Curious Appetite

General Eating Out

Eating Istanbul in 4 days

When traveling, I have a couple rules. One is that I don’t want to plan anything. I need to wonder. To get lost.  Another criteria is that I need to eat really great food. I mean, what good is traveling if you don’t get to know the local food?

Earlier this year I went to Istanbul and I went again because a. it’s a tremendous city that I barely scratched the surface of. b. I have a friend there. Not only that, this is someone who has a similar lens that I do for analyzing society. Thanks to this incredible friend, I was able to observe a little bit better how the social fabric of Istanbul was woven and to see nuances of juxtapositions evident in daily life. Continue Reading

Florence’s new wave of good cocktail bars

Check out my piece on craft cocktails in Florence for Eater.com!

Why hello! Long time no peeps, tweets or posts. Well, not so true. I blurt out things here and there whether it’s a recipe or an event, but I’ve been quiet on the food and drink “digest” front for many reasons and one of them was working really hard on some freelance articles, such as a recent piece I wrote for Eater.com

Read on: Florence’s Revival of Craft Cocktails

In addition to starting to write for awesome publications like Eater, I’ve been busy with hunting down the latest and best in food and drink, leading tours, “researching” and following my curiosity down the rabbit hole. A most fulfilling development is that I’ve been taking private wine lessons with one the most revered sommeliers/wine professionals in the industry. I have so many ideas for new posts such as digesting these wine lessons with food pairing ideas, creating new food and drink lists and experimenting more in the kitchen. Alas, my brain is on the edge of being toasted. Continue Reading

In defense of food in Florence

take note.

I realize that for foodies from countries like America, Tuscan food in Florence can seem confusing. Recently, I took a quick stroll through common criticisms on sites like yelp and tripadvisor and decided to respond. These misunderstandings can be avoided, and I question the information out there educating people about what real Tuscan food and Italian food culture is about. Yes, Italian food includes plates of creamy gnocchi, carb-rich lasagna, pillow-y charred pizza and silky tagliatelle pasta and rich ragu’. But it is also a culture of regional foods, simple eating with little condiment. People eat out somewhat frequently in Italy, whether for a panino on the go or a quick plate of sliced roast beef and vegetables on lunch break. These meals are consumed casually at simple local cafes, hole in the walls or neighborhood trattorias. The grey area is that everyday Italians rarely go out for nicer, gourmet meals at atmospheric restaurants raved about in culture and leisure publications/blogs which travelers tend to chase after, giving a false impression of what the local eating culture is truly like. Continue Reading

An alternative guide to the "best" restaurants in Florence

Do you really want to eat from a blatant tourist menu’?

“Stuffing feathers up your ass does not make you a chicken” is one of my favorite quotes from Fight Club. Just because a thousand people with unproven eno-gastronomic credibility reviewed an eatery on tripadvisor as the best pizza in Florence, does not make it the best pizzeria in Florence.

I’m not saying 3rd party sites like tripadvisor don’t have their place or worth- it just seems to have become gospel for some food hunting travelers. I find that the people worth trusting online 1st are bloggers who live, have lived and/or continue to spend time/visit that place (and stay in the good graces of the locals there) or those who actually know food either by writing about food, knowing cooks, having taken culinary tours or classes and who aren’t bad cooks themselves. Like pasta- how can someone really recommend the best pasta if they’ve never made it themselves or understand the standards behind al dente? Continue Reading

Perseus: Time travel and Steak in Florence

People ask a lot: Where can I get a good steak, stellar red meat and the famous “Bistecca Fiorentina” in Florence? Well, there are a few good places. But one that always comes to mind is…Perseus.

This place is a trip in itself. It feels like I went back to the 80’s even though I only knew what that was like in the womb or running around tormenting my older sister as a scary, awkward burger obsessed toddler. Did I just date myself? Yes, I did. A young foreign woman in Italy talking about food, at that.   Continue Reading

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