Thursday, December 22, 2011

Champagne and Caroling at the Gansevoort Hotel with the Broadway Dolls - Black Tie Style!

By: Anne M. Raso

Wow! The Champagne And Caroling black tie event at Winston's Champagne Bar in the Gansevoort Hotel  was one of our final parties of the holiday season and one of the most elegant. Broadway luminaries, executives from Bernstein Global Wealth Management (who presented the event to benefit the Broadway Dreams Foundation) and just regular folks who like a good party put on their tuxes and best evening gowns and grooved to holiday sounds as provided by the Broadway Dolls! Guests danced cheek to cheek "old school style" and here was not a single holiday "standards" missed by the Broadway Dolls. The five member "girl group" took requests as well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Basking In BBQ Brotherly Love At Brother Jimmy's New York City!

By: Anne M. Raso

I have lived by the Brother Jimmy's BBQ Upper East Side location for 13 or 14 years now, and when I am dying for a real piece of Southern style BBQ, I will order their Dry Rub Ribs (with the 20 "secret" rub ingredients) and my two side choices are usually the collard greens (when I am trying to be healthy) and their black eyed peas...but I occasionally weaken and do the fries. Nevertheless, I finally, after all these years decided to try their second of many locations--the Union Square restaurant at the easy-to-remeber 116 East 16th Street (between Irving Place and Park Avenue).
Brisket and Pulled Pork

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

McDonald’s Big Mac Snack Wrap is Back!

"Good things in small packages..."

Well here's some good news for those who love the comfort food goodness of a Big Mac but don't want the extra calories around the hips -- McDonald’s Mac Snack Wrap is back at restaurants nationwide, for a limited time only, through January 2, 2012! The Mac Snack Wrap, the Big Mac’s snack-size counterpart, features half of a quarter pound 100 percent beef patty, the Big Mac special sauce, shredded lettuce, American cheese, pickles and chopped onions wrapped in a soft flour tortilla.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Resorts World New York City: Good Effort But No Dice

"I heard that you were trouble but I couldn't resist..."

Resorts World Casino is the first entertainment destination of its kind in the five boroughs of New York City. Owned by the Genting Group, this property operates over 4,200 video lottery terminals (VLT), 470 electronic table games, 4 VIP lounges, 18 food and beverage outlets (with two fine dining options) and boasts the largest catering and events space in Queens. Last week, the casino held a private party / tour for media to preview the second and third floors of their brand new facility just prior to the public opening that afternoon.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Chic to Be Cost Conscious: Luxe Holiday Gifts that Won't Break the Bank!

By: Finance Foodie

This holiday season, with the European debt crisis and the shaky US economy, shoppers more than ever need to focus on spending less while still looking good. We here at especially understand (being personally affected by the volatility in the stock market) and are here to help find the perfect gifts for yourself or the fabulous ladies in your life. Best of all, these recs are all wallet-friendly yet still super chic alternatives to the luxury goods featured in Harper's Bazaar's 2011 Best Gifts for Women. So you might look like a million bucks after buying all this swag, but you don't have to pay a million to do so!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Something-for-Everyone Holiday Gift Guide: From Kim Kardashian's Fragrance to Homemade Soda!

By: Anne M. Raso and Finance Foodie

Like Santa, we here at have been making a list and checking it twice, but also have been looking to make holiday shopping as easy as possible. By no means is this considered a complete guide to shopping made easy, but there are always a few classics that you can purchase in multiples instead of roaming from store to store or website to website. Here are a bunch of gifts we (or relative/friend/little sibling have tested under our careful supervision!) that came out with rave reviews for holiday giving.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beauty Bar: The Best Of Beauty In A Super-Chic Setting!

