Tag Archives: Restaurant

Singapore Food Street

Singapore airport opens street hawker-style food court

Singapore Food Street

Singapore’s Changi Airport has rounded up some of the most popular local street hawkers for a new food court that will feature the nation’s favorite foods, giving flyers another reason to arrive early for their flight.

Terminal 3 Singapore Changi airport

While most airports are seen as merely hubs and transit centers for flyers, Changi Airport has succeeded in becoming a destination in and of itself, with a slew of innovative services and amenities that have helped it win the title of World’s Best Airport for two years running.

Singapore Changi Airport

After watching a movie, strolling in the butterfly and orchid gardens, taking a heart-pumping ride down the 12-meter airport slide or waking from a quick siesta, flyers can now wander down to Singapore Food Street in Terminal 3.


Changi Airport Butterfly Garden

They will find hawker stalls selling 200 of the nation’s favorite local dishes, ranging from pork rib soup (Cheng Bak Kut Teh), vermicelli in spicy peanut sauce at Newton Circus Satay Bee Hoon and the local favorite, Odeon Beef Noodles, a Singaporean food institution.


Street Food at Changi Airport

The food court spans 1,000 square meters and evokes the nostalgia of Singapore in the 1960s, with pushcarts and Peranakan-style decor.

Gerard Depardieu

Depardieu to open his own restaurant in Moscow

Gerard Depardieu

The French actor Gerard Depardieu — who raised eyebrows when he took Russian nationality 18 months ago after befriending President Vladimir Putin — is to open his own Franco-Russian restaurant in Moscow called “Gérard”.

Known for his gargantuan appetite for food and drink, Depardieu owns three restaurants in Paris, several vineyards and bistros and brasseries in Belgium.

Depardieu said his Moscow restaurant will open in October and serve “the simple food that I like, with dishes from Russia and France.”


He told the Komsomolskaya Pravda that he hopes to open two further restaurants in Russia, one in Saint Petersburg and another in Saransk, the capital of Mordovia, where he is domiciled.

Asked about his friendship with Putin, Depardieu said: “I think everything that man does he does for Russia.”

OpenTable on Facebook

Priceline buying OpenTable for $2.6 billion

OpenTable on Facebook

Online travel giant Priceline said Friday it would buy the restaurant reservation service OpenTable for $2.6 billion in cash.

“OpenTable is a great match for The Priceline Group. They provide us with a natural extension into restaurant marketing services and a wonderful and highly-valued booking experience for our global customers,” said Priceline Group’s president and chief executive Darren Huston.

Priceline, which began as a service in which travelers bid for hotels and other travel options, has grown into a major brand with the hotel service Booking.com, aggregator Kayak and other websites.

OpenTable, which operates in the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Japan and Mexico, says it handles some 15 million reservations per month via online bookings across more than 31,000 restaurants.

The service allows users to see which restaurants are available, to view menus and customer reviews, and to book a reservation.

The deal, approved by both boards calls for Priceline to pay $103 per share. OpenTable went public in 2009, raising some $60 million.

After the closing expected in the third quarter, OpenTable will continue to be headquartered in San Francisco, and will operate as an independent business led by its current management team, according to a statement.

chef Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay to expand restaurant empire into Asia

chef Gordon Ramsay

 has announced major expansion plans into Asia that will begin with the opening of his first restaurant in Hong Kong by this fall.

The entry into Asia will mark a major expansion for the Gordon Ramsay Group, which already counts 24 restaurants across Europe, the US and the Middle East and collectively boast seven Michelin stars.

Ramsay will plant his first restaurant flag in Hong Kong with an outpost of his British European-themed eatery Bread Street Kitchen that will mirror its London counterpart. Scheduled to open in September, the site will feature a warehouse-style design that mixes vintage and contemporary furnishings.

Bread Street Kitchen

The food philosophy at Bread Street Kitchen is to use seasonal, local produce in dishes like roasted cod with crushed potatoes, artichoke and salted capers, and spiced braised lamb shank with mashed potatoes, baby onions and orange gremolata.

Talks are also in the works to open restaurants in Singapore and Macau.

