy not like ones in Tuscan area. I love this!

IMG_3794Oven baked Stuffed Razor clam.  Honestly, I had much better ones in Barcelona. Straight up grilled in open fire with dash of white wine. Sorry Terra Masci…!

IMG_3797The first dish. We chose Spaghetti with shrimps tomato and fresh bits of spicy red and green peppers and touch of bread crumb on top. Perfectly cooked pasta and delicious sauce. The sweetness of Shrimp comes through well and it was well seasoned. I did like the spicy bits of Green and red peppers. See you don’t need ton of thick sauce on any pasta if you make the sauce right like Italians do. You have to make it packed with flavor not runny blend ton of sauce.

IMG_3799This was the main dish at the first night. That big fish was roasted with thinly sliced potatoes over. Fish was beautifully cooked with right amount of texture and saltiness and the potatoes were crispy and sweet. So delicious!

IMG_4467This was our choice of pasta for the second dinner at Terra Masci. Calamari rings and Calamarata pasta. The Pasta literally looks like a ring of Calamari. Yum!!!

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IMG_4470Our second dinner at Masci main course for 5. A whole grilled fish with fresh tomato, potato and black olives.

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Now watch how to handle and clean this mega fish before you serve!

IMG_4475Philipp serving us.

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IMG_4477Another delicate gorgeous dish. Clean delicate flavor straight out from the ocean! Perfect potato and sweet cherry tomato and earthy and salty black olives make a perfect harmony…. Here we added drizzle of spicy first pressed Pugliese Olive oil. YUm YUm YUm!!

IMG_3801Gael always falls a sleep by the half way the dinner…

IMG_3804After the dinner, they always served us ” Finochietto”. Fennel digestive liquor, sort of Limoncello but made with Fennel instead. So fragrant and Ssooo yummy!

IMG_3820We were like the last 2 tables left…

IMG_3826Proud, genuine, generous and Simpaticissimi owners of absolutely amazing “Osteria Terra Masci”,  Rino and Sabrina!!

If you are ever in the area of Santa Maria di Leuca, You must stop by here for ultimate experience of delicious seafood feast from the appetizers, amazing pastas, gorgeous fish and professional, efficient and much friendly staffs.  You would be completely satisfied.  Don’t forget to make a reservation, they get quickly filled up as you can imagine the place is very popular with authentic local dinning experience!!!

LOvE Puglia!

IMG_3653Giovinazzo by night. A view from a locale, Ecclesia.

Now it  has been already 2 years since Emi and I had visited beautiful Puglia. First encounter with Mamma Lucia and her gorgeous Bocconotti, Love at first sight in Poligano, Endless night wonder at Giovinazzo, pretty white city Ostuni, exotic distinctive Puglia’s architecture : Trulli at Albero BelloSo much beauties in so little time then, it definitely made us want to come back to Puglia to see more. And here we are back to explore down further south through Lecce and on. Stay tuned for “The next Toscana of Italy”, Puglia!

IMG_3674Sweet moment. Truly it is an “Open” bar  with a view of the port behind. After a day of long lunch with Beppe’s family, running in the park and the gorgeous dinner filled with plenty of fresh Riccotta di Bufala at the piazza of Giovinazzo, here we are stopping by for some cocktails and friends. The bar is located on the tip of fort at historical town and it’s elevated location gives you plenty of cool sea breeze and  amazing view to the town.

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IMG_3669Beppe and Emi

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IMG_3663Dani and me

IMG_3685The time goes by, it get’s more lively. The music is going and people are dancing. Kids are running around and everything is just cool.

IMG_3679There are enough of sitting and lounging area and you can also have some food here as well. Gael fell asleep on a chair…

IMG_3668Gaetano. He’s a friend of Beppe and the owner of this cool bar, Eclessia.

IMG_3700Walking the night away. The breeze tingles you around.. It’s so perfect!

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IMG_3635The lively piazza of Giovinazzo. It’s almost like a Christmas here! There are many little festivals throughout many cities and towns of Italy this time around. Notte Bianca, Sagre… Tonight, there was a parade of people in historical costumes through the town of Giovinazzo.

IMG_3632Streets are blocked from the cars and literally everyone is out and about!

