All posts tagged: food review

My Mental Health Day at Pangea

The trend in the food world these days seems to be pop ups — places that set up at selected spots at a limited time, with a theme and specific menu. In recent years, established restaurants have also done pop ups, bringing their food closer to people other than those living in their own cities. This weekend my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to go to one of these pop ups — the Culinary Institute’s Pangea. We had learned that the director of Pangea was given limited resources to come up with a concept, turn one of the students’ former dining rooms (if you are not familiar with the Culinary Institute, it is where arguably, the best chefs are trained) into a restaurant, a menu befitting the CIA’s reputation and a specific deadline. What they have come up with is very impressive, an “earth-conscious” menu that takes into consideration the way we “produce and harvest” the food we eat, drawing into it many cultural and culinary techniques while remaining true to the ingredients. Aside …

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie Le Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

Party for the Senses

As part of our Food and Wine Festival experience, we decided to purchase tickets to this year’s Party of the Senses. We found out that historically, famous chefs have participated in this event. This year they featured Disney chefs from around the world, cooking food representing their own culture and the Disney Parks they came from. It was a little chaotic waiting for the party to begin. It is a popular event and it was very crowded in the entrance while we were waiting for the doors to open. If you happen to be thinking of going in the future and purchasing general admission tickets, make sure you come early. Though there are seats and tables inside, people get concerned about being able to see the show and can get very aggressive once the curtain opens. We didn’t realize we could have gotten reserved seating, but at the end of the night if you could make it through the wait in the crowd, it is still a great time and may not have mattered. Once …

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

October in Disney’s Epcot has got to be the perfect time for foodies. The International Food and Wine Festival, appropriately marketed as “taste your way around the world,” is set up in such a way that you can hop from one booth to another and enjoy offerings influenced by different cultures. Once you have completed (tasted) a food item from a “destination,” you can have them stamp your Food and Wine Festival passport, which also lists what’s available in each location. For our anniversary this year, my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to go to Florida — this being a year we thought travel was out of the question, this was a truly blessing — and being the foodies that we are, the Food and Wine Fest was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. My apologies for the not-so-good photos of the food. It was a combination of the crowd and lack of places to sit. Our favorite was the Greek stand with their grilled greek cheese with pistachios and honey (a …

Our Culinary Institute Experience: Bocuse

It was one of those work days when it was one stressful event after another, and my boyfriend said he had a surprise for me. To cheer me up, he had made a reservation to the Culinary Institute of America’s French restaurant, Bocuse, the weekend coming up, to remind me once again of the reason why we have our day jobs. We do our best with our work, hopefully in a profession that we love, so we could live the life we love, live each moment and savor it — and that weekend, savor it we did. The Culinary Institute, CIA, is located in Hyde Park, NY. Restaurants here are used to train their students to be ready for the real world, and it has been a training ground for chefs renowned in the culinary world such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Simon, to name a few. I have written about it before here, but this time I would like focus on the time we had the best dish both he and I have …

Crepes: Philly, Warwick and While Sailing the Open Seas

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you have eaten as many crepes as I have. So when my boyfriend and I went on our Philly food tour last year and saw online that Alton Brown was on Best Thing I Ever Ate talking about Beau Monde‘s crepes, we had to add it on our list of places to visit. In the episode “Under Wraps,” Alton named two crepes, one savory, one sweet, as the best things he ever ate that are wrapped. If you like pears, you would like the dessert crepe, which is pear, chocolate and chestnut creme. The pear wasn’t overcooked, the chocolate and chestnut creme were a good combination and complimented the sourness/sweetness of the pear very well, but I did not like it because of the texture and grittiness of pears. This, however, is personal preference. The savory crepe, mushroom, swiss and almond, was perfectly cooked. They chose the right cheese for the crepe and the almond provided a crunch — it’s just the textural element that it …

Do Giant Fortune Cookies Also Bring Big Fortunes?

I love getting my fortune cookie after a meal at a Chinese restaurant. The history of fortune cookies aside, it is a staple we have come to expect. At Tao in Manhattan, one of my favorite Asian fusion restaurants, the dessert menu includes a giant fortune cookie, which is filled with white and dark chocolate mousse. I had the chance to sample this interesting dessert when I went to the restaurant with my parents. It was served with assorted fruits on the side, and came with three giant fortunes. True to form, some of the fortunes made sense, some did not.It’s definitely a clever and creative dessert. The mousse had good consistency and had balance in sweetness between the white and the dark. I wished the cookie itself would have been crisper, but overall if you take a bite with the cookie as the textural element, the fruits giving the acidity and the mousse the sweetness, it will be a good bite. Tao Restaurant rating: 7.5 out of 10 Giant Fortune Cookie dessert rating: 7 out of 10  …