eat. shop. love. nyc.

NY Loves Japan Sake & Tasting Benefit

New York’s premier sake and restaurant community has partnered with Project by Project to host New York Loves Japan, a sake and chefs’ tasting to benefit relief efforts in Japan.

The benefit takes place this Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at La.venue in Chelsea, featuring 100 tastes of sake with food pairings to pay tribute to the culture and the rebuilding of communities in Japan. See Event Details.

Food sponsors include 15 East, Bond Street, Bozu, Buddakan, EN Japanese Brasserie, Geisha, Hibino, Kajitsu, Kyotofu, Kyoya, Matsuri, Sakagura, Tanuki Tavern, wd~50, and Unique Eats Chef Lee Anne Wong. For a full list of sake sponsors, click here. The list is quite impressive.

VIP Admission: $175

  • Early Event Admission Starting at 6 PM
  • Private VIP Daiginjo Sake Lounge Starting at 6 PM
  • Sake Cup Gift Bag
  • Plus General Admission Ticket Privileges

General Admission: $100

All proceeds will benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society. Your donation will support disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

General Admission Tickets will be $125 at the door, so buy your tickets online now!


New York loves Japan Punch Party

Tonight, the New York Loves Japan Punch Party is going down at Summit Bar in the East Village/Alphabet City from 7 pm to 11 pm. Sample some tasty boozy punches and whilst listening to the grooves of DJ Kimiko Masuda and supporting Japanese disaster relief efforts. A $20 donation gets you unlimited open bar servings of six Japanese-inspired punch cocktails, and all proceeds benefit the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.

Sponsors include Beefeater Gin, Pernod Absinthe, Tequila Corazón, Leblon Cachaça, Belvedere, Sailor Jerry Rum, The Tippling Bros. & Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits Portfolio.

Drink: The Summit Bar (East Village/Alphabet City) 133 Avenue C (between 8th and 9th). New York Loves Japan Punch Party from 7 pm to 11 pm today, Monday, April 11, 2011.

November 29, 2010, 12:29 am
Filed under: Love, Think | Tags: , , , ,

That would make for a great Scrabble word, huh?

Have been burying myself in poetry today: reading, writing, sketching, dreaming. I couldn’t stop thinking about this Picasso scribble of Don Quixote, so I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy.

Pablo Picasso, Don Quixote, 1955, ink wash

Who says vanilla is boring?
July 19, 2010, 11:53 am
Filed under: Cook, Eat, Love | Tags: , , , , ,

Martha Stewart Show

I was walking down 7th St. in the East Village yesterday and I heard a gentle whisper in the breeze: “Eat me… eat me… I am a delicious cupcake… eat me…” When I looked up, I saw Butter Lane looming overhead, like a beneficent, sugary angel sent from heaven to ease my shopping-induced hunger.

I think vanilla gets a bad rap. I hate it when people say, “That’s so… vanilla,” like vanilla is a bad thing. I’ve got news for you vanilla-haters: vanilla can be awesome, and I’ve got Butter Lane to prove it.

I’ve tried almost every cupcake combo at Butter Lane, and still I can’t resist the seemingly simple combination of the vanilla cupcake with the French Vanilla frosting. (The French Vanilla is different from the regular Vanilla because it’s made with egg whites instead of whole eggs.) The cake is so soft and moist and subtle, and the frosting is rich and light and so vanilla-y. I dare you to try it and tell me vanilla is boring.

After I devoured my first cupcake, I bought another one of the same. French vanilla on vanilla. I’m so gangsta.

I asked if Butter Lane was teaching people how to make the French Vanilla frosting during their cupcake classes, but

it turns out they are just teaching cupcake lovers how to make the American buttercream frostings. However, they did tell me to check their website under “Press” because the owner was on the Martha Stewart show demonstrating how to make the chocolate cupcake with French Vanilla frosting. So I went and got the recipe for you from the Martha Stewart website.

Butter Lane French Vanilla Frosting


Makes about 1 quart

  • 7 extra-large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise

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Naked vs. Nude
June 24, 2010, 12:21 pm
Filed under: Laugh, Love

Almost naked #USA #worldcup men or a nude Grecian Mario Batali – your choice. Or both.

World Cup fever
June 22, 2010, 3:45 pm
Filed under: Love, Watch | Tags: , , ,

Sorry for the lack of regular posting. I usually get lazy in the summertime because I’m out eating things, but this summer, it’s especially bad because I’m out eating things AND the World Cup is on. My friend Deedles hypothesizes that World Cup is to American soccer fans like Christmas/Easter are to Catholics. Ha. I like soccer, but it’s the World Cup that really gets my blood pumping. Something about the patriotism, the throwback to my motherland, the fact that people all over the world, truly, have a chance to play the real football and emerge victorious… it warms the cockles of my heart.

