Sugar Rush’ed…

Friday, November 30, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

Happy weekend! I write the Sugar Rush column for Serious Eats.

Indulgences from this week…

Chocolate-Pecan Pies at Butter Lane…chocolate cake + pecan pie in one
Gingerbread Cookies (and pumpkin bread) from Tate’s Bake Shop
Chai-Fig Cakes and Cocoa Lattes at UR Cup
Apricot Tarts at Petrossian…best fruit tarts in the city
Mont Blanc at Bosie Tea Parlor…a modern version with strawberry and meringue

And from last week…

Eccles Cakes at The John Dory Oyster Bar…flaky, warm, stuffed with boozy currants
Matcha Mousse at Soba Totto…with matcha ice cream and azuki bean base
Jeweled Pralines at Neuhaus
Chocolate Chip Cookies at Cookshop
Stollen at Hot Bread Kitchen…complete with rum, brandy, and nuggets of marzipan

All the Sweets | Coffeebar at Cookshop

Thursday, November 29, 2012 1 No tags Permalink 0
Cookshop is famous for brunch. But I prefer breakfast. 

The bar turns into a bakery in the mornings and Amanda Cook is the talent behind all the sweets (fun fact: Amanda used to do product development for Krispy Kreme!)

The pastry bar is similar to what Karen DeMasco does at Locanda Verde…the more the merrier. Every neighborhood should have a pastry bar. 
Visit in the mornings and you can indulge in everything from cinnamon coffee cake to gooey chocolate chip cookies…
…which I Sugar Rush’ed for Serious Eats. They are amazing warm from the oven, and the quick sprinkle of maldon salt over the top really sets it off the edge. 
Amanda also bakes soft and chewy peanut butter cookies…
…and classic pain au chocolate. You should have seen the look on Amy‘s face when she bit into a warm croissant…
…it’s like she was transported back in Paris!
The muffins were also excellent. Think butternut squash muffins complete…
…with melty chocolate chips…
A “Have a Nice Day” (so cute) breakfast muffin…
…and of course, blueberry. Crumb-topped and big fat berries in each bite.
And in case you crave something savory…

…look out for cheese and chive biscuits (generous on the cheese)…

….and focaccia with toppings that change daily. We got caramelized onions ^_^

San Sebastián | Hotel María Cristina

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5comments No tags Permalink 0

This is one of the main reasons I want to go back to San Sebastián.

I went for a walk along Playa de La Concha our first day in San Sebastián, and there’s a point along the bay where you get the most amazing view of Hotel María Cristina. It’s beautiful in the day…

…but I like better at night when the sky is pitch black and the hotel is all lit up.

They named it after the queen of Spain and the hotel opened in 1912 during the Belle Époque. It’s opulent, but in an understated, elegant style. Currently it’s part of the Starwood-owned Luxury Collection Hotels (like

The original architect was Charles Mewès…he’s also the guy behind other Ritz hotels in Europe including the ones in Paris and Madrid.

For their 100th anniversary, the hotel received a $25M renovation (the strategy behind the Luxury Collection brand is to restore iconic hotels). And with the María Cristina they focused on enhancing all the feminine aspects of the property. Think curves, silk curtains, and marble floors.

The colors remind me of one perfect box of via]