beautique ny

beautique || 8 w. 58th street, new york, ny 10019 ||

“first impressions are of utmost importance, especially in a pretentious setting.”

blame it on the recent write up on page six in the new york post attracting a particular high profile clientele now scrambling over to this venue like there’s no tomorrow. wear your 9’s, bring your 10’s because this is serious.

upon entering beautique [after getting the approval from the almighty gatekeeper that you are worthy enough to join] you are instantly greeted by a beautiful giant bouquet of flowers + a shiny birchwood baby grand piano — double win.20140723-235100.jpg20140723-235118.jpg20140723-235205.jpgnaturally i had to test it out. 20140723-235328.jpgthen you pass a staircase of angled mirrors [last looks to ensure your face is perfect] before you descend into a den of judgmental patrons & staff more opulence. [the staff was actually very warm + welcoming.]20140723-235345.jpgwallpaper of bittersweet cut rose heads or lychee, i haven’t quite figured it out yet, but either way, really contributing to the aesthetics. they care!20140723-235437.jpgif you are special enough, you will be guided through the kitchen to a secret back room only available to the VIP & such. the walls are covered in artwork including warhol originals & other reputable artists.20140723-235452.jpgof course i made a pitstop behind the kitchen counter. “i’m topchef i swear!”20140723-235833.jpgconcentrating on placing the snow pea shoot perfectly onto the roasted leg of lamb dish. 20140724-000031.jpgquick snaps of a few dishes: salmon + soft-shell crab. the lighting is dark in the back room & since i dislike flash for dishes, i didn’t photo-document the complete dinner. 20140724-000039.jpgrecommended appetizers not photographed: mixed green salad with fruit – simple yet delicious. // spaghetti in a sweet tomato sauce.

recommended main courses not photographed: roasted chicken breast – very juicy & tender – not overcooked at all – i was impressed. // roasted sweet potato over buckwheat, mushrooms, & spinach mix

basically i’d like to return for the 3rd time to try everything else on the menu, especially the items laced with foie gras, & even more so after learning that beautique is under the helm of star chef craig hopson, formerly of le cirque.20140724-000543.jpgespresso martini + double espresso20140724-000614.jpglouis xiii + other fine whiskey20140724-000812.jpgkeepin it classy with the soft shell crab: slightly salty but the bed of puréed peas & greens was delightful.20140724-011313.jpgsnap of the ladies. you can’t sit with us but you can try to charm us.

i hear tuesday nights are especially great there since rogue nights brings in a crazy wonderful bunch. from the beautiful decor to the trendy, upscale crowd to the attentively crafted menu selection, this is a rare combo + gold medal winner.

beautique is simply magnifique!

also it’s located near the infamous plaza hotel & right next to the paris theater…oh paris.20140724-012344.jpgparting is such sweet sorrow, but there will always be tomorrow!20140724-173701.jpgchanneling the end of the night scene of [classy] drunks on the piano from gatsby.

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novikov – london

novikov || 50a berkeley st., london || +44 20 7399 4330

touchdown [fancy] londontown!

this dark [yet perfectly lit for footos: foodie photos], decadent, festive, sexy venue filled with beautiful people [with british accents] & especially fresh seafood [+wifi!] deserves a proper standing ovation, so here it is:
20140714-141458.jpgles poissons, les poissons…20140714-141628.jpghee hee hee…20140714-141658.jpghoh hoh hoh…20140714-141716.jpgafter saying hello to the kitchen staff & shaking hands with the lively seafood on display, onto the real excitement – the eye candy food & beverages:20140714-142922.jpgfrom the bar area, starting with perfectly crafted espresso martinis – not overly sweet like one too many places.20140714-143538.jpgas we venture over to our table, the dining room faces the fresh seafood flown in first class from various parts of the world + the seemingly open kitchen for you to enjoy the art of cooking segregated by a glass wall so as not to ruin the scent of our carefully slathered perfumes [or colognes].20140714-144358.jpgshrimp dumpling topped with ikura.20140714-144442.jpglangoustine carpaccio – YES.20140714-144606.jpgo-toro, you’re so fatty. hotate, you’re so hot. YES.
20140714-144821.jpgikura, you’re so ballsy. YES.20140714-144956.jpg[edible?] floral drinks for the ladies. 20140714-145058.jpgcrispy fatty duck with microgreens, pomegranate, pine nuts = mixed guilty + guilt-free feelings cancel out = nonetheless, delicious.20140714-145256.jpgking crab legs cooked with superman butter.20140714-145338.jpglightly seared razor clams in a citrus sauce – YES.20140714-145439.jpgspicy sea bass in an orange sauce [think fancy orange chicken] – not my favorite but still done well.20140714-150325.jpgcrispy soft shell crab – yum.20140714-150402.jpgi changed it up to a whiskey-based drink served in bamboo for a tropical effect. for dessert, we had few more espresso martinis – they were consistently great. overall, wonderful experience! bravo novikov!

next stop: the rififi club [members only] for restaurateur arkady novikov’s newest creations. more soon!

