OPEN HOURS: 7:00am -7:00pm Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am -5:00pm Sunday
As of 2013, 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 diary, eggs, cream, flavor and NO corn syrup! 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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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’.
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.
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!
Cebeth Apothecary & Gallery Store 10:00 am – 7:00pm Monday Saturday
Envisioned in 2010 by Celeste Magazine editor Vanesa Fernández and her husband artist Aldo Chaparro this amazing gallery lives in a very chic 1940s house restored by Productora Architects. The result is a truly amazing job – specifically the ingenious placement of the cement tiles and the design of a modernist Vienna coffee shop.
The house is located in the Anzures neighborhood of Mexico City, a lovely area where every street is named after a literary author.
The House has three sections: First is the Concept store/gallery, were one can find all sort of interesting items. They include paintings, functional and nonfunctional objects, rare fossils, collectible fashion, jewelry and more. Products from around the globe, and others ether designed by Aldo and Vanessa or the top designers in Mexico. Celeste House really shows breadth of design contained in this world-class metropolis.
Continuing on one finds a homeopathic apothecary specialized in phytotherapy treatments. Here, personalized formulas are created in a very Victorian way for each customer.
The third, and most delicious part, is the champagne tea room. While Viennese in design, they serve the classic English ritual; complete with tiered plates of pastries, scones and small sandwiches. They also offer a rich Champagne menu as well as an extraordinary selection of teas. Top this off with Cantonese-style Dim Sum, and during the late evening, Celeste transforms to a destination for the trendy and happening.
On a quiet back street of downtown Tulum on February 2oth 2004 chef Claudia Perez Rivas, turn her house into a most delightful and charming restaurant, a destination
The complimentary tasting plate is alone a marvel, with Xicatic sauce, mini requeson and chile serrano quesadillas, pelliscadas, a miniature tostadatopped with beans and cheese, the best bread and queso fresco with betavel (beet) jam and a vegetarian tamale made with corn, butter and garlic – it is quite the experience.
Be sure to have a Topil soup and a Tamarind Margarita to round out the starters.
frozen tamarind margarita with chili tajin
The menu was authentic and varied to suit a variety of palates and is vegetarian friendly.
The Mexican zucchini, stuffed and baked with vegetables and chaya (wild spinach) over a bed of roasted tomatoe sauce and Stuffed poblano pepper with huithacoche (corn fungus) and red peanut mole are two standouts.
On our second visit a year later – same menu – we tried the same dishes plus the fish with huithacoche sauce. This combination was not as successful as the others; but overall it was a nice, if similar, experience.
Topil Soup like a Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Ixoxotic – fried tortilla, stuffed with cheese and covered with almond mole