All Eyes on Sakamai

A sake lounge and restaurant in the Lower East Side, Sakamai serves fantastic Japanese food, cocktails, and Japanese craft beer. It's the place you'll want to take guests or a date to when you're looking for a unique and cozy place.

Quite a presentation!

Quite a presentation!

When you sit down, instead of asking for drinks first, you MUST order this. The “Egg on egg on egg” is sea urchin, American sturgeon caviar over a bed of fluffy scrambled eggs.  Not only is it beautiful in appearance, the combination of flavors and textures is phenomenal, sensory experience.

From left to right following the first photo is the uni crostini (torched uni with Parmeggiano Reggiano flakes), Foie Gras Chawan Mushi (with dashi glaze), Tasmanian Ocean Trout with a mushroom rice pot (this is part of a larger dish and a seasonal dessert. The trout dish was part of a larger dish or pot, and it takes 50 minutes to prep and cook. The Uonuma Koshihikari rice, ikura, mitsuba and Tokyo scallions were carefully taken from the original dish and intricately assembled into the smaller serving bowls seen above. I recommend that you try this dish if you enjoy a good fish and are looking for something on the more “traditional” Japanese side.  We had a bottle of sake to go with our dinner. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the bottle that was kept on ice for us. 

With most, if not all dishes, drink sake.  Refer to the detailed guide for all tasting notes or ask the server for help with your taste profile and his/her recommended food pairings. The cocktails at Sakamai were created by mixing master Shingo Gokan from cocktail den Angel's Share in East Village. If you've been to Angel's Share before, you'll recognize the high-quality craftsmanship and refreshing taste of the cocktails here that are reminiscient of the ones at the popular Japanese speakeasy. 

For my first complete meal here, there wasn't any part of dinner I didn't love. So if you enjoy Japanese cuisine and sake especially, then you’ll have a great time dining here as well. To find out how intriguing it really is, you'll have to go out and try it. 

157 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002 
(646) 590-0684

Casual, Yet Elegant Dining at Nougatine

Trump International Hotel / 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

Feast with your eyes.   Here’s a photo recap of my dinner from Winter Restaurant Week in January 2013, and it was phenomenal.  Find this hidden Michelin-recommended digs inside the Trump International Hotel right in Columbus Circle and enjoy a JGV experience in a more relaxed setting.

Fine French Mustard "On-Tap"

Fine French mustard “on tap” in NYC

Dijon’s premiere mustard brand, Maille, will be at the “Taste of France” this weekend in Bryant Park for two days on Saturday and Sunday the 28th and 29th of September. This is the only time you’ll be able to purchase the famous Chablis delicacy “on tap” at this event in the US. I’m looking forward to enjoying more French goods in the US with the arrival of Maille and more. Come to booth #14-5 time and sample some mustard with me!

The “Taste of France” event at Bryant Park is open to the public Saturday 9/29 from 11AM to 11PM and Sunday 9/30 from 11AM to 7PM with tickets on sale for special events. See you there!

For more information, visit the site at

"In a World of Cheese, All is Right"

I was invited to attend the “Summer Fancy Food Show” presented by Cheeses of France on June 30th with my sister near the Jacob Javits Center at the 404 event space. Since we were eager to learn more about the exotic French cheeses we love to eat, our encounter with various selections of familiar and unknown cheeses impressed us!  

During the event, we had the opportunity to try several delicious French wines from Crozes-Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone and Languedoc-Roussillon regions and more.  There were also French fruit beverages available to pair with the several cheese selections.   I came across a smoky cheese, St. Agur and a very unique & savory Cranberry Roule.  These two were the most memorable!

The most interesting part of the event that evening were the recipes to upgrade American comfort foods like sliders, grilled cheese sandwiches including your standard mac and cheese. Instead of your regular American cheese, you can switch it up with gruyere when making a grilled cheese sandwich. Even Comte cheese makes plain mac & cheese all the more exciting and tasty!   

After savoring and indulging in many rounds of cheese, fruit, wine, French cheese improved comfort foods, and more cheese + wine, we reached our limit for the night and sadly, had to call it quits.  I wish we stayed till the very end, but our stomachs weren’t as large as our ambitious appetites!  We definitely learned a great deal about cheese and their appropriate pairing that we previously had known. I am proud to say that I’ll be able to identify my favorite types of cheese when I’m and about.  The language of cheese…I’ve finally come to understand you better now. Merci beaucoup and bon appétit!

To learn more, please visit “Cheeses of France” at

For the full set of the “Summer Fancy Food Show” event, please visit my Flickr here: