The same group that brought you Nolita and Borough continues with their New York-themed restaurants by opening L.E.S. (Lower East Side) Bagels at Tuscany Residences in McKinley Hills, Fort Bonifacio. This is along the fairly new restaurant row along Upper McKinley Road. Parking can be a problem as there are limited slots along the road but we were pleasantly surprised one Sunday to see that there were more than a few slots available.
I’ve been itching to explore Cebu-based boutique ANTHILL for quite a while now, so when I happened to be in Cebu for a fashion shoot recently, I grabbed the chance to drop by this awesome little boutique that showcases local weaves in a fashion-forward way. ANTHILL (short for Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers) is “a social and cultural enterprise showcasing Filipino hand-loomed fabrics and its contemporary application to everyday lifestyle products.”
If you love colorful tribal weaves, you will go gaga in this fabric gallery, where rows and rows of handloomed fabric are waiting to be transformed into a custom-made dress (get yourself measured on the spot!), or are ingeniously incorporated into everyday essentials (Skirts! Bowties! Coffee tumblers! Luggage tags!). ANTHILL’s managing director and “Princess Ant” Anya Lim tells us, “ANTHILL supports and establishes community-weaving enterprises to promote and preserve homegrown skills, living traditions and enable the appreciation and transmission of Filipino weaving culture to the younger generations. In this hub, fabrics are more than just ingredients to fashion; it is a way of life, it is where culture meets style.”
Find out more as we chat with Anya about ANTHILL and her passion for homegrown products:
Michelin starred chef Richard Toix was in town last week for a limited engagement cooking at the Mandarin Oriental’s fine-dining outlet, Tivoli. A special dinner, Clem’s departing for the US in a few days and persistent rumors of the Mandarin’s impending closure provided all the excuses for us to get together for another night of wine and good food.
Richard Toix is the chef and owner of the one Michelin star restaurant Passions et Gourmandises which, quite remarkably, was awarded the star just nine months after opening.
I arrived a bit late but was pleased to see that the bubbly was already being poured. We started with Sanju’s very clean and peppery Ruinar Blanc de Blancs followed by Alex’s very youthful but already very good Dom Perignon 2002.
Take a look at any list of best food movies and chances are you’ll find Babette’s Feast near the top of the list. This Danish film based on a short story by Karen Blixen (pen name Isak Dinesen) won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1987 Academy Awards. I think anyone with a serious interest in food and who has seen this film has dreamt of attending such a meal.
The components of the feast are extravagant but by no means unfamiliar to us today. However, in that time and place, late 19th century on a remote Danish coastal village inhabited by a strict Lutheran sect, the truffles, caviar, turtle, quail, pineapple, papaya and grapes miraculously laid out before the guests in the dead of winter, not to mention the wines, would have been wholly unfamiliar and strange. The film and story work on several levels. It could be a simple tale of gratitude or about how a feast came about. But it is also about enjoying life, the richness of artists and the redemptive power of art (that is, if one regards food as art – some disagree with this), and for those with a spiritual bent, it stands as a metaphor for The Last Supper. It is, reportedly, one of the favorite films of Pope Francis.
Around December last year, food and wine buddy Noel Ermitaño of the blog EyeOnWine mused on his Facebook page about recreating Babette’s Feast. Almost immediately, Cyrille Soenen of Impressions and Brasserie CiÇou answered Noel’s post and took up the challenge. With Cyrille taking care of the food, Noel took charge of figuring out the wines. As they were explicitly mentioned in the story and the movie, we came up with a list and started sourcing the appropriate bottles and vintages. Naturally, we could not get the exact vintages but we were able to duplicate the Amontillado, Veuve Clicquot and Clos de Vougeot explicitly stated in the story and the Marc de Champagne shown in the film. Aside from the wines, Noel and Catha also took the trouble to bring along their set of cut glass crystal so that the wines would be served in stemware approximating the ones used in the movie.
On the appointed evening, February 20, we gathered at Brasserie CiÇou for a most memorable meal.
Brasserie CiÇou is a pretty informal restaurant but for this dinner, a table was laid out for us complete with candles and white table cloth, much like the movie where Babette transforms the austere table where the brethren gather to one worthy of a fine Parisian restaurant.
Oh, happy happy place! If you haven’t visited Art Fair Philippines yet, do drop by to ogle at some of the finest modern and contemporary art by Filipino artists. Buy, desire, or simply be inspired–last chance today!
Art Fair Philippines (now on it’s second year!) is located at The Link, Parkway Drive (across Landmark), Ayala Center, Makati.
For more information, visit www.artfairphilippines.com.
