Spring & summer staples

May 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

I think it’s safe to say (ok now I hope I didn’t just jinx myself) that the cold weather is here gone for good.  Temperatures have been averaging high 60’s to low 70’s, so it’s still a bit chilly for my tastes (I think I must have low body temperature…) but it’s a warm warm welcome from that horrid winter. I’m looking forward to mid 70’s-low 80’s, as that’s my ideal temperature, for both comfort and style. Too hot- and all I want to wear is a light dress with no accessories (jewelry sticking to skin—no bueno), and too cold…well, I just layer and layer till I look like a roly poly—and not a cute one. Slightly breezy and balmy spring/summer nights allow for creativity through light layers. I like to mix and match the basics below for an effortless, chic look.

The cropped jacket – Everlane swing trench / AE denim vested hoodie

The basic T – LOFT striped vintage cotton T / Madewell v-neck pocket T

The mini – J. Crew – cotton bell / Desire Clothing – mint pleated chiffon mini

The maxi – Double Dutch strapless maxi / River Island waisted maxi

Time to revamp the face routine

May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

We seem to have skipped spring and jumped to summer from winter. Warmer weather means less face makeup for this oily-prone face (a melty face is not attractive), and thus, I feel the need to up my skincare game. I’ve always wanted to achieve the fresh-faced, dewy look that Asian actresses seem to have, but it’s quite difficult for my skin to achieve dewy and not quickly turn into oily.

Song Hye Gyo’s glowy skin

I’m hoping that, on the skincare front, regular toning and exfoliating, coupled with a good moisturizer will help balance my skin, and on the makeup front, a bit of powder (any suggestions? I’m thinking the Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Powder (as I’ve had good results with the Duo Matte Powder, and Sephora’s powder, which seems to be modeled after the DM)

and the Hourglass ambient trio will help me get that “glow from within look”. Lucky for me, I have a few gift cards to spend at Sephora 😉 Will check in soon with reviews!

Bar Bolonat

May 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ll be honest, I when HKB made reservations to Bar Bolonat, I wasn’t especially thrilled. I had read that this restaurant was supposed to be a “modern take on Israeli cuisine.” I had no idea what Israeli cuisine was, but what I did know was that the owner/chef, Einat Admony was also the creator of Taim, a popular falafel shop here in NYC (I had never been). If falafel was any indication of what Israeli cuisine is (I know, I’m so cultured), then this wouldn’t be the most enjoyable experience (falafel isn’t really my thing).

I could not have been more wrong. By the end of the night, Bar Bolonat had become one of the most memorable dinners I have had in the recent months. First off, I found the compact menu quite refreshing, especially compared to the extensive, tapas style, menus that seem so popular these days, a nightmare for an indecisive person like me. In terms of the food, each dish was extremely complex– lots of different contrasting flavors and textures; yet, everything was extremely well balanced. I found myself thinking about the elements of each dish, and how the whole dish was better than the sum of its parts. And the cherry on top- since HKB and I were seated near the kitchen, we had a great view of the inside workings, and saw Admony hard at work, expediting the dishes. It is always great to  see the “celebrity chefs” working the line.

The dishes:

Everyday cauliflower

Everyday cauliflower

Middle Plates:
Everyday cauliflower
– Lightly fried cauliflower with some sort of peanut/tahini sauce and some crunchy bits that tasted like the lovechild of rice krispies and shrimp chips. Surprisingly light tasting for something that is fried, I found it hard to stop eating. I also found myself dipping the cauliflower into the cous cous/sauce below. Yes, I could eat this everyday.
Zabzine tagine – extremely tender, braised beef cheeks over the softest, finest cous cous. The sauce with this was the bomb.

Minute steak

Minute steak

Main entrees:
Minute steak – I first saw this as a featured dish on Eater but hadn’t read about about it in the reviews. Don’t know why though– the steak was cooked perfectly (medium rare), and had a nice sweet (pomagranate?) glaze. A very solid dish.