By: Anne M. Raso

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the new Beauty Bar in Manhasset a few hours before its big opening night party! Set in the center of the tres chic Americana shopping center at 2034 Northern Boulevard--which is anchored by such legendary stores as Chanel and Tiffany--this upscale beauty store features hundreds of brand names that many other popular beauty stores do not carry (especially smaller luxury brands like Wellbox, Ren and By Terry). Of course, the big luxury cosmetic, skincare and fragrance brands are here and there is a particularly lovely and large display of Bond No. 9. It's easy to spend an hour just trying the numerous Bond No. 9 testers and we fell in love with the Little Italy scent, which interestingly enough, smells like an orange orchard

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Power Packed Business Lunch at Philippe's Restaurant and Lounge Houston

By: Finance Foodie

Philippe's Restaurant and Lounge, the “Texas Cowboy meets French Artist” themed resto by Chef / Owner Philippe Schmit, features a wide array of delectable yet approachable dishes for the Gallera/Uptown set. The lunch menu includes a vast variety of tempting delights (such as the parmesean + white truffle oil soufflé), but I opted for their signature Business Lunch – three courses, $20, and as they say, “gets you in, out and on your way”!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Leisurely Lunch at Houston's BlackFinn American Grille

By: Finance Foodie

BlackFinn American Grille, which just opened up its first location in Houston, is known to be the great American restaurant and community gathering spot that serves classic comfort foods in a non-stuffy and casual environment. Just walking in made me want to kick off my heels and swig back one (or three!) of their cocktails (which, FYI, are all made with fresh-squeezed juices). Business mixes seamlessly with pleasure in this laidback space, where the wood-trimmed walls are filled with Houston sports and rodeo memorabilia offset by vibrant and contemporary oil on canvas paintings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Party in a Box: Hot Buttered Yum Chex Mix to the Rescue!

"Oh what a celebration, we'll have today..."

One of my favorite ways to make regular (and boring!) Chex Mix festive for a party is creating the Hot Buttered Yum Chex Mix for my guests when throwing a holiday party. A combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, honey and marshmallows blend effortlessly together in a crazy-delicious, gluten free crunchy mix. Stir up a rich and buttery mix married with delicate spices and rum flavoring. Check out the recipe below!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The World's Biggest Baby Shower! Doin' The "New Mom" Thing New York Style!

By: Anne M. Raso

Big City Moms, the largest social group for moms, and, the only multi-platform brand focused on expectant and first-time parents, teamed up to host the 10th Annual Biggest Baby Shower last week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

McDonald's Celebrates the Age-Old Question: You Want Fries With That?

By: Finance Foodie

I’m sure you all are familiar with McDonald’s Fries, but check out this contest celebrating the perfect side order! Last Friday, McDonald’s kicked off a Contest and Weekly Drawing in honor of McDonald’s World Famous Fries.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Upstairs At The Kimberly Revisited: This Time It's For Brunch!

By: Anne M. Raso

Last summer, we ate dinner at Upstairs At The Kimberly and raved about it here on We loved their Modern American fare with generous portions, so when we were asked back for brunch, we jumped on it like Grey Poupon on a turkey club sandwich! The decor is modern as well--it looks like James Bond and P. Diddy shared the decorating tasks, plus there is plenty of outdoor space full of beautiful greenery and some of the best city views. They keep those spaces open as long as it stays warm, and it was actually warm for a few days recently (in November, believe it or not)!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Factory of Fabulousness at The Woodward in the Ames Hotel Boston

By: Jessica Cickay

It’s kind of an understatement to say that the Woodward at the Ames Hotel near Government Center is, as the kids say, BEYOND. The Woodward is RIDIC. The Woodward is OMFG AMAZEBALLS. The Woodward is…you get the point. From the second their Skip N Go Naked cocktail (Plymouth gin, Woodward ale & lemon juice) was placed in my hands, to the final lick of my peppered chocolate ganache and salted caramel tart covered spoon, I was more than impressed with The Woodward. Packed to the gills on a random Tuesday night, it’s obvious that Bostonians are flocking to The Woodward’s modern-yet-steeped-in-history décor and contemporary-yet-comfortingly traditional food the kitchen consistently churns out. Say hello to The Woodward, Boston, because this factory of fabulous is certainly here to stay.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Northern Louisiana: Music Legends, Hot Biscuits And Colorful Characters!

