Posts from October 2010

Dancing Goblins to B Monsters, 10 Halloween Stories for Halloween 2010

With Halloween 2010 upon us, I think a Recap of My Halloween Stories for this Vintage is in order.

In Derry (or Londonderry) you can catch the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival.

Also in the UK, Scary Monsters and Supercakes, Eat Your Heart Out, London, October 28-31 highlights first 18 and over Pop Up cake shop.

London Chocolatier William Curley sticks to family friendly fare as I note in Ghoulies and Chocolate Pumpkin, Will I be Tricked Into Buying One this Halloween...

I fly over to Japan for my next stop with Ghost Stories, Dancing Goblin, Tengumai where Halloween And Sake meet.

Feel like a Punky Art Party, 33 Idols Party, Halloween in Tokyo with Dead Kennedys Flavor, Superdeluxe, October 31 it's not too late to join them...

Heard these stories about poets gone mad, B Monster and Black Fairy Come Alive on Halloween 2010, A Taste for Absinthe, cocktails for the grown ups.

Want to make your own goodies, Bake Then Bite These Monster Eyeballs From House of Ghoulish Goodies is there for you.


I round up my goodie bag with 3 Halloween Stories from 2009.

One for wine buffs 2007 Calaveras County River of Skulls, More Bones for Halloween and Wine 09, bleeding grapes.

Tunes in tune with the holiday, Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus, Songs for Halloween will do.

Back by popular demand is Spooky like Cupcakes for Halloween from London to Washington DC a hit these past few days.

Happy Halloween 2010!

(* illustration by way of Evilcakes )

Ituzaingo, Underground Dining in Mendoza

Underground restaurants come in many shapes and forms with outposts in most capital cities.

Speakeasy-underground restaurant trend recently extended its reach to Argentina's main wine region with Ituzaingo, Cocina and Vinos as they simply state it.

Located in the city of Mendoza, Ituzaingo, created by Gonzalo Cuervo is hosted in his home. Cooking is in expert hands of Chef Emiliano.


What to expect foodwise:

"It feels  more like a dinner party at a close friend’s than a restaurant. Chef Emiliano whips up small plates that represent cuisine from the different regions of Argentina. Try out a citric pumpkin soup, traditional empandas from Salta and Mendoza, lamb from the south, trout from the east and you can also pick out your own wines to pair with several of the courses."

8 courses with 2 glasses of wine included: $180 pesos

Reservations and Info: 261-562-8667 | [email protected]

Thanks to Emily and The Vines Blog for sharing this new addition to the Mendoza dining scene.

(* photo courtesy of Emily and The Vines blog)

Nuit du Gateau Celebrates Maison du Chocolat 20 Years in New York, November 3, 7 to 12 PM

Besides winning a copy of Dessert Fourplay by Johnny Iuzzini with this week's contest, here's another chance for Cakeheads to satisfy their sweet cravings if they are in the New York area.


I rarely quote press releases verbatim but since this one spells it all very clearly, why not?

"La Maison du Chocolat invites all New Yorkers to an evening dedicated to pastry and chocolate: “La Nuit du Gâteau” on Wednesday, the 3rd of November, in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of its arrival in New York/
A public tasting of desserts and pastries from 7pm to midnight will be held at the Madison Avenue boutique of La Maison du Chocolat, located at 1018 Madison Avenue in New York City. Simultaneously, the other boutiques – 30 Rockefeller Center and 63 Wall Street – will be open from 7 to 9pm offering tastings of desserts and chocolate pastries to all visitors.
Pastries will be the highlight of the event, including samples from our all-time classics to the latest creations such as chocolate tarts, macarons, ice-cream as well as sneak previews of many new creations like the classic La Maison Mousse au Chocolat, the Salvador Cake, the delicious sTARTElette and finally, the launching of the acclaimed La Maison du Chocolat éclairs in New York in celebration of La Maison’s 20th Anniversary in New York.
A tent will be set up in front of the Madison Avenue boutique featuring complimentary desserts and drinks with live jazz music in the background."

My guess is it will be crowded since rain is on the radar on Wednesday.

I hopefully will be able to visit for an hour and share a photo report the next day. Sorry if it makes those of you who could not make it there salivate.


