Saturday, February 27, 2010

today i'm loving: spring dressing at leifsdottir

New York has been getting pummeled with snow all February, and I was actually fine with it because I've come to appreciate a great snow day. Or so I thought until I wandered onto the new Leifsdottir website and saw all these pretty spring dresses ... oh, winter, just leave us alone already will you?

I have a long night of clubbing in store tomorrow with Nath's blowout at Juliet and Yssa's party at Star Lounge. I want to get decked out, of course, but it'll be puzzling looking for an outfit. Dressing up is just so much more complicated when the ground is piled up with snow! Grrr ...

Can't even bear to look out the window and see how much more snow has fallen ... how I wish that when I open my eyes tomorrow, I'll see sunshine and leafy green trees! Fat chance.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

cartier watches 25% off at bluefly

To be honest, I usually just delete the messages in my inbox from Bluefly because I'm not supposed to be shopping these days and I don't actually find a lot of things that I like there. However, every now and then they throw some pretty sick sales. If I was in the market for a Cartier watch, I would totally love today's VIP Sale at Bluefly. These watches and more, all at 25% off!

The stainless steel La Doña is now just $3,694 from $4,925. The Tank Francaise is $4,800 from $6,400. And that sick Pasha Seatimer is $32,906 from $43,875. That's over 10K knocked off the retail price!

Sign up with Bluefly and salivate over the gorgeousness!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the 30 before 30 project

Dear Readers, I am embarking on an adventure! I came to the cruel realization yesterday that I am getting seriously close to hitting 30, and I thought, you know what? I'm not just gonna let 30 hit me over the head. I will meet it head on, with guns blazing. So I've started this thing I've decided to call The 30 Before 30 Project. Basically, I'm making a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30, and I'm chronicling the journey at this blog.

I hope that some of you will add 30 Before 30 to your daily reads, so I can get some motivation to keep going on this challenge. I would also love to hear from you on what goals you'd like to accomplish and if you have any suggestions on what I should add to my list. 

I will try my best to keep the posts going on both blogs, but I foresee just being dead tired on some days. The first item I plan to take on is to conquer the 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge. I'm going to start on Monday, March 1, 2010 so next month will probably light on the drinking and eating posts (or so I hope).

Wish me luck! Carpe diem babes! 

designer for less: sonia rykiel for h&m

Jesus, I really do have a one-track mind. When I'm preoccupied with food and ... well, stuff ... I just completely miss out on things. What rock have I been hiding under? I completely missed the fact the the Sonia Rykiel for H&M collection dropped last February 20! This is kinda embarrassing because I walk past an H&M to get to my train station everyday. *facepalm*

I want some of the stripey cuteness!

So glad that the prices are not too steep. I was not a fan of those ridiculously overpriced H&M designer collabs (*cough-Jimmy-Choo-cough*) (*cough-Viktor-&-Rolf-cough*). Of course that might mean there'll be nothing left on the racks when I go tomorrow. If I could just have a pair of those crazy striped tights or socks, I'd be fine really. I don't ask for much. 

Did anyone else manage to hit up H&M? Was it utter madness? Do tell!

Monday, February 22, 2010

designer for less: liberty of london for target

Twenty days and counting til the Liberty of London for Target collection drops and I am beyond excited! By May I'll be moving into new digs in the Financial District and I can hardly wait to start decorating. From the ads it looks like they're doing the iconic Liberty prints in clothes and homeware. I'm digging the shams and sundresses, and am dorkily excited about the piggie bank, teapots and mugs!

Get in the mood to shop with this adorable Liberty of London for Target advertisement:

The collection drops on March 14, 2010. So excited!!!

shop for haiti at gilt groupe

Gilt Groupe is running a sale 9PM EST on Friday, February 26, 2010 to benefit charities that help those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. There are limited edition shirts by the Council of Fashion Designers of America for just $25, FEED bags for $35, and TOMS shoes from $34 to $79. Just imagine, for every FEED Haiti bag purchased, 50 school meals will be donated to the UN World Food Program's School Feeding initiative.

I'm really liking these gold glitter slip ons by TOMS. For every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need. Isn't that just brilliant? Methinks these would make a great summer shoe. Wear with shorts, a white shirt dress ... they just look way too comfy!

If you're not on Gilt Groupe yet, then you should be! Sign up here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

today i'm loving: siri tollerød as cat lady

I don't know if it's because I feel like I didn't get much time to veg out at home this weekend, but today I find myself mildly obsessed with these images of Norwegian model Siri Tollerød from “The Vagaries of Fashion” shot by Miles Aldridge for the May 2008 issue of Vogue Italia. I've never seen such a glamorous cat lady.

If you suffer from winter blues at all, these highly saturated images can be pretty therapeutic. Makes me want to swathe the apartment in full on color!