By: Anne M. Raso

Most tourists visiting Louisiana don’t venture outside of the New Orleans area but there is so much to see and do in Northern Louisiana that we can barely put its uniqueness into words. There are music museums and other landmarks plus some down home eats along the way—and you’re never short of a neighborhood hang with original music in it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Meatball Factory -- Top Chef Dave Martin's New Venue Isn't Just About The Meatballs! (CLOSED)

By: Anne M. Raso

We couldn't wait to visit The Meatball Factory, the brainchild of Top Chef Season 1 Finalist Dave Martin. Martin was actually on the scene at the restaurant, and was kind enough to answer any questions we had about our meal...and even brought over our "floatillas" at the end of the meal. (The mascarpone ice cream served in them is one of his sugar addict masterpieces!) He picked the decidedly non-foodie nabe of 14th Street and Second Avenue to open his casual eatery based on his love of--you guessed it--meatballs! (There used to be a food court featuring Arthur Treacher's and Taco Bell on the spot, as well as several other common fast food joints). As a result of his location choice, the crowd is young and hopping, and it is quite noisy, but diners can still carry on a conversation without raising your voice. Prices are right, too--the affable young chef pretty much keeps every item in the $8 to $15 price range.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cool Treats to Curb the Thanksgiving Weight Gain

By: Finance Foodie

Even though Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, my mind is already thinking about the delicious holiday treats that await my stomach on Thursday afternoon. Candied yams, green bean almandine, pumpkin pie, and of course the roasted turkey centerpiece – can you say 10 pounds straight to the hips?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Free Milk and Win a $25 Gift Card to Kroger Supermarket

"Special Announcement"

Want to save even more when shopping at Kroger? Purchase any four participating General Mills products* that your family knows and loves and Kroger will reward you for your purchases.

From November 13th through November 26th, with the purchase of any four participating General Mills products, you will either receive free milk (up to $3; limit of 2) or to receive $3 off your shopping order**

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Catch Above the Rest at Turner Fisheries Boston

By: Jessica Cickay

“Where can we get some really good seafood?” If you’re a Bostonian, you know that when you hear this question, the pressure is on – the lights seem to get low, the sweat somehow starts to drip and all eyes in the room piercingly turn toward you. Seafood is a staple in New England, so this should be an easy answer, right? Not so fast. This query is loaded – locked and loaded really, so much so that it makes you realize that you’ve “been there done that” around the local seafood scene, but more often than not, you’ve been disappointed. From buckets full of rubbery clams to an overdone piece of palm-sized fish for $40, seafood restaurants in Boston can run the gambit from bad to worse, to overpriced to overhyped. But don’t fret you titans of tuna, you suckers for scallops – Turner Fisheries on the first floor of the Westin Hotel in Copley Square is the definitive answer to all of your seafood uncertainty. Offering fresh, sustainable and creative dishes that are both reasonably portioned and priced, Turner Fisheries is hook, line and sinker a catch above the rest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ann Taylor and LOFT For Spring 2012: "Easy Wear" With Flair!

By: Anne M. Raso

Last week, Ann Taylor and LOFT gave fabulous events for fashion journos and bloggers to check out their Spring 2012 clothing and accessories and we were the first people in the door to "check out the goods "both nights. These folks know how to throw an elegant preview!

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter Book Review

Sponsored Post

After losing her job as a book editor for Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Reese set out on an economically ambitious, often outrageous, culinary journey. Is “doing it yourself” always cheaper? Jennifer had her doubts. After curing prosciutto, trying to get those crannies in an English muffin, and buying goats to be a better cheesemaker, Jennifer’s kitchen-related experiments yielded some surprising results, which are chronicled in Make the Bread, Buy the Butter (Free Press; October 18; $24), her debut book out this month.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter tells the often hilarious stories surrounding these kitchen-related experiments and offers a full picture of what is involved in a truly homemade life. Reese asks a handful of practical questions about each item to decide whether to make or buy: What’s the ultimate cost? How much of a hassle is it to make? And what about sustainability and animal welfare – what value should we place on knowing that our eggs came from happy chickens. Is it somehow ennobling to slaughter your own Thanksgiving Day turkey?

Jennifer Reese has been a professional journalist all of her adult life, working mostly for national magazines, and has been an avid, adventurous home cook for even longer, which she blogs about at the Tipsy Baker ( as well as for online publications like Slate. Reese also teaches cooking classes in Marin County, California, where she lives with her family. Like her on Facebook at and follow her on Twitter:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beauty Brunch For The Cure: Getting All Dolled Up And Much, Much More!