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world cup

inspiration for the finals:
20140712-135609.jpgmister italia perfecto, fabio cannavaro.20140712-135617.jpghail to the glorious dolce & gabbana ad campaign. team italia!20140712-135624.jpggo italia! oh wait they’re not involved anymore. so sad.

brazil should redeem themselves & get 3rd, germany 2nd, & argentina should take 1st & make evita proud. all the winners should do nude half-naked ad campaigns featuring their perfectly-sculpted bodies. this is what world cup is about. this is real life.

july 13 add-on: ok so brazil didn’t really redeem themselves. those cutie pie netherland boys played better & won deservingly, despite some controversial referee calls.20140713-124801.jpgbut go argentina! take home the trophy!20140713-125055.jpg

les benjamins

love notes from paris,
drums on my heart…

20140709-104726.jpgparis fashion week is here. an up & coming turkish designer brand is making waves across the borders: les benjamins. the cocktail party in le marais hosted by the lovely paula was filled with special guests & fashionistas as the new collection was unveiled.20140709-195015.jpgwhen paula & i first met @ cannes film festival, all dolled up & glowing #tbt20140710-142315.jpg20140709-195028.jpgmy favorite piece in the collection: albert einstein + miley cyrus. e=m[iley]c[yrus] squared. brilliant. 20140709-195044.jpgsister loved it too.20140710-183340.jpgcute + hyperactive dog spotted. must pick up. he went for a kiss.20140709-195103.jpgmust take photos.20140709-195349.jpgsome help from his owner.
20140710-030655.jpgme: is he neutered? [random question]
he: what? [laughs hysterically]20140710-030802.jpgfinally got the shot [after 20 tries]. meet easy, the dog.20140710-030902.jpgthanks to victor malecot at ten days in paris for our sibling photo.20140710-031017.jpgcoolest kids in town selfie: L-R yours truly, myself [in creepy shadow]; benoit, a talented jazz musician [& natural charmer]; martin the attorney; baby co, the little sister & attorney in the making.20140710-031058.jpgbaby co had harassed chased down stalked pet every single dog in sight during our monthlong eurotrip. what is one more lovable italian greyhound?20140710-031114.jpgles benjamins has an effortless chic & feel to their designs. trendy streetwear full of attitude mixed with symbolic images allow one to ponder about pop culture and its influences. the understated cool factor is here to stay.

a great celebration it was with champagne & beer flowing since it was also a glorious win for france against nigeria that day. allez les bleus!20140710-175934.jpg
for a sexy chill hotspot in paris where the cool kids + hipsters + fashionistas dwell inbetween mtgs, castings, rendezvous, see le progrès.

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osteria pastella – florence, italy

osteria pastella || via della scala, 17/r – 50123 firenze || 055 2670240

“this is the boy vongole i’ve been looking for all my life!”

ciao! as i explored italy with my sister, we stumbled upon this place all on our own – no tripadvisor, no help from yelp. i was instantly drawn to the front window showcasing a sous chef making fresh rows of pasta. what can i say, i fall for appearances, thus, this new restaurant had already stolen my heart passed the first test & quickly became my favorite in florence. [plus they have wifi!] 20140706-075904.jpgpuff of joy starter.20140706-075935.jpg20140706-075955.jpgthe caprese was interestingly stacked high & executed well, tasting of mouthfuls of freshness.20140706-080018.jpgthe fresh tagliolini alle vongole was hands down the best vongole i’ve had in italy [at such a reasonable price too]. the strong but well-blended wine + the finely chopped garlic parsley as their sauce was magical – this is the boy vongole i’ve been looking for all my life!20140706-080109.jpg20140706-080139.jpg20140706-080151.jpgwe went with the pio ix dessert option which was recommended by our server & it was indeed a unique delicacy. i don’t know much beyond the fact that it is named after pope ix & it was delicious. took me a lot of googling to find out exactly what that nostalgic tasting fruit was: a european gooseberry.

then as a very kind welcome to osteria pastella + florence, the [awesome] big boss presented us these following italian specimens: tasty dessert wine & [drum roll] grappa. a lot of grappa.20140706-081649.jpg20140706-081703.jpgit was a challenge we couldn’t refuse.

their usage of flavors + quality of ingredients + presentation are comparable perhaps even superior to fine dining places but without the arm-chopping fine dining prices [and snobbery]. it really shows they care about maintaining the authenticity of the cuisine with no extra side orders of bs. such a wonderful experience overall. this is a must-visit when in florence! cannot wait to return to try more from the menu.

note: on fridays, they have live jazz :D what more could you ask for? big thank you to pietro for being a wonderful human being who truly appreciates the arts all across the board – grazie & salute!
20140706-140233.jpgregrettably, i didn’t do justice for the welcoming window photo the first time around.

20140706-142157.jpgso we went back. arrivederci!

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