Philadelphia: Violence & Reflection

I am disgusted. Horrified and confused. The last 24 hours has been absolutely heartbreaking. I am not sure what I can do to help the situation. Is safe to go out and do anything. It has been disheartening to see what has been going on. Who is responsible? Who out there is to blame for this situation? Is it the police? The people protesting? Those that are out there actively looting and vandalizing clothing stores, restaurants, and businesses?

I look around my apartment and think, “What are we going to do?” As many of you are all aware, my husband Eric is media manager for WPVI-Channel 6. Nydia Han covered the news today, and Christie Illeto was live on Walnut street seeing people steal clothing from Modell’s. The people out there right now are in a precarious situation. Hugh E Dillon survived Covid-19, and has been vocal about his experiences, and has also been covering the news today. There is another protest happening right now, and I don’t know if they will be safe.

As someone who is part African-American, I am beyond disgusted at what has been going on, not just this week, but for decades! History has shown that those that try to effect change have to go through many moments of abuse, racism and a lack of understanding from others. Is there a point to any of this? Is there anything that we can actually do to effect change? I’m not sure.

I would like to close this piece on a more optimistic note. I realize there isn’t anything that I can physically do, but I think it is important for everyone to be safe, be healthy, and if you feel the need to vent, do it in a manner that isn’t destructive to you or your environment. As a public relations professional, I know I need to maintain objectivity during a crisis. I sincerely hope this isn’t the beginning of the end of decency, and an increase of violence in our country. Thank you.

Tiffany C. DuBois-Morales

President and CEO of DuBois Public Relations, LLC.

Editor’s Word

Good afternoon everyone. I realize it has been a while since I have posted anything, and I apologize to all of you. These last few months of being isolated from people has been hard on me. I cannot imagine how Covid-19 has affected you all as well, especially those of you that are putting your health on the line in servicing us at grocery stores, hospitals, and restaurants. 

Since most of you are in the hospitality business, and as someone who has worked at a number of restaurants a few times, and has blogged about your places of work on Tiffany’s Blog, I hope you all have been well and safe. My mother also works in the restaurant industry. I hope she has been well, and able to maintain a sense of calm within this chaos. 

I want everyone to know that I greatly appreciate the work that you all have been doing, and know that I miss seeing your faces in person. I miss eating the food that you have prepared, and hearing the stories that you have to tell. I promise that as we enter a new normal for indoor and outdoor dining, I will try to continue to tell your stories. This is not a pitch or platitude for you all that read and follow my blog. This is my way of saying thank you. I sincerely hope that we get to meet again in person soon. 

If anyone just wants to talk or connect virtually, please do not hesitate to add me on your contact list on Zoom, or Facetime with me if you have an iPhone. I am here to listen, and if you happen to want me to pitch to news stations or help you in anyway, let me know. 

I would like to close on a positive note. As some of you may be aware, I am writing a cookbook. I am close to finishing all my chapters, and hope to publish later this year or in the early spring of 2021. I will need recipe testers, and look forward to working with all of you again. If anyone has any recommendations for food editors and publishers, please let me know. Thank you so much for listening and reading this post. I’ll see you all soon! 

Tiffany C. DuBois-Morales 

Tiffany’s Blog & DuBois Public Relations, LLC. 

Duboistiffany2@gmail.com

(610)209-7764

Paris honeymoon food series!

Now as you may already know, I’m a married woman! I promised you all details of the restaurants that we went to while honeymooning in France, so I present these goodies to you. I’m not going to tell you about all the places we ate at, but these are my highlights. Enjoy!

We were pretty tired once we finally arrived in Paris. Our AirBnB wasn’t quite ready, so we walked across the street to a restaurant for a light lunch. The restaurant is called Le Relais du Louvre and it was wonderful! Our hostess was so nice, and was able to accommodate us and all our suitcases.