By: Anne M. Raso

The recent World Yacht's Beauty Brunch For The Cure was a win-win for all--great food, great swag, and most importantly, it raised thousands of dollars for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Held this past Sunday because of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this fabulous event included eyebrow threading from Hibba NYC, Vincent Longo makeovers, massages and polish changes from Bliss Spa, body art, feather hair extensions and mini-facials and a braid boutique from the John Barrett Salon. The raffle prizes including a month-long membership to the Chelsea Piers Sports Club, Minx nail applications (that featured the classic pink breast cancer awareness emblem), Eva Schrivo's Beauty Book and a haircut at her salon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bubble Bubble Toil and the Naked Cowboy at Legal Harborside

By: Jessica Cickay

We all learned in fourth grade science class that heat rises, and as I ascended up the swirling staircase at Legal Harborside, it was obvious that this – the freshest location of the Legal Seafood empire on Boston’s waterfront – was definitely an establishment that knew how to bring the heat. To host the "Bivalves and Bubbles” event, which featured a grand array of oysters, champagne and atmosphere, Legal Harborside had patrons bypass its lovely yet approachable ground-floor restaurant and its upscale yet not up-its-own-you-know-what fine dining digs on the second, to head straight to the roof deck for some stylish sips, slurps and city sightseeing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eolo: A Chelsea Sicilian Eatery That Will Make You Say “Oh”!

By: Anne M. Raso loves to check out Italian eateries, but we have yet to check out one that is purely Sicilian. It’s perhaps the most classic of Italian cuisines, at least in the minds of American foodies, with Tuscan food being a close runner-up. That means they had to prove themselves to us with classic red sauce that won’t quit and lovely rustic dishes of all sorts—plus cannoli that could make you cry. Eolo is small and casual, with floor-to-ceiling front glass doors that open up so diners can eat al fresco. We went on a perfect early fall night and it never got chilly, even at 8:30 PM—so we were quite fortunate. Service is courteous and the food comes out quickly. Besides specialty cocktails, there is a special Sicilian wine list available ($12-13 per glass) and wonderful Italian soda like Orangiata and Aranciata available ($4 per bottle).
Nsalata Grigliata

Monday, October 10, 2011

Win a $20 gift card to Seamless!

"So delicious (It's hot, hot)..."

Back when I was working on Wall Street, my co-workers and I became intimately familiar with the online food delivery service called Seamless (or Seamless Web as it was called then). In fact, I used this service so frequently (as we rarely left the office before dinnertime), I actually created a list of my favorite area restaurants and notes on dishes to order -- because when your mind is crunching numbers all day, you sometimes need a reminder that the chicken dish from Chinese Restaurant A is tastier than the same dish at Chinese Restaurant B thru Z!
She works hard for the money...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kicking it Old Skool Boston at The Brahmin

By: Jessica Cickay

It’s chic, but not sickeningly stylish. It’s trendy, but not hopelessly hip. It’s elegant, but by no means is it garishly graceful. Basically, The Brahmin Restaurant and Lounge defies the stereotypes and stands out on Stanhope Street, bringing forth the perfect balance of elegance and ease to the Back Bay.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Going to Town at Towne Boston

By: Jessica Cickay 

Lydia Shire and Jasper White are kind of like the Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn of the Boston restaurant scene – no matter the space, no matter the cuisine or no matter the clientele, they just make it work. Upon entering their year-old Towne Stove and Spirits nestled next to Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, it was pretty obvious that Shire and White could keep this valiant venture working for many more to come. The warm, relaxing décor washed everyone and everything aglow, while despite the menu’s inherent pricey-ness, it was obvious that Towne already touted a healthy round of regulars– a true testament to the high-end, but low-maintenance restaurant’s staying power. I was visiting on an evening dubbed “A Taste of Italy,” and although I was surrounded by Ferrari’s (literally) and had to walk a red carpet to enter (also literally), all I could focus on was what I was about to devour: Shire’s signature Roman-inspired customizable four-course menu.
All's Well That Ends Well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teqa: A Hip, Young Midtown Mexican Eatery Worth Checking Out

