Eating our way through Puglia

On our recent jaunt threw the Puglia Region in Italy, Michou and I had the most amazing meals for the most amazingly reasonable prices! Our food tour took us to Martina Francia, Ostonim and a beach cafe where apparently Madonna herself threw her Birthday Party last year! 

Ostuni

Al Solito Posto

Al Solito Posto is the pizzeria restaurant that has been in Ostuni since 1999, a few steps from the historic center. More than a simple restaurant, a real institution for the residents of the white city, and always a fabulous discovery for tourists. Merit of the exceptional location of the restaurant, really close to the historical center, but above all of a menu consisting of regional dishes of Puglia, both seafood and seafood, prepared maintaining a perfect balance between tradition and innovation: a genuine cuisine, made of local raw materials and a deep passion for culinary art.

Osteria Del Tempo
The Osteria del Tempo Perso is one of the most famous restaurnts in Ostuni. The historic restaurant is located in the heart of the historic center of Ostuni, this wonderful town in Puglia known throughout the world as the White City. Born in 1983, the restaurant and the components of the mystical environment. Consuming a lunchat Osteria del Tempo Perso, is enjoying the exquisite flavors of the sublime typical cuisine of Puglia and Ostuni, in an atmosphere of unparalleled charm.

Martina Franca

Bar Ardua

Work, tradition and passion: these are the characteristics that make Bar Adua a milestone in coffee in Martina Franca. His story begins back in 1936. To retrace his birth and growth there are the grandchildren of Leonardo Campobello, patron of Adua coffee: Laura, Donato and Leonardo. In their eyes and in their hands the passion inherited from grandfather Leonardo shines through and tell us how their adventure began.

Since then, for all the years to come, they have dealt with their coffee. Now in 2014, the Adua Bar remains in its historical location and continues to churn out bocconotti, coffee slushes, almond milk, artisan ice cream. In the industriousness of Leonardo, Donato and Laura there is a bit of innovation that mixes well with tradition. This is demonstrated by the fact that, even today, almond paste is processed by hand. There are no machines that replace the hands of expert pastry chefs. On the other hand, even if a click today facilitates production, it can never replace the experience and the history that defines a quality product. The history of Adua Bar is a story like many others that tells a laborious Martina, who treasures the past to look to the future.

Gaonas - via arco Valente 

The Ristorante Gaonas Officine del Gusto was founded in February 2010 by the passion for the cuisine of Gianfranco and Antonella. Located in the heart of the historic center of Martina Franca, it contains the essence of this corner of Puglia: small and reserved, with great attention to detail, among our tables you can savor the flavors of tradition at the service of creativity.

We take from the past the respect of the raw material and we process it also following new and innovative methods of cooking, such as low temperature and slow cooking, because we want to bring into your dishes all the flavor, texture and properties of each ingredient.


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Torre Canne 

Al Buco 

The history of the restaurant Al Buco began in the early ’70s, when the fisherman Jerome Campanella, commonly known as “Cimonetto”, and his wife Pasquarella transform a cave used as a warehouse and “care” of seafood in a fish with adjacent refreshment room. The restaurant, among the first on the promenade of Torre Canne, is growing rapidly and now is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in the area. Among the typical dishes of the restaurant Al Buco as well the fish is always fresh and cooked in the traditional local, remember the “Sea Symphony”, the noodles with fresh shrimp, cuttlefish, mussels, rocket and “Cherry” and the “Cimonetto” swordfish. The restaurant also has a wide and careful selection of local and national wines. Thanks to wonderful veranda overlooking the sea and the adjoining bar with homemade ice cream, the restaurant Al Buco is the ideal place to live opportunities holiday or everyday.

White Beach Club 
Private Beach Club, sandy beach, breathtaking crystal clear blue sea.
A relaxing place, centre of Nightlife, were to meet new beautiful people to spend an unforgettable summer with live music & fantastic food.

October 12, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

A weekend celebrating festival of grapes at Borgo Egnazia

Borgo Egnazia is like a breathing tale of Puglia, spoken by the ancient culture of the land and by the sheer beauty of its nonpareil architecture.

It happens every hour of the year: you come and live your time here, and nature is powerful, peace is intense, harmony is full. It’s a place where you meet your self. It’s Borgo Egnazia: it’s nowhere else.

