Maison Grazia – Bogota, Colombia

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Maison Grazia

(57) 1 702-1115
Calle 69#5-04
Bogotá, Colombia

www.maisongrazia.com

OPEN HOURS:
7:00am -7:00pm   Tuesday – Saturday
9:00am -5:00pm   Sunday

As of 2014, Maison Grazia is the best pastry shop in all Colombia.  French pastry chef Raphael Haasz, formerly of Daniel in NYC ,and his lovely Colombian wife Claudia Oyuelo (head chef – trained at the French Culinary Institute also in NY and  also worked at Daniel) bring to Colombia a taste of elegant food.  In a City where most restaurants are just a mediocre discolored  copy of European and American favorites, this is sorely needed!

Beyond the beautiful fact that they bring excellent quality, attention to detail, top ingredients, they bring knowledge and education to the local palates via their short classes.  For example, Grazia is probably the only place in Colombia that you can find real ice-cream.  Prepared in the classic way, with actual milk, sugar, flavor and NO corn syrup!  n absolute joy for every foodie and expat in the country :)

There are also madeleines served out of the oven (the traditional french way).  Serving Breakfast, Brunch, lunch, coffee, tea time and early drinks – anytime is the perfect time to go.

The viennoiseries and breads, always better just out of the Oven, were a part of our daily schedule during our last months in Bogota.  We used to buy them a day ahead and know the baking schedule, arriving just as they were ready to pull apart in a crusty joy.  Maison Grazia is right on the courner of carrera quinta and calle 69.  A lovely space that combines inside and outside with a slick black facade.  A five meter tall vertical garden that serves as a backdrop to the glass island pastry counter tricks out the design and furniture concept by Oda Asociados Ltda.

Thank you Chefs – you have finally brought true culinary artistry to Colombia!

 Grazia-003  Grazia-005choux, lime tart
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Patria – Toronto, Canada

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Patria Restaurant

(1) 416 367 0505
478 King St W, Toronto,
ON M5V 1L7, Canada

www.patriatoronto.com

OPEN HOURS:
17:30 – 22:30   Monday – Sunday
10:00 – 14:30   Sunday

Wandering by an alley on Toronto’s busy King St. West, we were surprise to glimpse a glow and lively vibe emanating from its depths.   Upon entry,  you are impressed with the striking decor and full-on art-piece by Laura Carwardine.  Laid over a two-story mural designed by Marlo Onilla, the installation of 17,000 knitted cross stitches.

 

Patria is another part of Charles Khabouth’s INK Entertainment.  Charles Khabouth is really an impressive figure … cutting a swath across Toronto’s scene.  The dining is medium formal and reservations are recommended … although they take walk-ins at the bar, and we think that is a much more entertaining place to dine!

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The strong Spanish menu by Australian chef Swart Cammeron holds up against the visuals.  During one of our visits he personally prepared the tapas at the bar for us.

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A good note is that if you are at the bar, you can ask for crystal  glasses which from the side cabinet – while being much prettier, we thought our drinks did taste better!

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Our advice is to stay away from the paella and stick with the classical tapas.  The manchego croquettes with aioli are perfect.   Follow that up with the pan con tomatae (home made sour dough), Almendras asadas (Salted Marcona Almonds),  pimientos de padron,  garbanzo con espinacas, pulpo montaditos over romesco sauce, Patatas Bravas with spicy tomato sauce and a fried egg on top (break the yolk and mix it with the potatoes), etc, etc …..   Just have fun!

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oct12patria08above photo pimientos de padron © patria

 

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Estela de Luz – Mexico City, Mexico

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Estela de Luz

Monument
Paseo de la Reforma 509,
Nueva Cobertura, México, D.F.

To honor Mexico’s 200th year of independence from Spain, an open competition produced the impressive Estela de Luz.

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The winning design by architect César Pérez Becerril consists of 1,700 panels of  translucent quartz designed on a 104 meters height structure.  It is a real marvel, this ‘Pillar of Light’.

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César Pérez in conjunction with Austrian Robert Müller, devised a special engineered material that expands the light homogeneously across the entire panel creating the strong effect.

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Located next to the main entrance to Chapultepec Park, we found one of the more interesting things about the Estela de Luz to be how it easily transformed in perspective.  Sometimes it would seem it’s normal size, other times it would feel like it was a 1,000 meters tall … but kilometers away!

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Viva Mexico!

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