Saturday, June 28, 2014

nykeiko eats: Bespoke cocktails are a thing at Milk and Honey [NYC]

I finally got to try Milk and Honey, a neo-speakeasy bar that Dave has been wanting to try for some time. The bar is easy to find on the internet but in person, you have to look a little harder. Hidden behind unmarked glass doors and black curtains, Milk and Honey has been the go-to spot for New Yorkers to taste some fantastic bespoke (i.e. custom, made-to-order) cocktails. Owner, top mixologist Sasha Petraske opened Milk and Honey back in 2000 at a smaller venue in the Lower East Side. Now that it has moved to the Flatiron district, the intimacy is lost and the venue seats up to 66 people. Every seat was taken even when we were there close to 1 in the morning (Gasp! We were up late right?).

Milk and Honey
 instead, which was probably the best decision ever! We got our own booth after less than ten minutes of waiting. The bar was quiet for a Friday night and big parties with no reservations were turned away. It was perfect. Oldies tunes played and Dave and I could still hear each other speak. We were therefore able to catch up on important life questions such as : "If you had to eat at one restaurant (unlimited funds) in New York city for a whole week for all three meals, which restaurant would you pick?", "If you find a $100 bill in the subway tracks, would you wait an hour for an MTA agent to retrieve it for you? What about $50...?". You know, important things like that.

There are no cocktail menus here and you get to order whatever you feel like that night. Well, not whatever. (I asked for berries in my drink but they didn’t have any.). You describe to your waiter what your ideal drink is. Maybe pick a spirit you want (gin, vodka, whiskey...), maybe some flavors (fruity, gingery, lavender..) and add a little bit of personality to it (sweet, sour, refreshing, bitter, spicy...) and patiently wait for your unique concoction to be made and served. That night, I went with a twist of a gimlet which had some crème violet liqueur. My second drink was something fizzy (egg white and cream). I was loving being able to customize my drinks. They should make a restaurant with that concept…No, Chipotle is not the same.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #14: Man jumping near Shimen arch, Taiwan

Monday, June 23, 2014

nykeiko shops: Ippolita sample sale [June 2014 NYC Sample Sale]

Ippolita mini lollipop birthstone rose gold bracelet in garnet

I passed by Ippolita's sample sale last week Here's my review on Racked NY. Lots of pricy stuff but then amongst it all, you can find cute pieces for under $100 like this garnet birth stone mini-lollipop rose gold bracelet with single birthstone.

nykeiko shops: Lulu Frost Sample Sale [June 2014 NYC Sample Sale]

Snapshot from last week's Lulu Frost sample sale. My review on Racked NY here. At last year's sale, I picked up a few pieces but this time, I kept my wallet shut since I'm still enjoying the pieces I acquired. But one could say "you can not have too much bling" right? Well, I don't say that except when I'm talking myself into buying something.

Monday, June 16, 2014

nykeiko shops: Rebecca Taylor Sample Sale [June NYC 2014 Sample Sale]

Vale 14k solid gold chocker

Rebecca Taylor cashmere beanie made in collab with White+Warren

I checked out the Rebecca Taylor sample sale at this morning's preview. Here's my review of the sale for Racked. There are no actual samples at the sale (if there was, I didn't see any) but there were still lots of deals to be had on accessories and lots of overstock from the Spring Summer collection to choose from. I didn't get anything from the brand but it does not mean I walked out empty-handed. I end up getting a sweet looking 14K solid rose gold flat spike chocker by Vale for only $30 (there was an extra discount for F&F :)) and a 100% White + Warren cashmere beanie (which will not be useful for the summer) for $22.50. There were many more temptations such as $50 shearling booties with fur and a $50 handbag too but I resisted! There were also many pretty skirts and dresses but I'm nice so I left them for other shoppers heehee and also didn't want to hear Dave's big fat sigh if I came home with more shopping bags :)


nykeiko eats: In pictures- Decade of Shack Hummburger in all angles #DecadeofShack

Decare of Shack-The Hummburger. I could have done without the bacons but I was glad it was there anyway.
Like a supermodel photo shoot but instead of a supermodel, it is a burger. A limited 'edition' burger for Shake Shack's 'Decade of Shack' 10th anniversary celebrations. The hamburger I am showcasing here is the result of a culinary collaboration with Shake Shack and five world-class chefs. The celebration happened last week in its entirety where from Monday through Friday, foodies get to taste 5 different delectable burgers crafted by Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Humm and April Bloomfield.

We tried the Humm burger by Daniel Humm (chef/owner of The Nomad and Eleven Madison Park). I have a picture of the burgers in every angle possible. Except the bottom (too soggy to pick up). Side effects: You might drool.

Yeaaaa... It is probably one of the best burgers we have ever had and the idea that we may never taste this again, makes it even better. It's like a historical, once-in-a-lifetime thing. To us it was anyway, since Daniel Humm can probably make one whenever he feels like it. But for hundreds of New Yorkers, this was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. What makes this one better than the other 4 burgers offered is that this one had real truffles shavings (I mean, only if it's your your thing). Truffles are kind of not affordable (except maybe the fake ones from China). So when you only have to pay $8.50 for a burger with truffles, it will probably attract a crowd and it sure did. Thursday's Hummburger drew one of the largest crowd in Shake Shack's history (David Chang's burgers also drew a large crowd that week). The line snaked from the shack hut all the way outside the park nearing 26th street. Although it was announced that 1000 burgers would be served per day, an employee told us they upped the number to 1,500 in anticipation for the largest crowd ever. To appease the anxious crowd, the chefs came out to greet the fans, free Shack Shack sunglasses were handed out and chilled Prosecco was served!

I did not think I would make it but with my husband's willingness to try real truffles without the high price tag and in the company of cousins, he went to line up early on Thursday morning. I got to show up late but just in time for the feasting.