 

 

"In Vino veritas" preached the ancient Latin wisdom and in the month of the harvest. Our inebriating “Festa dell’Uva” (Festival of Grapes) pays homage to wine and grapes, popular fruit of the Puglian summer.

A lively and joyful occasion to discover all the phases of the grapes transformation into wine: from the harvest of the bunches to the barefoot crushing and hand pressing, to the fermentation of the must.

The lovely Piazza is full of local farmers and traditional work tools from wine cellars, artefacts born from the mastery of craftsmen and wicker-woven baskets full of grapes dancing on the girls' heads to the rhythm of the music.

The ritual of the harvest, with the sparkling atmosphere of grape pressing, will make this late summer evening unforgettable, toasting the second half of the year and having dinner with the most genuine Puglian specialties.

   Michou and I were so lucky to stay at Borgo Engnazia for the weekend where we enjoyed our own villa as well as festival of the grapes.


  


 

October 10, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

ALL THAT REMAINS...

ALL THAT REMAINS...DARK DESIGN BY THOMAS FUCHS CREATIVE

ALL THAT REMAINS...a drop dead beautiful collection from edgy New York design studio TFC.

Macabre, portentous, and darkly alluring- the Remains Collection from Thomas Fuchs brings us face to face with our own mortality.  
Remains Cocktail Shaker
And what better way to while away our time remaining than sipping champagne chilled to the bone in a tombstone bucket.  
Black Marble Skull Bucket
Handmade using traditional techniques including hand-carving, wax-casting and glass blowing, these stunning objects will bring a lifetime of enjoyment...and beyond.
Crystal Bottle Topper - Black
Inspired by nature, Thomas Fuchs creates timeless objects featuring a classic aesthetic but with a markedly modern twist.  Art, in all of its infinite forms, is a catalyst for Fuchs, who has designed furniture, created Venetian glass forms, and is an avid painter.
Honeycomb Skull Cocktail Glass
Thomas designs with the “golden mean” in mind, using a geometric construct that heavily informs his work.  His designs have been showcased at the Ritz-Carlton Miami, Bellagio, and Venetian Las Vegas as well as Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.
Remains Skull Coasters and Silver Bottle Stand
October 08, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Gem Palace

  

 

Thomas and Michou had a VIP tour of the renown Gem Palace while in Jaipur

The Gem Palace has stood proud as one of India’s iconic jewelry houses for over one hundred and sixty years and the members of the Kasliwal family have maintained a lasting and relevant position in the jewelry trade since the 1700s.

 

The Gem Palace has created heirlooms for emperors, kings, queens, presidents and lm stars and continues to cater to the traditional and contemporary needs of jewelry buyers from across the globe. e story of the Kasliwal family dates back to the XVI Century, during the Mughal empire when the Maharajas, ‘great kings’of India, represented a vision of great splendor and magni cence. It was in the service of these princely rulers, patrons of the arts both in India and throughout Europe, that the Kasliwals rst established their status as legendary jewelers.

 

 

A unique family of aesthetes, the Kasliwals are skilled jewelers and gem cutters who have passed an extraordinary artistry, cra smanship and passion from generation to generation. Appointed court jewel makers by Maharaja Saway Jai Singh II of the Royal family of Jaipur and granted high honors by the British Crown, the Kasliwal family history is deeply intertwined with the history of their native India.

 

 

 

August 14, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Tavolo 2

Thomas & Michou invite you to our inaugural fete “Tavolo”. A Quarterly Art Dinner Series Featuring

Color Story
Judith Tani & Andres Ferrandis

Having split their time between New York and now Miami, Thomas and Michou decided the best way to meet the artist community in Miami is to host a quarterly dinner party inviting the guests into their home to view the featured artist’s work while enjoying a gourmet home cooked meal inspired by the theme of the exhibition.

For their second dinner series edition they have featured Judith Tani and Andres Ferrandis, two artists that use color, form, and texture to evoke the countries for which they each come from and the vibrancy of the Miami culture.

Thomas and Michou are able to utilize all of Thomas Fuchs Creative’s tabletop wears which highlight the artists’ paintings, as well as sculptures, on view in their home for the evening.