We needed a shot of caffeine, so we ordered their French coffee with cognac and a large dollop of whipped cream. That certainly woke us up! I also ordered a kir royale. We split an order of pate which was delicious, and a mini charcuterie. My entree was an order of chicken and fries, topped with poulet jus. Eric ordered the steak and eggs. Both dishes were fantastic. They were light and fresh. Nothing was over or under seasoned. How lucky were we that this place was right across the street from where we were staying! We would definitely be back.

After we finally got settled into our AirBnB, we took a much needed nap after all that traveling. We needed to recharge because we had dinner reservations and a burlesque cabaret show to attend later that evening.

For dinner, we went to a wonderful restaurant called Chez Francis. They have a partnership with the cabaret show we would be attending later on that evening. We picked this place because the two are literally a stones throw from each other. The restaurant was beautiful. The decor was classic French. Low lighting, dark tones, warm and comforting. It was stunning. As an added bonus, you had a great view of the Eiffel Tower from the restaurant! I couldn’t believe I was actually in Paris!

We started with an order of six oysters, and an avocado salad. Both were so good! The oysters were so fresh and delicious. The salad was a perfect mix of seasoning and citrus. For our main course, I ordered the grilled salmon steak with asparagus, and Eric ordered the free-range chicken breast with mashed potatoes. Everything was cooked to perfection. The salmon was buttery and flakey, the chicken was tender on the inside, and the skin was perfectly cooked on the outside.

For dessert, we ordered the vanilla bourbon creme brûlée, and the molten heart chocolate cake. Both desserts were perfect! The creme brûlée wasn’t overly sweet and the chocolate cake was hot and gooey on the inside. The entire meal was simply wonderful.

We were now off to see the cabaret show at the world famous Crazy Horse lounge. If you are ever in Paris, you have to go. We had so much fun, and the show was wonderful. It was a great mix of music, lighting, and dancing. It was a perfect first night in the city of lights.

 

Brunch at Butter; Tea at Tiffany’s!

I realize I have been a married woman for almost six months, but I know how much you all love reading about my bridal excursions in New York before my wedding. Travel back in time, if you will, to September 2019 for brunch at Butter, and tea at Tiffany’s Blue Box Cafe!

As you all know by now, Butter is one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. It’s owned by my favorite Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli. The decor is stunning, and the food is simply some of the best I’ve ever had. On our last day in the city, we met up with some friends, and headed over to Butter for their amazing brunch. The brunch buffet is $40.00 a person, but the amount of food they put out is amazing. Trust me when I say, you will get your money’s worth.

The selection of brunch items include scrambled eggs, potato cakes, applewood smoked bacon, salad, fennel sausage, fruits, breads, pastries, cured salmon, home fries, spinach, plus the chef’s choice selection, which is usually steak. See what I mean? You can try and eat as much as you want, but one thing is for certain. The food is fresh and delicious. As much as we wanted to stuff ourselves, we had to show restraint. We had another special place to go to a few hours later.

Whenever you are in New York City, please make sure you give Butter a try. Whether you go for brunch or dinner, you will love it. The food and service are top notch. You will see why it’s one of my favorite restaurants!

So, we have all seen the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, right? If you haven’t, you should. A couple of years ago, the Tiffany and Company flagship store in New York decided to open the Blue Box Cafe. Shoppers could finally dine at Tiffany’s. It was an instant hit, and it is probably one of the hardest reservations to get in the city! Through a roundabout way, my husband and I were able to get in!

After letting our earlier brunch settle, it was time for our tea at Tiffany’s. It was awesome! The place was fully booked, and it was easy to see why. We ordered the Breakfast at Tiffany, which was your traditional afternoon tea service. It was a beautiful presentation of tea sandwiches, pastries and scones. The tea was also outstanding. Everything is served on Tiffany plates and tea cups.

If you can get into the Blue Box Cafe, do so. But again, I wish you good luck. You just may need it to get into this immensely popular restaurant. Bon appetite!

 

 

 

The Hadley: Elegance on the Parkway

Forgive me my readers, for I have sinned. I have deprived you of my reviews for a while, and I do apologize. It’s been a rather busy few months, but I am getting back into the swing of things.