You don't have to be on Hollywood Boulevard to get your own Star thanks to 'Startelette' above.

No tricks, only treats!

Cock's and Cows, American Burgers, Zany Cocktails, Copenhagen

Where's the beef from?

What can you expect at Cocks and Cows, an American burger joint re-imagined in Copenhagen?

Not subtlety. this fairly new eaterie sticks to the basics.

They use US beef, serve their burgers no more than medium and use fresh ingredients.


The twist on many burger joints in the US is they offer zany cocktails with names like Blood and Sand (a throwback to the 30's) and Port Light (bourbon and grenadine).

Take out is an option.

They are located at Gammel Strand, 44.

Their site is 100% in English.

Spotted via Momondo, a travel search engine based in Copenhagen.

(* photo courtesy of Momondo)

Mojito Lab by Bacardi, Cocktails Pop Up, Near La Bastille in Paris

The Mojito Lab by Bacardi opened its door about a week ago at 28, rue Keller (near La Bastille) in Paris.

This cocktail lab is another twist on pop up concepts.


Want to improve your batting average in the cocktail department, sign up for their Mojito School everyday but Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 PM and 8 to 9:30 PM.

Each class takes a maximum of 12 attendees with 2 options:

-Create 3 cocktails and enjoy them, discover various minth and the history of Mojito 35€

-Same options as above, add finger food, 45€

You might just want to just check the place and sample one of their concoctions, or purchase some ingredients for a perfect Mojito or a complete kit.


The Mojito Lab is opened daily from 11 AM to 2 AM except Sundays. Sunday hours are 5 PM to 2 AM.

I discovered The Mojito Lab in one of 10 things to do this week-end in Paris, 10 choses a faire ce week-end (October 29) as suggested in French by Pascale of C'est moi qui l'ai fait.

(* the Mojito Lab site is in French only, cocktail above is 'Royal, both photos by Loran Dherines)

33 Idols Party, Halloween in Tokyo with Dead Kennedys Flavor, Superdeluxe, October 31

Dig a Punky Art Party for Halloween

If you are in Tokyo on October 31, head to Superdeluxe for an Halloween/ 33 Idols Opening bash.


Here's a few words on 33 Idols Exhibit:

"SuperDeluxe and ERECT Magazine are pleased to present "33 IDOLS" a solo exhibition by montage artist Winston Smith, who has created some of Punk Rock’s most lasting and iconic symbols. This is Smith’s first solo show in Japan and will feature new work commemorating the 33rd anniversary of his seminal "Cross of Dollars" (1977) that was used for the Dead Kennedys 1981 album "In God We Trust, Inc." which was then banned in England and condemned by the American Religious Right.
"33 IDOLS" will also feature a selection of retrospective works from Smith's 30 year career."

Winston Smith "33 IDOLS" Gallery hours for 10/31 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM (free entry)

As for Halloween Fun:

LIVE: Hair Stylistics, yudayajazz + CARRE and Special Guest KTL!!


  Special perks for folks dressing up for Halloween!!  Don't be afraid.. (the clown's afraid too)

Party starts at 7 PM and ends Late

Price per person is 1000 Yen (if i got my facts right)

Can't make it to Tokyo, they shared "Halloween" lyrics by Dead Kennedys and ringtone for the song.

Got wind of this thanks to brains behind PechaKucha...

Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings, Win Copy of Dessert Fourplay by Jean Georges Pastry Chef

October has been unusually warm yet something tells me that it might change soon and we will need a light sugar coating to protect us from the elements.

We have the right medicine.

Satisfy your sweet cravings with our new contest.

Win a copy of Dessert Fourplay (Clarkson Potter) by Jean Georges' pastry chef.


This first book by Johnny Iuzzini (in collaboration with Roy Finamore) offers 'sweet quartets' with a seasonal theme as well as individual pastries, all visually striking.

In the Chocolate section of the book is the Milk Chocolate Mousse with Flambeed Bananas and Hazelnut Caramel Sauce (pictured below).


We have 2 copies of Dessert Fourplay for the taking.

How can you win?

Answer the following question?