Guest List

Thomas and Michou – Hosts

Judith Tani – Featured Artist

Andres Ferrandis – Featured Artist

Jean Labrada – Real Estate Developer

Juan Manuel Alfonso

Ketty and Niko Dimitrakis

Christopher Martinez – Oguy Apparel Proprieter

Mathew Martinez Huron

Menu

The menu for the evening was also inspire by Tony Vazquez-Figueroa’s series Black Surface: The Undoing Process inspired by crude oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Tavolo

Thomas & Michou invite you to our inaugural fete “Tavolo”. A Quarterly Art Dinner Series Featuring

Tony Vazquez-Figueroa’s Black Surface: The Undoing Process

 

Thomas Fuchs and Michou Mahtani, the creators of Thomas Fuchs Creative homeware, decided the best way to meet the artist community when they moved to Miami, Fl, was to host quarterly dinner parties. They invited guests into their home to view a featured artist's work, while enjoying a gourmet meal inspired by the artwork's theme. They partnered with renowned gallery owners, Sergio and Luisa Cernuda, of LnS Gallery, who specialize in Miami talent to showcase dinners with international artists. 

Using Thomas Fuchs Creative tableware, personal sculptures, food, wine and the artist's work, Fuchs and Mahtani create unforgettable evenings for their guests. In their first dinner, they featured Tony Vazquez-Figueroa, a Venezuelan-born, Miami-based artist (see page 10), who uses crude oil to demonstrate Venezuelan's number one natural resource, which ironically funnels wealth out of the country. Fuchs and Mahtani were inspired for the dinner party to cover the 12-foot-table in live moss, and set the stage with Thomas Fuchs Creative black and wine handblown Murano drinking glasses. The natural world was brought indoors in for an enchanted backdrop for the artwork. 

The three course dinner was inspired by the landscape of the country of Venezuela. For an appetizer, there was black truffle and wild mushroom pizza. The main course was a black squid ink risotto, and dessert was blackened chocolate ganache. The wine pairings were Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. After dinner, guests were treated to a short presentation by the artist, who explained the relevance of using crude oil in his work.

 

Guest List

The dinner sat fourteen guests including Sergio and Luisa Cernuda of LnS gallery, featured artist Tony Vazquez-Figueroa, global art blogger Noa Ishaki, renowned interior designer Monia Nishi, Charlotte Taylor from Doyle New York, Gaspar Saldanha from Design Miami, Daniel Campana from Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and master artist Frida Baranek.

Menu

The menu for the evening was also inspire by Tony Vazquez-Figueroa’s series Black Surface: The Undoing Process inspired by crude oil

 

  

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

If you are anything like me, when the weather is nice, you like to bring your parties or gatherings outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you have a large backyard, or a small patio, these few tips will help you create the perfect outdoor space.

 

The first thing to do is create a spot to gather. Pick out your favorite spot, whether it may be under a tree, around a fire pit, or by a water feature, and arrange your seating to create a welcoming hangout area. This gives your guest a place to gather around.

 

This next tip is centered around lighting. Usually people hit a road block when it comes to lighting since it isn’t the easiest thing to figure out when it comes to the outdoors. Unless you create a covered area, you cannot hang a chandelier, or light fixture, over your table or sitting area. A good was to add light is to either use candles, Christmas lights, or lanterns in the trees over your gathering area.

 

Now I know not everyone might have the room for this next tip, but if you have a larger area, and can get creative, dedicate a spot for one of your favorite backyard games. This will defiantly attract attention, while giving your guest more interaction to the space. Life size checkers, or bocce ball, are great interactive games for both adults, and kids.

 

If you find your space may be a litter smaller, or not attract as much light as you would like, adding mirrors will solve this issue. Whether the mirrors you used are big or small, mirrors expand an area, and can help define the overall style of your space.

 

This last tip is for folks that live in a colder climate. We all know you don’t want your guest so cold that they would rather bundle up inside, so the solution is to add heaters to the area your will be gathering in most. Outdoor heaters can be a statement piece, or add a more inviting appeal.

 

Hopefully these few tips will encourage you to enhance your space, and make you feel more confident when you hold your next gathering outdoors.   