When Ramsay opens his restaurant in Hong Kong, he’ll compete against Jamie Oliver, who already has a restaurant in Singapore and is poised to open his Hong Kong outpost of Jamie’s Italian this summer.

Beyonce and JayZ

Top 50 US restaurants for celebrity sightings

Beyonce and JayZ

Urbanspoon has collected the best restaurants for celebrity sightings in a culinary map to the stars.

The list of top 50 restaurants and cafes for star-gazing spans nine cities across the US, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami and Washington D.C.

Urbanspoon is a restaurant guide that aggregates reviews from professional food critics, bloggers, and diners.

And though they’re frequented by the stars, not all addresses will set you back a week’s pay, as the list includes affordable cafes and pizza joints.

Big Jay-Z fan? Try scoring a table at The Spotted Pig in New York, or Cafe Gratitude in Los Angeles, editors say.

In New York, fans of Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Jason Segal may want to try their luck at Sons of Essex, a restaurant inspired by the immigrant and gentrification history of the Lower East Side.

Diners tuck into hearty, rib-sticking meals like fried chicken with kohlrabi slaw, jalapeno cornbread and Asian spiced honey and double cut pork chops with potato puree, roasted king oyster mushrooms and mustard brown butter, that average $30.

In Tinseltown, a night at Fig & Olive may mean sharing a dining room — and upping your chance of a celebrity selfie — with A-list stars like Jennifer Aniston, Robert Downey Jr., Halle Berry, Johnny Depp and Ryan Gosling.

Here are some of the best restaurants for star-gazing in New York:

Bacaro: Jennifer Lawrence, Katy Perry, Russell Brand
Sons of Essex: Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Jason Segal
Philippe: Rihanna, Steven Tyler
The Stanton Social: Nicolas Cage, Carly Rae Jepsen, Robert Pattinson
The Sea Fire Grill: Emma Roberts, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Darren Criss, T.I.
The Spotted Pig: Jay-Z, Bono, Jake Gyllenhaal, LeBron James
Melba’s: Katy Perry, Prince, Ashton Kutcher
Red Rooster: Clive Davis, Denzel Washington, Neil Patrick Harris, Katie Holmes
Antica Pesa: Morgan Freeman, Julianne Moore, Madonna, Tom Hardy

Los Angeles

Cafe Gratitude: Kerry Washington, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rashida Jones, Jake Gyllenhaal, Connie Britton
Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi: Rihanna, Drake, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan
Craig’s: Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Timbaland, T.I., Rebel Wilson, Harry Styles
Umami Burger: Emma Roberts, Wiz Khalifa, Blake Lively
STK: Sofia Vergara, Wiz Khalifa, Chelsea Handler, Zac Efron, Kim Kardashian
Chateau Marmont: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, John Mayer
FIG & OLIVE: Amanda Seyfried, Robert Downey Jr., Halle Berry, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Aniston, Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Gosling, Bob Saget, Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen
BOA Steakhouse: Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Sofia Vergara, Alessandra Ambrosio, Olivia Wilde
Toscana: Heidi Klum, Christina Aguilera, Tom Cruise, Eva Longoria
The Church Key: Christina Hendricks, Khloe Kardashian, LL Cool J
Casa Vega: Mila Kunis, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Nicole Richie, Avril Lavigne
Crustacean: Barbra Streisand, Nicki Minaj, Josh Duhamel
La Poubelle Bistro & Bar: Amanda Seyfried, Justin Long, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher
The Ivy: Justin Bieber, Reese Witherspoon, Kim Kardashian

croisette cannes

Floating pop-up restaurant to open in Cannes

Trattoria al Mare restaurant

From May 15 to 19, in honor of the Cannes Film Festival, S.Pellegrino will open a pop-up restaurant concept situated on a fleet of motor boats. Guests will enjoy a unique gourmet experience while floating in the Bay of Cannes.

Over four days, the Trattoria al Mare S.Pellegrino will allow 400 guests to enjoy an exceptional menu prepared by Italian chef Marco Stabile and French chef Alain Llorca, all at absolutely no cost.

croisette cannes

Seven boats will drop anchor in the Bay of Cannes, where the lucky guests will enjoy lunch or dinner. Each boat can accommodate four to six diners at a time.