By: Anne M. Raso

We were lucky enough to check out the "modern Mexican" Teqa  in Midtown Manhattan recently (also known as Murray Hill, a formerly bland neighborhood now on the rise in terms of hipness and young residents). It has a modern atmosphere, with fun light fixtures and open front floor-to-ceiling windows that give the diner the option of eating al fresco or coming inside. We noticed that the crowd was generally in their 20s and 30s--the type of folk who run home from work to change into something more casual before heading out to dinner. There also seemed to be a big bar scene in the back (there were as many people just having drink as sitting down to a meal).
Voodoo Chile

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sugary Sweetness at the 2011 New England Dessert Festival!

By: Jessica Cickay

Bottom line, dessert makes everything better. Upon arriving at the 2011 New England Dessert Showcase at the Sheraton Hotel in the Back Bay, it had been “one of those” weeks. One of those weeks when waiting for the T meant waiting for an eternity. One of those weeks when you get on the elevator to go up six floors, and it immediately shoots down to the basement. One of those weeks that when you show up to said Dessert Showcase, you realize that your camera is deader than dead. But do you remember my bottom line from above? It really is true: dessert makes the T come at lightning speed, the elevator elevate you instantly and mobile technology (ah gotta love camera phones) all the more impressive – aka dessert makes everything better.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whew - Whatta Week! Highlights from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012

By: Anne M. Raso

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is always exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. The failing economy did affect things slightly as many designers chose to have their shows off the Fashion Week site in Lincoln Center. Our favorites included the low-key and simple glamour of Rolando Santana and the bold prints of Stephen Burrows--who held their shows at Exit Art and the Audi Forum, respectively. The most flamboyant show (always) seems to be Betsey Johnson, and the favorite flamboyant and practical at the same time designer always seems to be Guishem! Straight ahead rock and roll wear with rock music to accompany it was given out in spades by Charlotte Ronson. By the way, we have to say her gift bag was one of the best from the shows--attendees got a few Hydroxatone skin products, a fun "female products" case courtesy of Kotex, Color Club mail lacquer and a couple of Charlotte's own line of lip glosses.
Backstage at Stephen Burrows

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Omaha Steaks Revisited: Time To Go Public With Their "Private Reserve"!

By: Anne M. Raso

In the six or seven months, I have become a almost daily consumer of Omaha steaks and even blogged about them here a few months ago. In NYC, it's actually cheaper to order Omaha Steaks than to purchase them at local supermarkets (where the better cuts of steak are $17 to $20 a pound) and Omaha's quality is much better. The amount of fat on their steaks is visibly lower than anything you will see in a supermarket refrigerator case. The Omaha folks also have non-steak items including tender, fast cooking chicken breasts which totally need to be in any health-conscious person's freezer. I will say that the superstar of Omaha Steaks, not surprisingly is their beef tenderloin, aka filet mignon, which is so tender, you almost do not need a knife to cut it--and you get the filets in perfect portions of four, five or six ounces, so you won't overindulge. Everything is frozen and delivered in a large white styrofoam container (which some customers keep and use for storage or even a bait and tackle box later on) and you can keep all Omaha meat in your freezer for up to a year. The packages are vacuum sealed, so there is no chance of freezer burn, and you can defrost any piece in a half hour by thawing it in cold water (still in its plastic packaging).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Isle of Delight at The Strand NYC

By: Finance Foodie

When I lived in NYC, I would often go to birthday parties at The Strand Hotel, but was surprised to recently hear that the hotel also had a restaurant on the first floor (these things often get overlooked at 4am in the morning and after copious amounts of motivational beverages!). Therefore, on my last trip back to the City for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I thought, "What a completely fitting time to check out this Fashion District hotspot for dinner!"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting Wet and Wild with Poconos' Whitewater Challengers

By: Finance Foodie

This past Labor Day, I resolved to take it easy. After almost a month of "Pre-Term"grad school life in Philly (Pre-Term=staying out late, drinking like a fish, and generally not going to class), I knew I need some time to decompress and sober up. However, just one day of relaxation left me as bored as a fatso at a salad bar, so I decided spice things up a bit and go whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River in Poconos, PA (aka the must visit outdoors adventure destination two hours outside of Philly). It had been a few months since my last rafting trip, so I was totally itching to get back into the waters and shoot some waves (or if I fell out the raft, I figure I'd practice my doggie paddle skills and take a swim). Plus, I was going with 30 plus of my super fun fellow grad school classmates, and I thought this would be a great way to bond with them without sacrificing the health of my liver.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Healthy Alternatives to Fight the Freshman 15!