Poussin – The dish that is the face of the restaurant, and I can see why. A perfectly spiced, flavorful, whole hen sits on top of a bed of paella style rice (a perfect crispy-to-soft ratio) which has some potatoes and walnuts mixed in. Sweet! Salty! Mushy (in a good way)! Crunchy! HKB wanted more gravy. Maybe ask for extra on the side.

I would star my favorites, but all the dishes were my favorite. A restaurant worth a second visit…a second visit very soon.

Rating: 4/5
Additional notes: Service a bit slow (especially after the apps, we waited 30min or so), but I expect things to get better as they work the kinks out of a new restaurant. Our waitress was very sweet and peppy. Small selection of wines, so we brought our own. Corkage fee: $30

Spoke too soon: I still have a shopping habit

May 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

Ha, I must’ve spoken too soon. After posting that I had been good this past month, I ended up purchasing not one, not two, but THREE bags from Madewell. All three bags are in the same style– the mini transport crossbody.

  

I got two pecan transports (one monogrammed w/ my initials, and the other plain to maybe give away as a gift) and a color-blocked mini transport. In my defense, these bags were discounted 40%, and the color-blocked one in particular was on sale for $99 + an additional 40% off (Both are originally $148). I’ve also had my eye on the pecan bag for awhile and had been looking for a new crossbody big enough to easily stick my very pretty (but rather large) wallet in.

…Oh, and I may have purchased a few basic t-shirts and tanks in multiple colors (but hey, you can’t have too many basics, amrite?).

 

Best in April: Style

May 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

In the first few months of the year, I fell into temptation and ended up splurging on all the end of the season sales (J.Crew and Loft took most of my money…). However, since the weather has been getting better in the past 1.5 months (though it still quite cold and today it was POURING), I have been eating out more, and thus, have shifted my finances more towards food.

IMG_4482

My major purchase of the month was the weekender duffle bag from Everlane. My friend Evelyn has been touting the company’s t-shirts for years, and when I came across the site recently, I was surprised to see this gorgeous duffle bag. I spend my weekends at Hkb’s, and so, every Friday, I bring my weekend duffle to work so I can go to straight to his place when work is done. The interior of my old duffle was shedding its rubber lining all over my clothes, so it was in the market for one. I fell in love with the simple, clean, look of the bag immediately, and after reading reviews on the bag, I was sold. My one apprehension was that there was no crossbody strap, but that proved to not be much of a problem; as a 5’2″ girl, the straps are long enough for the handles of the bag to stay on my shoulders (provided I don’t bulk up too much with jackets). In addition to the longer than normal shoulder straps, I was also pleased to find metal feet on the bottom of the bag. I am very impressed by the quality of Everlane’s products thus far, and am looking forward to the swing trench and the U-neck which I ordered today.

Best in April: Food

May 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

April was quite the glutinous month. The three day weekend was especially filling, from Thursday night-Sunday night, we ate out a total of six times! Its quite surprising to me that I haven’t become a much bigger roly poly. And with that, I leave you with the  top dishes of the month: Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMiso black cod at Bohemian, Pb&J pain perdu at Recette.

Also not favorites, but not pictured (New York restaurants have the poorest nighttime lighting for food photography!):

Lean Steak at Bohemian, The Black Label Burger and Cote de Boeuf at Minetta Tavern, Spaghetti and Clams at The Clam, Vanilla scones & matcha soy tea at Harney and Sons, and a cappuccino at the Parlor (a very unassuming, edgy coffee shop at the back of a barber shop).

Restaurant hit list: Tartine*, Jeanne and Gaston (brunch), Tanoshi Sushi, Recette (brunch)*, The Gander, Northern Spy Co, The Clam, Minetta Tavern, Allswell (brunch), Locanda Vini e Olli*, Narcissa (brunch)*, Peking Duck House, Bohemian, The Little Owl, Jinya Ramen, Fatta Cuckoo (brunch), Pizza Vinoteca, Chez Jef, Yuji Ramen
bold: favorites, * = good ambiance/seating