The Milk Chocolate Mousse with Flambeed Bananas recipe was inspired by another NY based pastry chef. Johnny worked with him in two places. What is the name of this pastry chef?

E-mail your answer to info [at] njconcierges [dot] com

All entries must be received by Midnight (US Eastern) on Thursday, November 4, 2010.

This contest is on a first come, first serve basis.

If you won a contest in past 30 days, please let others try their luck.

Bonne chance!

Erotic Art of 17th to 19th Century Japanese Bedroom, Poem of the Pillow and the Floating World,

Starting in the 17th Century, Japan put its Erotic Imagination on display thanks to the work of Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and other artists of the Floating World...

What was 'the floating world' or Ukiyo (according to Wikipedia):

"Ukiyo (Japanese: 浮世 "Floating World") described the urban lifestyle, especially the pleasure-seeking aspects, of Edo-period Japan (1600–1867). The "Floating World" culture developed in Yoshiwara, the licensed red-light district of Edo (modern Tokyo), which was the site of many brothels, chashitsu tea houses, and kabuki theaters frequented by Japan's growing middle class. The ukiyo culture also arose in other cities such as Osaka and Kyoto. The famous Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the Floating World", had their origins in these districts and often depicted scenes of the Floating World itself such as geisha, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, samurai, chōnin and prostitutes.

The term is also an ironic allusion to the homophone "Sorrowful World" (憂き世), the earthly plane of death and rebirth from which Buddhists sought release."

You can lay your eyes on Erotic Art created between the 17th and 19th century thanks to a well reaserched and richly illustrated book put together by the expert eye of Gian Carlo Calza, Poem of the Pillow published by Phaidon. An index card introduces each featured artist.


Gian Carlo Calza notes in the introduction that "Japanese erotic paintings and prints called 'images of spring' (shunga) play a far richer and more complex role in the country's wider artistic context, compared to the situation in the West, where this art form has often been perceived as a form of sinful expression or even as morally corrupting".

First illustration is 'Four scenes of lovemaking' (circa 1660) attributed to The Kanbun Master.

The Kanbun Master

The author also notes the contrast between "the West where the nude represented in the classical manner became an elevated art form, but it also offered a legitimate opportunity to look at naked bodies-an activity that otherwise had for centuries been seen as the gateway to sin and perdition" while Japan "lacking as it does both the tradition of contemplating the naked body and the association of sex with sin, witnessed the prolific production of great erotic art by important artists, but it did not include the nude as such"

From 18th century, one of the images from 'Poem of the Pillow' (Utakamura, circa 1788) by Kitagawa Utamaro, Poem of the pillow is considered the most famous erotic album in Japanese art.

Kitagawa Utamaro
Last illustration is 'Grass on the way of love' (Koi no michikusa, circa 1825) by Keisa Eisen

Keisai Eisen 

There are of course racier images amongst the 350 color illustrations this 464 pages book includes. I will let you discover them in the comfort of your bedroom.

Visiting Empire of the Senses for Tokyo Thursdays # 163

Previously: Elizabeth Andoh and Masato Nishihara Discuss Japan's Vegetarian Tradition

(* all illustrations courtesy of Phaidon)

Love Meat Tender, Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec Reveals Art of French Cut at Meat Hook, Brooklyn, November 1

Instead of comparative studies in French versus American philosophy, Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec and Tom Mylan will illustrate the difference between French and American Butchering Styles at Meat Hook in Brooklyn.

Besides trade sessions, they decided to show their oratory and knife skills for the benefit of all those who love meat tender in a 6: 30 PM session on Monday, November 1, 2010. Their fireworks will be followed by a tasting accompanied by beers from Brooklyn Brewery and Natural Wines courtesy of Jenny & Francois...

Price is $25 per person, you can reserve via Brooklyn Kitchen Event Page...

Since I will be attending, expect to read my first and second impressions the following day.

Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec, the Meat "Magician" of Asnieres opened his latest butcher shop, Le Couteau D'Argent to great acclaim in 2009.

Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan will be serving as translator and master of ceremonies that day.

D'Artagnan is the proud sponsor of this royal encounter.


I will pick Yves-Marie le Bourdonnec's brains after the event. After barding, resulting interview should be delivered on Wednesday, November 3.