Friday, March 29, 2013

Travelogue: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

 Traveling to Eureka Springs was such an unexpected surprise.
Had it not for hubby's cousin getting married there, we probably wouldn't go ourselves. 
And boy, we would have missed out experiencing the nostalgia of a
 place frozen in an earlier era!  

Eureka Springs (1) Eureka Springs (1)b

  Queen Ann Mansion

Eureka Springs (2)
Quigley Castle
Eureka Springs (3)a Eureka Springs (3)b
 St. Elizabeth Church
Eureka Springs (4) Eureka Springs (4)b
 Passion Play
Eureka Springs (5)a Eureka Springs (5)b
 Christ of the Ozarks
Eureka Springs (6)a Eureka Springs (6b)
 The Little Golden Gate of Arkansas
Eureka Springs (8) Eureka Springs (9)a
                                                                                On Me:  Marc by Marc Jacobs teal pleat dress (top version here) Mimi di N gold bow belt  
                                                                                On Him:   Hugo Boss jeans; golf shirt 
 Main Street
Eureka Springs (7)
 Food Scene
Eureka Springs (8)a Eureka Springs (8)b Eureka Springs (8)c
 Top of the Ozarks Tower
Eureka Springs (10)c Eureka Springs (10)a Eureka Springs (10b)

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Restaurant Review: Per Se NY

Chef Thomas Keller changed me as a cook. 
  Cooking from the pages of his French Laundry Cookbook , he taught me to 
choose only the best, sustainable and organic ingredients. 
He also taught me to be patient -- 
  that the best dishes do not come from a 
  box or can but from the freshest ingredients that must be simmered and 
reduced for hours, strained multiple times and prepared for days.
  After many, many failed attempts, we were beyond ecstatic when 
we finally got a table at one of his restaurants at Per Se NY
It was a foodie pilgrimage two years in the making,
perfectly timed to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!
(Shoutout to my good friend Normie for making it happen!) 
We were razzle dazzled the minute we came in -- from the very nice surprise 
of having our own personalized menu, to the 16-course tasting and a visit to the kitchen, 
each minute was an experience worth remembering. 
 In the end, after the final 12th course was served --
not counting the petite four mignardises and several 
amuse bouches here and there, one thing was clear:
Chef Thomas Keller changed me as a foodie.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 (3) photo 4 (4) photo 2 (2) photo 2 (5) photo 3 (2) photo 4 (2) photo 5 photo 2 (3) photo 2 (4) photo 5 (2) photo photo 4 (3)

      What I liked best from the World's 6th Best
  • Our reservation was timed perfectly at dusk so we had a nice view of Central Park as it slowly got dark.  I thought it was very romantic.
  • We got a very private table, looking at everyone else and away from most of the foot traffic.
  •  The caviar supplement was worth every penny! 
  • The brioche is taken away even if it's only half-eaten to make sure guests always have the 'optimal' temperature for the foie gras! Yes, it's excessive and yes, you'll feel a bit guilty for such indulgence.
  • The foie gras with volcanic salt is the best we've ever had. Ever!
  • The steak will be my last meal before I die, given a choice.
  • The private tour of the kitchen was such a nice touch.

     What can be improved:
  • I thought the the service at Eleven Madison Park is slightly better and friendlier.
  • Please serve the langoustine dish a la Le Bernardin!  
  • Please make a truffle dish like Guy Savoy but don't make it a supplement.
  • Please let each guest bring home the leftover mignardises and chocolate selection.   It's a one small request considering I had to give up shopping for two pairs of Louboutins to have this dinner. 
     Some tips:
  • Forget about Open Table for reservation.  Use a concierge service or know someone that has access to one! 
  • It's dressier than Eleven Madison Park or Le Bernardin.  Ladies wearing cocktail dresses will fit just right in.  
  • Experiment with the foie gras.  We had ours eaten by itself, with the brioche, with the different salts,  with the brioche and salt.   Then at the end, we each picked a favorite and told our server about it.
  • Ask for the salt not to be taken away and try it with the steak.  One word of caution: mind blowing!
  • Research your preferred wine pairings using their own iPad app, it's fun!  I enjoyed that better than talking to the snooty sommelier. 
  • If you're friendly to the servers, they will explain with much more gusto about each course and how its prepared.  It was way better than listening to their standard scripted spiel.
  • Relax and enjoy the food!  I can't help but notice a few diners that night that were too stiff as if they were acting in a period drama.
  • We should have waited to eat here after we've been through most of the other Michelin-starred restaurant.   Now, everywhere else we go seemed fast food-ish in comparison.   Our foodie future is doomed, and the only redemption would be to go back.
10th anniv at per se ny 
                                                                   On MeEscada LBD, tweed jacket, Trina Turk for Banana Republic clutch  
                                                                    On Him: Burberry suit, MICHAEL Michael Kors tie


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Traveling Tales

Last week, I met a friend for sushi.
But it wasn't your everyday sushi meet-up kinda thing.

We were two friends from Manila, now living in Minnesota and Virginia,
traveling for work in Central America and North Carolina,
and meeting up in Atlanta for a quick 10-minute sushi in between our layovers.

Yes, the story of my life of constant traveling is the same story as a few
of my friends'.  And most of our conversations are around
airline status, hotel status, mile accruals and
whining for weeks on the rare occasion we don't get upgraded.

Such entitled and elitist air travelers we are sometimes.
I wish a treatment exist for a disorder such as ours.

Cheta B Sheath3
Cheta B Sheath4 (2)
Cheta B Sheath4  

                                                                    DRESS:  Cheta B sheath dress  
                                                                    SHOES: Prada 
                                                                    ACCESSORIESMichael Michael Kors black skinny belt

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Winter in Spring

Today is supposedly the first day of spring. 
But apparently, Minnesota didn't get the memo!
Instead, we got six inches of snow two days before the 1st day of spring. 

Great.  Just great.

So until then, I will dress accordingly - scarves and boots and coat and gloves!

RAR_1504 RAR_1503 RAR_1505 RAR_1499
trench 3
                                                DRESS:  Nanette Lepore red trench dress
                                                SHOES: Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots 
                                                ACCESSORIESMichael Michael Kors black skinny belt


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