"I love college..."

Now that Labor Day has officially come and gone, it's time to put away the Hawaiian Tropic and pull out the Jan Sport buried deep in the closet. Yup -- it's back to school time, which means long days of learning filled with even longer nights of meeting and greeting (this is especially true in my grad program, where everything seems to be done over pizza and beer!).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Junoon: Elegant Indian in the Flatiron District

By: Anne M. Raso

Junoon is in the trendy Flatiron District and dare we say it? -- It's been our most elegant experience in the world of Indian cuisine in Manhattan to date. All the managers are also sommeliers, so you can get perfect spirit accompaniments to every course. Every bit of attention is paid to detail in this fine eatery--that looks as if you let P. Diddy redecorate the Taj Mahal--and the staff is extremely knowledgeable about everything served and will tweak food to your liking. People come her for birthdays, anniversaries, with dates they are trying to impress...or just because they enjoy the finest delicacies of South Asia. While it might look modern, Junoon chefs pretty much keep to traditional recipes for Indian dishes but does them with the occasional non-traditional spice thrown in for good measure...and of course, all meat is prime and all vegetable are as straight off a local farm as possible.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Win a Trip to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week from Fiber One!

"Walk walk fashion baby..."

As important as it is to carry the season´s must-have handbag, it´s just as important that it´s filled with the right on-the-go essentials. That´s why Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars make the perfect accessory for a woman´s handbag. These delicious chewy bars perfectly compact and low calorie, making them the ideal fashionista on-the-go snack.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cheese Please at Cheeseboy

"Island in the sun..."

If you are a long time read of this blog, you know that I love all things cheeeeeesee (cheesy jokes included!). Therefore, on my trip back to Boston last weekend, I knew I had to stop by Cheeseboy, America's first quick service restaurant dedicated to serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and accompanying soups, that just opened up in the Prudential Center (which also conveniently is just a hop and skip away from my apartment) .

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Full Stop Ahead in Rittenhouse Square at Parc Philadelphia

By: Finance Foodie

When I asked my Philly foodie friends about the city’s dining scene, only one name came up consistently -- “Stephen Starr.” For those that are unaware, Mr. Starr pretty much dominates the restaurant scene in Central Philly with such choice eateries as Continental, Alma de Cuba, El Vez (and a boat load of others). Last night, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first “Starr” experience at Parc, a chic little French styled bistro in the heart of Rittenhouse Square.

When we arrived, we were immediately brought to a table on the patio overlooking the Park. With a delightfully refreshing Citron Glace cocktail in one hand and made-in-house baguette in another – I felt I had been transported to the streets of Paris (minus the slew of Phillies-attired pedestrians perusing around the block).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Best Pizza In New York and Donatella's Other Delights!

By: Anne M. Raso

Using the phrase "Best Pizza In New York" is a serious matter especially if you are a New Yorker (sadly, tourists' opinions do not count much in a pizza contest that started with the real Ray's back in the day and goes to now). New Yorkers know their pizza, and feel as strongly about it as they do for the Yankees and Statue Of Liberty. Chelsea's Donatella (owned by restaurateur extraordinaire Donatella Arpaia) has won awards for her all-veal meatballs so when you put them on one of her pizzas--yowza! We are very specifically speaking of her Polpette Pizza, which includes freshly made Caciocavallo cheese (not mozzarella although it tastes similar and a staple in Puglia, Italy from raw cow and sheep milk curds), topped with fresh pieces of basil and a darkened-just-right crust baked in her custom-made brick oven. Did we fail to include mention of Donatella's homemade old-school marinara? Sorry about that. We like the way the crust is very dark and even black at parts--it's very old school and even beats our previous #1 (the old-school Neapolitan pies at Eataly).
Pizza Polpette

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Philly Foodie Foray: Crabfest 2011 at the City Tap House!