IMG_3638Made through a big crowd and waiting for a dinner!

IMG_3643Spec and Ricotta salata. Wait for the next one!

IMG_3644Fresh Riccota of Bufala. ( Buffalo in English)  This melts in your mouth. Sssso light! So milky! So smooth but not dense. Airy, fresh and just delicious!

IMG_3648Gael loves anchovy and olives. So Italian he is. Cheese~!

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Nite Nite….!

IMG_0024A perfectly dressed waitress assisting Emi at DBGB, a casual meets up-scaled all American food prepared by 5 star French chef, Daniel Bloulud.  Check out their funky funk website here, www.danielnyc.com

14 varieties of house made gorgeous links and kick ass burgers prepared in simple 3 ways are the perfect matches for their extensive 22 draft beers and more of bottled ones. Lively and bit 90′s decor makes you feel like you are in somewhere out in some European Metropolitan city.  Friendly and speedy service and surprisingly well priced ( quite affordable for the line of super star chef Daniel Bloulud’s restaurant) menu is perfect for a couple or a gathering for a big group of 10 or so.  We did not make a reservation as it was a brunch for us  but I would recommend you do make one if you are going for a dinner.

The restaurant was designed by Thomas Schlesser inspired by the history of the neighborhood  in Bowery Street area, the Restaurant supply district consisting of show casing hefty copper pots and pans hanging off the modern shelving system that carry through out the entire restaurant.  But  you can’t avoid the classic French bistro coming through to you while you are dinning as you see the handsome waiting staff dressed in long aprons and more than enough of good old classic dishes like Stake tartar, Oysters and house made Foie Gras. We absolutely loved our 2 links and Gael’s burger and well chilled draft beer and fresh lemonade accompanied.  When the food arrived it didn’t look like enough amount but quickly you would realize there is more than enough of love to satisfy your hunger.

OK enough of me and let me share some pics of the food!

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IMG_0036The lighter color one up front is Left Hand Milk Stout, co ( creamy, roasty deliciousness) and the darker one behind is Spice Route Eye Ale ( rich rye ale brewed with peppercorn) . Check out the  Beer Menu.

IMG_0037This is Canard $14, Duck and Pork sausage  with crushed rice  and 2 all over easy. Delicious! Juicy and well seasoned just yummy!

IMG_0038Tunisinne Lamb and mint merguez with harissa lemon braised, spinach and chickpeas. $15.

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IMG_0039Gael chose ” The Yankee” , 6oz beef Burger. Simple straight up beautiful classic burger. Very Gael.

IMG_0033And refreshing Lemonade!

IMG_0053The front room and the bar and the back room below.

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IMG_0052Good food and casual yet polished ambiance. Try it  its delicious!

And DBGB is located right next door to CBGB now turned into a John Varvatos‘ Men’s wear boutique. So after our happy meals, we made a quick visit to the shop where many original decor or let’s say more of history of CBGB has kept with glass show cases. Good job Varvatos! I am so glad this important history of NYC did not turn into a some gym or another cheap deli!!!!

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IMG_0064Changing room.

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Now watch New York Magazine’s Store Tour of John Varvatos.

LoVe NYC!!!

duck & pork sausage, kasha varnishkes, duck cracklins

IMG_0139What a beautiful day we had!!  Waiting for the brunch to arrive at Bottega at Maritime hotel, NYC

Usually, Easter means a big lunch with bunch of friends for us. We would roast a big chunk of Lamb and some meaty green veggies, fresh salad and usual Easter sweets just came out of ” the Easter Care Package” from my In- laws in Italy. I could say, Emi and I have had hosted it for all for these many years, but this time, we got all lazy and just couldn’t get bothered and somehow decided to go out for a stroll and an easy brunch in Manhattan.  The weather has been really dreadful in NY for the last many months, I felt SSSoo lucky to have such a lovely afternoon for the day!! We had parked the car in the meat packing district hoping we would get a small table out on the terrace of Standard hotel, then we turned and headed out to our all time favorite outdoor terrace of Bottega at Maritime hotel!

There were plenty of NYC folks in Easter spirit around the town as we strolled, and I hope all had a lovely one!

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Chilled and relaxed. Good time in Easter!

What else do you need?

