The Latest Pines Picks — Updates and New Picks

I’m glad you have found my blog! The restaurant scene in New York City is always changing and I’ll be using this as a way to keep you up to date on the changes and share my new finds. I hope you’ll check back often or subscribe for updates through RSS feed or email so you can be kept up to date. After all, I don’t want you to have to wait until the next edition of Pines Picks to know about my discoveries!

UES China Fun Closes

UES China Fun closes after 25 years. The fun is over.

Spot Dessert Bar–NYC

spot-dessert-barThere is an unbelievable dessert bar by Iron Chef Kittichai located under The Bao in New York City. From the new innovative light bulb glass bubble teas to the moist, molten “Green Tea Lava” cake, Spot Dessert Bar is a definite find.

I loved the super airy, creamy, gelato-like green tea ice cream that accompanied the extremely rich lava cake. Inside the lava cake is a mixture of chocolate and a gooey sweet green tea, making a tasty center.

My other picks on the menu are “The Harvest” (a fun soft layered cheesecake in the shape of a plant) and the “Banana Chouff” (a delicate puff with interesting banana milk ice cream and sweet bruléed bananas).

The Spot Dessert Bar is my new favorite place for desserts.

Spot Dessert Bar
13 St. Marks PlaceNew York, NY 10003
(212) 677-5670


Interview on Woshi

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for – a blog from Australia. You can read my interview here.

Judging Beat Bobby Flay

fn_bobby-flay-about-jpg-rend-sni8col-landscapeI had the pleasure of acting as a judge on an episode of Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network. The episode aired for the first time last week. You can view it here if you have Direct TV or Dish or one of many cable providers. You can also see it on iTunes or Amazon or it will air on Food Network again on January 5 and 6.

Restaurante Informal

informal-2A very delicious, cool restaurant called Restaurante Informal is in the Serras Hotel in Barcelona. The restaurant has a tremendous menu and was one of the most well rounded meals I have ever had. My favorite starters were the anchovies which were delicate, light, and smooth, and the Potato Fritas, which were like French fries on steroids with super thin slices of potatoes stacked and fried into a single thin French fry and served with a great spicy sauce. I also loved the tomato salad with many textures which had cold, soft, warm, jelly, and foam tomato—the dish was original and worked well.

My favorite main course was the chateaubriand, which came with a variety of vegetables and potato fritas. The chateaubriand is aged 20 days and is seasoned just right. Slightly red in the center, well cooked on the outside, and exploding with juices, the steak was unforgettable.

Also, if you are still hungry and are in the mood for a super-rich, great chocolate molten cake, they have a delectable one.

Restaurante Informal
Passeig de Colom, 9
08002 Barcelona – Spain
Tel: +34 93 169 18 68




boqueria-1The Boqueria Market in Barcelona is the home to many little tapas shops, Jamón (ham) shops, and juice shops selling refreshing and iced fresh squeezed juice for one dollar.

It is an awesome place to explore and I loved the Jamón Ibérico de Bellota at a few places. My favorite was the 18 month aged ham from Can Vila. The soft, lighter part of the ham is tasty and soft and melts in your mouth. They cut it right in front of you and it is a great time. Make sure to definitely ask for a taste before you buy some Jamón.



ciroThe best pizza I had in Cannes was at a place called Ciro. If you are craving some pizza, definitely stop by as the pizzas are thin, crisp, light, and nicely sauced.

33 rue Bivouac Napoleon
06400 Cannes
Tél: 04 93 39 21 24

Brunch at Carlton

carlton-brunch-1The best brunch in Cannes takes place only on Sundays at the beach restaurant of the Carlton Hotel. With a giant variety of tiny, impeccably made, very detailed pieces of food ranging from desserts to mini turkey clubs to mixed seafood, the brunch is an incredible meal and good way to start the day.

Intercontinental Carlton Cannes
58 La Croisette, CS 40052
6414 Cannes
Tél: 04 93 06 40 06



Da Laura

da-lauraSurprisingly, one of the greatest pasta dishes ever is located at a restaurant named Da Laura in Cannes, France. I loved the spicy arrabbiata sauce on a filling dish of just-right, al dente spaghetti. The sauce is think, but very splashy and has a steady heat. Go and taste this pasta if in Cannes!

Da Laura
8 rue du 24 août
06400 Cannes
Tél: 04 93 38 40 51


nounou-3One of the biggest specialties of the South of France is bouillabaisse. Bouillabaisse is fish soup that is a fish tasting broth with fish, sometimes lobster or shrimp, and comes with toast and rouille (an orange or yellow mayo based mixture). Nounou gave a variety of five flakey fish in a thick, warm, salty broth. I loved putting the toast with the semi-sweet rouille in the soup and soaking it. With a touch of Parmesan cheese, the bouillabaisse was an experience!

Bd des Frères Roustan
06220 Golfe-Juan
(5 min. from Cannes)
Tél: 04 93 63 71 73

nounou-2 nounou-1