"It’s beer thirty a honky tonk time..."

What do you get when you combine all-you-can-eat crabs, Brooklyn Brewery beers, and a rocking live band? Well, besides a helluva good time, you also get Crabfest 2011 at the City Tap House. This event also marked also my first food event that I attended since moving to Philly few weeks back -- and judging by this event, I think my next two years in the city will be might grand and tasty!

After we were lead to our table, we were presented with the first of many lovely cooked crab friends. To be honest, I wish these suckers came pre-shucked (I ended up spending an insane amount of effort for just a small amount of meat!), but all the hard work was worth it in the end -- the crab was juicy and tender, with just the right amount of season.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upstairs At The Kimberly: Dining And Drinking With "Open Air Flair"!

By: Anne M. Raso

For those who love open Modern American dining with a view, Upstairs At The Kimberly is the place to be. The signature drinks are highly inventive (if costly, at $16), but once you've tried one or two, you'll feel compelled to try them all. We checked out the Oh Yoko (a soju and sake based refreshing summer drink with lemon grass, ginger and mint) and Electrolyte (a vodka-based summer drink with fresh pineapple and lemon that is said to actually bring down one's body temperature) and we ordered repeats!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Pirate's Life: National Rum Day on August 16th!

"Yo ho ho..."

For centuries we’ve enjoyed the versatility and refreshing taste of rum as the go-to drink of seafarers, islanders and the land-locked alike. So wherever you are - beat the summer heat and continue this tradition by celebrating National Rum Day on August 16. To kick off the celebration, crank up the Caribbean tunes, light the barbecue and invite your friends over for a night of rum revelation!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Ink Spa: Loving Every Minute Of The "Freestyle Facial" And Tranquil Surroundings!

By: Anne M. Raso

What sets the Ink Spa at the Ink48 Hotel apart from the numerous and fabulous hotel spas in midtown Manhattan? Two words: FREESTYLE FACIAL! This 50-minute facial (priced at a reasonable $125) is as customized as a facial can get and features not only Kerstin Florian products fragrant with the scent of lavender (it's the line commissioned by the Kimpton Hotel chain and is featured in all their spas across the globe) but massage on the hands, feet and chest while peels and masques are doing their magic. Facialist Karalyns Schuck makes grand efforts to address every issue your skin is having with treatments that exfoliate, renew and finally, add a youthful and dewy look that some clients have probably not seen since they were 16. From the beginning of the treatment, where Schuck used Kerstin Florian's rehydrating Neroli Cleansing Milk to the Clarifying Exfoliating Scrub to the Rehydrating Neroli Water spritzed onto my face at the very end of the service, I gleefully inhaled the most wonderful all-natural "aromatherapy" while getting every cell on my face renewed. Schuck does the traditional steam during the FREESTYLE FACIAL as well, followed by gentle extractions. Manager Suzanne Owen is proud of the fact that the spa staff created the FREESTYLE FACIAL themselves and notes, "It gives us an opportunity to analyze the skin and customer the perfect treatment."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Breakfast In The Sky And Other Delights In Wildwood, NJ!

By: Anne M. Raso

Wildwood, NJ, has long been known as one of the more well-kept towns on the Jersey shore, with the cleanest beaches (all free to the public) and the largest amount of kiddie rides for the eight and under crowd (not that there aren't several adult thrill rides on the three Morey's Piers jutting off the world-famous boardwalk). Keeping with the times, the town has updated some of its numerous "doo wop architecture" motels into a baby boomer heaven (there's even a free trolley tour that goes around from motel to motel on weekends that you can catch at the Doo Wop Cafe, directly across from the Wildwood Convention Center, and other locations).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Groovin’: A Musical Journey Of Stories And Sounds: Dennis Diken’s Love Letter To The Golden Age Of Rock!