IMG_0113Typical and always beautiful Paris….  Stylish father and son in St. Germain on Sunday, Window shopping with Fresh Vintage Lacroix, Cynthia’ perfectly french navy stripe and our typical yet delicious lunch at Braserrie Lipp in St. Germain, inside of the shop Astier de Vilatte near Colette, Tea stand at La grande Episerie at Bon Marche, the outside of expensive Goyard boutique, Issey Miyake’s window at the exibition ( FAB!) of Fashion 1990-2000 at the Museum of Decorative Art. Palais Royal and… any street in Paris by night…

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IMG_0142Restaurant 1OR8, 66 south 2nd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Our friend Tobias recommended it, so we went, we ate and we loved it!  Spacious layout with cool high ceiling. White and lots of white. Modern yet cozy. Comfy. Great service at right price. It was a very pleasant experience.  Bit of Fusion. Japanese with a french twist. But not too tricked up. Just right amount of twist. Hearty and clean. Beautiful sushi with perfectly cooked rice. Fluffy and light. Not too hard or sticky. And most of all, just right amount of it. I hate when sushi has stupid amount of rice. Or rice overpowers the sushi in any form. It fails. Interesting small dishes with hefty amount of daily specials.

IMG_0130You walk by the front Bar area then it quickly leads you to the main dining room. Loving the white painted white and white branches.  The hostess will lead you to the table then a friendly waiter will come and totally take care of you from A to Z.

IMG_006999% Japanese Staff. Which I like to give a credit for. 3 sushi men, waiters, hostess, kitchen staffs.. Almost everyone of them at 1or8.

IMG_0066This is the view of Sushi bar from where we were seated. I am liking it. A lot!

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IMG_0068A quick peek at the Menu. The first page.

IMG_00702 of each 3 kinds including the Kumamoto. Oyster sampler, one of the specials of the day. Served with Yuzu Soy sauce and lemon.

IMG_0072Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Guacamole on top, dried lemon, dried tomato and dried zucchini as a garnish and they are actually quite lovely themselves to taste.

IMG_0081Sukiyaki Terrine with a poached egg. It’s a lovely dish but it was bit too cold to our palette. But an interesting dish with layers of slices of rib eye, spinach, shitake mushroom, onions soaked in Sukiyaki broth sort of.  And Gael breaks it all.

IMG_0101The most delicious dumpling I ever had. Crystal thinnest and finest skin with plump and freshest shrimps with chives filling. Heartly made and heartly cooked. Deeelishous! And an interesting match with Gael’s top and the dumpling plate.

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And… Sorry I Did not take pics of every dish we had for the night. But we loved all the dishes and especially the Sushi we tried except the ” Double Salmon: on the special Sushi role list… But we loved Eel and Shrimp tempura. Quietly warm yet simple and light. Mushroom Tuna was excellent with good bite of Enoki mushroom, red pepper and asparagus.  We chose sake by carafe. 2 of them at the end. “Chikurin”, Junmai Sake that carries round and earthy taste. We loved it! Gael’s miso soup was also excellent with home made soft tofu in it. Also we shared a starter of warm Mussles from the daily special and it was very lovely with pickled strings of lemons in it. For more different dishes, please check out their website, www.oneoreightbk.com

And… the Dessert was amazing and very different. Very Japanese in terms of the ingridients but not so traditonal the way they were executed. The contrast between sweet, warm, crunch, cold, salty, warm and even bit of bitterness. Great great dessert! We tried 2 and both were daily specials.

IMG_0111A Chestnut flan with Caramel ice cream, an almond biscotto and caramel sauce over the flan.  The focus on this dish is not the sweetness as most of other typical desserts are.  This dish was all about Aroma ( the true essence of Chestnut and slightly bitter caramel ice cream) and crunch but not hard and touch of chewiness of Almond biscotto. Nothing on this is really sweet but it was perfectly lovely as a dessert. Very beautiful.

IMG_0109An Ajuki red bean tart with Green Tea ice cream. The ice cream was the best kind ever! Gael loved it! The Tart is bit like bread and also cake like at the same time. Again not so sweet here even though the Ice cream was, but it was perfect amount of play on contrast of flavors here.

Totally Satisfied!!

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IMG_0126The Bar area.

Great food and a Great place!

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