Wednesday, December 7, 2011

palma, mallorca: forn de sant joan

In the heart of Palma, Forn de Sant Joan is a slick two-story restaurant tucked into an ancient stone building. Start off with gazpacho, follow with shredded fois gras, finish with a molten chocolate cake.  Everything in between will be delicious...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

istanbul: four seasons restaurant

We were so sad that the weather was horrible during our stay at the Four Seasons Bosphorus in Istanbul so we consoled ourselves with lunch at the hotel's restaurant...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

los angeles: l'ermitage

L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills has a killer roof-top pool and is located close to some of the best shopping in the country...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

miami: cecconi's at soho beach house

At Cecconi's Miami Beach, all of the waiters are Italian, they make a perfect Negroni and you dine al fresco under a canopy of sparkling lights and olive trees. When we were in Miami we ate there as often as we could (easy enough since we were staying here).  The food was superb- not fancy or overly complicated- just delicious Italian fare...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

barcelona: bodega sepulveda

We walked to Bodega Sepulveda in a cold, gusting rainstorm.  Umbrellas were breaking, we got lost in Barcelona's gray, twisting streets, but it was all worth it after the first bite of tomato bread.  Open since 1936, this  homey, ultra-traditional tapas joint serves the classics, perfected...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

amsterdam: winkel

Winkel, on the northern border of the Jordaan neighborhood, claims to have the best appeltaart in Amsterdam.  I can't say I disagree...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

barcelona: happy pills

I popped in for a refill at Happy Pills in Barcelona.  Bright, poppy and fun, the shop doesn't sell anything stronger than candy, but it's a fun way to get a sugar high...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

london: corinthia hotel

The Corinthia Hotel is a gorgeous new property in London's Whitehall Place.  When our favorite hotel was fully booked, we initially reserved at Brown's Hotel, a member of the Rocco Forte collection.  That was a disaster.  So, we quickly moved into the Corinthia. Housed in a massive white Victorian (1885) building, the hotel's public spaces are grand yet playful...

Monday, July 25, 2011

hong kong: zuma

There are Zuma restaurants scattered around the world, usually in posh districts of international cities.  Most recently we visited the Hong Kong outpost. It was lovely- a light airy space with an outdoor terrace (which can be hard to find in HK).  Essentially, Zuma serves very expensive comfort food to the global jet-set...

Friday, July 22, 2011

at sea

Clearly, I've drifted away from the blog a bit over the last few months. We've been traveling like mad but, I'm ready to return to A Small Thing!  Expect more posts soon. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

amsterdam: de koffie salon

The Dutch make some of the best coffee in the world, in my opinion. One of the most charming places to have a coffee in Amsterdam is De Koffie Salon on Utrechtsestraat...

Monday, April 11, 2011

hong kong: bo innovation

One of Hong Kong's most prominent purveyors of molecular gastronomy, Bo Innovation in Wan Chai is a bright, bustling New York-style restaurant. The staff are attentive, eager (over-eager?) and clearly very excited by the food. While my dining companion has since declared himself "over" molecular food, I enjoyed the meal, although I didn't find any dish to be particularly mind-blowing...

Friday, April 8, 2011

warsaw: u kucharzy

U Kucharzy, or the Kitchen, is just that, a restaurant set up inside the kitchen of the old Hotel Europjski in downtown Warsaw. One of the Gessler family venues, this bustling eatery is an homage to the frenetic energy and hard work that goes on behind the scenes in any restaurant kitchen. Here the cooks are the stars...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

new york city: kava cafe

New addition to the far West Village, Kava Cafe is located just across the street from the stairs leading up to the Highline. It's a very stylish Art Deco-rated coffee bar that serves up a mean cappuccino- perfectly balanced and not bitter at all, as well as a small menu of pastries and sandwiches. The true test, (although certainly not one for the purists) the de-caf latte, was also delicious, creamy and rich without any hint of that awful de-caf taste.  Check it out...

barcelona: ohla hotel

We were lucky enough to christen Barcelona's Ohla Hotel with a stay in its very first week open. Located in the heart of the city, it's a beautiful space with a sleek bar and restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop pool. The staff were eager and helpful, particularly the bartenders who whipped up a killer pisco sour. Rooms were nice but... 

Friday, April 1, 2011

barcelona: the mandarin oriental

Like walking into an elegantly design spaceship, the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona is smack in the middle of the Passeig de Gracia. The lobby is a beautiful version of what hotel lobbies will look like in the space age- warm, modern and sleek.  The bar is a bit cramped but it's dark and sexy, and serves up the best mojito I've ever tasted...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

update! barcelona: dos palillos

We had our first extraordinary meal at Dos Palillos at the bar and ordered off the a la carte menu.  For our return visit we sat in the rear dining room and ordered the chef's menu.  Again, the food was surprising and delicious.  Even more so this time as we were served chicken sashimi.  Yes, raw chicken...

ravello, italy: hotel caruso

The Hotel Caruso is precariously perched on the vertiginous cliffs of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. At 5 stars, it's got great reviews and a stellar reputation. The location is stunning. The gardens are like a second Eden, chock full of fragrant blooms, fresh herbs, ripening olives and heavy, drooping, golden lemons. After a nauseating drive from the port of Naples we arrived...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

barcelona: piscolabis

Piscolabis is hands-down our favorite spot to grab a tapas lunch in central Barcelona. The menu isn't exactly inventive, but the chefs handle the tapas classics with reliable flair. A few of the tasty treats we chowed down on...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

warsaw: bracia gessler

Across the street from the Hotel Bristol, tucked in the old Hotel Europa building is Bracia Gessler, an elegant, airy bakery and one of the renowned Gessler establishments that populate Warsaw's culinary scene...

Friday, February 25, 2011

reading: elegance

Elegance: The Seeberger Brothers and the Birth of Fashion Photography is a handsome reference volume of bygone glamour.  Recommended a few years ago by The Sartorialist, I finally ordered it and it is gorgeous and inspirational...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

paris: l'escargot montorgueil

We are creatures of habit. Every morning begins by tucking matched p.j.s under the pillows, making the bed and cutting an apple into eight slices. Saturday guarantees a Dutch pancake for breakfast.  And when we are in Paris, our first lunch is always at L'Escargot Montorgueil...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

istanbul: balıkçı sabahattin

It was a cool night by Istanbul standards the evening we dined at Balıkçı Sabahattin, so the maître d' brought in large troughs of hot coals to the covered outdoor area of the restaurant where we were seated and stocked them with cedar wood and halved lemons and oranges. Soon the place had warmed up with the delicious smell of slowly burning wood and charring citrus fruits...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

amsterdam: skins cosmetics

Upon entering Skins Cosmetics, a charming apothecary in Amsterdam's 9 Streets neighborhood, you are greeted by the scent of a hundred Diptyque candles and one of the dewy-skinned amazonian beauties that staff the place...

Monday, February 14, 2011

amsterdam: hotel roemer

Hotel Roemer sits on a quiet street in between Amsterdam's Old South neighborhood and the historic Canal Belt. Convenient to the city center, the upscale P.C. Hoofstraat and the verdant Vondelpark, this small hotel is ideally located for getting to know both Amsterdam's touristy sites and the spots locals prefer...

Friday, February 11, 2011

wise words: tom ford

I am tired of the cult of youth. The cultural rejection of old age, the stigmatization of wrinkles, grey hair, of bodies furrowed by the years. I am fascinated by Diana Vreeland, Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois, women who have let time embrace them without ever cheating. Society today condemns this, me, I celebrate it. … I imagine a man and a woman who had been together for a long time, faithful to each other and always incandescent with desire.
-Tom Ford

Thursday, February 10, 2011

new york city: tamago skincare

Tamago Skincare in the East Village is clean, modern and tiny. With its brightly colored modern furniture and Asian-inflected cheeriness, it sort of feels like you are getting a facial at Pinkberry. The services are simple and effective, staff is sweet and professional, treatment rooms in this new location are spare but cozy, and the prices can't be beat...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

new york city: goat town

Maybe Goat Town isn't the most original new restaurant to open in New York City, but despite its silly name (a convoluted story about the owners' birthdays), abundance of plaid and Edison bulbs, and ubiquitous faux-rustic brasserie concept, it does serve excellent food and is a very welcome addition to the culinary alleyway that is far east 5th street.  In the three times I've visited so far, I've had...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

amsterdam: van dobben

Serving satisfying Dutch comfort food in the simplest terms, Van Dobben is an Amsterdam institution.  Similar to American diners, Van Dobben has a long counter lined with turning stools and a staff consisting of middle-aged, kind-yet-gruff waitresses and one giant surly cook, complete with stained apron, back in the kitchen.  My favorite lunch here includes...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

purchases: knit turban hat

This was actually a gift from my sweet sister and I adore it.  She got it here from Etsy seller Dollface Deville. Slightly turban-y when worn with the gather in the center of the forehead, it's warm, soft and cozy.  The deep burgundy color goes with any coat- black, camel, gray, etc. and it looks great with my new sunnies.  More views after the jump...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

new york city: the oyster bar at grand central station

This is the kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised to see Don Draper sidle up next to you at the counter and order several martinis to accompany an oyster lunch...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

paris: frederic simonin

We've found that in Paris, it's hard to find good food and a fun scene in the same place.  We've dined at some of the city's most celebrated restaurants and while we've rarely been disappointed by the food, the sedate, funereal atmosphere at these temples of haute cuisine leaves much to be desired.  Such was the case at Frederic Simonin...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

purchases: ray-ban cats 1000

I bought them here.  They are perfect- slightly cat-eyed, pure black lenses and just big enough.  I've been wearing them nonstop...  

Monday, January 31, 2011

paris: hotel duo

After an embarrassing booking snafu at Hotel de Caron de Beaumarchais (my fault!) we ended up at the Hotel Duo for our latest weekend in Paris.  Formerly the site of the well-loved and very affordable Hotel Sansonnet, Hotel Duo is modern, comfortable and centrally-located in the Marais...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

recipe: coq au vin

I don't have a lot of patience so most of my recipes are easy and fast.  This recipe for coq au vin is no exception.    Rich and flavorfull, it tastes like it's been simmering for hours.  Here's the recipe...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

bali: ayana resort and spa

Ahhhhh... Ayana Resort and Spa.  We stayed here when we first arrived in Bali.  Located in a more isolated part of the island on the south side of Jimbaran Bay, the resort is a sprawling, private complex of villas, restaurants and a stunning bar perched on an oceanside cliff...

Monday, January 24, 2011

istanbul: changa

Sandwiched in with fluorescent-signed donor kebab joints in the Taksim neighborhood of Istanbul, Changa doesn't look like much from the street, despite being housed in an historic Art Nouveau townhouse.  Inside, the multi-level restaurant is spare and chic, and delivers excellent food.  The grilled eggplant starter was simple, smoky, creamy deliciousness, but perhaps most memorable were the Anatolian wines. We were so impressed  by both the white and red varietals that we ordered them by the case for home.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

new york city: peels

"No, I'm not done with that."  I repeated that phrase no fewer than ten times during my meal at Peels, the new Freemans spinoff on Bowery.  Like Freemans, the atmosphere is pitch perfect for today's craze for down-homeyness- rough wood floorboards, Edison bulbs, chunky glassware, butcher's block tables, etc...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

wishlist: cream wool wide leg pants

How gorgeous are these Akris pants?!  Unfortunately, they are a bit too expensive for me, especially for an item I'm almost guaranteed to stain.  Any suggestions for an affordable pair of high-waisted, wide leg cream wool pants?  They'd be perfect with...

Friday, January 14, 2011

bali: sarong

Hot, sweaty Balinese nights are best begun at Sarong, a tent-like oasis of decadence in the island jungle. A short ride from The Oberoi, this sexy, swank restolounge serves up fresh tropical fruit cocktails and spciy, savory Indian/Asian food to its tanned clientele.  Trickling water, trance-inducing lounge music, lily pad-coated ponds, flickering torchlight, seriously potent drinks and a meal of Thai roasted duck salad, tandoori butter chicken, pillowy naan...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

new york city: b+h diner

I don't think the interior of this tiny East Village restaurant has changed since the 1970s, I don't think the menu has been updated much either, which is likely a big part of it's appeal.  For lunch, particularly on a cold, rainy day there is nothing better than a bowl of B+H's hot borscht soup (cold in the summer!) with toasted, buttered challah bread.  The check usually comes to around $5.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

new york city: shellac at jin soon

You read about nail guru Jin Soon in Vogue, Elle and every other fat, fashion glossy.  She is the go-to quote source for nail trends.  Her salon empire has expanded from an East Village shop to outposts in the West Village and Upper East Side.  So, I had high expectations for my appointment for a Shellac manicure and pedicure...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

new york city: brunch at the standard hotel

Half the fun of dining out is checking out, your fellow diners that is.  It's a big part of The Standard Bar + Grill’s recipe for success.  The crowd consists of impossibly tall women with perfect hair, fashion types escaping work at the nearby boutiques, Wall Streeters looking for off-duty models (someone has to pick up the check!), downtown scenesters, artists and look-alikes.  And that’s just for breakfast...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

new york city: minca

The East Village is drowning in ramen.  There are tiny, steaming noodle joints on seemingly every corner.  One of the best and most reasonably priced is the teeny tiny Minca on east 5th street.  Introduced to me by Phoebe, I've enjoyed every bowl of soup I've had there.  The miso ramen is classic- intensely flavored broth and perfect noodles- and I highly recommend the vegetable tanmen which comes loaded with cabbage, bean spouts, mushroom and just the right amount of chicken or pork.


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