Category Archives: NORTH AMERICA

AcademyScy California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California

California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco, Ca

Ca-Academy-of-Science-011 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California   Claude – the albino alligator

California Academy of Sciences

(1) 415.379.8000
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118
USA

www.calacademy.org

OPEN HOURS:
9:30 –   17:00   Monday – Saturday
11:30 –   17:00   Sunday

Directly across from the De Young Museum by the Golden Park is the LEED certified  California Academy of Scenes.  This is one fantastic science museum – an edifice of light !  Iconically supporting a 2.5 acre green roof, with solar panels bordering its numerous Skylights.  Designed by Italian Architect Renzo Piano (he of the impressively new 2015  Whitney Museum in NYC).

This magnificent structure houses the Kimball Natural History Museum, Steinhart aquarium, the Morrison planetarium AND a tropical forest habitat!

The reptile collection is worth coming alone – even if just for Claude the albino alligator!

Ca-Academy-of-Science-013 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California
Ca-Academy-of-Science-012 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California     Ca-Academy-of-Science-022 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California   Saharan spiny tailed lizard
Ca-Academy-of-Science-019 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California
Ca-Academy-of-Science-008 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California
AcademyScy California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California   Above Photo ©California Academy of Sciences
water_planet_hero_lg_motion_blur_1--1024x517 California Academy of Sciences  -  San Francisco, Ca California San Francisco Bay Area  San Fancisco Nature Museum California   Above Photo ©California Academy of Sciences
Big-Sur-054 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California

Big Sur – California

Big-Sur-054 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California

The Big Sur Coast

Big Sur is a beautiful, rugged 100-mile stretch on California’s central coast, running between Carmel and San Simeon.

The name “Big Sur” is derived from the original Spanish-language “el sur grande”, meaning “the big south”,  and invokes images full of winding turns, seaside cliffs and views of the often-misty ocean.

Well – you’re mental images deserve to visit the stunning vistas!  Big Sur is just one of the many pleasures that California has to offer;  one of the things I can recommend easily to to drive US Route 1 between San francisco and Los Angles.

Big-Sur-023 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California

Big-Sur-047 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-055 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-057 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-027 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-062 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-008 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-021 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Big-Sur-022 Big Sur   -  California California  Nature California
Pulman-a00 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada

Pullman – Montreal, Canada

Pullman-013 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada

Pullman

Wine Bar and Tapas Bar
(1) 514 288-7779
424 Avenue du Parc,
Montréal (QC)  H2X 2H5 Canada

www.pullman-mtl.com

OPEN HOURS:
4:30 pm – 1:00am  Daily

The first thing that catches the eye at Montreal’s Pullman is the large centerpiece – a wine grass chandelier.  Quite a remarkable and clever design for wine bar.

While on first glance Pullman seems small and unassuming, it is largely due to the clever design of the space by Cabinet Braun-Braën.  The  restaurant is divided into small vignettes over its multilevel retro-futuristic expanse; Pullman is large enough to host 150 guests.  All of whom are enjoying their lovely meals in tranquility!

The tapas menu is a simple check-box card to be filled in with the provided pencils; very practical and fun.  The wine menu, however,  is a bit overwhelming with more then 340 choices!

Pullman delights in all respects.  I would say that the photos of the food do them justice.  The dishes are as tasty as they are attractive!

Pulman-a00 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada   Above photo © Bruno Braën
 Pullman-007 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada
Reggiano Parmesan croquettes with a smoked piperade
Pullman-001 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada   Wild  scallops carpaccio with olive oil, daisy buttons and spring greens
Pullman-014 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada   Front: crispy green beans with truffle oil and roasted almonds; Back: port-steeped cheddar grilled cheese.
Pullman-003 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada
warm plate of winter vegetables on a bed of saffron mayo and a crown pretzel
Pullman-005 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada   Mixed Fried Mushrooms, Crostini and Watercress
Pullman-009 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada   Ricotta Gnocchi, Roasted Tomato Fondue and Basil
Pullman-012 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada      Russian style gravlax, curated in sea salt, accompanied by hard boiled quail eggs (cooked to perfection, no sulfur stain aground the yolk), cream, salmon roe, condiments and blinis

