Monthly Archives: March 2012

FOOD - "The Delicious"

Check your drink personality with ClubW.com

March 21, 2012

By Nicci Jordan Hubert

Most of us are not true wine snobs. Sure, when we’re offered the sample at a restaurant, we act informed and give the server an authoritative nod of approval. But what we’re really thinking is, “Tastes like wine to me!” We just want the server to pour the drink so we can get the party started.

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That’s the beautiful thing about Clubw.com, a new retail wine club and website to help you establish your wine personality. It’s educational, but not snobby, and it doesn’t presume you’re already an expert. It’s acknowledging that most of us are not wine snobs, just casual wine drinkers who, while we may know that we prefer malbecs over cabernets, don’t know much beyond that. “This club is the brainchild of a trio of knowledgeable, friendly…sommeliers (or “Wine Addicts” as they like to be called),” they say, which provides “access to a whole bunch of impressive and uncommon juice.

So here’s how it works: First, you take a quiz to determine your wine personality. Then, you sign up for a $39 per month fee, which gets you 3 bottles of small-batch wine delivered monthly. Then, if you want more (or when you want more), you pay $13 per additional bottle you add. They also allow you to customize your order. If you really loved the bottle you got last time, you can request it again. There’s no fee for shipping and there’s no required commitment. You can also view personalized videos about each wine (which you can link to from a QR code on the bottles themselves) and there’s also unlimited access to the details about the wines in case you forget the snotty details.

I had the opportunity to sample a bottle from their selection: Folk Machine 2009 Pinot Noir. It was, predictably, yummy, and of course it’s long gone.

The ClubW team has been getting so much buzz they were actually featured on the Kathy Lee and Hoda show, which pretty much puts them on the map, considering the ladies affinity for fermented grapes. Here’s a link for fun.


What’s your wine personality?


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FOOD - "The Delicious" - French

Almond in Gramercy

Our family dinners are always kind of…a mess. Let me explain: try to get a group of 10 or so of the cousins to a specific place (in this case, Almond) at a specific time (7:15 PM), and the ones who do make it at the right place will do so at the wrong time (a very generous window between 7 and 9:30 PM). If you can imagine, making reservations is not the easiest of tasks. But cousin-Safia bravely took on that challenge and picked the restaurant where a couple of us have dined often enough to know that A) the food would be delicious; and B) the staff knows some of us personally to be understanding about our inability to be punctual. What ensued was exactly what was expected — everyone was late, and the food was great.

Brussels Sprouts Two Ways

The appetizers are the easiest way to ruin your dinner here. Well, this is basically how I ruined my dinner: eating so much of them, I didn’t even end up ordering an entree. I ended up taking cousin-Heba’s recommendations which did not fail (she’s one of the said regulars here!). Take their “Brussels Sprouts Two Ways”…heaven. Grilled to perfection over a bed of light caesar salad with parmesan. I actually ordered two of these…and finished two of these. I guess that would count as my dinner?

Cheese Fries

Cheese fries. That is dangerous enough on its own until you get a choice of garlic, saffron, and ranch (I think the third one was ranch) dipping sauces:

Dipping sauces

And after dinner, do not miss their Sticky Toffee Date Cake with creme fraiche ice cream!

Sticky Toffee Date Cake

I’m such a fan of sticky date cakes (the other place in the city I love for them is Ruby’s). Thanks to the friendly staff for baring with our unorganized-selves!


REPORT CARD

Meal: Dinner
Occasion: A-cousins-almost-fail-but-not-quite attempt to get together
Price: $$$$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: *** (very classy, dimly lit and spacious)
Food: ***
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes!

Restaurant Info:
Almond

12 East 22nd Street
(between Broadway and Park Ave.)
New York, NY 10010
(212) 228-7557
Gramercy

x
Shy


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Coffeehouse/Cafe - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Coffee at La Colombe Torrefaction

March 17, 2012

My friend Summar was visiting from Chicago, so we decided to hit up the pocket-size La Colombe Torrefaction in SoHo for coffee. Full disclosure: we were hoping for a Jake Gyllenhaal sighting as my very-lucky-and-still-salivating friends experienced here last weekend.

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Sadly, no Gyllenhaal sighting. But it was still worth the visit…the coffee here is amazing. Summar got a cappuccino, and I went for a latte (as usual). If you go, don’t miss their chocolate chip cookies. You can taste its homemade-ness…and they’ll place it on the prettiest china if you’re eating in!