Doesn't Siri look just like a living, breathing Barbie doll? Oh when I was a kid, I SO wanted to be this blond and blue-eyed. I've gotten over that (wouldn't trade being Asian and looking like a teenager for decades for anything) but I'm still fascinated by her look. 

She also wants to make be break out the knitting needles. On our trip to Pennsylvania last month, Zoe taught me some knitting basics. Might want to do more of that.

So how was this for my first non-food post in ages? Hahaha I'm pretty rusty, I know, sorry about that. The truth is, I have another foodie post in my back pocket because I'm insatiable like that. But I will spare you the gluttony for a few days at least.

Hope y'all had a nice and relaxing weekend. I had to work, but I made up for it with a good amount of partying. This week's social calendar looks pretty full so I'm gonna try to get some rest before it all starts up again. Here's hoping the week zips by in a jiffy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

late night eats: hop kee

It's entirely possible that I ate enough Chinese food yesterday to feed a family of five in Guangdong. After work, I went to Joe's Shanghai to satisfy a weeklong craving for soup dumplings with Ali and then we went to Verlaine for those yummy $5 Hanoi lychee martinis. But by around 1AM, I had downed several lychee martinis with the rest of the Filipino crew and then that inevitable craving for Cantonese food hit us. And before I could say "MSG", I was back in Chinatown stuffing myself silly.

So yes, I guess at this point I must concede that I eat too much. After this post, I am enforcing a moratorium on food stories. I don't think my body can handle one more week of eating at this pace, and I think the blog's readers want to read about something other than food for a change. So this will be the last one for awhile (or so my waistline hopes).

With that, let's end the food tripping streak with an ode to my beloved Chinatown hole-in-the-wall: Hop Kee. Hop Kee has gotten more attention lately for being featured in Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations in the "Disappearing Manhattan" episode. He went to Hop Kee with Chef Chris Cheung to show the vast difference between what the white folks and the Asian folks ordered back in the day at this place. Bourdain's childhood menu consisted of egg rolls and sweet and sour pork, while Cheung's included snails in black bean sauce and Cantonese-style crab. Watch it, I kinda love this episode:
Filipinos particularly love Hop Kee because the Chinese food we grew up eating is precisely this type. Well, plus we love ending a night out by pigging out on Cantonese food and Hop Kee stays open til 4AM, ably satisfying our post-drinking cravings. I've actually only been at this place at normal hours once: for dinner with my friend Kathryn last Wednesday to sample their snails in black bean sauce. Yummy as they are, it's a bit of a challenge to eat the snails so it's not something I'd ever order when I'm suffering from drinking-induced hunger pangs at 3AM. This was quite possibly the healthiest meal I ever had at Hop Kee, with just the snails, sauteed veggies and some salt & pepper pork chops:
The 3AM lineup is not quite as healthy. It's gotten to the point that I just fire off the orders at the waiter without looking at the menu because I know what everyone wants: yang chow fried rice (2 orders), salt & pepper squid, salt & pepper pork chops, and walnut shrimp. Last night we got thrown for a loop because the waiter heard me say "salt & pepper shrimp" instead of "salt & pepper squid." But we ate it anyway, and it was good. And we still had the squid. Oink oink.

The walnut shrimp, with it's sweet white sauce, batter-coated shrimp and caramelized walnuts, is to die for. I want some right now.
The chicken was something new on our lineup, but it was pretty good too.
I always find myself with deadened taste buds the next day from the massive intake of MSG. But I don't care. Like Anthony Bourdain, I too love MSG. And I have to say that it's bugging the hell out of me right now that I've never tried that pan-fried flounder. Damn you Chris Cheung, damn you ...

Ok, last of the food posts, I hope. Let's see how long I'll last.

Hop Kee is located at 21 Mott Street (between Chatham Square & Mosco Street), New York, NY 10013. Tel. (212) 964-8365

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

fat tuesday at good enough to eat

I may have overdone it this time. I already have a problem with ordering more food than my 105-pound  frame can handle, but when you're at a restaurant with the owner's son and an enabler of a friend, things can get out of hand. Buck and Alida introduced me to the delicious comfort food at Good Enough To Eat last night, and I was torn between wanting to hug them and choke them for the food coma I suffered from afterward.

It seemed like a good idea at the time to order one starter, entree and dessert each. I picked the mac and cheese to start, and it was quite possibly the best I've ever had in my life. This mac and cheese was serious business: big plump ziti noodles generously coated with velvety melted gruyere, parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella. And when you happen upon the nicely browned cheese bits? Good lord ...

Ali has never been able to steer clear of the chicken fingers, and with good reason. Having a younger sibling and niece, I've had to eat many chicken fingers in my life and none of them ever tasted as good as these. Underneath the light and crisp beer batter were super tender and juicy pieces of chicken. Ali came up with the idea of having a bite of mac and cheese with a chunk of chicken tenders, and it was so delicious I felt enormous guilt at having it. It just wasn't right. The world might implode if those two things were served on one plate.