The only way to reserve a table on this unusual floating restaurant is by calling a confidential phone number, which will be posted only in certain strategic locations along the Croisette starting on May 14. So festival goers will have to keep their eyes open if they want to find the secret number.


Video: 23 Michelin stars in 60 seconds

If you’ve never had the chance to dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant, a new 60-second video takes viewers on a culinary journey across a constellation of restaurants that collectively boasts 23 stars.

It’s food porn at its best, providing rapid-fire shots of kitchens at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, The Fat Duck, Hibiscus, Mugaritz, and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.

Set to the soundtrack of “Food, Glorious Food,” from the musical “Oliver!,” the video goes behind the scenes into the making of edible art worthy of a Michelin star.

Seafood stocks simmer, eggplants are blistered over an open fire, and artichoke hearts sizzle in a pan of fat in a dizzying montage of food porn.

The video was produced by Orama.tv for The Staff Canteen, a YouTube channel created for professional chefs and food lovers.

restaurant review

How the weather could impact restaurant reviews

restaurant review

A new study has found that online restaurant reviews can be affected by everything from a rainy day, the time of year and the place it was written.

According to researchers at Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs, if you’re reading — or writing —  a negative review, odds are it was penned on a rainy day, maybe in July or August, perhaps from an outlying suburb.

Because after examining more than 1.1 million reviews of 840,000 restaurants between 2002 and 2011 in the US, researchers found that beyond the quality of the meal, price and service, reviews were also influenced by factors like the weather — temperature, rain, snow and season — and demographics.

Authors of the study noted that reviews written on a rainy day were more likely to skew negative. The most glowing reviews, meanwhile, were penned on days where the mercury hovered between 21C and 38C.

Where these trends take a bit of a detour, are the summer months: while July and August saw a noticeable spike in the number of reviews produced, they were also the most negative. November was singled out for boasting the greatest number of positive recommendations.

A diner’s verdict was also influenced by their neighborhood diversity, education levels and population density.

For example, researchers noticed that areas that boasted a higher percentage of people with college diplomas produced more reviews than areas that had lower average levels of education.

Researchers also found that reviewers from smaller cities tended to be more demanding and were more likely to nitpick about the pace of service.

Their hypothesis? That residents of bigger cities are more accustomed to waiting and therefore moderately more patient!

Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas

Jamie Oliver to open first restaurant at sea

Jamie Oliver photo

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has teamed up with Royal Caribbean to bring his restaurants to sea.

Beginning this fall, guests aboard the brand’s titanic cruise ship Quantum of the Seas will be able to dine at his casual restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian.

Quantum of the Seas North Star

The restaurant chain, which serves homestyle casual Italian fare, will also be made available on the brand’s Anthem of the Seas liner beginning in the spring of 2015.

It’s the latest expansion for the chef who now owns bragging rights to having an outpost by land, air and sea. In addition to his network of restaurants that spans the UK, Russia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singpore, Turkey and Sweden, Oliver also has locations at the London Gatwick Airport.

Quantum of the Seas Two70

“Royal Caribbean shares my approach to food and dining, which is to serve simple, fresh ingredients in a warm, inviting ambience,” said Oliver in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to bring my love of Italian cooking to their guests with Jamie’s Italian. It’s going to be brilliant.”

Quantum of the Seas sets sail this fall from New York, while the Anthem of the Seas launches in the spring of 2015 from Southampton, England.

Quantum of the Seas

restaurant Alinea

Top 10 Restaurants of 2014, by Elite Traveler

For the third year in a row, Elite Traveler awarded Chicago’s Alinea the top slot in its list of the best 100 restaurant in world.

The list is narrated by trestaurant critic Andy Hayler, an influential food journalist known for having eaten at every 3-starred restaurant in the world.

There is no menu choice, just a 25-course tasting menu offering an innovative and exceptionally precise balance of flavors,” he writes.

