Serious Coffee and Brunch at Fekete

While the perfectly made and frothy-as-all-hell almond butter latte at Mantra on Veres Pálné utca will always be my first choice to sip during catch-up sessions with my sister-in-law during visits to Budapest, Fekete is a close second. This place is the perfect example of what this city is just so damn good at: converting…

Belvárosi Disznótoros | A Meat-Lover’s Dream

As soon as I saw Belvárosi Disznótoros on Karolyi utca, on a breezy morning stroll through downtown Budapest with my parents this past May, I knew I’d be returning there to eat, that same day. This place, whose name translates literally to “Downtown Pig Feast,” is a kind of double-duty butcher shop and restaurants specializing…

Sporking our Way through the Menu at Cent33

Three former colleagues at a new restaurant each month or two, chatting over the world of Bordeaux fine wine over a bottle of non-Bordeaux. Such is the nature of what’s becoming a regular kind of dinner club, meetings of which I look forward to with enthusiasm every time. Our June pick was Cent33, a gastronomic…

A Perfect Hungarian Meal at Borbarátok Restaurant in Badacsony

A few weeks back, on a somewhat rainy May morning, my mother, my sister-in-law and I took the drive down from Budapest to the Balaton to figure some things out for my upcoming nuptuals, and (more importantly) remind ourselves why all the logistics are, after all, worth it. On our densely-packed schedule for the day…

Ca’n Joan de Saigo: The Cradle of Ensaimada

This past April, a wonderful group of friends whisked me away to a secret destination for my “enterrement de vie de jeune fille” or “the burial of my life as a young girl,” known in English as a bachelorette party. I packed my bags not knowing where for. I passed security at the airport without…

Brunching at Es Rebost in Palma

My first bite of Mallorca… well, it was Taco Bell. But that’s just because my dear friends know me well enough to know that if I’m ever in a country where Taco Bell is an option, especially as a late night delivery, it will trump all else. But my second bite of Mallorca, that one…

Dinner at Côté d’Arguin Restaurant in Arcachon

A few weekends ago, Ben and I drove out to Arcachon to spend the night at the Thalazur Thalassothérapie Spa and Hotel: a much-needed pause from the stress of planning a destination wedding with “Level: High” difficulty logistical organization. We spent the afternoon soaking in the massive salt-water pool, taking turns roasting and steaming in…

A Wild Ride at Mampuku

A few nights ago, Ben and I got together with a couple of friends to try out Mampuku, near Porte Cailhau. After what was one of my favorite Bordeaux restaurant experiences at MILES a few months ago, I was eager to try its sister restaurant, an (even) less-formal, but just as cerebral, collaboration between Japanese…

Refueling at the Liban Deli in Jönköping

One of my fondest memories of my trip to Sweden and Denmark this past autumn was spending an afternoon with my best friend (and soon to be bridesmaid), exploring Jönköping, her new home of late. Situated in the province of Småland, on the southern shore of the great Lake Vättern, this small Swedish city is…

Indulging at ** La Grand Maison de Bernard Magrez

Ask me about my recent birthday dinner at Pierre Gagnaire’s 2-Michelin-starred restaurant La Grand Maison de Bernard Magrez and I’ll ask you how much time you’ve got. A flawless experience from start to finish, though I never expected otherwise. This Relais & Châteaux gem brings together the essences of three great men. The menu is…