Decade of Shack burger- The Hummburger and all the truffles that came with it

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #12: Princeton New Jersey 2006

That's me when I first arrived to Princeton, New Jersey. I was attending a science conference for my grad studies. I also took advantage of our close proximity to Manhattan and made a day trip out of it on our day off. That was the first time I have ever set foot in New York city. Little did I know that 5 years later, I would be calling it my home...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

There's an app for that...[HouseTab]

This is a "public awareness" post. There is now an app out there that lets you buy drinks/food to your friends, dates or even a hot stranger with a click/swipe of a button on your phone. It's called HouseTabIt can be like Tinder but you can get your prospective date drunk first before meeting them. No, no, that's a bad idea. And if you think it's a good idea then it didn't come from me.

I tend to be on time, well most of the time- subways can be unreliable at times-or rarely cancel last minute. But if someone is uber late for no good reason (I hate that!) then buying me a drink while I wait would probably make me more pleasant to be around when they eventually show up! If more people I knew or more of my fave venues signed up with HouseTab then this app could be a lot more interesting. Linking this with Facebook or Foursquare would be a good start...

Monday, June 9, 2014

nykeiko eats: Uni pasta and duck at Basta Pasta NYC

As we wandered around the Flatiron distract on a beautiful Friday evening with no concrete plans except wanting to be out in the sun, our appetite to try something new and delicious surged. Searching nearby restaurant, Basta Pasta popped up. Uni pasta instantly popped up in my mind and a bit of salivating ensued. Having eaten pasta the night before, it was perfect to have it AGAIN. Washing down carbs with more carbs makes sense to me. We called to find out what the wait was for two if we get there in 5 minutes. It was 7 pm on a Friday. No wait. Surprised but happy. When we arrived, there was a short wait which was just enough time to order a drink (Sangria Bianca) and take one sip before being seated.

Basta Pasta: Sangria Bianca
Seeing chefs cooking my food is always entertaining and reassuring. No mice over here.

Chefs at work at Basta Pasta
More pics after the jump!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

In Pictures: Alex Winston performs at Le Poisson Rouge May 31 2014

Alex Winston at Le Poisson Rouge
After seeing her perform at CitizenM's slumber party back in April, Alex Winston has become one of my favorite artists to loop on Spotify. I like her entire album 'King Con' and there is not one song on there I don't like to hum too. Dave even found out that she was part of La Blogotheque's Take Away Show years ago which increased her major coolness factor by a ton. Her rendition of Choice Notes is very le cool.

Randomly Googling her one day, I by chance found out that she was going to do a show at Le Poisson Rouge in New York city.  I put it on my calendar and made sure to snag tickets as soon as they went on sale. I was pretty excited because when she was performing at CitizenM, I have to admit that I wasn't paying attention 100% (Busy chatting, instagramming, tagging, know the drill. It was a blogger party after all!). I regretted it. 
I had also never been to Le Poisson Rouge which made going to the show even more thrilling. My other favorite artist Lykke Liperformed there once back in 2010. She has since released a couple of albums, toured worldwide and we last saw her perform in New York city at the lengenderary Apollo theater

I wish the same success for Alex. 

Picture time!
 Alex Winston is a very lively performer. It was difficult for me to get a non-blurry pic with my point and shoot. It was also difficult to get a good shot of her because somehow, tall guys like to stand in front of me during concerts. It's almost a tradition now. Why can't it never be a shortie?

One of two opening acts: The Neighbors
Alex is one petite gal. Standing on the drum and not breaking it...

Finally some downtime allowing me to take a couple of non-blurry pics (sorta)...

Alex Winston and me
Hmmm I guess I don't have that many good pictures after all. I took videos which also suck because of the tall dude. Most of the time it's me trying to not shoot the back of his head.

Here's a picture before the show.... Do not order the Riesling. 

Thanks for stopping by xx

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #11: Jiu Fen, Taiwan 2009

Jiu Fen is the real life inspiration for the Studio Ghibli movie 'Spirited Away'. Fact of the day for ya. This place is one of my favorite place in Taiwan to go on a day trip with out-of-towners or a mini-getaway with my family. We hike a nearby trail and then go to the old street to eat and shop all the way up the hill where a fantastic view awaits us.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Le French Press

Nice combo: No Six Depot coffee, S'well bottle, Bodum french press

For years I have purchased my coffee from local cafés, food carts, Starbucks and wherever serves this legal addictive drug to the mass. I probably already spent thousands of dollars on coffee since I've started drinking it (It is a good thing I started late in life!). To save some money, I even bought my own Nespresso cups to use with a Nespresso machine being shared at work, but they randomly lock up the room where it sits which makes it an unreliable source of coffee. I have always wanted to make my own coffee at home but since the husband does not consume coffee at all (It's a good thing because he's already cray cray. Joking. He's totally not but I don't know how he works long days on natural fuels.). It would be a waste to get any type of coffee making machinery at home especially when all I need is one coffee per day.

Then, almost two years later, I remembered something we unearthed while moving a couple of months ago. A Bodum French Press Dave received as a birthday present from a friend (who obviously did not know that he was one of the rare specimens on Earth that does not drink coffee). The French Press has been sitting there untouched for years since I had no knowledge how to use one (If I had known how simple it is sooner...). Now that I had the French Press ready, I needed grind. I finally found an excuse to contact No Six Depot (remember our trip to the Berkshires?) and ordered some of their perfectly hand-roasted coffees (Blue Velvet is yummy). It arrived very quickly and so, here I am, enjoying a nice smooth cup of coffee almost every single day which takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. When you start the day with a nice dose of caffeine, you feel that juuuust right.

Thanks for stopping by! x