Buck got some cheesy quesadilla goodness going on because there can never be too much carbs and cheese within a 1-meter radius ...

Good Enough to Eat does a weekly "Traveling Tuesdays" menu, and since it was Fat Tuesday, they had a special Mardi Gras menu, which we took full advantage of. I ordered the jambalaya, which was the perfect hearty dish to enjoy on such a godawful chilly winter evening. I loved how they did not skimp on the heat and meaty goodness.

But the truth is, I didn't have all that much of the jambalaya because I got distracted by the catfish that Buck ordered. That's some of the most flavorful catfish I've ever had, made even better with a dollop of avocado sauce. And that bed of creamy mashed potatoes tucked under the fish? Best argument on the planet against going on the Atkins diet.

Ali ordered spinach fettuccine tossed with shrimps and crawdads. I've come to the conclusion that if you ask a crawfish, "Who's your daddy?" it would point to the crawdad. I'm sorry I don't have more to say about this dish. I was too distracted with the catfish, which in case you already forgot, was wonderful.  

As you can imagine, at this point, we were stuffed to the gills. But did we stop? No. I ordered some Good Karma (that's coffee, Godiva liqueur, Frangelico and Baileys) hoping a warm drink would help some of the food go down. Even though I was completely stuffed, I still ended up getting the berry crisp. They had me at homemade ice cream. OHMYGOD.

There was also some Devil's food chocolate and banana walnut cake, but I was too overwhelmed by then to have anything more. Well, maybe another cocktail ... I concede that GETE's Garden of Eden is indeed the best pomegranate mojito in the city. And the Autumn Leaves (Amaretto Disaronno, Cointreau, apple cider and OJ) will have me constantly wishing for the leaves to turn.

To close, here's me defeated by all that food.

I hate losing though, so I'm definitely going back for another round.

Good Enough To Eat is located at 483 Amsterdam Avenue (at 83rd Street), New York, NY 10024. Tel. (212) 496-0163

Monday, February 15, 2010

valentine's day dinner at dbgb

I've posted about DBGB before but I think it warrants another post since my dearest friend Nina Vargas took such beautiful pictures during our group Valentine's Day dinner last Saturday. That and the food was amazing!!! We shared one of their specials: a decadent foie gras mousse. I prefer my foie gras seared but for $13, this was not bad at all.

We also ordered that beautiful escargot dish ($14). Cannot get enough of the creamy parsley custard, plump escargots, juicy roasted tomatoes, and crunchy filo pastry. Yum! It just seems to get better every time I have it.

Also part of their specials: a light Hefeweizen from an obscure German brewery for $16. Even the non beer drinkers in our party liked this one since it's so light and devoid of bitterness. It was apparently quite popular with diners because we had to lock down the last two bottles before they completely ran out. At the end of the day, I still preferred the richer Schneider Weisse that I started with.

Some of the girls who were more dainty eaters ordered appetizers as their dinner. Mia had the Tuna Crudo with harissa-sesame sauce, cucumber radish, crispy rice ($11), while Annavi had the Chipolata—a pork sausage link with pommes mousseline and black truffle.

I am a tiny girl but definitely not a dainty eater, so I ordered steak frites. Holy peppercorn, fat-laced, 10-ounce Black Angus ribeye goodness! I asked for my steak to be cooked medium rare (more on the rare side) and it was absolute perfection. Although I must admit, I had a very Pinoy moment of wanting A1 sauce on the side at one point. Hahaha ... I didn't do it, don't worry! That would be like spitting on the Eric Ripert copper pot on display. I did not disrespect Daniel Bouloud's steak.

I talked up the Frenchie burger ($17) so much that all of the boys ended up ordering it. Brandon went for the Monster Frenchie (add $8 for an extra beef pattie). He had to eat it with a fork and knife since the burger was so unwieldy but he loved it. Our friend Dan, who was quite hungry, regretted not ordering the monster because the regular Frenchie didn't fill him up. But he made up for it by ordering a mint chocolate sundae that he deemed the best sundae he's ever had. Fighting words!

My dearest Nina, who is usually more preoccupied with the wine list than what she's having for dinner, just loved her entree: sauteed skate with cauliflower risotto, romanesco, pinenuts and saffron brown butter ($22). The fish was so flavorful and that risotto was to die for. 

I highly recommend DBGB if you're looking for a place that can accommodate large parties. We were a party of 9 (originally 12) and although we had to settle for a very early reservation (at 5:30pm!), they were very relaxed about time and didn't mind that our party trickled in slowly. We probably sat down for dinner closer to 6:30pm but they were very cool about it. I've gone to DBGB three times now, and every single time I had a wonderful experience. Do try it if you still haven't! 

With my gorgeous Valentine's Day dates at DBGB

DBGB Kitchen & Bar is located at 299 Bowery at 1st Street, New York, NY. Tel. (212) 933-5300
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