At the official launch of the Common Thread boutique in Greenbelt 5 last week, I found myself irresistibly drawn to this quirky floral pair of Bensimon sneakers–aren’t they adorbs?
I live in sneakers, but some brands are just too clunky for me, so I was thrilled when French brand Bensimon’s streamlined styles hit our shores last year (thanks to TSA, the cool people who brought us Havaianas, too). I love how they’re “perfectly imperfect,” in that raw-meets-chic style. There’s also a rainbow of colors to choose from, but I started off with a basic white pair that easily matches practically everything in my closet. A “safe” first date…
Once I had the classic white pair, I flirted with the idea of having a fun color. It was a toss-up between light turquoise and yellow, and the winner was…
Back to the Common Thread launch… Of course I caved and picked up the floral-printed pair–no hesitation here, it was Bensimon love at first sight! While they aren’t the most cushioned shoes for walking long distances, they’re the casual chic choice for running quick errands, coffee dates, garden parties, lazy Sundays…
For Bensimon branches, visit www.bensimon.com.ph.
The limited edition Bensimon Liberty Femme is available at Rustan’s and Common Thread in Greenbelt 5, or visit www.commonthreadonline.com for more information. For more on Common Thread, see the feature Style Hub on Fifi’s Finds today in Manila Bulletin.
My ever optimistic friend Mylu Limjap shared this YouTube link on Facebook recently, and I bookmarked it because I like to click on it to perk me up every now and then.
It seems really simplistic, but if you grew up on a diet of Charlie Brown, you’ll find yourself smiling, giggling, and even singing along. (I love how Linus says, “Happiness… is having a sister,” and Lucy continues, “sharing a sandwich…”–it’s so telling!)
I thought this was apt to share on Valentines Day because happiness, according to the Peanuts Gang, “is anyone, and anything, that is loved by you.” Simple and sweet, right? When you really think about it, happiness is peanuts
Here’s the link to my virtual happy place: Happiness — You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
What’s your happy place this month?
After last year’s much-applauded Diner Amical at the Shangri-La, the Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Bailli Delegue for the Philippines, Michel Lhuillier, requested that the Manila Bailliage headed by Freddy Borromeo hold this year’s Diner Amical also at the Shangri-La. With Chef Paul Lenz still heading the culinary team like last year, Manila was more than happy to oblige Mr. Lhuillier.
This year’s dinner was to be inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ great work Don Quixote. Thus a Spanish dinner complemented by Spanish wines was prepared. Although the dinner is still scheduled for March, I was fortunate enough to be on the committee to approve the food and wines and so I got a glimpse of what we were to enjoy.
Prior to the dinner, however, cocktails were to be served featuring roasted kid goats and piglets from Mr. Borromeo’s farm.
Although I’ve been to Black Sheep several times for meetings (I supply some of their wines), I didn’t have a chance to try the food until recently.
I already gave a glimpse of this restaurant with the stunning views and large open kitchen in a previous article. But, of course, the views are a little more dramatic at night.
According to their FB page, the Sunday Pop-Up at Whitespace is an alternative shopping experience featuring local entrepreneurs with exciting products and services. There will be a hearty sampling of international fare by Margarita Fores’ The Commissary and an exhibition of works at the adjacent Manila Contemporary Gallery.
Participating vedors include:
Dara, Tepiña, Ancestral Crafts, M house goodies, Natalya Lagdameo,Creative Definitions, Chona’s Trunk Show, Orig.Kami Handmade Novelties by Alejo-Aytin, Birdhouse Bakers, Bungalow 300, Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery, Katana’s Wand Shop, Zentiments, Productcs Mangyan, AB Paredes, Little Nest, Monchet Y Cia, Aeta Organics, Fille et Fils Scent Therapy, Messy Bessy, Happy Poppy, Martha Barretto, Gantsilyo Guru Selections, Malagos Chocolate, The Manila Collectible Co., Sunny Bakeshop,Studio Bohemia, INDIGObaby, Label, Mercedes Espina Designs, Abek home and culture, MCV Designs, Jamones de Bellota – Marcos de Salamanca Iberico Hams in Manila, Ritual, Ili by Bonsai Cielo, Raqsified, Pepito’s Pinoy Sorbet, Ortigas Foundation Library, La Pomme, Bags by Rubbertree, Twinkle * Ferraren, La Hermina, Tsaá Daloy – Premium Philippine Teas,Loudbasstard, ylla shoes, Ines Moda Infantil, Bucky’s, Yakang Yaka, Sapato Manila, Coco & Tres, Zaiya
All these fab niche brands under one roof? Let’s go!