I am cheering on South Korea and the United States, though I don’t expect either to end up in the finals. South Korea just barely scraped by to advance into the next round today with a 2-2 draw against Nigeria.

Group B MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

I was a little heartbroken to see North Korea take such a beating from Portugal… it was a rough week for the Korean peninsula all around. Still, in their first World Cup appearance since 1969, they did a hold their own against Brazil, and that’s saying something.

I’m a lot more active on Twitter these days… something about the summer makes me want to overshare. If you can get past my World Cup tweets, I do occasionally link to something fun/interesting/food-related. See you later, tweeples!

Olympus E-PL1 Father’s Day Sale
June 17, 2010, 10:31 am
Filed under: Do, Love | Tags: , , , , , ,

Olympus is offering a manufacturer’s $75 instant rebate on its E-PL1 micro four thirds camera (with zoom kit lens) through June 19th, 2010. You can buy online from Ritz Camera with no sales tax and free shipping ANYWHERE, which means that for $525, you can get yourself a m4/3 camera with zoom lens, in-body image stabilization, built-in flash (which can be manipulated as a bounce flash), and some really cool art filters (diorama and pinhole are my faves). The E-PL1 is on sale for $524 on Amazon (I got gold, but available in black and slate blue also), but depending on what state/city you live in, you might have to pay sales tax (in NYC, for example, it’s 8.875%). Amazon is best because they ship extremely quickly and have an awesome return policy, but if you are in an Amazon sales tax district and want to save $46, order on Ritz (but be prepared for slower shipping). If you’re old school and want to play with the camera first, all certified Olympus dealers will be offering the rebate through the 19th, so get thy ass into a store, stat.

Originally, I had purchased the Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm pancake lens, but returned it due to a defective LCD. Upon further consideration, I realized that because I am upgrading from a point and shoot, not coming down from a DSLR, the E-PL1 meets all of my needs and still leaves me room to grow. I like the way the GF1 feels in my hand better, but the E-PL1 is sturdy enough, and while the video is not as strong as the GF1, stills are my primary focus. I also like the punchiness of the Olympus JPEG engine and I don’t want to shoot in RAW all the time and be forced to do post-processing, and I like the in-body IS because that means that I am not limited to purchasing lenses with OIS (the Panasonic m4/3 cameras lack in-body IS so their lenses have OIS, but are also more expensive). I also like that I can angle the flash upwards to create softer light with the E-PL1, unlike the GF1 whose flash is too rigid to angle differently once popped up.

The GF1 with the zoom kit lens is going for $743.95 or so, and with the 20mm pancake is going for over $808.66, plus tax (usually free shipping). For the E-PL1 at $525 with free shipping and no sales tax, I was able to splurge on an additional lens, and I selected the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 for $375 on Amazon (it was $360 at the end of May; I bought it for $374.99 two days ago; it’s now going for $383.02!) so my E-PL1 could be slim and sexy, just as it was meant to be. So, for about $100 more than I paid for the GF1 + 20mm pancake, I got the E-PL1 plus zoom kits lens and 20 mm pancake. I’d say that’s a pretty solid deal. (I could have gotten the 17mm M. Zuiko pancake lens for $250 and saved $100 but decided to treat myself to the Panny.)

The chief complaints against the E-PL1 vs. GF1 are slower autofocus speed, lack of extensive exterior manual controls, lack of built-in EVF (same w/GF1) and crappy external EVF, and sub-par LCD. I concur that the LCD is rather disappointing, especially since there is no EVF alternative built-in, and the external EVF alternative really isn’t very good (after some in-store testing). However, I think that for a photo enthusiast like me who is upgrading from a point and shoot, the autofocus is actually quite fast, there are more than enough buttons to work with controls, and wow, the pictures look amazing compared to what I’ve been coaxing out of my P&S.

I have read a gazillion reviews, and finally I thought, to heck with it. One guy said, “The best camera is the one you have,” and something clicked for me. There will always be some newfangled camera coming out onto the market, and every camera is going to have its pros and cons. The key is to be honest about your priorities and find a couple that suit you, then to pull the trigger and decide that you are going to master your camera, that you are going to learn to maximize its potential, that you are going to have fun no matter what, and to realize you can always upgrade later.

I CAN’T WAIT to get my hands on this thing!