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!
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.
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!
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 🙂
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)
Smoked Kusshi oysters, compressed apples, apple mignonette and apple foam
Smoked Kusshi oysters, compressed apples, apple mignonette and apple foam
Jasmine’s Margarita , pomegranate, fresh lime and Sal de Gusano with Mezcal
Not Your Everyday Caprese cherry tomatoes, liquid mozzarella over pesto with drops of balsamic reduction
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-Columbianingredients & 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!
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
Causa Nikkei , tuna tartare, sweet with chili sauce, avocado, rocoto pepper cream and nori
Grilled black grouper Kama anticuchos, anticuchera sauce, chimichurri-garlic butter, lime
Tiradito Nikkei: tuna, scallions, passion fruit leche de tigre, honey sesame reduction