Cafe info:
La Colombe Torrefaction

270 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012
SoHo

x
Shy


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - Hair Tools - Product Review

Using Jose Eber TRIO Multi-Barrel Clipless Iron Set (Video)

March 15, 2012

**EXCLUSIVE READER DISCOUNT!: Enter coupon code BATF15 at checkout for any Jose Eber product at joseeberhair.com**

Yes, it’s another video of me curling my hair ;). In case you missed the first one, I waxed poetic about my life-changing discovery that was José Eber’s Clipless Curling Iron.

Beachy waves using José Eber. All photos by Priya Chandra

But THIS time, I’m using their TRIO Multi-Barrel Curling Iron Set! I could easily tell you that if you have this kit, you can pretty much do away with all your other curling irons. It comes with interchangeable barrels that gives you the prettiest waves and curls. My friend Priya helped me tape a quick walk through its features. Check out the video below of me trying out the irons for the first time:


(Just in case you wanted the detailed tutorial check “How To Make Beachy Waves Using a Clipless Iron“).

Here are the tools I used for this video:

Tools for José Eber tutorial

Suave Professionals Heat Protection Spray
– Regular hair clip
TIGI Catwalk Session Series Work It Flexible Hairspray

Some features ofthe Jose Eber Multi-Barrel Kit:

• Three interchangeable barrels that Includes a 19mm, 25mm, and tapered barrels
• Clipless Tourmaline ceramic barrel design
• Negative ion technology for a smoother and shinier finish
• Precise digital temperature control for all hair types (ranges from 122 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit…shows temperature in Celsius as well)
• 360 degree swivel cord design with hook
• Professional length power cord (SO clutch…I abhor short cords!)
• Weighted handle for safe resting position
• Comes with a heat-protectant glove
• Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty
Price: $175…which is steep but you’re really getting 3 quality irons in one.

Who else has used a clipless irons? Do you love? Have you ever tried a multi-barrel iron like this one?

Special, special thanks to Priya Chandra for filming the video! Life-saver!!

x
Shy


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*The kit was sent to me for purposes of making the video

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails - Product Review

Review: Kiss Nail Dress Fashion Strips

I feel like I change up my nails pretty often these days. Nail strips are my saving grace (no dry time, less of a hassle), but this was the first time I was trying these nail stickers from Kiss. I’ve had a box of their Nail Dress Fashion Strips sitting in my room forever. When I was running out the door to attend a basketball game (which, OK, I admit, is not necessarily something that calls for fancy nails), I had 10 minutes and decided to try them out.

Kiss nail dress



Thoughts
: They’re a little more stiff than Sally Hansen’s Real Nail Polish Strips (which for the record, I’m obsessed with), and of course a big difference is they’re actual stickers. They have extra strips for your toes, but I wasn’t that ambitious. They’re relatively easy to apply though, and easy to file away the excess. Plus, they’re pretty easy to remove.

Cons
: They don’t go on as smoothly as Sally Hansen’s. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture how some of the ends did away too easily. Also, they don’t last nearly as long. After day one, there were already snags that would get caught in my hair. Finally, I thought the available designs were a little young for my taste (think neon tiger prints, rainbow confetti, and bejeweled variations). This lacey design wasn’t quite as loud.

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Cost
: $8. These were a great quick solution (I literally had 10 minutes to put it on and run out the door), but I definitely still prefer Sally Hansen’s! Their black/gold net design (“Misbehaved”) is a good alternative to these!

x
Shy


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Fashion

All the pretty things at BaubleBar

March 14, 2012

I need to thank my friend Laura who introduced my to BaubleBar, a jewelry destination website with prices that will make you die (in a good way, I mean). Laura, you see, was wearing this gorgeous necklace that night, and when I complimented her on it, she told me all about Bauble. I went home and looked it up right away and uff. They had THE most gorgeous necklaces, rings, bracelets, cuffs…but I set my eyes on a pair of these beauties:

Aztec fan earrings

For $26?! They looked too good to be only that much, and for a minute, I had an internal battle where I told myself it’s probably made of cheapie material (or would look like it up close). But honestly, for the price I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Turns out since I was a 1st time customer, I got another $10 off to order right away. The earrings arrived at my door in record time, and I was only $16 poorer. And to my delight, they were even prettier in person. Turns out by cutting the middle-man, and with their web-orders only philosophy, the prices stay low.

I was so excited, I told my roomie about it, and she ordered a black leather studded bracelet from them too (I swear her package came the NEXT day). We were both so happy with our order that, I unno, I just had to share. Check em out! http://baublebar.com.

x
Shy


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