“Sudden bursts of theatricality include a dessert ‘painted’ onto the tablecloth by two chefs. Although molecular gastronomy is not my preferred style of food, it is impossible not to admire the sheer talent on display here. For me, Alinea compares favorably with elBulli or The Fat Duck.”

restaurant Alinea

Rounding out the top five restaurants are Daniel in New York, The Fat Duck in Bray, England, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin, both in New York.

France has emerged as the world’s best dining destination, claiming the most addresses on the top 100 list, with 17 restaurants. The highest ranked French restaurant is Pierre Gagnaire (17). 8 of the 17 restaurants are in Paris.

Chef Heston Blumenthal

Meanwhile, the title of chef of the year for 2014 went to The Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal, who has remained in the media spotlight over the last few weeks for a string of developments out of his camp.

In addition to revealing more details on his new Heathrow Airport outpost, The Perfectionists’ Café, this week Blumenthal also announced plans to relocate his staff to the Crown hotel in Melbourne, Australia next year for six months.

El Celler de Can Roca

Top 10 restaurants as voted by readers of Elite Traveler magazine:

1.      Alinea, Chicago, US
2.      DANIEL, New York, US
3.      Fat Duck, Bray, UK
4.      Eleven Madison, New York, US
5.      Le Bernardin, New York, US
6.      El Celler Can Roca, Spain
7.      Azurmendi, Spain
8.      La Pergola, Rome, Italy
9.      The Ledbury, London, UK
10.   Osteria Francescana, Italy

For the full list, visit www.elitetraveler.com.

 Daniel Boulud

Mugaritz, Rentería, Spain

How to dine at Michelin-starred Mugaritz for free

Mugaritz, Rentería, Spain

Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant Mugaritz, which is currently ranked the fourth best restaurant in the world, will be hosting a free meal for six lucky applicants next month to open its “2014 season.”

Much like a theater production, the restaurant will be putting on a dress rehearsal lunch April 8, the day before their official opening, for six winners and their guests chosen from an online draw.

The applicants will be among the first to sample the San Sebastian restaurant’s new menu, developed behind closed doors for four months.

As a disciple of Spanish chef and culinary visionary Ferran Adrià, Mugaritz chef Andoni Luis Aduriz also espouses principles of molecular gastronomy and kitchen alchemy to elevate food into an elaborate dining experience.

Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz

To develop his menu, Aduriz works with scientists, anthropologists, musicians and artists. One of his most elaborate ‘dining seasons’ involved the making of a gastronomic opera, in which he commissioned a Basque artist to compose an original soundtrack inspired by the restaurant’s menu.

Mugaritz is ranked the fourth best restaurant on the planet in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

Registration for seats is now open and closes March 31. Winners will be contacted April 1 at 9 am. While the meal and drinks are free, guests must cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Mugaritz Restaurant

Louis XV Monte Carlo Monaco

Top 10 most beautiful restaurants in the world

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

According to a ranking compiled by food blog The Daily Meal, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the luxury Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort is the most beautiful dining destination on the planet.

Guests dine under a vaulted ceiling made of transparent acrylic that offers panoramic 180-degree views of the ocean and marine life.

Schools of rainbow-colored, tropical fish and sharks glide overhead as guests tuck into dishes like duck agnolotti and Maldivian lobster carpaccio, and the restaurant is illuminated by blue-green hues of the sea above.

restaurant ithaa

For the list, editors looked at restaurants that had won awards and accolades for their design, the clout of the designer, location, and the destination’s overall reputation, be it from reputed sources like the Michelin guide.

Taking the second spot is The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, designed by celebrated architects Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe.

The Grill was called “the city’s greatest dining room” by New York Magazine and is also known as America’s “most powerful lunchroom.”

Four Seasons Restaurant New York

Walnut-paneled walls and soaring, two story windows characterize the Grill, while The Pool Room is described as more airy and romantic.

And in the No. 3 spot is Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo, a sumptuously decorated restaurant in the style of Versailles splendor.