July 06, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

Eco-Friendly Design

Are you someone who loves protecting the environment, and want to integrate this into all aspect of your life? Eco-friendly interior design is not as crazy as it sounds before. Nowadays, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from these designs or not. Today we will be going over some of the best eco-friendly design brands.

Kazi

Kazi is a company that creates handwoven baskets and vessels using sisal and sweet grass. These plants grow abundantly, which means their use is less taxing on the environment. This company partners with nonprofit organizations to help educate and train people in their communities.

Colorhouse

Colorhouse produces premium paint that doesn’t include all the dangerous chemicals and toxins. The have dozens of colors that don’t have volatile organic compounds, no reproductive toxins, no chemical solvents, and no toxic fumes. I know that when I have previously painted a space, I couldn’t stand to smell the toxic fumes, so this is a win in my book.

Coyuchi

Coyuchi produces a wide range of textiles, bedding, and mattresses that is created from 100% organic cotton. Since this is a rare natural fiber, that is free of dyes and bleaches, this is an excellent product. Not only are they very eco-friendly, they are the softest fabrics you could find.

Environment

Environment Furniture is the best company of you are looking for unique furniture created from reclaimed, recycled, harvested woods. This company produces anything from tables, beds, and benches.  

So, now that you are aware of eco-friendly design companies, are you ready to style your home, while being conscious to the earth?

 

June 29, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

The Perfect Master Bedroom

When it comes to our home, the master bedroom should be our retreat. Somewhere where we can relax, decompress, and just escape for our hectic days. Now, most people who are not experts at designing have no idea where to start. Well, lucky for you, I am going to give you some tips on how to create the perfect master bedroom.

Obviously, the bed should be the focal point of the room, but to enhance the luxurious feel, you want to have the wall behind it different from the other walls in the space. You could either paint the wall a darker shade of the other walls, apply a patterned wallpaper, or even use reclaimed wood.

When it comes to the bed, you want a dramatic headboard. An oversized headboard, such as an upholstered headboard, is perfect for form and function. It makes watching TV or reading a book in bed a little more comfortable.

The next tip is focused on the bedding. You cannot have a large beautiful headboard with cheap bedding. If you purchase a higher thread count, your bedding will not begin to pill or fuzz. Plus, these sheets are much softer to sleep on. If you aren’t sure how to test for a quality product, hold the sheet up to the light and see if the light shines through. If it doesn’t, then you know that’s a quality sheet.

This next tip is not needed for every master bedroom, but if you have floors other than carpet, you should add a large area rug to soften up the space. Not only does it give you an extra layer, it doesn’t make the floor look bare.

The last step is any finishing touches. This could range from lamps on the end side tables to family photos. Make this space feel like home. When you start and end your day in a space that makes you feel happy, your overall attitude begins to improve. I hope you feel more confident with these few simple steps on completing your master bedrooms look.  

June 29, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld

The Art of a Formal Dinner Setting

Have you ever had the need, or yearning, to host a formal dinner party? If you are new to this, you probably have anxiety just thinking about it. A formal dinner setting traces back centuries in America and Europe. Back then, the host would have butlers or footmen spend hours setting the table, making sure their work was done precise. Obviously, modern America is quite different than it was centuries ago, so it is not important to go to these lengths. However, it is important to follow the basic rules.

Before you start picking out what you will be using, it is important to determine the theme and overall mood of the setting. It should suit the feel of your home, so it doesn’t feel out of place. The glasses, dinner plates and cutlery should complement one another. The linen used on your table should always be of higher quality, that’s what gives the more elegant feeling of your setting.

Now, let’s get the setting put together. Put the service plate at the center of your place setting, everything else will center around this. Once you have your service plate, place the plate that you will use for your first course, and napkin. The next step is to add your forks to the left of the service plate. We put the forks in order from when we will use them. Place the first fork you will use on the outside, and then in order from there. The same goes for the spoons, and knifes on the right side, work from the outside in of what you will use first.

Now the last step is to add the glasses to the setting. You will place the glass to the right of the center plate, but above the cutlery on the right. The water glass should be aligned with the dinner knife, and the wine glass should be placed to the right.

Since you now know the basics, you will be able to have the perfect formal dinner party for friends and family without feeling too overwhelmed.

June 22, 2018 by Alech Blumenfeld