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Entries in Restaurants (12)


A New Operatic Star

Paris always has something new and fabulous to offer. When I read about the recent opening of L'Opera Restaurant in the Palais Garnier, I knew right away this was a mandatory stop in my four-day visit to the City of Lights. The project took 136 years in the making, since it was originally part of the "final draft" but never came to completion. Finally, Charles Garnier's dream came a reality when this magnificent space opened its doors this year with an ultra modern design orchestrated by architect Odile Decq. After seeing a phenomenal production of La Source by the Paris Opera Ballet, having dinner here was the perfect compliment to a wonderful evening. Inside, the space is divided into three different areas: the hall, the Martini lounge bar and the mezzanine –all surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling undulating veil of glass. Frankly, it was an absolute treat to dine in a space full of history and with such remarkable contrast between the old and the new. This restaurant is a wonderful addition to what already is an unbelievably breathtaking building.

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Tastefully Casual

After eighteen days, four cities, four different languages and three currencies, I'm back from my European adventure. Actually, I've been back for a few days, but it has taken me some time to get back into the groove of things. But now, I'm ready to share with you a few treats I discovered. One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is experiencing a city like a native and finding hot and trendy spots frequented by locals. Baldaszti's Grand is one of them: a beautifully styled eatery in Andrássy Avenue, one of Budapest's main tree-lined boulevards where you can find big-name designer shops, the Opera House and several of the city's museums. This lively, cosmopolitan bar and international bistro kitchen is a wonderful place to enjoy an assortment of the world’s leading gourmet products and a wide range of Hungarian specialities with amazingly friendly service. The decor is rather casual with a sophisticated flair. I particularly loved the inventiveness and simplicity of the pendant lights intertwined through branches, and the cozy lounging area on the second floor. It was the perfect spot to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon after hours of walking.

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Merging Sensibilities

Yesterday, was a day for walking and more walking. It was about exploring Budapest's many gorgeous neighborhoods and attractions. While strolling through one of trendiest parts of town, I spotted Menza, an úber cool and modish restaurant frequented by a young and hip crowd (and apparently the place to see and be seen). Although its name refers to canteens from the Socialist era, its interior design and cuisine provides a more sophisticated take on the past, fine tuned to match contemporary sensibilities by merging the savoir vivre of modern downtown restaurants with the relaxed atmosphere of Budapest's 1960s coffee bars. The fare was delicious, but the decor and ambiance even more so. It was a mix of 1970's chic with a casual contemporary flair.

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New Destination: Eataly

Having people in from out of town always gives us a chance to explore a little deeper the wonders NYC has to offer. They usually come with a list of things to do, and for us its quite the opportunity to finally take the time to visit new places we've always wanted to check out (but didn't have the time to go). Our second stop of the day was Eataly (clever name, right?), the city's ultimate destination for food lovers to shop, taste and savor everything Italian. The 50,000 square-feet paradise houses several restaurants, a year-round rooftop beer garden, a cooking school and a retail market offering 700 exclusively Italian wines, 400 diverse varieties of regional Italian cheeses, the best fresh and dry pasta, fresh produce and many, many, many more yummy Italian delicacies. So if you're planning to pay this city a visit, I highly recommend putting Eataly on top of your list of places to go to. Or if you're a local, this is one of the new hits in town where to enjoy some great Italian delights. Of course, after having a wonderful lunch in La Pizza & Pasta restaurant, I couldn't stop myself and bought a divine Panettone and an exquisite Burrata cheese. Simply delish! Here is a mouth-watering sneak peek... Enjoy.

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