By: Anne M. Raso

If you are a Smithereens fan, you already know that drummer Dennis Diken's talents on the toms are enough to make Ginger Baker shake in his boots way down at his current home of South Africa! I first saw (and met) Dennis at Rock Con in East Rutherford, NJ, a year ago and have been one of his most fervent followers ever since. He could easily be rock and roll's greatest skinpounder (at least in my humble opinion)...but did you also know that he is a rock historian and journalist with endless liner notes (including compilation discs by Louis Prima and The Lovin' Spoonful) and major rock mag articles to his credit?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Rockin’ Girl’s Getaway in Cleveland Ohio!

By: Finance Foodie

In anticipation for my journalism trip to Cleveland Ohio, I asked my buds what came to mind when they though of the city. The responses I got were: "Bone Thugs” and “LeBron”. Seeing how I know nothing of sports and listen primarily to Britney Spears and the like, I feared that this would be a tour to remember – that is, as one of the most boring trips I had ever taken.
Feeding Trevor the Giraffe at The Cleveland Zoo!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chowing Down At Philippe New York: Haute Chinese At Its Hottest!

By: Anne M. Raso

Philippe in New York's tony Upper East Side is a virtual melting pot of Park Avenue ladies dressed in Chanel, Housewives Of New York City cast members, rap moguls, foodies and folks on first dates dressed their best and trying to impress. They have already garnered acclaim for their crispy Peking Duck (it's $75 for a two-person seven-pound portion but several regular diners there have revealed to that they need their fix at least once per month with no regards to the cost)! All the dishes are actually prepared (and priced) for two, but some of them are--in all honesty--big enough for four.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making Memories with Kodak Photo Books!

"Let the memory live again..."

Last week, my parents celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. A milestone like that deserves a special gift  -- but unfortunately, I was all out of ideas (and funds -- being a poor grad student and all). Luckily, the Kodak Photo Gallery stepped in for the rescue.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Let's Get Naked...Pizza!

 By: Jessica Cickay

When it comes to pizza chains today, the word “naked” never really comes to mind for multiple reasons. Not only do I rarely associate the bedroom with the dining room– you may leave both feeling satisfied, but only one leaves you with a greasy cheese burns on the roof of your mouth, unless you’re into that sort of thing – but fast-food pizza is now about the bigger, the bolder, the “badder” for you versus the basics. It’s obvious that the people behind the newly opened pizza chain in Coolidge Corner know what they’re doing marketing-wise with a sensory-grabbing name like Naked Pizza, but after eating their not-so-sinful and satisfying pies, it’s also obvious they know what they’re doing in the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ignite Your Inspiration with Johnsonville Brat or Italian Sausage Patties!

Hey friends - see below for a great contest from Johnsonville and Walmart! Best burger wins! - FF
"Build your best burger using Johnsonville Brat or Italian Sausage Patties, and you could win a year’s worth of groceries from WalMart in the “No Ordinary Burger Contest!” Now through September 6, log on to the contest page and submit your recipe and vote for your favorite pork burger. Two grand prize winners will be awarded one year's worth of groceries and their winning recipes featured on Johnsonville Brat and Italian Sausage Patty boxes."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

XVI - The Ultimate Midtown Manhattan Rooftop Lounge!

By: Anne M. Raso

After hearing all the hubbub from beauty and fashion editor friends, we couldn't resist visiting the hotspot XVI, designed by the Miami-based Francois Frossard. XVI is on the 16th Floor of the Hilton Garden Inn, and you enter on Eighth Avenue through a dark passageway that feels a little like being at the old Mudd Club--it's kind of opposite of what the bright airy space upstairs at the actual lounge is like.
Source: Trust3 Hospitality

Friday, July 15, 2011

Support Box Tops for Education and Win a $25 Walmart Gift Card!

 "Box of love..."

Whether you’re shopping for a summer barbecue or gearing up for back-to-school, Walmart makes it easier for you to find everything for every list. And while you stock up on your family’s favorites, don’t forget you can earn cash for the participating school of your choice with Box Tops for Education products.

Starting in mid July, head over to your local Walmart to find up to 70 participating products that each have 4 Box Tops! Shop at Walmart to purchase products from your family’s favorite brands such as Nature Valley, Cheerios, and Yoplait, and earn more cash for the upcoming new school year!

To learn more about the Box Tops for Education program and how you can help contribute to your school, visit
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