A 45-minute boat ride from Panama City takes you to the relaxing Isla Taboga where the main mode of transport is your feet or golf cart. Isla Taboga is a great day trip option from the city and offers beach, hiking and boat tours. We took the first Calypso Ferry at 7am on a Sunday leaving from the Amador Causeway.
Note: Weekends is when a crowd goes to Isla Taboga so if you want fewer people try a weekday.
The boat ride is peaceful and you can see Continue reading
Pomegranates Being Sold by Bangkok Street Vendor
It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out to eat on Valentine’s Day and Henri is the perfect place for those that enjoy the perks of fine dining without the uptight vibe. Huge front windows grant an amazing view of Millennium Park while the decor feels rich and decadent yet inviting.
Thick leather bar stools line the front bar lending a relaxed feel of the room while pristine white table clothes, light green velvet and leather chairs and booths sit perfectly under crystal chandeliers. I believe it was faux but it may have been real leather that lined the walls of the bathroom. Nice touch.
Service is excellently choreographed so you’re never left long waiting for anything but no one is bothering you when they shouldn’t be.
The Valentine’s menu was a choice of a prix fixe four course or grand tasting with nine courses. We choose the four course and were more than satisfied with taste, presentation and portion.
First Course: Continue reading
La Sirena Clandestina feels cozy yet open with large front windows that allow the morning light to come streaming in. There is not shortage of rustic wood highlighted by brick and teal walls. The stools, netted light fixtures and mermaid artwork give it a retro vibe.
I love a classic American breakfast but La Sirena Clandestina brings a nice change of pace with its Latin/Brazilian/Japanese take on brunch. There are so many interesting mixes of flavors in each dish. It reminded me of Myers + Chang or what I imagine Fat Rice would taste like if they served brunch.
Let’s start with the fact I found my favorite empanada in Chicago. I’ve been around the Empanada Block, from Chicago to Colombia and these won my heart. I suspect it has to do with Continue reading
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Image via thebalboainn.com
Established in 1673, Casco Viejo is the historical heart of Panama City. Churches, plazas, crumbling houses and restored buildings turned boutique hotels share space in a very noticeable rapid transformation since my first visit in 2004. A decade ago I contemplated buying real estate in Casco Viejo falling in love with the architecture and history of the neighborhood. I am kicking myself for not following through as it is not surprise that so many other people saw what a beautiful area it is. I just hope all the families living there will be able to stay in their homes.
Tucked away in Casco Viejo Las Clementinas is a hotel and café built in the 1930s by Clementina Herrera and her daughter Clementina Jaén. According to their website: Continue reading
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I can get a drink delivered to me in the hot tub? A group of Russian friends were happily chatting away with cocktails in hand when I stepped into the locker room to change before heading into the Turkish steam room. Sure enough I saw the phone to dial-up to order from the bar. I see why Al Capone liked to hang out here.
Check out my Tastemade video to look inside Red Square.
For thirty dollars you get Continue reading
se·pi·a [see-pee-uh] noun
1. A brown pigment obtained from the inklike secretion of various cuttlefish and used with brush or pen in drawing.
2.Photography A print or photograph made in this color.
After entering the huge wood door the decor takes on its namesake with rich brown tones throughout the space. A beautiful antique camera greets you upon entering the bar and it’s hard to resist the urge to touch it.
There is a small sitting area by the bar to wait for your table which is much more convenient than trying to pack in by the bar. The dining room opens up to a large room with giant chandeliers covered in sheer black lamp shades, glossy cream/brown tiled columns, and deep brown tables with soft fabric chairs contrasted against the dark metal doors and exposed brick. Continue reading
Valentine’s Day is two short weeks away and most people have their reservations made and flowers picked out. But for those of you who are looking for something different here are some fun things that anyone can enjoy.
Image via foursided
How fun is this? Make your own Valentine’s Piñata Bar! Twosided’s Valentine’s Piñata Bar let’s you pick your a piñata and candy to make a gift anyone will appreciate. I might even gift myself one.
Image via decarestaurant
Make some Whoopie pies with this cooking class at Deca restaurant on February 14th & 15th. For more information and reservations check out their website.
Why not skip all the restaurant hassle and make a meal at home? Meez Meals has your back delivering pre-chopped and pre-measured ingredients. The special Valentine’s Day menu includes orecchiette with tart cherry alfredo and arugula risotto. Available to order from Feb. 2 – 7 for a Feb. 10 delivery
Image via oldtownschool.org
Get your dance on at Global Dance Party at Old Town School of Music with Yuyo Verde. Yuyo Verde is a Tango-based band of Argentinian and American musicians.
Talk a walk among orchids and palms for free at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It’s cold outside so stepping inside the warm conservatory will feel like stepping into an exotic locale.
Image via ticketfly.com
St. Valentine’s Day Massacree at The Hideout. This year’s lineup are honky tonk heartbreakers featuring tributes to Patsy Cline. So there might be a tear in your beer but you’ll be in good company at the Hideout. Fri, February 14, 2014 10:00 PM – $10.00
If your just not feeling it at all Timeout has a list of Anti–Valentine’s Day movies.
“Comfortable clubhouse and a lively lounge” perfectly sums up Tortoise Club in River North. Tortoise Club is about a year old but feels like your grandparents old school club in a good way because you have all of the fancy schmancy and none of the stuffiness, the vibe is upbeat and fun. Plaid wallpaper covers the walls, old men with beards in paintings, white table cloths, proper service, live jazz band and beautiful Red Room and Library for private events.
Image via tortoiseclub.com/
Rich classic comfort food dominates the menu and on cold winter night it’s just what you need. The specialty cocktails are well made, I recommend Continue reading