Louis XV restaurant Hotel de Paris

Here are the top 10 most beautiful restaurants in the world:

1.   Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
2.   The Four Seasons, New York, U.S.A.
3.   Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Louis XV Monte Carlo Monaco

4.   La Maison 1888, Da Nang, Vietnam

La Maison 1888 Da Nang Vietnam

5.   Tori Tori, Polanco, Mexico

Tori Tori Polanco Mexico

6.   Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India

Taj Lake Palace Udaipur India

7.   L’Opera, Paris, France

L'Opera Paris France

8.   Maiden’s Tower, Istanbul, Turkey

Maiden Tower Istanbul Turkey

9.   Hakkasan, Beverly Hills, U.S.A.

Hakkasan Beverly Hills

10.  Mugaritz, Rentería, Spain

Mugaritz, Rentería, Spain

Google Menu

Google launches restaurant menu search feature

Google has launched a new search option in the US that will lead users directly to a restaurant’s menu listing.

Google Menu

The new feature takes users straight to a restaurant’s menu, which is presented under different headings such as appetizers, entrees, and desserts at the top of the search page. Prices are also listed.

However, users must be specific when making the request and type the words “show me the menu for” before adding the desired restaurant.

Google’s menu search option is only available in the US for now.

The latest feature builds on the search giant’s partnership with Zagat, which provides restaurant reviews, ratings and mapping services in search results.

Hong Kong causeway bay

Jamie Oliver to open restaurant in Hong Kong

Jamie Oliver has been trying to speak Cantonese to promote his new restaurant in Hong Kong – and it didn’t go entirely to plan.

Making a stab at the local Chinese dialect in a light-hearted YouTube video, he announces: “I will open an amazing Italian submarine.” He also promises that the restaurant will be “very slippery”, before collapsing into giggles.

Like other tonal languages, Cantonese can be difficult for new learners as a slight change in inflection can change the meaning of a word entirely.

Jamie's Italian Saint Petersburg

Oliver, 38, has a string of restaurants in Britain, Australia, Dubai, Ireland, Russia, Turkey and Singapore.

He is set to open the first Hong Kong branch of his “Jamie’s Italian” chain in the city’s Causeway Bay shopping district in the coming months.

Hong Kong causeway bay

His first attempt to say “Causeway Bay” in Cantonese came out as “car crash”, while the second sounded like “bronze bed”.

Known for his crusades against unhealthy food, Oliver’s restaurants, TV series and cookbooks have made him a multi-millionaire.

Ebony Interactive Restaurant tablets

Interactive dining at Dubai restaurant

A Dubai restaurant has installed interactive tables that allow guests to swipe through the menu, update their Facebook status and even order a taxi home.

Ebony Interactive Restaurant tablets

At Ebony Interactive Restaurant in Dubai, interaction with wait staff is minimal, as diners can browse the digital menu, place their order, and watch chefs prepare their meal via ‘chef cams’ by using the touchscreen tabletops.

The interactive tables also allow guests to customize their decor and choose from a range of images and patterns for their desktop ‘tablecloth.’

While waiting for their meal guests can catch up on current news, check in on Facebook or send greetings and virtual cards to diners at other tables.

The project aligns nicely with the Dubai Smart City initiative which aims to transform the city into one of the most connected destinations in the world.

Nahm restaurant Bangkok

Asia’s best restaurant 2014 is …

San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna have published their list of the top 50 restaurants in Asia for 2014, with top honors going to David Thompson, the chef of Nahm in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nahm restaurant Bangkok

Lauded for reviving centuries-old Thai recipes with a contemporary and sophisticated flair, chef David Thompson doesn’t shy away from the punchy, bold flavors that characterize Thai cuisine — garlic, shrimp paste, chilies and lemongrass — but rather distills the flavors into elegant and memorable curries, salads, soups and relishes.

The list is compiled by a group of 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry, that includes food critics, chefs and restaurateurs.

Here are the top 10 restaurants in Asia:

1. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
2. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
3. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
4. Amber, Hong Kong
5. Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan
6. Restaurant Andre, Singapore
7. Waku Ghin, Singapore
8. Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
9. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
10. 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong

For the full list, visit www.theworlds50best.com/asia/en.