We recently moved into a new apartment complex in Philadelphia, and as luck would have it, there is a terrific restaurant on-site that is open to the apartment residents and the public. The restaurant is The Hadley at the Park Towne Place apartments on Benjamin Franklin Parkway. If you haven’t heard of it, you should make a point of dining here soon.

We have become very good friends with the entire staff at the restaurant, and they are a fantastic group of people. They have treated my husband and I like family ever since we first went in to try them out. Not only are the staff super friendly, but the food and drinks are amazing. The decor is stunning. It’s bright, clean, warm, and inviting all at the same time.

There is something on the menu for everyone. You have your choice of soups, salads, vegetarian, American, Italian, and Asia fare. All of it is good. On the weekends, they have a wonderful brunch, and for a set price, you can have a bottomless mimosa or bloody Mary brunch.

Some of our favorite dishes have been the house burrata, the margherita and funghi flatbreads, braised beef short rib, fruits de mer, seared Maine diver scallops, and the roquefort crusted filet mignon. Everything is fresh and made to order. The filet mignon was exceptionally delicious. It was cooked a perfect medium rare, and the beautiful roquefort cheese that gave it a wonderful umami. I highly recommend it!

Equally fantastic are the cocktails. We’ve had a few, including their Mexico on Fire, which if you love tequila and mazcal, you will love this drink. The Hadley Berry, paired with the filet mignon, is a delicious combination. There’s also the sweet Mary Marge and Summer Vacation. All the bartenders at The Hadley are amazing, but our favorites are Ariella and Abby. These two know how to make great cocktails. And don’t be afraid to order something off menu. Ariella is incredibly creative and loves coming up with new creations for you.

The Hadley is conveniently located on the parkway, surrounded by some of the city’s best museums. When the weather turns warmer, they will be opening up an outdoor deck that patrons can dine on, or just hang out with a great cocktail. See you soon! You know where you can find us!

 

Bodega: Deliciously Balanced!

Hello my darlings! I realize it has been many months since I have written a blog post. Rest assured, it wasn’t because of anything bad! I got married, went on a fabulous honeymoon, that I promise to tell you all about, then it was the holiday season, and I am in the process of finishing my cookbook. I will spill all later on these many months of married life, but for now, I have a review to give!

Bodega Bar and Kitchen is a brand-new Latin themed restaurant in Philadelphia’s Midtown Village section. The food is beyond perfect, the cocktails are deliciously balanced, and the overall ambiance is warm, calming and exciting! Stavros and Alex Vasiliadis have created a beautiful gem in this intimate space.

The décor was amazing with dark colors, glass and brick walls, up lighting that didn’t distract, and a welcoming warmth that I can still feel. Alex said he wanted a romantic vibe at the restaurant, and he nailed it.

The food that was featured included crispy Brussel sprouts, that I never got to try because they were demolished in two seconds. There was a lovely beet gazpacho that was acidic, refreshing, and very well balanced. It paired very well with the featured cocktails. There were also these absolutely delicious pork croquettes! It had a lovely hoisin sauce, dried katsuobushi, and a spicy mustard.

Tasso y corn beignets were also featured this night. It came with Red Eye ice cream, and bacon fat powder.  The piece de resistance was the Pretzel Fried Pastrami Chicken. Think chicken and waffles but with an amazing selection of sauces, and house pickles n ferments. It was one of my favorite foods.

Now onto the drinks! All the bartenders did a fantastic job. Despite the crowd, or maybe because of it, they handled everything perfectly. I honestly couldn’t decide which drink was my favorite! The featured cocktails included the Especial Margarita with Campo Azul Blanco, lime juice, Luxardo triple sec and a lavender-honey syrup. The Diplomat featured Conniption Gin, Rosolio di 12 Bergamotto liqueur, lime juice and a dash of Peychaud. The Ginger Rodriguez was made with Orendain Reposado Tequila, 10 ginger syrup, lemon-lime juice, and bar spoon Mezcal. And finally, The Gypsy’s Ramblas, featured Appleton Estate Jamaican 10 rum, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a dash of bitters.