121 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada

 101 Pullman  -  Montreal, Canada Canada Montreal  Wine Tapas Montreal Food Canada

SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_025-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design

Bazaar – South Beach, Miami

SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_025-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Ferran Adrià Olives, Modern & Traditional Liquid green olive and gordal olives stuffed with piquillo pepper and anchovy

Bazaar by Jose Andres

(1) 305 455-2999
SLS Hotel South Beach
1701 Collins Ave,  South Beach
Miami Beach, FL 33139

www.sbe.com/restaurants

Open Hours:
18:00 – 00:00    Diner  – Sunday to Thursday
18:00 – 01:00    Diner  – Friday & Saturday

We are seeing more and more ‘outpost’ restaurants – where a big name chef attaches his name to a local property.  It then becomes a Where’s Waldo campaign to figure out where the chef actually is, and how much involvement he actually has, with that particular monikered restaurant.

Having been to the Jose Andres outpost in Las Vegas, we were very unsure which version of the Chef would be present on South  Beach, Miami; after all, Miami feels a bit closer to Vegas then Barcelona.

We are quite happy to report that our meal, drinks and service were at an all-time high.  In short, the dinner was fantastic!

Kudos to Chef Vargas for the day-to-day work and keeping Bazaar at the top end of  Miami dining.  Each dish was coordinated perfectly – from the stylish presentation to the exquisite  finish.  We really had a lovely meal – topped off with an extra Caipirinha (Made with Liquid Nitrogen table-side of course!!

If you find yourself in Miami – Bazaar by Jose Andres is heartily recommended 🙂

SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_018-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design    Dragon fruit and tuna Ceviche with, pecans, lemon juice, and hibiscus foam

Note that Bazaar has an all-day menu and is a great place to also pop into for a quick lunch.  Standouts include the Gazpacho Patricia (tomatoes, cucumbers, crouton, sherry vinegar), the Pan con tomato (perfect bread flown in daily from Spain) and the afternoon drink of choice .. Passion Fruit Up (Dark  rum , passion fruit and ginger – laurel syrup , topped with passion fruit espuma)

SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_009-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Smoked Kusshi oysters, compressed apples, apple mignonette and apple foam
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_011-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Smoked Kusshi oysters, compressed apples, apple mignonette and apple foam
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_005-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Jasmine’s Margarita , pomegranate, fresh lime and Sal de Gusano with Mezcal
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_021-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Not Your Everyday Caprese cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella over pesto with drops of balsamic reduction
caprese-10-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   (above photo © SLS Hotels) Not Your Everyday Caprese
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_014-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Conch Fritters ‘Café Atlantico’ with a liquid bechamel cente
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_030-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   hot and cold scallop ceviche
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_015-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Pan con tomate
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_022-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Gressini trees with truffles  and Parmesan Espuma
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_029-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Octopus  with romesco sauce
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_023-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Gressini trees with truffles  and Parmesan Espuma
The-Bazaar_Liquid-Nitrogen-Capirihna_Darko-Zagar-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   (above photo © SLS Hotels) LN 2 Caipirinha
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_035-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Preparation of the liquid nitrogen LN 2 Caipirinha
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_032 Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Baby Japanese Peaches fresh burrata, hazelnuts, arugula over praline
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_038 Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design   Chef Vargas
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_002-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design
SLS-MIAMI-Bazaar_003-copy Bazaar  -  South Beach, Miami Miami  Miami Food Design
LA-MAR-014-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food

La Mar by Gaston Acurio – Miami

LA-MAR-010-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food

La Mar by Gaston Acurio

(1) 305 913-8358
Mandarin Oriental, Miami,
500 Brickell Key Dr,
Miami, FL 33131

www.lamarcebicheria.com

Open Hours:
11:00 – 15:00    Lunch
18:00 – 23:00   Diner

To many the name “Gaston Acurio” might not mean much, but to those who follow the culinary industry like sport, he is a destined hall-of-famer!

After classic training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Gaston returned to his native city of Lima and transformed Peruvian food into the world-wide power-hitter it is today.  Gaston Combined his classic techniques,  Peru’s unique pre-Columbian  ingredients & traditions and the strong local influence of Japanese cuisine (Nikkei) to create the Peruvian food now trendy the world over.

The 3-Star restaurant “Astrid y Gaston” is in Lima and we are planning a trip just to go! (It currently sits at number 18 on San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants).  So we did consider ourselves lucky to have access to a sample of his food in downtown Miami at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.  There  one finds his delicious restaurant La Mar.  We went for a late lunch and opted to sit in the terrace over the water and enjoy our meal in views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.

The overall experience was a lovely melange of high-end dining and latin ease.  Unfortunately we arrived over 30 minutes late to our reservation and on the edge of  the kitchen’s last call (an epic über debacle!).  We arrived flustered and nervous as this was our only chance!  We were greeted, seated and eased out of our anxiety by the lovely hosts and our charming and very knowledgeable waiter.  And thus began our culinary delights ….

First off it is good to know that portions, are LARGE!  We ordered too much, ate way too much … but enjoyed it all and left feeling surprisingly light for all the calories consumed!

We started with a Ceviche sampler – going for the classics first.  It was a lovely mix of flavours with The Clásico (Fluke, cilantro, ají limo pepper, red onions, choclo corn, classic leche de tigre) being  the most refreshing.  It’s ‘the classic’ for a reason.

The Causa – a traditional potato based dish from Peru with raw fish and spices (see photo below) – has an amazing  combination of flavours and textures, but really it is all about the rocoto pepper sauce.

The following dish was the Grilled black grouper ‘Kama anticucho’ and its  bizarre shape and presentation.  This dish changed the way I think about fish; and I believe it is exactly what earned the Chef such a following.  It is fish for meat-lovers.  When the plate arrives, you are wondering what is in front of you, and as you have your first bit, all you are is happy!

The octopus was our least favourite of the day, it was a bit rubbery and makes you realize how temperamental a dish it is.  The potato on which it was plated however was jaw-dropping and I wish I had a serving in front of me as I type 🙂

This was followed by the Tiradito  Nikkei,  a lightly seared  tuna,over a marble of passion fruit leche de tigre and honey sesame reduction topped with scallions and sesame seeds.  I think that description says enough, and the photo the rest.  If you need more, well I suggest a trip to Miami!!

Even though we usually pass on dessert, we had to try the “Chocolate en texturas” .  A dish incorporating  a chocolate brownie, chocolate foam, chocolate ice cream (with 60% peruvian chocolate) and crystallized manjar drops with chocolate meringues.  I’m glad we broke tradition.

 Suffice to say, that if you find yourself in Miami a trip to La Mar should be high on your list.  Not to be a salesperson, but,  even the prices are quite decent.  We could have had a fried lunch on Miami Beach for close to the same cost; but no where near the flavour or happiness!

 LA-MAR-003-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food   Cebiche Sampler
Chifa: salmon, with , ginger, cilantro, pickled vegetables in sesame leche de tigre topped with peanuts and wonton strips
Criollo: calamari, shrimp, yellowtail, snapper, cancha corn in, ají amarillo pepper leche de tigre
Clásico:  fluke, cilantro, ají limo pepper, red onions, choclo, classic leche de tigre

LA-MAR-002-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food   Causa Nikkei , tuna tartare, sweet with chili  sauce, avocado, rocoto pepper cream and  nori
LA-MAR-014-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food   Grilled black grouper Kama anticuchos, anticuchera sauce, chimichurri-garlic butter, lime
  LA-MAR-013-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food
LA-MAR-012 La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food   Tiradito  Nikkei: tuna, scallions, passion fruit leche de tigre, honey sesame reduction
  LA-MAR-007-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food   Plancha Anticuchera of grilled octopus, crushed potatoes, ají panca pepper sauce, chimichurri, choclo corn
LA-MAR-008-copy La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food
LA-MAR-Miami_015 La Mar by Gaston Acurio  -  Miami Miami  Miami Food   Chocolate en texturas