Paul Qui restaurant

TOP 10 restaurants in the US 2014

Here is a list of 25 restaurants from GQ‘s Alan Richman, which the magazine refers to as the “best restaurants of the year” and the “most outstanding restaurants of the year.”

Paul Qui restaurant

Taking the top spot is Paul Qui’s Qui in Austin, which Richman describes as “the most fascinating new restaurant in America.”

“Qui’s talent is prodigious, and his food is filled with both subtle shadings and sheer sensationalism,” Richman writes, pointing to inventive and bold flavor pairings like Filipino dinuguan, a pork-blood stew with mushrooms and meat, with potato gnocchi.

Paul Qui

In homage to Texas, locally raised Wagyu rib-eye and dry-aged cote de boeuf are also on the menu, while beef tartare is spiced with kimchi.

Rounding out the top three spots are Trois Mec in Los Angeles, described as a “little piece of Paris in an LA strip mall,” and a Japanese seafood restaurant in Portland, Oregon called Roe.

Trois Mec in Los Angeles

Here are the Top 10 of 25 outstanding restaurants, according to Richman:

1. Qui (Austin, TX)
“Tasty Texan and uplifted Asian cooking on the other side of Austin”

2. Trois Mec (Los Angeles, CA)
“A little piece of Paris in an L.A. strip mall”

3. Roe (Portland, OR)
“A mostly seafood Japanese gem, hiding in plain sight behind another mostly seafood spot”

4. Carbone (New York, NY)
“The Little Italy–style joint you dreamed of discovering, right down to the veal parm”

5. King + Duke (Atlanta, GA)
“Where there’s smoke, there’s grilling, as all-American as a slab of swordfish”

6. Husk (Nashville, TN)
“Pork, oysters, grits, bourbon – all the best of southern cooking, elevated to a new level”

7. Gunshow (Atlanta, GA)
“They come bearing food, one cook after another – nobody can resist so much charm”

8. Orsa & Winston (Los Angeles, CA)
“Everything imaginable – plus Uruguayan rice”

9. Dover (Brooklyn, NY)
“The re-invigoration of fine dining for a new kind of customer”

10. Nico Osteria (Chicago, IL)
“Sometimes all you want is Italian food, exactly what you love”

Adam Simmonds

World’s most expensive Valentine’s Day dinner

Have £61,000 kicking around and want to impress your Valentine this year? A luxury retail website has designed a Valentine’s Day dinner featuring some of the rarest ingredients on the planet and a Michelin-starred chef.

Adam Simmonds

Created by the same folks who put together around-the-world trips to all 962 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a culinary odyssey to Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, the latest outrageously extravagant package from VeryFirstTo is an eight-course meal that would be prepared in the home by Michelin-starred British chef Adam Simmonds.

Predictably, the menu is designed as an aphrodisiacal experience that starts with oysters and Almus white caviar — a symbol of fertility — along with Pacific Bluefin tuna, foie gras, truffle salad and Wagyu beef.

Dishes are also paired with some of the finest wines in the world. Saffron risotto, for instance, is accompanied by a 1990 La Romanee-Conti, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, valued at £17,000 ($27,680).

To wash down the oysters, guests will sip on a £3,600 ($5,860) bottle of 1959 Salon Blanc de Blancs, that also comes with South Sea pearls.

To cap off the meal, guests will tuck into bowls of vanilla and smoke chocolate Kopi Luwak ice cream.

Kopi Luwak – known as the most expensive coffee in the world – is actually coffee berries extracted from the feces of the Asian civet cat.

Most Expensive Valentines Day Dinner Menu

vegetarian salad

Dining out while detoxing

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to forgo your social life while on a detox regimen. Giving up on certain foods doesn’t mean avoiding restaurants altogether, especially if dining out is an important element of your well-being.

That said, certain types of restaurants and dishes are more likely to be in line with your detox diet than others, so it all comes down to choosing wisely.

vegetarian salad

Head to the Mediterranean

Most nutritionists agree that there is something to the Mediterranean diet, with its emphasis on fish, whole grains and healthy vegetable oils. Restaurants serving cuisines from this region (Greek, Italian, Egyptian, Lebanese, etc.) are likely to offer a few dishes with healthy portions of detox-boosting vegetables.