I can’t wait to go back for dinner and try more food from their menu. Everything I tried was fantastic. I have zero complaints. Please be sure to visit Bodega. You’ll love the decor, the super friendly staff, the cocktails, and the food!

Dear Irving: Stunning Views and Cocktails

Located on the 40th and 41st floor inside the Aliz Hotel, Dear Irving on Hudson is an absolute must when visiting New York. The decor is beautiful, the cocktails are amazing, and the views are breathtaking.

We came here for a drink after our wonderful dinner, and we were not disappointed. There is indoor and outdoor seating, and we were seated inside, right in front of a very large picture window. The view was simply mesmerizing.

The service was amazing and the cocktails were wonderful. It had been a very long day so we didn’t stay as long as we wanted to, but we will definitely be back. You have to put Dear Irving on your list of places to go to whenever you are in New York.

 

Boqueria: Authentic Spanish tapas New York style!

We are very lucky to have some wonderful Spanish restaurants in Philadelphia. But, when we were in New York, Eric found a fantastic Spanish tapas restaurant near Kleinfeld’s in the Flatiron district. The restaurant is Boqueria and this is, without question, one of the best restaurants we’ve ever dined at. You have to go here when you’re in New York.

When we were in New York for my first bridal fitting, Eric came here while waiting for me. He was so impressed with the place, he insisted that we go again after my fitting, just so I could see what he was talking about. He was so right. The tapas and glass of wine I had were amazing. So much so, that we made a dinner reservation for the next time we were in New York for my second fitting.

It was time for dinner! We really couldn’t wait to come back and experience a full dinner service. A word of advice. Make a reservation! When we got to Boqueria, the place was packed. Once we were seated and looked at the menu, we decided to go with the chef’s tasting. I’m so glad we did. Everything was absolutely delicious.

Here is what our meal consisted of. Ready? Datiles con beicon, which is dates stuffed with almonds and Valdeón blue cheese, wrapped in bacon. Next was an artisanal cheese and charcuterie plate. After that was pimientos de padron, which is blistered Shishito peppers and coarse sea salt, which was absolutely amazing. Then, we had a tapas trio plate that was out of this world. It consisted of cojonudo, which was quail egg, chorizo palacios, and toast points, croquetas cremosas, which was creamy croquettes of mushroom and Serrano ham, and albondigas, which was Colorado lamb meatballs, tomato sauce, sheep’s milk cheese and basil. Readers, let me tell you. This was the holy trinity of Spanish tapas. Incredible flavors, incredible taste. This was fantastic!

The food kept coming. Next up was another charcuterie plate of ham, peppers, olives and bread. I have to say, it was very smart how they broke the food order up by giving you a break from heavier foods. The charcuterie was a nice break before the next tapas came out.

Next up was the gambas al ajillo, which was shrimp, garlic, brandy, and Guindilla pepper in olive oil. This could be the best shrimp dish we’ve ever tasted. The level of spice and flavors was simply magical. It was amazing. The final tapas dish was an incredible chicken dish, the pollo rustido, which was a Catalan style roasted chicken, Ibérico lard, lemon, herbs, and salsa verde. The chicken was so moist and juicy! This could also be the best chicken dish we’ve ever tasted. I can’t stress enough how amazing the food here was. Before I forget, to wash this amazing meal down, we had a complimentary pitcher of sangria, and we just had to order a bottle of the wine we had here before. It was a 2016 La Tremenda Alicante.

The grand finale was dessert. It was their turron, which was an almond and hazelnut cake, honey dulce de leche ice cream, and chantilly. It was just amazing. Everything was amazing. We’ve done chef selection tastings before, but this truly one of the best we’ve ever had the pleasure of trying.

Please, please, please, go to Boqueria if you are ever in New York. It is truly an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant. The food is amazing. The staff and service were amazing. And you’ll make friends with the other customers next to you. We had so much fun here. I can’t wait to go back!

 

Bridal Excursions, part 2!

A couple of weeks ago, we had to take another trip to New York for my second bridal fitting. It was a quick overnight trip, but it also meant new restaurants to explore and try out. As luck would have it, our good friend Randee and her boyfriend Chris, were also going to be in New York the same weekend. They were there to see a show, so she graciously agreed to meet me at Kleinfeld’s for my bridal appointment. They would also join us on a couple of our restaurants stops, but more on that later.

Back to our arrival in the big apple. On the train, Eric found a spot not far from Kleinfeld’s called, The Cellar, in the Flatiron district. There are two floors to the restaurant. The street level restaurant has a great rustic vibe to it. There is a small bar area, and tables throughout. You can order food to go from their large counter area, and there is an area that you can see them making cheese. How cool is that? They have a wine bar downstairs that opens up later in the afternoon.

We were in the mood for a snack, so I ordered a mac and cheese flight. There are five different mac and cheese options, and if you get the flight, you get to choose three. I got the “world’s best”, lobster and garlic breadcrumbs, and the prosciutto and peas mac and cheese. The portion sizes were very good, and all three were delicious! We met the chef and he told me next time we come in, to try the kale and spicy peppers mac and cheese. It was his favorite. I definitely will.

Eric ordered the beets and burrata salad, that had red and golden beets, blackberries, tarragon, and chia seeds. It was fantastic. For drinks, Eric ordered a glass of Joel Gott zinfandel, and I got the “bartender’s choice”, which was a spin of a classic Moscow Mule. Again, the drinks were wonderful.

This was a really good find, and fun place to eat at. The staff were super friendly, and it was really cool to see them making their own cheese. If you in the Flatiron district, be sure to check out The Cellar! We’ll definitely be back.

While I was at my bridal fitting with my friend Randee, Eric and her boyfriend, Chris, waited for us about a block away at a cute French restaurant called, Le Singe. The restaurant had a wonderful Parisian flair to it, and the bartender and staff were so nice. Eric was texting us the cocktails he was having, and they looked amazing. When we finally got there, I was able to have a drink, and it was so good.

The bartender, Nicholas, was from Croatia, and made an amazing gin cocktail, flavored beautifully with basil. When we told him our wedding was coming up soon, he poured us a complimentary glass of champagne. He was one of the nicest bartenders we’ve ever met. He made us feel to welcome. We didn’t get a chance to order any food because we had dinner reservations at another spot in a couple of hours, but I would love to come back here and try out some food off their menu.  Make sure you put Le Singe on your list of must visit restaurants!

It was time to leave, and head back to our hotel to freshen up before dinner. We also had a reservation for after dinner drinks at a fantastic rooftop bar. Stay tuned!

New York: Bridal excursions weekend, day three!

All good things must come to an end. It was our final day in New York. We headed out in the morning, and walked around a bit before heading to Maison Kayser for breakfast. It was our first time visiting one of their restaurants, and it was really good.

The staff and our server were extremely friendly. It was a warm morning, so we started out with a couple of iced coffees that were delicious. Eric ordered their Parisienne egg cocotte, which was organic poached eggs, smoked ham, béchamel, and mushrooms. I ordered the smoked salmon, with creme fraiche, organic sunny-side up egg, capers, and a red onion. Both of our dishes were delicious. They were full of flavor and seasoned very well.

The location that we were at was really nice. It was across the street from the New York City Public Library. It was spacious, and the decor was very nice. After a busy, fast paced couple of days, it was nice to go somewhere, relax and recharge.

After our wonderful breakfast, we walked around the city some more. We visited some of the fantastic shops along 5th Avenue before heading back to our hotel to collect our bags and head to the train station.

It’s always a bit sad when we have to leave New York. We always have a great time when we are here. But, knowing that we’d be back in a couple weeks for my second fitting, leaving this time wasn’t so bittersweet. Stay tuned fellow readers! More adventures are on the horizon!