Avoid fried foods and rich sauces, obviously, and seek out salads or other veggie-based dishes, whether raw or cooked. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, turnips, spinach and radishes are just a few of your detox allies, along with whole grains such as whole wheat pasta or rice, quinoa or bulgur wheat. Polenta, in reasonable quantities, also presents certain benefits to those on a detox diet, as it is usually gluten-free.

For dessert opt for dishes with dried fruits and nuts such as prunes, almonds, apricots, figs, raisins and dates, or with pomegranate when in season.

Asian inspiration

Whether your preference is for Thai, Chinese, Japanese or Malaysian food, you’re bound to find a number of detox-friendly dishes on the menu. Here as well, avoid rich sauces and fried foods and stay away from sushi, which generally contains more sugary rice than fish or vegetables.

Opt instead for sashimi, steamed dishes and broth-based soups with plenty of detox-friendly foods such as soy sprouts, cilantro, cabbage, bok choy, spinach, ginger or seaweed. Or order a salad with some of the same greens, packed with vitamins and fiber.

And don’t hesitate to order a pot of green tea for its antioxidant properties. Round out the meal with fresh mango or preserved ginger slices.

Go vegetarian

You don’t have to be a strict vegetarian to appreciate the cuisine offered in meat-free restaurants, especially when you’re trying to boost your intake of healthy fruits and vegetables. But don’t let your guard down: vegetarian doesn’t always mean detox-friendly. Steer clear of soy-derived processed dishes, with the exception of all-natural foods such as tofu or tempeh.

Ask your waiter exactly what’s in that veggie burger before ordering, and make sure the bun is whole grain. Usually, though, vegetarian restaurants offer a multitude of vitamin-rich soups, salads, whole grains and bean dishes that are ideal for those on a detox program. To really do your body a favor, add a freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice and a fruit-based dessert.

restaurant Alinea

Top chef considers baby ban in restaurant

A Michelin-starred chef took to Twitter to complain about a crying baby in his restaurant over the weekend, sparking a larger debate about banning babies in fine dining establishments.

restaurant Alinea

The tweet that launched the online dialogue dubbed ‘Babygate’ by pundits came from Chicago chef Grant Achatz, when he wrote: “Tbl brings 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no, but..”

According to a report by Good Morning America, the couple was forced to bring their baby to his high-end, triple-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea Saturday when their sitter canceled at the last minute.

But what do you do when you’ve already paid up to $265 USD a person? In this case, the couple decided to bring their eight-month-old infant to one of the most expensive restaurants in the US, where, invariably, the baby broke out into fits of restless crying that could be heard all the way in the kitchen — a famously hushed and hallowed space at Alinea.

Baby crying

The debate has divided the Twittersphere into several different camps: those who side with Achatz; those who sympathize with parents; and those who complain about the complaining.

Some of the most vocal Achatz supporters? Parents.

Speaking as a mom and a restaurant owner I would never take an 8mo old to a restaurant like Alinea,” tweeted Sally Rich.

Another Twitter user and mother of four adds, “I would want to experience all of Alinea without having to deal with my own child, I feel for others!

Dina Yuen also notes that becoming a parent comes with a set of redrawn boundaries.

The real issue is too many new parents refuse to make sacrifices. You can’t always go to the same places when you have a baby.

But not everyone agrees.

We brought our infant to every fine dining restaurant around the world we went to. Never had a problem. Babies sleep hrs on end,” wrote a Twitter mom.

For his part, in an interview with Good Morning America, Achatz — also a parent — said he’s not against exposing children to the restaurant experience.

We want people to come and enjoy and experience Alinea for what it is but we also have to be cognizant of the other 80 people that come in to experience Alinea that night.

Meanwhile, the controversy also drew criticism from a different camp altogether, who derided the mere existence of the debate.

lol hilariously bourgeois debate on screaming infants and fine dining search alinea+baby right now,” tweeted Chicago-based freelance journalist Matt Kiefer.